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Germans are still trying to shed the hideous evil of their parents and grandparents onto someone, anyone, else. Recently, it's America's turn. Germans, don't you feel much better about yourselves now?

As the CIA over flights seem have hit a nerve with the Germans' sense of moral superiority and an over the top display of rigtheous indignation, maybe a debate about the stationing of US Forces in Germany amoung the elite will soon occur. Das Spiegel has suggested it already.

With a bit of luck, the results of this German debate would be a formal Berlin policy that America is no longer welcomed in Germany.

This would surely be the end of NATO and organization which has long out lived its useful purpose.

There could be real honesty in how each nation views the other. The US could stop pretending Germany is an ally and Germany could stop pretending it is America's friend.

Now that would be progress.

I am curious to know how many Germans actually buy that kind of crap. I'm a realist (and it's been a long time since I felt "at home" in this country) so I guess a majority of Germans does. Granted, some of it is down to biased reporting in the media but a lot of it is down to the German psyche and their jealousy. You don't start two World Wars, lose both of them and then suddenly become a better people. If Germany was about individualism things might be different but the left-wingers who run this country (teachers, professors, journalists etc.) made damn sure it will not be about the individual. This is a very bad time if you are a conservative European. I hope our American friends (once again) remember who stood by them and who didn't.

I just went and read Mr. Naumann's article in its entirety and I can say that the excerpts above do not due justice to the depth of the poisonous bile in the article. As one reads through this hysterical screed, one can almost feel Mr. Naumann's hatred of the Great Satan. I can imagine his face contorted with rage and his lips quivering with indignation as his fingers fly over the keyboard with the indignant nervous energy of a Leftist in a rightious religious ecstasy.

This worst part is that most of the German public will -- in my experience -- swallow this garbage hook, line and sinker.

After giving the matter just a little more thought, it occurs to me that Mr. Naumann's laborious tirade and the willingness of the German public to buy into such garbage cannot be explained by ideology alone. After all, negative German attitudes toward America appear to be prevalent across the German political spectrum, though they are certainly strongest on the Left.

I believe that the "root cause" of the recent rise of passionate anti-Americanism in Germany and Western Europe in general is one of the strongest human emotions -- fear. The social cohesion of France and Germany is deteriorating before the eyes of the world and there is no possiblity of stopping it. Things aren't really bad right now and may turn out well in the long run, but a palpable nervous dread can be felt in the continental Zeitgeist. So when Mr. Naumann spews his defecation onto the pages of Die Zeit, I believe he is motivated more by fear and an inferiority complex as by true antipathy toward America.

Perhaps the United States would give wigged-out leftists in Germany far less ammunition if America unequivocally rejected the use of torture. Leftist John McCain seems to think that's a sound idea and 89 of his leftist Senate colleagues agree with him. I do as well.

Perhaps wigged-out leftists in Germany would have one less reference point if the Wall Street Journal, America's most respected conservative newspaper, hadn't forcefully come out in support of torture. (Interestingly, in Stephen Moore's recent interview with Senator McCain in the WSJE (28 November, no link), the issue of torture never even made it into print. Makes me wonder if it even came up in the discussion. That's showing some journalistic balls.)

Perhaps wigged-out leftists in Germany would have even less ground to stand on if the CIA wasn't apparently grabbing innocents (including one German citizen) in the war on terror: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/03/AR2005120301476_pf.html (Oh, and to reassure everyone, I believe the Post article uses all commas properly, though it does refer to Ulm and not Neu-Ulm.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I think Medienkritik is absolutely correct when it states that there is an anti-American bias in the German press. Unfortunately, America now uses torture and some Americans robustly advocate its continued use. America may be abducting innocent civilians around the world, which if true is clearly illegal. There is absolutely reasonable ground from which to object to these actions, even when objections come from otherwise wigged-out German leftists.

As Senator McCain correctly sums up the situation, "This is about who we are. These are the values that distinguish us from our enemies." Or not, as the case may be.

Cheers,

It looks as if the former Minister of Culture has read too many of those insane Robert Ludlum books during his work at a New York publishing house. I'm not surprised at all that he draws a direct link from the Kubark manual to the Spanish inquisition - American popular culture is so full of intelligence conspiracy stories making up all kinds of relatabilities to Europe that we perceive the myths America holds about its secret services as an equally big threat to our culture as the reputation that hurried ahead the Torquemada.

