April 7, 2009

"I look after your body only because we need you for information."

The report of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

30 comments:

garage mahal said...

Oh well. One of them could have had a ticking time bomb planted in a city somewhere.

Peter V. Bella said...

The report is based on accusations by detainees with no corroboration, except for the water boarding. Some investigation.

AlphaLiberal said...

Torture is all about revenge. I guess these doctors wanted some.

"Health personnel offered supervision and even assistance as suspected al-Qaeda operatives were beaten, deprived of food, exposed to temperature extremes and subjected to waterboarding..."

I know what the wingers will say, we don't torture:
* Beatings aren't torture.
* Near-drowning is not torture.
* Temperature extremes are not torture.
* Being shackled to a wall? Used to be torture. When we do it, it's not torture.
* Near-death, and death which happened numerous times, we will be told is not torture.

Turns out pretty much nothing is torture anymore. They sent torture down the "memory hole."

Orwell calling...

Quayle said...

I look after your body only because we need you for information.

How is that different from a prison clinic's treatment of a lifer or a prisoner on death row?

The clinic looks after the lifer or death row inmate's body to keep him alive to serve his or her time or to be put to death by the state.

Would the Red Cross say that the prison clinic doctor immoral and violating medical ethics?

AlphaLiberal said...

So, Peter, will you support an independent investigation so we can have the truth?

And, again, I wonder how many innocent people my nation tortured?

(Quayle, there has also been controversy over Dr's aiding executions and how that runs counter to medical ethics).

The Drill SGT said...

I know what the wingers will say, we don't torture:

Some of this seems like torture to me, though I'm not sure it fits the legal definitions.

However, I'd be interested in a filter applied to the reprt. Did the ICRC examine the AQ training manual materials that instruct members upon capture to complain of specific torture activities?

I understand that their interviews were fairly independent of other inmate influences, but how about a comparison to the AQ chapter and verse?

as I understand it, we don't have anything on which to judge the truth of these claims

UNRR said...

"I know what the wingers will say, we don't torture"

No, some of us say that depending on the individual and the situation, torture is fully justified -- and that includes more extreme measures than anything detailed in the Red Cross report.

Bob From Ohio said...

"No, some of us say that depending on the individual and the situation, torture is fully justified -- and that includes more extreme measures than anything detailed in the Red Cross report."

Agreed.

Khalid "shiek" Muhammed (sic)is still alive so he was obviously not tortured enough.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The ICRC report was based on accounts made separately to agency investigators by individual detainees, all of whom had been kept in isolation before the interviews, the document states.

Well I guess that settles it because we know these guys would never make shit up. Only the US military lies.

Peter V. Bella said...

So, Peter, will you support an independent investigation so we can have the truth?

Wasn't the ICRC invesitgation independent? Aren't they considered a neutral independent organization; the epitome of independence, prudence, neutrality, while working without an agenda? You should learn how to read. I said the claims had no corroboration. This is much ado about nothing.

As the Drill Sgt. stated- they did not include the fact that the AQ manual instructs that detainees make accusations of torture.

I wonder how many blogs you torture with your presence.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Torture is all about revenge. I guess these doctors wanted some.

Alpha, you're pretty much done here. What little credibility you had was gone when you blamed that shooting in NY on some anti-immigrant wingnut. As far as I'm concerned you can say the sky is blue but I'll always reserve judgment.

Robert said...

I obviously cannot verify anything in this Red Cross report. What immediately comes to mind is a past Red Cross investigative report, from 1944, when it gave glowing reviews to the Nazi concentration camp in Terezin, Bohemia. The Nazis absolutely snowed the Red Cross then, when anyone who cared knew that the concentration camps were way stations to extermination in the East. The Red Cross didn't bother to visit the crematoria or the small fortress containing horrible prison conditions. They didn't bother to discover that the old and sick had been shipped out on trains to extermination camps prior to their arrival.

I hope the Red Cross's political and/or other agenda has changed since 1944. I fear not.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I wonder if the IRC has ever interviewed anyone captured by AQ to determine if they were tortured.

Oh wait...never mind.

Peter V. Bella said...

(Quayle, there has also been controversy over Dr's aiding executions and how that runs counter to medical ethics).

There was short lived commentary, not controversy. The controversy is in the minds of netizens who have axes to grind. The AMA has not sanctioned any physicians involved- if they know who they are. Words are useless- controversy- without any action backing them.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Some of this seems like torture to me, though I'm not sure it fits the legal definitions.

I'm sure if Freder were here, he'd argue that the absence of a prayer rug and Koran untouched by infidel hands would constitute torture.

