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Investigations of CIA interrogators

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[Location: Inside a high-walled compound in a posh suburban military district outside Tehran]


Ibn Bah Ibnazz: "Ayatollah, I heard you sent Farooq to America."


Ayatollah Fahd-al-Islami: "Yes, my friend. I figured there was a fair chance he might get Americans to start torturing their own children."


Ibn: "Really? Surely that would be too much even for them!"


Ayatollah: "You remember Akhmed?"


Ibn: "Akhmed? The village idiot? The one who was caught urinating in Imam Ali's prize rose garden?"


Ayatollah: "Yes, the imam was quite angry about that. So we gave him some leftover explosive we had from clearing that old stump out of Faisal's field and told him to stuff it in his underwear. Then we bought him a ticket to Detroit."


Ibn: "He flew to Detroit with explosive in his underwear? But he's far too stupid to set it off!"


Ayatollah: "Oh, we weren't so foolish as to give him a working detonator. He might have actually hurt someone here before he ever got on a plane. We just wanted to make sure the Americans caught him."


Ibn: "Why would you do that, master?"


Ayatollah: "Because Americans are like spoiled little children, Ibn. They are so fearful of anybody hurting them that they are terrified even of Akhmed the Village Idiot. Do you know what they did?"


Ibn: "I assume they took away his underwear and sent him home to his mother with a spanking?"


Ayatollah: "No, Ibn, you think too much like a Warrior for God. Because of Akhmed, they spent billions and billions of dollars installing special machines all over their country so that police could look at the citizens naked. All of their citizens, Ibn. Old women, 5 year old little girls. And then they made it legal to grope them up, too."


Ibn: "Shameful infidels! All because we gave Akhmed some left over explosive and a plane ticket?"


Ayatollah: "Of course. Americans are the most cowardly and depraved people on the planet, which is why it is a service to their own god Darwin to put them down like a lame camel. For fear of an idiot with a broken detonator who failed to harm a soul, they spend billions so that their police can look at little girls naked. And then those billions go to the company that makes the equipment, and they lobby the American government to install them in places other than airports so as to make more money. We couldn't have irradiated so many Americans if we had set off a hundred nukes across their continent!"


Ibn: "And they claim to be businessmen! Hah! You got a million to one return on that investment!:


Ayatollah: "Even better, we got rid of Akhmed. They're sure to torture him in Guantanamo Bay, and he doesn't know a thing. You know him, he'll make up hundreds of stories which will keep the American operatives chasing wild geese for years. We even mentioned a few things to Akhmed before he left that will lead the Americans to launch drone attacks against some of their own allies in Afghanistan. You don't think they keep hitting innocent wedding parties on their own, do you?"


Ibn: "You are truly wise, Imam. Praise Allah!"


(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Well my contributions to this thread have to be considered "green" as I keep recycling from old posts. All from this thread.


So far I have said in three different posts


William Tecumseh Sherman famously said "war is hell", he went on to say a lot more about it, and not in a good way. The gist is, that war is never nice, never glorious and always ugly. As a society we strive very hard not to engage in war (well I hope) and we only go to war when there is no other solution.


With the hingsight of time, maybe some other tactic would have been better, but I think I have consistently said that war is abhorrent,


The whole idea is not to wage war,


I do not beleie I ever said anythng about enjoying death or that I enjoyed killing people


Next, equating what I have said about war with the War on Drugs? what about The War on Poverty? The War on Litter? The War against Cancer? I think the head of the NFL Union/Trade Group/Whatever they are now said the NFL Players are at war with the NFL owners, you think I advocate total war in that area?


Playing such word games is, well its playing a game with words




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The devil is always in the details. We have the capacity to turn all of Afghanistan to glass, devoiding the whole country of humanity - thus wiping out all "terrorists" who may be there. I'd say 99.99% of Americans feel that would be a bad idea (you can count me as part of that group).


So, all out war is not the option, a limited war is the way to go. So, how limited? Thus the debate.