As it has been pointed out, the only torture in the world that matters to this columnist is that commited by the Total Information Awareness, so it might even be that his primary concern is not about torture at all, but about Europe's necessarily idiosyncratic understanding of its identity and its role in the world getting entangled into the global myths that the American intelligence community is spinning to troll each other. Some of the writers of these crazy shell games even like to think of themselves as heirs of the first Atlanticists, though historically the proverbial zeal of the Jesuits stems not from the strength of the Spanish aristocracy but from its weakness in the face of the Enlightenment, and so does the zeal of the secrecy myth writers in the American culture industry. I wonder whether anybody ever considered that the intelligence behemoth lore which America for some opaque reasons needs to feed to itself might cause collateral damage abroad? Poor Michael Naumann is pursued by the demons of Hollywoods imagination...

Warum hat sich darüber niemand empört?


Camp Bondsteel

Robles: Dieses Gefängnis stand unter dem Befehl der Nato-Truppen Kfor, der "Kosovo Force". Mich interessierte deshalb damals zunächst, auf welcher juristischen Grundlage es der Kfor erlaubt war, Gefangene außerhalb normaler rechtlicher Verfahren einzusperren. Denn diese Menschen dort waren ja direkt von der Armee verhaftet worden, ohne die Möglichkeit, sich dagegen juristisch zu wehren. Sie hatten keinen Anwalt. Es gab keine Berufungsinstanz. Es gab noch nicht einmal genaue Vorschriften darüber, wie lange die Menschen in Haft gehalten werden durften. Also schrieb ich in meinem Bericht: So geht das nicht mehr: Man muss hier demokratische, rechtsstaatliche Standards einführen. Und das ist inzwischen ja auch passiert.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Wieso hat das damals, im Jahre 2002, kein Aufsehen erregt, sondern erst jetzt?

Robles: Ich habe das alles in meinen Bericht an den Europarat aufgeschrieben. Darüber im Plenum diskutiert wurde zwar nicht, aber immerhin steht es seitdem im Internet. Ich habe schon damals auch öffentlich darüber gesprochen. Aber da gab es wohl nicht dasselbe Interesse wie heute.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Die Amerikaner weisen jede Verantwortung für das Gefangenenlager im Kosovo von sich. Das sei keine CIA-Einrichtung, sondern eine der Kfor-Nato-Truppen. Haben sie Recht?

Robles: Absolut. Und der damalige Kfor-Chef General Marcel Valentin hat mir bei meiner Visite nach Kräften geholfen. Da gab es ja auch keine Geheimnisse zu vertuschen. Jeder wusste Bescheid, wie es im "Camp Bondsteel" zuging.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,387762,00.html

@Rofe

I agree that there are responsible individuals in the U.S. who appear to be more eager to use torture than I am comfortable with; however, I would oppose an unequivocal rejection of its use by the U.S. government. To begin with, any such declaration isn't really worth the paper it is written on and any government that has made such a declaration has in my opinion done so only for propaganda or political purposes. Second, after any such declaration by the U.S. government, the Leftists would simply use a sliding definition of torture to claim that the U.S. is violating its own oath, but continue to ignore human rights abuses in their own and other countries. Third, if the U.S. begins to change its foreign and domestic policies in response to shrill Leftist rhetoric, then we can just flush the Constitution and do away with representative government, which is ultimately what the Leftsts would like to achieve.

The CIA has no doubt grabbed a few innocent people and has likely been somewhat overzealous in its pursuit of alleged terrorists, but you can't tell me that the German police never arrest, interrogate or accuse an innocent individual. I agree that individuals detained by the CIA should either be charged or released more quickly, but the relatively small number of controversial cases and the nature of the potential threat do not come close to justifying the relentless hate fest we see in the German media.

Finally, the U.S. is a liberal democracy and it is the sovereign right of the U.S. people to protect themselves and their way of life as they see fit. I, like you, may not agree with everything that is done or authorized, but I must say that I am far more concerned with the actions and potential for worse that I see in unhinged Leftists like Mr. Naumann than I am with whether or not the U.S. government pays lip service to the rejection of torture.

We know what would happen to the ability of the country to even hold prisoners once an absolute was enacted. An idiot judge locally once decided prisoners had a constitutionally protected right to a mirror in their cells.
Feelgood legislation like the Endangered Species Act and Environmental Protection Act were quickly expanded, because of the failure to limit their scope, to override all previous laws.

i read the whole Zeit-article, too - and actually it IS quite shocking, what he writes.

Naumann is in this very responsible position belonging to a german "elite".

i don't know who is right, the author of this blog calling those rude examples, Naumann uses, just "rumors" or the research of Naumann. True is, that german journalists nowadays tend more and more to act like a fourth power, as important as the executive of the state and therefore remove from neutralism to subjective - not-to-say dishonest methods.

on the other hand, i'm quite glad NOT to be dependent on american media, where journalists obviously lose more and more their courage to stand up against their government. And you even find those cowards at the New York Times!

Like beimami said above: There is absolutely reasonable ground from which to object to these actions, even when objections come from otherwise wigged-out German leftists.

