CIA Torture

The US Senate Intelligence Committee has a Democrat majority and therein lies the rub. Republican members of the Senate committee that released a highly critical report on CIA terrorist interrogations say the study draws inaccurate conclusions about the usefulness of information obtained from detainees through "enhanced" questioning.
"We have no doubt that the CIA's detention program saved lives and played a vital role in weakening (al-Qaeda) while the program was in operation,'' conclude six of the seven GOP committee members, Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Richard Burr of North Carolina, James Risch of Idaho, Dan Coats of Indiana, Marco Rubio of Florida and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
Senator Susan Collins, the other Republican, voted to release the report but was disturbed that it had not been conducted in a bipartisan manner.
......in June 2013, I asked that we hold a hearing prior to a vote to declassify this report that would have included CIA witnesses. Such a hearing would have permitted a robust and much-needed debate about the claims made in the report compared to the rebuttals in the Agency’s formal response. Unfortunately, this hearing did not occur.
I therefore put in the same category as an ALP report recommending we waste billions of dollars on climate change. I actually don't care if a terrorist sub-human is waterboarded. If he plans to murder thousands of Westerners or just decapitate one then I think it's OK that we try and find out before the event. UPDATE: On Monday CIA Director John Brennan rebutted two of the central premises of the Democratic Senate report on CIA’s enhanced interrogating techniques. Brennan said the controversial program produced evidence that helped avert potential strikes against the U.S. Today he admitted the information led to Bin Laden.

33 comments

  • There’s no need to say anything on CIA torture.
    John McCain (Republican Senator and ex POW) has already said it –
    I commend Chairman Feinstein and her staff for their diligence in seeking a truthful accounting of policies I hope we will never resort to again. I thank them for persevering against persistent opposition from many members of the intelligence community, from officials in two administrations, and from some of our colleagues.
    The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. It sometimes causes us difficulties at home and abroad. It is sometimes used by our enemies in attempts to hurt us. But the American people are entitled to it, nonetheless.
    They must know when the values that define our nation are intentionally disregarded by our security policies, even those policies that are conducted in secret. They must be able to make informed judgments about whether those policies and the personnel who supported them were justified in compromising our values; whether they served a greater good; or whether, as I believe, they stained our national honor, did much harm and little practical good.

    From his statement on the floor of the house on Dec 9 2014 – http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=1a15e343-66b0-473f-b0c1-a58f984db996

  • Hello 17 …,

    You will find in the WWII histories that some people did not succumb to torture by the Germans or the Japanese and died rather than talk. Others did succumb and did talk.

    Would you rather see Toowoomba suffer an anthrax attack because the authorities declined to use torture on a person they believed had the knowledge to prevent such an attack? Some might see a refusal to use torture as very principled on your part. Most I believe, would see you as an accessory to murder.

    Via a fellow RAAF member who was directly involved, I am aware of a trick played on a captured VC. Physical torture was not used but, he was scared out of his wits by the threat – as anyone would be. He talked freely, revealing strengths and locations.

    If you were in Vietnam in 1966/67 the information so gained may have saved your life. If so, do you think the pressure used to obtain the intell was wrong and, as Senator McCain said: a betrayal of national values?

  • You will find in the WWII histories that some people did not succumb to torture by the Germans or the Japanese and died rather than talk. Others did succumb and did talk.
    So what?
    All that shows is that some people talk under torture, and some don’t. It doesn’t prove that torture is effective, and even if it did, it wouldn’t alter the fact that these techniques are unacceptable. The end never justifies the means.
    Would you rather see Toowoomba suffer an anthrax attack because the authorities declined to use torture on a person they believed had the knowledge to prevent such an attack?
    If the authorities already knew an attack was imminent, there would be no need for interrogation. They’d be using their resources to prevent it, not torturing the miscreant.
    If you were in Vietnam in 1966/67 the information so gained may have saved your life. If so, do you think the pressure used to obtain the intell was wrong and, as Senator McCain said: a betrayal of national values?
    If your anecdote is true (and please supply historical proof), it was indeed wrong. It would have been a betrayal of our national interest. We were, after all, trying to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese. Torture is not recommended for that purpose. McCain is correct.
    Torture destroys both the perpetrator and the victim – http://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/soldier-breaks-silence-truth-about-water-torture/511205/
    One of the few positives that came out of Vietnam was the respect for the Australian soldier engendered in the Vietnamese because, as a rule, we followed convention. Returning to Vietnam and listening to those who lived through the war consolidates this, and the locals will often compare unfavorably the conduct of the Americans with ours. This isolated incident had the potential to destroy that respect.
    Under no circumstances can it be justified, and anyone who denies this lacks the value system that makes us Australian.