Maguro said...

Let's be honest, this type of dirty work won't go away under Obama, it will just be outsourced to less squeamish regimes. Panetta says that *we* will abide by the Army field manual, but the countries we work with are another story entirely. Personally, I would rather be interrogated by the CIA than the Egyptian secret police any day.

Quayle said...

(Quayle, there has also been controversy over Dr's aiding executions and how that runs counter to medical ethics).

I wasn't talking about aiding the execution. I was talking about doctoring the prisoner well before the execution, even if the doctor didn't take any role in the actual execution.

Is that doctor breaking ethical norms because she is treating and keeping the prisoner alive for a later execution?

Peter V. Bella said...

Is that doctor breaking ethical norms because she is treating and keeping the prisoner alive for a later execution?

According to certain people with a pulpit the answer would be yes. These same people would also try to prosecute said doctor for aiding and abetting torture. To these people torture is not only wrong, but giving medical assistance to the tortured is wrong too. Better to let them die than to be tortured again.

PatCA said...

The article is a sop to people like AlphaLiberal who just can't enough of that America Blame.

I think he forgot the one about women smearing menstrual blood all over him. And he was just at a wedding party when he was captured.

EDH said...

Didn't the ICRC have access to the medical treatment records?

If so, wouldn't that provide actual documentary evidence of the alleged abuse, rather than just the statements of the AQ suspects under detention?

traditionalguy said...

Was Daniel Pearl Tortured for being alive despite Mohammed's commands that he be hunted down and killed? How can the Al Queada soldiers ever learn the best torture techniques when they saw off their victims heads in making their Moslem Funniest Home Videos? Oh, I forgot the Syrians brought in the head of the SS Torture interrogation experts after WW2 for creating and training their Secret Service thugs. At least we did not hire the Syrians.

Revenant said...

"I look after your body only because we need you for information"

I'm glad to see we didn't waste medical attention on terrorists we didn't specifically need to live. :)

Stephen said...

Tradguy-

Actually, we did 'hire' Syria.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maher_Arar

Of course, there's certainly no way that he was tortured in Syria. Nope. Nosirree.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually, we did 'hire' Syria.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maher_Arar


Of course, there's certainly no way that Canada was complicit in that deportation. None whatsoever which is why they paid him $10 million in compensation.

bloodstar said...

I'm all for whatever means people want to use under one condition. If ever someone is later exonerated, then everyone involved in the torturing will undergo the exact same techniques and enhanced interrogation for the same period of time and in the same conditions.

Anyone who feels that torture must be a part of the defense of the United States surely would also agree to suffer the consequences should they make a mistake. After all, it is for the good of the country, and a true patriot would agree, I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.

That's my biggest issue with the Torture Advocates, they're not willing to accept the consequences of torturing someone who was innocent. they'll trot out the 'this person was guilty' and ignore the others who were obviously not involved and just whistle past the graveyard and hope that no one catches on to the fact that in the end, torture is about making people suffer, not gathering information.

UNRR and Bob from Ohio are two examples which exemplify that mindset perfectly in their responses to the post.

Stephen said...

Hoosier-

If by 'complicit' you mean that Canada ran the whole show without any sort of role being played by the United States, then I can see how that might be relevant to the question of whether the US ever 'hired' Syria to do the US's dirty work for it.

But I don't think that's the case. Sure Canada was 'complicit,' but it appears that the United States was pretty heavily involved, at the very least.

(Though it does seems odd to me that Canada would pay $10M to compensate Arar if everything was on the up and up, and there was no torture involved.)

I certainly don't expect to change anyone's mind as to whether torture is ok, or what is, and what is not torture. I happen to be on the liberal end of that question, but I don't think everyone who disagrees with me is either a monster or thoroughly irrational.

But for those who support its use, or who consider what we've done to not rise to the level of torture, I think it's worth noting who our partners were in the whole endeavor. Seems like it's part of the package deal. You don't get one without the other.

I guess I think about this in the same way I think about war more generally. I believe some wars are worth fighting. (Again, I don't want or expect to persuade anyone to agree with my views on which wars are, and are not worth fighting.) But when/if I do support a war, I support it knowing, and including in my weighing of the facts for and against it, that atrocities will occur. If you support a war, you are, at a minimum, accepting the fact that atrocities will be committed in your name. Live with it. The US was right to fight WWII. The US committed atrocities in its targeting of civilian populations. Those atrocities were committed in our name.

UNRR said...

"That's my biggest issue with the Torture Advocates, they're not willing to accept the consequences of torturing someone who was innocent. "

Nonsense. Anyone seriously arguing in favor of torture in certain situations understands that it has many negative consequences. I'm opposed to torturing the innocent. There are certain people we know for a fact are not innocent -- KSM for example.