And let's face it: do not say the polls a lot about HOW accepted Bush's and his colleagues policy still is, in the US? what i want to say is, even many Americans don't accept this policy anymore. That's what we often forget: to make a difference between the government and the public opinion. Something, also Nauman not points out.

When the authour of this blog articles says:
"And if Mr. Naumann is so worried about torture, why isn't he angrily denouncing his own government's active support of trade with Sudan?", i would like to ask him whether he thinks we should not talk about those against-human-rights-cause only BECAUSE on other parts of the world you will find them TOO??? of course we can't "vacuum clean" the world at once. what kind of argumentation is this?

i find as much hate in your article - also in many comments above - as Naumann probably had when he became over-absorbed with his report.

greets

i'm quite glad NOT to be dependent on american media, where journalists obviously lose more and more their courage to stand up against their government

??????

Just curious, Stina, what planet are you coming from ?

@beimami

>>”I agree that there are responsible individuals in the U.S. who appear to be more eager to use torture than I am comfortable with; however, I would oppose an unequivocal rejection of its use by the U.S. government.”

I am in favor of an unequivocal rejection of the use of torture by the US government. It flies in the face of our Constitution, and the ideals of the men of the enlightenment who were our founding fathers. By eroding what America stands for, it is ultimately self-defeating for us to use it. By doing so we strike at our own roots. What, exactly, are we fighting to preserve if the use of torture is justifiable to preserve it?

>>”To begin with, any such declaration isn't really worth the paper it is written on and any government that has made such a declaration has in my opinion done so only for propaganda or political purposes.”

Nonsense. If the US made such a declaration, it would be held to it, if not by its own bureaucracies, then by public opinion, because, as we have seen, there is no way the government could succeed in covering up its use indefinitely.

>>”Second, after any such declaration by the U.S. government, the Leftists would simply use a sliding definition of torture to claim that the U.S. is violating its own oath, but continue to ignore human rights abuses in their own and other countries.”

I am completely indifferent to the opinion of the leftists in this matter. The question is not, how will the leftists respond, but is torture right or wrong. If the leftists were in favor of preventing you from jumping off the Empire State Building, would you jump anyway just to spite them?

>>”Third, if the U.S. begins to change its foreign and domestic policies in response to shrill Leftist rhetoric, then we can just flush the Constitution and do away with representative government, which is ultimately what the Leftsts would like to achieve.”

I propose we change our policy of using torture as a matter of principle and because it is self-defeating. Shrill leftist rhetoric has nothing to do with it. If we continue to use torture, then we are, in effect flushing the Constitution, eroding the ideal of US democracy, and playing into the hands of our enemies.

>>”The CIA has no doubt grabbed a few innocent people and has likely been somewhat overzealous in its pursuit of alleged terrorists,..”

They have, in fact, tortured people to death.

>>”I agree that individuals detained by the CIA should either be charged or released more quickly, but the relatively small number of controversial cases…”

The number of controversial cases is neither small nor insignificant.


>>”…do not come close to justifying the relentless hate fest we see in the German media.

Naumann and the rest of the German leftist elite don’t genuinely oppose torture in the US, or anywhere else. On the contrary, these vile hypocrites are the torturer’s most effective collaborators. They knowingly play into the hands of the proponents of torture in the US who can easily exploit their hate-filled rants to claim that principled opponents of torture are “exaggerating the problem,” or are blowing a few “minor incidents” out of proportion. Anyone who has listened to right wing talk radio in the US can see how effective the Naumanns of the world have been in “opposing torture” in short order. If Naumann and the rest of the leftist scum really felt any sympathy for the victims, they wouldn’t exploit their sufferings to promote America bashing. Sympathy for the victims? What a joke! These people practically have an orgasm every time they hear of some new real or imagined incident of torture. More grist for the anti-American propaganda mill! Principled opposition to torture? Forget it! They are indifferent to the imcomparably worse torture now afflicting the people of countries such as Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba, just as they were indifferent to the torture inflicted on the people of Vietnam and Cambodia by their Communist masters in the recent past, and just as their intellectual forebears were indifferent to the torture on a horrendous scale perpetrated by Stalin and Mao. In fact some of them have gone so far as to claim torture by the US is worse than Stalin’s, demonstrating both historical and moral imbecility at the same time. One can easily distinguish principled opponents of torture from those who exploit it to promote hate. See, for example, Andrew Sullivan’s recent posts and articles in opposition to torture. He makes a strong case against it without bashing the thoughtful and principled people who disagree with him, such as Charles Krauthammer. That, again, points up the problem with the German media that David is fighting to remedy. Germans have heard little if anything of the thought of people like Krauthammer, or, for that matter, of the debate on torture in Israel, a country whose very existence is at stake. Instead, as usual, they only get the fraction of the truth that fits the agenda of the media elites.

