Comments Posted By bsjones
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Oldcrow, RE: post #13

If this is about the numbers of people who are subjected to the "techniques", what is the upper bound in your opinion? How many is too many?

As an aside, are you completely confident that the total number subjected to "techniques" is three? The U.S. government I know does not place a high value on transparency when it comes to these matters. Perhaps the number is higher than three.

Comment Posted By bsjones On 25.04.2009 @ 21:07

The case for more waterboarding here:

Comment Posted By bsjones On 25.04.2009 @ 14:29


I like all this stuff about "outing" and sex. It takes our minds off how both parties are complicit in authorizing the interrogation "techniques" and nobody in either party wants any independent investigation into who knew what with regard to the "techniques".

No partisan witch hunts. Give me sex any time!

Comment Posted By bsjones On 24.04.2009 @ 14:46


I'm not sure I get the point of your post but let me try and paraphrase.

If a person isn't disfigured or killed as a result of the "techniques" it can not be that bad. Besides, governments will use "any means necessary" including "techniques" usually seen as as "cruel and unusual" to get information that is important and vital. Anybody that does not understand this simple truth is naive at best and a traitor at worst. I that about right?

Although the following clip is not about the use of "techniques", it does illustrate the "by any means necessary" psychology.

See Jack Nicholson take Tom Cruise to school, but suffer as a result here:

Comment Posted By bsjones On 24.04.2009 @ 17:52

Since we live in a democracy where citizens need to know what's going on in order to execute their civic duties, like inform their representatives how they feel about the things being done in their names, perhaps a copy of the memos with no redaction is in order. A memo with no names redacted would be especially beneficial.

Comment Posted By bsjones On 24.04.2009 @ 00:30


We have the ability to refer to the torture with any euphemism we choose. Some prefer "enhanced interrogation". I will simply refer to them as "techniques".

The hand was well played by the Bush Administration when they made sure Congress was in on their dirty little secret. Congressional leaders were made aware of the "techniques". In typical cowardly fashion, Congressional leaders said and did nothing upon finding out about the "techniques".

It quickly became about C.Y.A. The Congress was engaged in C.Y.A. by not disclosing what they knew and not explicitly making the "techniques" illegal. The White House was engaged in C.Y.A. when they had their legal team give justifications for the use of "techniques". The legal team in the White House was first and foremost interested in covering the @sses of the people in the White House. They needed to be protected in case the public found out about the "techniques".

The preferred and proper way to legalize the "techniques" so that our patriot warriors are acting within the law is to, well, legalize them.

We could have called it the "Protect America from Extremists Act". Both Houses of Congress pass a version. Differences are hammered out in conference. The President signs the bill into law. The law is signed at the White House using several dozen special pens used by other Presidents.

The "techniques" are now made legal. The patriot warriors are protected from prosecution. Everyone one involved from Congress members, to the patriot warriors, to the President and his council are protected because the process was transparent and sanctioned by the Constitution.

It is how it could have been done. It is how it should have been done.

Comment Posted By bsjones On 23.04.2009 @ 22:41

If torture is as effective as Former Veep Cheney claims at saving innocent American lives, why not Legalize Torture explicitly as a matter of U.S law? It would make America safe and it would protect the practitioners of torture from the possibility of prosecution.

It would immediately become completely above board as a matter of policy. I'd bet it would even make the practitioners of torture sleep better knowing that what they were doing was beyond prosecution. All the legal ambiguity and "mystery" (thanks Peggy) surrounding torture would be gone.

If torture is necessary for the protection of a free state, then legalize it.

Comment Posted By bsjones On 23.04.2009 @ 21:30

When discussing the American governments use of torture it might prove helpful to keep in mind a few things that are distinct:

It's legality. Is torture legal in the United States. Is it prohibited by statute.
It's morality. Does it fit within an agreed upon code of right and wrong. Is it outside this code.
It's efficacy. Does it accomplish its goals and objectives.
It's efficacy relative to other techniques. How well does it accomplish its stated objectives and goals relative to all other available means for accomplishing the stated goals and objectives.
The costs. Is there blow back that negates the positive effects gained by torturing.

A wide variety of different conclusions could be drawn depending on how these variables fit together. To look at opposite extremes it could be that torture is legal, moral, effective and the most effective at achieving stated goals and objectives compared to available alternatives. There are no apparent costs. At the other extreme it could prove to be illegal, immoral, totally ineffective or at least less effective than the available alternatives. There are costs and unintended consequences that will work against American interests in the short medium and long term.

I have even heard a view expressed that torture has some kind of negative soul destroying effect on both the torturer and the society that prefers torture to "remain mysterious" by looking the other way and to just"keep on walking".

The consensus Republican position for wide distribution in the media seems to be that it is extremely effective, not really illegal, and morally ambiguous in a post 9/11 universe. Many think "Don't ask don't tell should be the order of the day", because what you don't know can't hurt you.

Imagine that torture is moral, effective, comes at little or no cost to the practitioner or his country but is illegal in that country. What should be done?

Retroactive immunity?
Pass laws legalizing torture?
"Don't ask don't tell" ? (keep it a mystery and keep on walkin?)
Something else?

Comment Posted By bsjones On 23.04.2009 @ 18:50


Travis Monitor,

If I understand you correctly, the important thing to remember about the Iraq war is that we fought it on behalf of the Iraqi people. So any money spent liberating Iraq should be seen as a selfless gift from the American taxpayer to a helpless peopl once under the thumb of a brutal dictator.

I like the sound of it. We invaded Iraq to save its people and spread democracy to an unfortunate region. I love its simplicity.

There is a 45 year old man I know personally who is fighting this war for Iraqi freedom. He has a blog I really love. He posts every three days or so from Iraq talking about what happens as he does his job.It can be seen here:

He used to have very cool pictures on it, but one day they all came down never to appear again.

Comment Posted By bsjones On 24.04.2009 @ 02:15

I may have been tongue in check, but the idea was also based on a real Republican proposal. It was a Rumsfeld initiative called the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.
It got the dove's panties in a twist and most of the funding went towards aspects of the program that were not directly nuclear warhead related. Some info here:

and here:

Some in the GOP said it was a good idea but bad PR.

Comment Posted By bsjones On 23.04.2009 @ 15:48

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