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Yah, except da "War on Terrorism" is as much a word game as da "War on Drugs."


So give up your word game dance and answer the question straight. Do you repudiate the infallible position of your faith in its authoritative teaching on the limits of just action even in war?


Would you repeal da sections in the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the United States Code on the treatment of captives, and unilaterally withdraw da U.S. from all international treaties and conventions on human rights relating to prisoners of all sorts, so that you can authorize agents of the government to torture persons suspected of possibly having information... and their families? All on the say-so of the Executive branch, without any check or balance?




(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Except that you're makin' an argument for a position in public, eh? So it's reasonable to ask yeh to justify the argument in public, or to withdraw it as bein' nuthin' more than tom-foolishness.


So I'll ask again. Consider it a clarification question if yeh like, which is what it is.


Do you repudiate the infallible teaching of your faith on the limits of moral behavior even in war?


Would you repeal all of the U.S. laws and abrogate all the treaties which make felony offenses of the mistreatment of prisoners, even in wartime? Would you do so to allow the Executive Branch, when it chooses to call somethin' a "War", to detain and torture those suspected of possessing information and their families without any check or balance?


Because that's what we're talkin' about here, eh? And all because we're afraid of Akhmed da Village Idiot.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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It doesn't require any expression, eh?


Both questions are yes or no questions. A simple yes or no. No need to worry about da Beavah misinterpreting that.


Do you repudiate the teachings of your faith on ethical behavior even in wartime (because Sherman called war hell or whatever)? Yes or No.


Do you wish the U.S. to repeal all of the laws and abrogate the treaties pertaining to the proper treatment of prisoners, which would give the Executive Branch carte blanche on the issue? Yes or No.


I'll even take a simple Y or N.


Yeh see, when yeh come right down to it and call it what it is, I think all good and honorable people are ashamed of this sort of thing, and while they might in moments of passion or grief wish for it, or in moments of intellectual weakness try to justify it, in the end those are only moments of weakness and not who they are.


And thank you for all you do for the lads and the program, too.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Brent: You're too nice.


In the hypothetical methods of questioning one terrorist to save one million innocents, the only line I would not cross is revenge torture. All efforts would be focused on gaining information.


If my child were in the balance, there is no line.


The most important part of all that is that your subject knows there is no line.

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Interesting discussion. If there is no line to cross with respect to torture to save innocent lives, what about the reverse...no matter how repugnant the thought might be.


If there was a nuclear weapon, hidden in an American city ready to detonate, many are more than willing to inflict whatever pain is necesarry to obtain the needed information to prevent detonation. But, say if you had OBL, and all he asked for was $Billion Dollars, safe passage out of the country, promised to never engage in terrorism again, wear a monitoring bracelet and be set up on a tropical island of his choosing, and he would provide immediate information that would prevent detonation and save tens of thousands of lives. If not he claims he will endure any and all torture up to his death, knowing he will take many American lives with him. The timeing is such that you don't know if you have enough time to "break" him with torture, but are near certain you could meet his demands in time to get the information to stop detonation. Do you cross That line?






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So, JoeBob, same question, eh?


Would you repeal all of the U.S. laws and abrogate all the treaties which make felony offenses of the mistreatment of prisoners, even in wartime? Would you do so to allow the Executive Branch, when it chooses to call somethin' a "War", to detain and torture those suspected of possessing information and their families without any check or balance?


A yes or no will suffice ;)


Because that's what we're talkin' about here, eh? Millions have never been at risk. Aside from 9/11 which was a trick that could only work once, we've had nuthin' but Akhmed da village idiot, who posed more of a risk to himself than to anyone else. How many innocent folks are yeh willing to authorize the Executive Branch to take in the middle of the night in order to prevent one moron every five years from disrupting a plane schedule? Are we really such cowards that that risk makes us wet our pants and want to start torturing captives?


