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News Conservative talk show host waterboarded

  1. May 24, 2009 #1
    In an effort to show waterboarding is not torture, the conservative talk show host "Mancow" agreed to put his money were his mouth is, and actually be waterboarded. He was not sleep deprived, confined, or in any way "prepared" for it, the way the US would, and he had the knowledge it would end whenever he wanted it to.

    The punch line? He lasted six seconds. Afterwords, he agreed, "Waterboarding is absolutely torture."

    Any opinions on this? (I'd like to see Hannity up next.)
     
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  3. May 24, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

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    And he knew it was an act and they wouldn't kill him.
    Suppose he was seized in the studio by foreign soldiers with machine guns, hooded, flown around the world and woke up in a Syrian prison - how long would he last then.
     
  4. May 24, 2009 #3
    That's what I meant when I said he had the knowledge it would end whenever he wanted it to. But a very valid point all the same.
     
  5. May 24, 2009 #4

    CRGreathouse

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    I was hoping that something like this would happen. Not having any knowledge of interrogation techniques or SERE, I haven't been able to hold an informed opinion about what is and isn't torture. But I always wondered why those who said it wasn't torture didn't try it. Sure, you won't be able to replicate it perfectly -- but you should be able to get some reasonable idea about it.

    I applaud this talk show host (about whom I know nothing beyond the contents of this thread) for
    1. testing his ideas
    2. having the courage to change his opinion.
     
  6. May 24, 2009 #5
    Where is the line is irrelevant. What is relevant is to be as far as possible from the line, not as close as possible according to the official texts.
     
  7. May 24, 2009 #6
    He wasn't the first to do this. I think they're starting to do it for publicity now.
     
  8. May 24, 2009 #7

    CRGreathouse

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    I don't agree with that. For example, a country could be further from the line by releasing all criminals from prison. But that's probably a bad idea. Or consider the possibility that a rogue soldier/police officer/vigilante/etc. might torture a person (say, with probability p). Assigning three people to each prisoner instead of one might reduce the probability of turture to something like p^2. But if we want to reduce this as far as possible, we'll go much further, etc, etc.

    A country 'should' be far from the line, but not "as far as possible".

    More practically, I think the line should be found for judicial reasons. Actually, several lines:
    * Beyond some point, a person enacting a policy should be held legally liable for that decision. (This may or may not be Constitutionally possible in the US retroactively, but certainly it is possible for the future.)
    * Beyond another (further) point, a person carrying out such actions specifically allowed should be held liable for their actions. (Even if genocide were legal, it would not be permissible to carry it out.)
    * Beyond another (probably yet further) point, a person carrying out such actions *even under specific orders to do so* would be held liable for them.
     
  9. May 24, 2009 #8

    CRGreathouse

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    I really think that the senior Defense Department officials should have gone through it in the first place -- not just the brass, but the civvies too. There may be permissible techniques (contra humanino's sensible opinion, above), but if our leadership can't bring themselves to go through it it's probably too much.

    Honestly, I don't envy the job of the interrogators* and their commanders. In their position I would have spent many sleepless nights trying to balance the deontological against the practical, and the value of innocent lives against the harm to a (possibly also innocent) life. The difficulty of this situation is one of the best reasons that the decision should be made ahead of time by society. Is it permissible to imprison a suspected terrorist? Put him in solitary confinement? Question him for twenty hours straight? Etc.


    * Note: "interrogators" not "torturers". The need to get information from enemy soldiers, renegade militants, terrorists, etc. won't go away, but that doesn't mean society needs to condone torture in any way. In the nicest form imaginable an interrogation would be a debriefing.
     
  10. May 24, 2009 #9

    Gokul43201

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    I heard about this on NPR yesterday, and I looked it up later.

    qUkj9pjx3H0[/youtube] Christophe...e debate of whether waterboarding is torture.
     
  11. May 24, 2009 #10
    maybe people will actually pay to get waterboarded. this could be the biggest thing since bungee jumping, heck, maybe even mixed martial arts. reality game show, anyone? are YOU tougher than a 5th grade terrorist?
     
  12. May 24, 2009 #11

    LowlyPion

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    Cheney could start a side business then franchising "EIT"eries.

    Their motto: "Anywhere else it would be torture."
     
  13. May 24, 2009 #12
    And the backyard imitators will send a few idiots six feet under and the lawsuits will follow. Especially drunken fools. I'm also thinking adoption as a hazing ritual for clubs, frats, the boy scouts.
     
  14. May 24, 2009 #13

    LowlyPion

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    Mancow ponying up got Sean Hannity off the hook with Kieth Olbermann who was preparing to offer up $1000 a second that Hannity lasted after Hannity was claiming it wasn't torture.
     
  15. May 24, 2009 #14

    turbo

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    I'd love to see that pus-bag Limbaugh waterboarded right alongside the too-snide jerk Cheney and see which one of those creeps broke first. Torture is torture, and the scenery-chewing ravings of these loons does not mitigate that. It would be nice to see them maintain their composure while being tortured though.
     
  16. May 24, 2009 #15
    People subject to torture are usually not criminals since they have not even been proven guilty. Your argument indicates that you missed more than my point.
     
  17. May 24, 2009 #16
    Coming to you at your next county fair.
     
  18. May 24, 2009 #17
    What will the response be from Hannity, Limbaugh, etc ? Let's make some predictions.

    I predict that Hannity will say something like "You're asking me to be waterboarded? Why would I put myself through that, that's a tough/rough/unpleasant treatment we use on America's enemies / terrorists / enemy combatants...sure it's a little tough / rough /unpleasant but it's not torture, and it has saved American lives many times over!"

    I was talking to someone on the phone a few weeks ago when they broke the news to me that Arlen Spector was switching parties, and I told the person that if they switched the channel to fox news that they would be doing a slander piece on spector right then, and sure enough...
     
  19. May 24, 2009 #18
    You had people in Guantananamo who, accoding to the usual rules, were not required to cooporate with interrogations. It was decided that some of the people who did not cooporate would be waterboarded in order to make them so uncomfortable that they would choose to avoid it, which meant they had to decide to cooporate with interrogations.

    This alone almost surely implies that waterboarding is torture. If it were not torture, it would not have worked and some other technique would have been applied.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2009
  20. May 24, 2009 #19

    LowlyPion

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    I think you need to see Cheney in a broader perspective. Apparently these days he's shopping around a book deal to make some coin. (I think he's asking more than $2M.) In that context then, the more controversial he makes himself, then maybe no matter how reviled he was in office and even now for his absurd statements about how great torture is, he's just another entertainer like Limbaugh, and even this Mancow. They're playing from the same play book, praying at the same church - Greed.
     
  21. May 24, 2009 #20

    turbo

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    Most Americans (US, at least) have been glossing over that point for many years. It's not just the extraordinary renditions in foreign prisons, either. The "School of the Americas" has been training torturers for decades. Some time, the US voters have to be educated in the techniques that our "allies" have been trained in, and vote to STOP it.
     
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