>”Finally, the U.S. is a liberal democracy and it is the sovereign right of the U.S. people to protect themselves and their way of life as they see fit.”

Opposition to torture is part of the essence of our liberal democracy and our way of life. It is impossible to promote either by embracing torture.

@ Rofe,

In a sense, I agree with you. The problem with Mr. Naumann's article is that the author has absolutely no interest in anything other than tearing America down. In this case the tool he has chosen to attack the US is torture. I think you are right that the USA shouldn't give people like Mr. Naumann issues to attack it with. The point, however, is that Mr. Naumann has absolutely no interest in the very real and constructive debate on the issue that needs to be engaged in. We are living in a new era of conflict that has little resemblance to traditional warfare. Does that mean torture is acceptable? I don't think so. But should we have an honest debate about the limits of what we as democracies can do in the conflict? Of course. Mr. Naumann's piece is nothing more than a further angry harangue of his political opponents. What we are calling for is a civil discussion among friends. So far we are seeing the opposite in the German media.

Using torture on a regular basis because the prisoner might know something is wrong, very wrong, and should be officially condemned and absolutely not done. Period!

OTOH, what do you do with a prisoner who is known to have critical information about a terror atack on a US city. So far this is only a fictional situation, which is often used by torture proponents. Still, reality does beat fiction most of the time (9/11 being the perfect example). How do you react when you know for sure that the prisoner has vital intel?

How does the prisoner react when he knows that he will never be tortured, under any circumstances? It is often said that torture produces nothing of value. Sorry, this is not true! I know personally strong people who were tortured (by the communists) and who talked eventually. Some might not talk, some might have a genetical or belief-induced high pain threshold and endure torture until they die, but most prisoners are not like that.

I am not advocating torture even though it might look like that. People like us and Naumann can theoretize forever in front of our monitors, sipping a latte or a chai tea. What do you do though, when you know for sure that the prisoner right in front of you has information that could save the lifes of thousands or tens of thousands of innocent civilians ? Do you say: 'well, he's not talking. Send him back to his cell and turn on the TV to watch what's going to happen'? I'm sure there are plenty of people in the Western world who would do that, but how can you live with yourself with the knowledge that you saved a (guilty) life and sacrificed thousand innocent ones?

@Rofe:

"Perhaps the United States would give wigged-out leftists in Germany far less ammunition if America unequivocally rejected the use of torture."

The problem is that said wigged-out leftists will (in fact, already have) define down torture to the point where making such a statement would in effect be to surrender control over the detainee program. Look, we can all agree that hot needles under the fingernails is torture, and that it should only be done in the most dire of circumstances. But look at some of the things that were down-defined as "torture" during the Abu Grahib mess: panties on the head? Fake menstrual blood? Uncomfortable air conditioning? Infidels not handling Korans with gloves? If you go to the Human Rights Watch Web site and read their definition of torture, you will see that according to them, mere questioning of detainees qualifies as torture in their book.

We can't afford to make any blanket statement regarding torture for the same reason that we couldn't sign up for the ICC: because pretty much anything that any American in uniform does is a "war crime" in the eyes of a lot of people in Brussels, and we don't want our military people fearing to travel internationally because of (speaking of which) being snatched up on some preposterous ICC warrant. Belgium's attempts to indict Bush, Rumsfeld, Tommy Franks, et al, I think just proves the point. And if you want to try to draw a moral equivalence between that and the guy from Neu-Elm, well, the U.S. doesn't have warrants out for Naumann, or for de Villipan or Carolyn Parrish or even George Galloway. As opposed to innocent Americans in Iraq who have not only been detained, but put to death by dull kitchen knife...

@WhatDoIKnow

>>"What do you do though, when you know for sure that the prisoner right in front of you has information that could save the lifes of thousands or tens of thousands of innocent civilians ? Do you say: 'well, he's not talking. Send him back to his cell and turn on the TV to watch what's going to happen'? I'm sure there are plenty of people in the Western world who would do that, but how can you live with yourself with the knowledge that you saved a (guilty) life and sacrificed thousand innocent ones?"

As you suggest in your post, this is essentially just a red herring used by the proponents of torture to get a foot in the door. The chances of such a thing ever actually happening are miniscule. The answer, I think, is obvious. You forget about the law and do whatever it takes to get the information quickly. You could come up with a any number of similar hypothetical situations. For example, if you knew someone had a nuclear bomb in his car, and was carrying it into the heart of a big city to set it off, would you use deadly force to stop him even if it were illegal? I certainly would, and I hope my fellow citizens would do the same, regardless of the legal consequences. The President has the power to pardon in such cases, and, if I had acted reasonably, I have no doubt I would be pardoned, regardless of the letter of the law. On the other hand, to use this argument as a justification for legal torture is to extend the right to torture carte blanche. Any military or civil servant could justify torture in any situation by simply claiming he thought his victim was an imminent threat.