Yep, as parents we all get a bit nuts when our kids are involved. Anyone who has ever responded to an accident scene with a kid knows that the first thing yeh do is manage da behavior of the parents because they sometimes pose a risk to themselves and others. That's why parents and family members would never be allowed to make these decisions by anyone who cared about 'em. Their brains are overloaded by stress and grief and they're nowhere near thinkin' straight.


Again, far more innocent people have been killed in da war on drugs, eh? Far more people's children's lives have been lost or destroyed. Should we authorize the Executive to torture the kids who are caught with a joint for information? Spirit the lad who the principal thinks smells of marijuana off to Mexico to be "interrogated" by da specialists in their enforcement agency?



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From everyone's favorite conservative newspaper :)


Bush torture dead-enders getting desperate

By Adam Serwer


The Bush torture dead-enders are now flailing badly as their case that torture led to Bin Laden becomes increasingly tenuous.


Case in point: Former Bush attorney general Michael Mukasey has now responded to Senator John McCains emotional demand that he stop claiming that Bin Ladens killing vindicates torture:


Senator McCain described as false my statement that Khalid Sheik Mohammed broke under harsh interrogation that included waterboarding, and disclosed a torrent of information that included the nickname of Osama bin Ladens courier. He strongly implied in the remainder of his column in the Washington Post that this harsh interrogation was not only useless but also illegal. He is simply incorrect on all three counts.


KSM disclosed the nickname al Kuwaiti along with a wealth of other information, some of which was used to stop terror plots then in progress. He did so after refusing to answer questions and, when asked if further plots were afoot, said that his interrogators would eventually find out. Another detainee, captured in Iraq, disclosed that al Kuwaiti was a trusted operative of KSMs successor, abu Faraj al-Libbi. When al-Libbi went so far as to deny even knowing the man, his importance became obvious.


Effectiveness aside, torture wouldnt be morally justified even if it worked. Even so, the pro-torture case hangs on a very thin reed. The idea is that the second detainee indentified above by Mukasey Hassan Ghul identified while in CIA custoday that al Kuwaiti was Bin Ladens courier. But little is known about Ghuls actual treatment, and both Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libbi lied about al-Kuwaitis importance despite the fact that KSM was waterboarded. In fact, according to the Associated Press, KSM gave up this key intelligence many months later under standard interrogation. Mukasey is basically fudging by arguing that waterboarding KSM was vindicated by his disclosure of information not gleaned through waterboarding.


The details of Ghuls treatment are unclear, so we dont know if he was tortured. But we do know he wasnt subject to waterboarding, which Mukasey is so interested in defending only three detainees are known to have been waterboarded, and he wasnt one of them. Thats why the New York Times concluded that the harsh techniques played a small role at most in identifying Bin Ladens trusted courier and exposing his hide-out. Whats more, CIA chief Leon Panetta and the Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein who is currently investigating the interrogations of high value detainees have both said that while information gleaned from CIA interrogations helped lead to bin Laden, torture did not.


Thats the key claim McCain made yesterday, and the one Mukasey fails to really address here. McCain said that the best intelligence gained from a CIA detainee information describing Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaitis real role in Al-Qaeda and his true relationship to Osama bin Laden was obtained through standard, non-coercive means, not through any enhanced interrogation technique.


Note the distinction. McCain is not saying CIA interrogations played no role. Hes saying torture didnt play a role. And in making this claim, hes backed up by the head of the CIA, who helped oversee the successful manhunt for the worlds most wanted terrorist. We may have to wait for Feinsteins investigation to conclude before closing this case once and for all. But for now, the evidence strongly suggests McCain is right, and Mukasey and the Bush torture dead enders are wrong.






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Sure, Beavah, we change the laws & treaties, if that is what it takes to make you happy. Repudiate the teachings of my faith? That happens every day, with government approval, through abortion. Capital punishment is against the teachings of the faith of many. You know, separations of church and state.


You put limits on it, and build in checks and balances like everything else. "War" on drugs or whatever? Congress must approve. I'm not going to go into all the details, so don't ask. Agree to disagree.

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