  • A sequel to the To Thi Nau incident – http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/beautiful-smile-for-caring-soldier/511782/
    And Paul Ham’s account in the Oz puts it in perspective – http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/losing-it-in-nam/story-e6frg8h6-1111114681728
    The bottom line is that the provos put the reputation of the Australian soldier and the long term conduct of the Australian task at risk because of their disregard for the Geneva convention and Australian values.
    Spike Jones comments are worth noting – We heard she had been tortured but I guess we didn’t believe it then. It was so un-Australian and certainly not the sort of thing soldiers like us who were actually fighting the enemy would ever think of doing.
    He seems to agree in a general sense with John McCain.

  • I see you are in step with the Taliban 173 etc.
    I’m not the only one. So is CIA Director John Brennan. From your link –
    At a press conference Thursday, CIA Director John Brennan said agents were acting under Bush administration guidance that harsh techniques were legal. Still, he said “in a limited number of cases” some officers went too far and used “techniques that had not been authorized, were abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all.”
    I’m assuming by “all”, he includes people like John McCain, Spike Jones, and, as it happens, the Taliban, although in the latter case, the statement is hypocrisy.
    Have you ever barracked for the good guys?
    When it comes to war, I don’t “barrack”.
    I reserve that for sport. And I learned a long time ago (when I was still a child) that to divide the world into “good guys” and “bad guys” is naive.
    Where do you stand on torture, Kev?

  • Condemning torture is not defending the Taliban.
    According to your logic, McCain, Brennan, Feinstein (and everyone who speaks out against torture) is “defending the Taliban”.
    The “sub-humans” you refer to in your most recent post are those who endorse it.
    They usually start with animals – http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=FdFbAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR3&dq=torture+begins+with+animal+cruelty&ots=73j1GIrpCs&sig=x1-Fb7FZBSJlaTuZGGzxi4587gE#v=onepage&q=torture%20begins%20with%20animal%20cruelty&f=false

    • So, the guys who decapitate woman for being raped and/or flies jetliners full of innocent people are OK but the people who try and stop them are sub-humans. Your moral compass is fucked!

      • So, the guys who decapitate woman for being raped and/or flies jetliners full of innocent people are OK but the people who try and stop them are sub-humans. Your moral compass is fucked!
        The people who do these things are sub-human.
        The people who torture people who do these things are also sub-human.
        The second group bring themselves to the same level as the first group. Anyone who believes that torture is justified simply lacks a moral compass to begin with. That is the whole point of the discussion.

  • Hello 17….

    Your response to my post was the weirdest I have seen.

    You say that some people talk under torture but you then claim it doesn’t prove torture is effective. Moreover, you then claim the end never justifies the means and that torture is unacceptable. Really? Are you suggesting those who lived because torture was used found its use unacceptable?

    You should also be careful quoting Paul Ham as an authority. I had a long email exchange with Ham over the many errors in his book on Vietnam. If Kev will indulge me, I might one day summarise them on this blog.

    But all this is minor quibbling compared to that just reported by the UK’s Telegraph at:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/11292578/Dont-yell-at-terrorist-suspects-soldiers-told.html

    It looks to be aligned with your views. Could you please confirm this is the case?

  • You say that some people talk under torture
    Trouble is they usually talk crap – just to end the torture.
    If you look at Bin Laden’s killing, for example, you’ll find that it was what was not said, rather than what was said, that led to his demise. Under torture (enhanced interrogation) they fabricated information – http://www.ibtimes.com/cia-torture-report-torturing-detainees-did-not-lead-us-bin-laden-1746683
    Paul Ham is probably the best researched Australian author on the Vietnam war. The fact that you disagree with him simply consolidates that fact.

    • Oh numbers, must you always demonstrate that you are as dumb as shit?

      The world didn’t stop moving at the end of the Vietnam war, you may have heard of a little invention called the computer database, it allows organisations that (for example) are hoovering up every electronic message in the world, plus inputting all the sorts of info that has been spilling out in the Snowden fiasco to cross reference what you are told with things you already know and to eliminate the “crap” and then request more accurate information rather promptly.