@Helian

I agree 100%.

The biggest problem is that there can be no real debate on this issue because of the noise and static coming from the Left. Just as Cousin said, outrage over panties on the head is the end of the debate. If some believe that lack of AC is torture, why wouldn't others believe that a "little bit" of torture for softening up a prisoner is quite OK.

The whole issue of torture has been cheapened by people like Naumann and his ilk, all over the world. As long as they continue with their inflamed rethoric and allow no debate, the waters will be muddy on what should be a relatively simple issue.

@Helian
>>They have, in fact, tortured people to death.

Really? Who, what, where and when? And was it covered by CIA policy or just act(s) of rogue agent(s).

Someone please show me one credible claim of torture carried out as U.S. policy.

Helian mentioned Charles Krauthammer. I don't agree with Krauthammer's ultimate analysis, but he makes some provocative points. His article is worth reading:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/400rhqav.asp

Ray D. and Cousin Dave,

Maybe I'm naive, but why not take the high road (aside from the straightforward correctness of the moral position) ?

If the US would renounce torture, then shrill attacks on us for the legitimate handling of prisoners could be exposed for what they are. As things stand now, it's extremely difficult to make a case of hyperbole against someone accusing America of torture.

Cheers,

Yes that is the problem entirely. I read a statement by the International Red Cross that said playing good cop bad cop was a form of torture. I can't find the link, but it said "any form of emotional manipulation is torture, and so is this"

They also outright lie. They said one man was "hung from his wrists". no, he was made to stand and his hands were shackled to the wall, but he was not hanging, his weight was not on them, he just couln't sit down. Now, maybe that is mean, but when they lie like that they destroy their credibility, and they mask any real problems that we should be upset about.

Even the FBI denied Durbin's statement where he said the FBI told him people were lying in their own filth, he just lied about it. They said they saw people shackled, which is no different than other maximum security prisons here. And not everyone was, just some of the problem prisoners. Just like any other prison.

(The worst thing I read about was probably the water-boarding, but that was only done to one man, the #2 man from Al-Qaeda. And even that was probably strictly legal. That is pushing it though.)

The other problem with the Left's arguments is they almost never say the methods of torture (because we will read the above and know how ridiculous it is to say no AC is torture). They just say "torture" and thus inflame more hatred of the West. But never offer evidence.

My father spent 28 years as a defense attorney. He told me almost every single one of his clients claimed to be beaten up by the police. (Even though they had no bruises in their mugshots). By law he had to file a complaint if they tell him to. But really, were they all abused? Hardly. People on the Left tell us not to believe our governments, but they swallow hook, line and sinker any crackpot theory that someone they agree with makes up.

If the US would renounce torture

The President has. Over and over. But the media spins it and says if he doesn't admit torture has occured. and if he doesn't say "no AC is a form of torture" and if he doesn't punish people, regardless of the truth, then he hasn't renounced it.

Pamela,

You might not, but I certainly do, consider waterboarding to be torture. Etc.

It's also difficult to determine whether folks who disappear into a secret prison system will be gone for 5 days, 5 months or for good. That's no definitive answer to your question, of course, but it certainly gives one pause about what the hell is going on (and doesn't in the least make me feel confident that no one has been killed).

Cheers,

@Stina
>> Like beimami said above: There is absolutely reasonable ground from which to object to these actions, even when objections come from otherwise wigged-out German leftists.

Actually, Rofe said that.

And if you believe the U.S. media is losing its courage to stand up to the government, then you desparately need some additional sources of information.


@Helian

>>"I am in favor of an unequivocal rejection of the use of torture by the US government. It flies in the face of our Constitution, and the ideals of the men of the enlightenment who were our founding fathers. By eroding what America stands for, it is ultimately self-defeating for us to use it. By doing so we strike at our own roots. What, exactly, are we fighting to preserve if the use of torture is justifiable to preserve it?"

With the exception of the first sentence you make a compelling argument, one that I strongly agree with. But the U.S. already has laws and guidelines regarding the treatment of prisoners, and the elected reprsentatives of the People of the United States are free to compell the President and CIA and all other government institutions to apply these rules to all individuals who enter into the custody of the U.S. -- I hope they do. I advocate this approach for dealing with the matter of torture. It is democratic, legally binding and in the best tradition of our liberal democracy. Executing an unequivocal rejection of the use of torture when the concept can't really be defined in a satisfactory manner would, I reiterate, be nothing more than propaganda or political posturing. And I repeat, the Leftists would simply use a sliding definition of torture to further demonize the U.S. (How could you threaten that poor boy with fake vaginal blood?) For the U.S. Government to simply issue a blanket statement of principle on torture would defeat the democratic process, leaving open almost any action undertaken by the U.S. Government for reinterpretation as torture.

