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News Did torture lead to the wrong war?

  1. May 18, 2009 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/14/iraq.torture/

    It is said that torture leads to the answers that the torturers want to hear. Could it be that these illegal procedures led to the biggest foreign policy disaster in US history - the invasion of Iraq?

    Was Cheney determined to torture people until he heard what he wanted to hear?
     
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  3. May 18, 2009 #2

    LowlyPion

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    Bigger mistake than Viet Nam?

    Since they apparently found nothing that offered any particular link, I think the torturing was merely symptomatic of the result that Bush-Cheney wanted to arrive at, not causative of the result.
     
  4. May 18, 2009 #3
    I would like to assume that the US military also used its extensive intelligence to sort out what they 'needed' and didn't 'need' based on what was most likely true.

    Or that they would ask similar questions to people and get answers along the same lines even though they hadn't 'biased' the persons view just tortured it out of them. Although I think it is completely possible that the person would just spew out random information in an attempt to save themselves such as people had done during the Spanish Inquisition.

    I just like to think that America has moved beyond these methods. It would seem like a waste of one of the worlds best logisitcs and intelligence countries...
     
  5. May 18, 2009 #4
    The military didn't have any choice in the matter. They were told Iraq had WMD. They trained for and expected to find WMD. While staging in Kuwait they went through endless drills putting on protective gear that was never used in Iraq.

    A bit farther down in Ivan's link:

     
  6. May 18, 2009 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/world/20detain.html

    I have a hard time understanding why they thought 10, or 150 times wasn't enough. Did he finally get his story straight after the 183rd waterboarding?
     
  7. May 18, 2009 #6

    LowlyPion

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    Here is an interesting link to Abu Zabaidah's transcript at his hearing in 2007, 5 years after he was tortured.

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Verba..._Status_Review_Tribunal_Hearing_for_ISN_10016

    I think it is difficult after reading this to suggest that he wasn't tortured.

    I also think there is every likelihood that little was gained from whatever torture was employed. (The memos that Cheney is all charged up about having released I suspect are most likely as self-serving as the OLC memos that justified the torture in the first place. They cry to be viewed skeptically, considering the source.)

    I think it was a shame that an administration that was so ill endowed with management skills (e.g the economy, Katrina, etc.), and so overloaded with some paranoid agenda, and apparently predisposed to avenge daddy Bush's shortcomings in the prosecution of the previous incursion into Kuwait, ... what a shame these kind of people were in office.

    But as to the original premise here, the torture of Abu Zabaidah looks to be more a consequence of their agenda, any fig leaf they could use to disguise what they could not justify, than anything that directly resulted in the war. After all, it would seem that little was actually gained from these ordeals they subjected these detainees to.
     
  8. May 18, 2009 #7

    chemisttree

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    Only CNN would consider this news. It is a http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0622-03.htm" [Broken]

    Same OLD stuff.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. May 18, 2009 #8

    LowlyPion

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  10. May 18, 2009 #9

    LowlyPion

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    Regarding the overweening desire to draw links between Al Qaeda and Iraq, and indeed maybe even a predisposition to take aggressive action against Iraq, from before 9/11, there is this account about Cheney and Rumsfeld undermining Tenet, because the CIA wasn't coming up with compelling evidence to link Iraq to WMDs.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/darkside/view/

    It makes all the more credible the reports that Cheney was wanting to water-board prisoners taken in Iraq after taking Baghdad - a clear violation of the Geneva Convention.
     
  11. May 18, 2009 #10

    russ_watters

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    Do you have an answer to the question in mind?

    This doesn't sound anything like the justification used for the war. Bush may have wanted a terrorism link and hinted at it (and I see they mention one specific incident, but I don't even remember that one), that was a secondary justification to the WMDs: he suggested terrorists could be provided with WMDs, but all of the specifics were the WMDs themselves and how they related to treaty/UN resolution violations.

    This looks like the start of some revisionist history to me.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  12. May 18, 2009 #11

    russ_watters

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    What does this have to do with the article/topic in the OP?

    Is this whole thread just a random, directionless anti-Bush rant?
     
  13. May 18, 2009 #12
  14. May 18, 2009 #13

    LowlyPion

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    It does raise the question that if water-boarding - the last of 10 levels of enhanced interrogation techniques approved by Bush's OLC - if it was so effective at getting information, why was it used so relentlessly 183 times? Is there some formula for their needing to hear something repeated some number of times? Why so many?