      Torture does work, if backed by adequate databases, and as Mr Snowden and the cross dressing turd whose name eludes me at the moment have shown, the US has extensive databases on a great many subjects.

      It must suck to be you numbers, feeling compelled to demonstrate your stupidity at every turn just to garner some small amount of attention.

  • ?Oh numbers, must you always demonstrate that you are as dumb as shit?
    Oh Harry, must you always demonstrate that all you ever do is abuse those who disagree with you in a failed effort to big-note yourself?

    • Poor diddums, I abuse you because you are a proven liar and a troll, you are not entitled to any level of respect and your opinions are worthless, as a matter of interest, you will note that I don’t abuse anyone here for simply disagreeing with me.

      So I guess we have to put this one down as a ‘twofer’ for you numbers, yet another demonstrable lie on your part and an attempt to evade the fact that torture + computer databases = useful intel.

      Would you like to try to move the goal posts in an effort to get your standard trifecta of dishonesty?

  • Hello 17….

    Love your faith in Paul Ham.

    Care to back it up with your money?

    How about a donation by you of $100 to Legacy for each error I produce. To make it fair, I will donate $100 each time you prove me wrong.

  • The only collateral I’d ever wager with the likes of you would be the truth. But go ahead and look for “errors” if it floats your boat. You’ll look very silly very quickly.

  • Hello 17….,

    Come on you old truth fancier – don’t be a girl’s blouse. Be in it. Don’t let readers think you are all bluster.

    You wrote: “The only collateral I’d ever wager with the likes of you would be the truth.” Well now is your chance to make that wager – my truth versus Ham’s truth in his book: Vietnam The Australian War HarperCollins Publishers Australia Pty Limited 2008 Edition.

    Donations to Legacy are tax deductible too, no matter whether you or I donate.

    No need to duck and weave 17… How can you lose?

    And to help you along, if $100 is not acceptable how about $500?

  • don’t be a girl’s blouse
    You’re wasting your time with American Hipster patois. It goes right over my head. Use Australian English.
    You should also be careful quoting Paul Ham as an authority. I had a long email exchange with Ham over the many errors in his book on Vietnam. If Kev will indulge me, I might one day summarise them on this blog.
    Go right ahead. I’m sure Kev will “indulge” you.
    Don’t let readers think you are all bluster.

    • “You’re wasting your time with American Hipster patois. It goes right over my head. Use Australian English.”

      It seems that Australian english goes right over your head too.

      Ignoring the fact that the first recorded usage is spoken by the character of Nellie Pledge (played by comedienne Hylda Baker) in an October 1969 episode of the television sitcom Nearest and Dearest, there was also an Australian TV series of the same name – First episode date: October 13, 1994 – Final episode date: September 8, 1995, the expression has been a part of Australian culture for decades.

      You really should stop making stuff up on the fly numbers, google is your friend, it can at least limit your opportunities to make a fool of yourself.

  • Don’t be a Girl’s blouse comes from North England but what would I know – I’m not a teacher

  • Hello 17…

    Did not know “girl’s blouse” is American patois – but what does it matter if it is accurate – as it is in this case?

    So what about “gutless bastard” as a description of your stand? Sounds pretty Australian to me.

    Come on 17…. don’t be a squib – put your money up. You can’t lose.

    Or, are you really more a 10 cent straw man when the pressure come on?

  • Or, are you really more a 10 cent straw man when the pressure come on?
    You’re the one who claims Ham writes “errors”. You’re the one who needs to put up or shut up. You’re a gutless bastard if you can’t.
    Come on, where are all these emails?

      • Never argue/debate with a woman, a child, or a person of unsound mind……even if you should be one hundred percent correct on the subject you will never win. You can work out which category numbers belongs to.

        • Never argue/debate with a woman, a child, or a person of unsound mind
          Couldn’t agree more, although in this case, mercifully the individual in question had a flash of lucidity and withdrew.

        • D: all of the above.

          Numbers, there is only one person here stupid enough to believe you landed a punch. you.

  • Booby you have been speed reading again….or perhaps you have not comprehended who the intended target of the remark is. Perhaps your inflated ego refuses to allow you to see that the target is you.

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