>>"If the leftists were in favor of preventing you from jumping off the Empire State Building, would you jump anyway just to spite them?"

I neither said nor implied that we should do anything to spite them or not. I said we should not issue a rejection of the use of torture in response to agitation by Leftists, or any outside group for that matter. This is a relevant and correct counterargument to those who suggest or imply that we need to reject torture for public relations reasons.

>> "They have, in fact, tortured people to death."
>> "The number of controversial cases is neither small nor insignificant."

I agree that my comments regarding the CIA here are poorly expressed and open to misinterpretation. And you have misinterpreted them. I said that they may have grabbed innocent people off the street and compared this to what happens in any law enforcement regime. If they have indeed tortured people to death, then there should be an enquiry into the matter and the perpetrators should be punished if they have violated U.S. law. Moreover, I said that the number of cases is "relatively small", not "insignificant," a word that carries much different connotations. I admit, however, that "relatively small" is too innocent.

>>>>”Finally, the U.S. is a liberal democracy and it is the sovereign right of the U.S. people to protect themselves and their way of life as they see fit.”
>>Opposition to torture is part of the essence of our liberal democracy and our way of life. It is impossible to promote either by embracing torture.

Proper treatment of prisoners, wherever they may be captured, and adherence civilized norms of behavoir are worthwhile goals, with which I am in agreement. Nevertheless, I stand by my statement that it is a matter for the American People to decide.

I am glad to see that we appear to be in strong agreement with respect to the German media.

"Perhaps the United States would give wigged-out leftists in Germany far less ammunition if America unequivocally rejected the use of torture."

I am not "for" torture, but it is foolish for the US government to "unequivocally reject the use of torture."

Call me a redneck, but if some jihadi psychopaths are trying smuggle in a nuke, or if they're setting up portable surface-to-air missiles near our commercial airports, I want our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to have every possible tool at their disposal.

I believe this is the unstated position of the US government. It is entirely reasonable. It is not "pro torture", it is just stating the obvious. If Germans truly believe that torture is wrong under *any* circumstance, they are delusional. Spare me the "but...but...INTERNATIONAL LAW!" bullsh**. Innocent lives are at stake. The EuroLeft still does not grasp this fact.

Click here and also read through some of the other articles on Andrew's site. Money quote: "Reports of cruel and inhumane treatment can now be found in every theater of war - throughout Iraq and Afghanistan - involving hundreds of prisoners, and 36 confirmed deaths in interrogation." The officer Sullivan quotes in his article, Ian Fishback, is a graduate of West Point my own alma mater. I consider him credible and worthy of the highest respect. AP compiled a partial list of those who have died in captivity from all causes.

My comment above is in response to a question from Pamela.

@Helian

I read, or at least used to read, Andrew Sullivan's weblog and am familiar with some of his reporting on torture by elements of the U.S. government. Mr. Sullivan's essays are often well-written and lucid, but what I perceive to be a pathological hatred on his part of George Bush makes me suspect that some of what he writes may not be completely fair. Maybe I'll take a look around his site again in the next few days and see what he has had to say recently on the matter.

It seems to me if sincere cricitism offered constructively were what we were seeing the relationship between the two sides would be greatly different. Mostly, it seems like people opposed to the US just throw a bunch of stuff at the wall to see what might stick. If one thing doesn't work they just go on the next and the next. In other words, they have a conclusion looking for an argument rather than an argument looking for a conclusion.

The clearest indication of that is the "sliding goalposts" someone mentioned above. White phosphorus has been used by all sides in warfare for fifty years but suddenly it becomes a chemical weapon when America uses it. Interrogation has been standard practice since war began but suddenly it's "torture" when someone touches a book. (Not to put too fine a point on it but go back and check out how many Resistance members the Gestapo broke by touching a book in their presence.) If the anti-war crowd wasn't constantly making up new rules as they went along they would be easier to take seriously when they have a real point. Torture, what it is and what it isn't, what should be allowed and what shouldn't, is a topic for serious discussion and one of the deepest moral questions of all. But it's hard to take the boy who cried wolf seriously after he's cried wolf sixteen times without justification. It gets to the point where even if he does finally have a point it makes make him extremely difficult to talk to.