    And yet there are accounts the Kalid Sheik Mohammed was singing after the very first. Did his song really have 183 refrains?

    Or is it possible they were not satisfied, because they were supposed to establish a link with Iraq, because that could then be really valuable in continuing to justify what they had done already without established intelligence? And they couldn't. That the massive number of water events was more a sign of their frustration, than it was that they were getting useful intell?

    As to Bush ... do you really think he was out of the loop? Was Cheney? It seems he was tunneled into things at a very detailed level. The article relying on Wilkerson's account, mentions Cheney suggesting water boarding enemy combatants taken on the field of action. There's no waffle available to claim that this detainee did not meet the Geneva Convention criteria. That smacks of clear cut war crime.

    If there is revisionism afoot, perhaps it would be more correctly laid at the feet of Cheney, and now his daughter, making the rounds of talk shows?
     
  15. May 18, 2009 #14

    LowlyPion

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    It doesn't say that he did it. Maybe you should read it a little more carefully?
     
  16. May 19, 2009 #15
    Given that Saddam had no WMD the UNSC violations were null and void. A lot of the alleged violations had to do with the assumption that Saddam had WMD and the fact that Saddam refused to "tell the truth" and instead "was sticking to his "story" that they were all destroyed, that they did not exist.

    The same flawed logic is now applied to Iran's so-called "nuclear weapons program".
     
  17. May 19, 2009 #16
    I could not agree more...as evidenced by"

    "Was Cheney determined to torture people until he heard what he wanted to hear?":rolleyes:

    LP...it sure sounds like you think Cheney was active in the waterboarding?
     
  18. May 20, 2009 #17

    mheslep

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    KSM was subjected to five water boarding sessions over a month, each one lasting an about an hour. That's according to KSM himself in the Red Cross report. The other two prisoners received similar treatment.
     
  19. May 20, 2009 #18

    mheslep

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    If it is so clear cut please explain how the Geneva Conventions and its numerous qualifiers apply to KSM.
     
  20. May 20, 2009 #19

    Gokul43201

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    Wow! That's one comfortable rock you've been living under. =D

    All through the build up for the war, there were primarily three reasons given as justification (in decreasing order of importance): i. active WMD programs posing danger of the imminent mushroom cloud, ii. links to al Qaeda and 9/11, iii. toppling evil dictator and spreading democracy through the ME. These were also the three reasons that Bush asserted (in that same order) in his final letter to Congress (quoted below) before the invasion.

    The Saddam - al Qaeda link was most certainly one of the major reasons presented repeatedly by the Bush admin for going to war (both before and after the invasion). It remained big news when Bush finally admitted that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, when George Tenet appeared on Meet the Press (or 60 Minutes?) to say that the CIA had no definitive evidence for operational ties between Saddam and al Qaeda, and it continued to make the news every time Cheney repeated the message that there were ties between the two. It was a big enough deal the it was devoted considerable time by the 9/11 Commission and it was discussed at length in the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the same issue. It was important enough that it was covered (in broad, sweeping language) in the Joint Resolution for going to War with Iraq. It was so deeply inserted into the public (civilian and military) psyche that it was cited by members of the Armed Forces in Iraq as the primary reason for their mission there, nearly three years after the invasion.

    Talk about revisionist history!


    References:







     
    Last edited: May 20, 2009
  21. May 20, 2009 #20
    ****
    "Over the years, Iraq has provided safe haven to terrorists such as Abu Nidal, whose terror organization carried out more than 90 terrorist attacks in 20 countries that killed or injured nearly 900 people, including 12 Americans. Iraq has also provided safe haven to Abu Abbas, who was responsible for seizing the Achille Lauro and killing an American passenger. And we know that Iraq is continuing to finance terror and gives assistance to groups that use terrorism to undermine Middle East peace.

    We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy -- the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went >to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America. "
    ****

    Which of these(above) statements is in error?

    ****
    Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on
    terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested
    by the President to take the necessary actions against international
    terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations,
    organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or
    aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or
    harbored such persons or organizations;

    Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take
    all appropriate actions against international terrorists and
    terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or
    persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist
    attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such
    persons or organizations;

    Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take
    action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism
    against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint
    resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law
    107-40);
    ****

    Is this the resolution that congress voted on? How did it turn out?
     
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