" torture is about making people suffer, not gathering information."

More nonsense. It can be used for either or both.

"UNRR and Bob from Ohio are two examples which exemplify that mindset perfectly in their responses to the post."

If you want to know my mindset you can read the numerous posts I have up about torture, instead of making clueless assumptions.

Cedarford said...

Bloodstar - Anyone who feels that torture must be a part of the defense of the United States surely would also agree to suffer the consequences should they make a mistake. After all, it is for the good of the country, and a true patriot would agree, I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.

Nonsense.
War is all about killing and maiming and destroying the property of the innocent without trial. There is no such thing as innocence or guilt to it.

If all enemy civilians in war are "innocent", to inject criminal justice paradigms into the discussion? What exactly does a civilian do when he is Drafted or volunteers to defend his nation or people that makes him loose his "innocence" and his life and fate less valuable and sacrosanct than the civilian he was a month earlier? "Criminally guilty" of anything?

And in war, if it is OK to blow the face off an enemy soldier or trash 3 kiddies and a little puppy dog playing next to an enemy tank....well, where would capture interrogation rank on anyone's list of "worst things that could happen?".
That is the problem with Legalistic thinking - making such a Cult of prisoner's rights that we forget the just about ideal fate if you were a German soldier in WWII would be to be a prisoner, be slapped around and interrogated some, then sent to the US along with 400,000 other Axis prisoners and denied legal representation for years.
Would you rather be kept in "an unapproved stress position" or have you and your wifes lower limbs taken out by a Hellfire missile. Or just be shot as the safer alternative to dealing with a live enemy prisoner you can't even talk to?

That's my biggest issue with the Torture Advocates, they're not willing to accept the consequences of torturing someone who was innocent.

Of course we are. Better than bombing the wrong house, in good faith, and killing a family of 8. But we can live with that. And again, the criminal justice paradigm of "innocence v. guilt" is not generally present in war.

they'll trot out the 'this person was guilty' and ignore the others who were obviously not involved and just whistle past the graveyard

Unlike Lefties, military people do not operate in a construct of enemy innocence vs. guilt. That is not what war is. It is not a courtroom.

and hope that no one catches on to the fact that in the end, torture is about making people suffer, not gathering information.

More garbage. Nations tend to put some of their best and brightest into being interrogators, rather than use their considerable skills to gain proficiency in other military areas. This is a broad based decision - a deliberate allocation of scarce resources - entirely outside the violition of a sadistic individual who WANTS to be a torturer purely to make people suffer. Nations generally allocate that way in war because they see value in assigning some of their best people as information gatherers. To save lives on your side, to help win the war.

Not as "suffering inflictors".

If national leaders and top officers want that, they could just pick their equivalent of low-IQ gang bangers and treat captured enemy like Muslims treat theirs.

Would you rather be strafed along with your family by rules of war, vs. your family safe and you waterboarded for 2 minutes after you held out for 3 days from friendlier treatment and kindness-type interrogation?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I certainly don't expect to change anyone's mind as to whether torture is ok, or what is, and what is not torture. I happen to be on the liberal end of that question, but I don't think everyone who disagrees with me is either a monster or thoroughly irrational.

Well unlike others, I tend to lean toward the assumption that the folks we have interrogating these poor fellows aren't from the local S&M club and are doing it for shits and giggles. We're evidently dealing with individuals who have zero compunction to kill innocents and zero reason to cooperate if we're just nice to them. I'm not exactly sure how you threaten folks who think martyrdom is a life goal.

I guess that leaves us with 'enhanced interrogation', luck, or we just read them thier Mohammed rights and get them an attorney and hope for the best.

Freder Frederson said...

No, some of us say that depending on the individual and the situation, torture is fully justified -- and that includes more extreme measures than anything detailed in the Red Cross report.

Well, then you have no respect for the law or the constitution.

I'm sure if Freder were here, he'd argue that the absence of a prayer rug and Koran untouched by infidel hands would constitute torture.

I'm here, and as usual you are full of shit and are mischaracterizing my position. We have statutory definitions of torture under both U.S. law and the International Convention on Torture that are pretty clear that I am perfectly comfortable with.

More garbage. Nations tend to put some of their best and brightest into being interrogators, rather than use their considerable skills to gain proficiency in other military areas.

Only a disgusting Nazi torturer with no honor and no morals like Cedarford would equate interrogation with torture and imply that effective interrogation is impossible without torture when in fact the exact opposite is true.