It would also help in taking him seriously if he put even one tenth the effort he puts into denouncing the USA into denouncing the many terrible things going on in other countries. It's not that one bad thing excuses the other, it's just that it would make clear that the motives for the criticism are genuine and meaningful rather than an excuse for America bashing. When you look past all the crimes of Saddam and all the crimes of the jihadists and only find problems in America then something just smells rotten. Germany was one of Saddam's biggest enablers (after he was overthrown, tours of his bunkers showed they were stuffed full of German equipment) yet the fact that he was a mass murder didn't seem to ruffle their feathers much. Schroeder was in power for years at the same time as Saddam but I don't remember him, or any of his left-wing cronies, leading a campaign of villification against Saddam and his atrocities. There was just too much money to be made in looking the other way, I guess. Again, under the circumstances, it's hard to take seriously someone who is knee-deep in slime when they tell you they are standing on the moral high ground.

What I found interesting was Mr. Naumann's use of the KGB and the CIA as references.

He could have scored a home run with his readers had he used something more familiar like the Gestapo or the Stasi.

Would any of the "total ban on torture" folks object to the waterboarding of the suspect in the case of Jakob von Metzler back in 2002?

Would you say the police should use some force in such a case?

If the boy were alive and starving to death while such a monster enjoyed his rights and 3 square meals a day - imagine such a case

But why imagine - consider the fate of the two girls who starved to death in the Belgian monsters home prison - the police had searched it without finding the cell.

Should this vile scum have been waterboarded?


No - we don't need a suitcase nuke to come up with an example that should make you wonder

Its easy to be so absolute when its not your family at risk

And its easy to accept ANY form of torture as long as its happening to "them" and not us

I would suggest nobody should be so absolute - but the supporters of harsh interrogation techniques ( really the proper word for it - if you are confused visit a museum and look at actual torture devices from the middle ages ) seem more realistic about the world and so I stand on that side.

The "no torture ever" folks are liable to switch as soon as it is their son held kidnapped or their daughter missing and the thug smirking behind his attorney

If they were honest they would admit as much

Very simple answer: NO
There is no legal excuse for torture. Never ever.

Now ask me, what would I do as a father if you left me alone with the kidnapper for 5 minutes? That's a different question.

But then I would stand up for what I did to this guy. I would never search for a "legal justification".

I hope you notice the difference.

It's not about the "scum", it's about us. Accept torture for one case and you open the floodgates. It means that innocents will be tortured. It means that innocents will be killed.

And this is not acceptable.

Innocents will be tortured, Innocents will be killed

This is happening right now - in part because we don't "torture"

You can't wash your hands of this fact with your moral absolutism

The choice you make ALSO means innocents are tortured and killed, maybe, quite probably, even more than the number impacted if the hard decision is made to allow coercive interrogation techniques such as the open handed slap

I suppose it gives you a feeling of moral superiority, that YOU didn't approve of such thing

But make no mistake - your position also costs innocent lives

Anyone who writes more than two sentences about the U.S. and torture has proven their utter gullibility to all. They should be ashamed for allowing their brain to be sucked into the eccentric orbit of the left-wing pundits, spinning endlessly on this painfully obvious non-issue. But, Yo!, while you're out there on Planet Chomsky, keep the humor coming. We love the entertainment.

@Pogue Mahone,

it can indeed. My position to get into a car every morning can also cost innocent lives. I still drive.
Reducing the speed limit on the autobahn to 50mph would save more lives per year in Germany than were lost in 9/11.

Won't happen though. And it's not even a moral decision, just a practical one.

In the last centuries the Western democracies have developed certain moral standards which they now adhere to... like "being innocent until proven guilty", no torture, human rights etc.

Are they void now? What would separate us from Saddam then? Couldn't he claim that he had to sacrifice the lives of innocents to prevent bigger bloodshed in a Civil War or a religious war between Sunnis and Shiites?

And what makes you believe that torturing people would make us safer? Does Russia have no terrorists? Egypt? Indonesia?

Why don't we go into the hoods and detain everyone who's looking like a drug dealer? Wouldn't that save innocent lives, too?

I never thought I would be having a discussion like this with an American.

Don't you understand what you give up once you give up the little finger?

Hey Germany!

What are you guys going to do about torture in your own country.

I am not talking about the far distant past, 1933 to 1945. I am talking about the near past, 1948 to 1990. Has there ever been any punishment for STASI and Volkspolizei that performed torture on its own citizens.

http://www.worldpress.org/print_article.cfm?article_id=1311&dont=yes

I personally witnessed the shooting of a young man who tried to scale the border fence near the old Herleshausen border crossing. The young man lied on the ground for 2 hours and bleed to death before an ambulance arrived. The city of Bad Kreuznacht was only 15 km away. Obviously, the delay of the ambulance was intentional.

That was 1978. Since there is no statute of limitations for murder, I would like to see what the German government has done to seek justice for this poor nameless young man, who’s only crime was to want to live in “free Germany.”

To paraphrase Senator Kennedy, “Mr Speaker, how many more must die!” until Germany accounts for the torture and death of a significant amount of its citizens.

@Beimami

>>"I read, or at least used to read, Andrew Sullivan's weblog and am familiar with some of his reporting on torture by elements of the U.S. government. Mr. Sullivan's essays are often well-written and lucid, but what I perceive to be a pathological hatred on his part of George Bush makes me suspect that some of what he writes may not be completely fair. Maybe I'll take a look around his site again in the next few days and see what he has had to say recently on the matter."

Thanks for your reply. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on a few things.

As for Sullivan, I certainly don't agree with him on everything. For example, he was a great proponent of going to war in Iraq before it started, then turned around and endorsed Kerry for President. I was in Vietnam myself while Kerry was collaborating with our enemies, and the belief that he would have been an effective leader in wartime is incomprehensible to me. Sullivan also smears the Swiftboat Vets every chance he gets. I know exactly where those men were coming from, and understand their stand completely. The idea that men who had all put their lives on the line for their country and were nearing retirement or already retired would suddenly decide to lie en masse to smear Kerry at the behest of Karl Rove is despicable and ludicrous, and Sullivan's position on the matter is indefensible. He swears that his increasingly vehement opposition to Bush has nothing to do with their differences on the gay issue, but, I must admit, it's hard for me to understand his bipolarity outside of that context. That said, I completely agree with him on the torture issue. I also continue to read him because he is thoughtful, honest, and is not an entirely predictable ideologue who carries around all the ready made ideas that define the modern liberal or conservative.


@Pogue, Querdenker

>>"Won't happen though. And it's not even a moral decision, just a practical one."..."In the last centuries the Western democracies have developed certain moral standards which they now adhere to... like "being innocent until proven guilty", no torture, human rights etc."

I'm afraid I have to agree with Querdenker on this one. He's exactly right when he says it doesn't have to be a moral decision, just a practical one. If you condone torture, you greatly increase the risk that you, yourself, or your loved ones will eventually be tortured. You also play into the hands of your enemies and give them a very effective tool to bash you with, as we have seen. There's not a chance that anything we've gained through torture is in any way comensurate with the loses we've suffered by using and condoning it.

History has demonstrated that the state is the most effective terrorist, just as it is the most effective killer. It was to protect us from the state as torturer and killer that or forefathers established prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment, the assumption of innocence until proven guilty, protections against arbitrary imprisonment, and all the rest of the freedoms we treasure for ourselves, and should treasure for others.

The idea that the people who are given the authority to apply torture will be philosopher kings, always, or even exceptionally be able to distinguish those in the act of carrying out a nuclear attack from innocent civilians rounded up based on no or faint evidence is nonsense. History has proved it nonsense time after time. Those who condone torture have forgotten or never learned the lessons of history. Our founding fathers were well aware of those lessons, and that's why they took the stand they did. If we abandon their stand in pursuit of a hollow security we might as well give up the fight. We will have become the mirror images of the people we are fighting.

George,

You have also fallen into the trap these clever euros and especially the Germans have set. Murder is not torture. We are not talking about the acts of any other nation but the US. As far as most euros are concerned, and it has been stated here time and again, they see nothing wrong with Chinia or Russia or Iran or pre Saddam Iraq or Sudan. There is no moral outrage with any of these nations. In fact, Germans work very hard to build relationships with them and then defend their actions in a context of how they compare to America's actions.

There only outrage is against the US.

I for one hope this discussion and firestorm on moral outrage contiues. With a bit of luck it will be picked up in the US by the M$M. It should be as the Left on either side of the Atlantic must stick together.

Hopefully more article by people like Mr. Naumann will trigger a debate in Germany about US Forces and NATO. This is something which is long over due.

It is simply not true that nobody cares about what's going on in Russia and China... you can read a lot of articles about those countries as well.

In a way, the same standards of "looking away" apply. China and Russia are too important business partners to be criticised sharply by the German government.

The same happened with those CIA flights the German government obviously condoned.

Often those "compromises" are ugly. Morality and politics have never been a good couple.

Helian raises an important point about practical decision. Often "morality" is often a disguise for practical decisions.

We are not against torture because it might happen to terrorists, we are against it because it might happen to us. US, not them.

I feel very uneasy when I'm travelling to Singapore where they have a mandatory death penalty when they catch you with heroin. Of course I don't carry heroin, I have never come close to any drugs, would never touch those, but I still feel very uneasy. What would happen to me if someone slipped a few grams in my pockets when going through customs? I'm checking and re-checking all my bags like a paranoid when I'm going thru Singapore.

I don't want the same paranoia to be extended. I don't want to feel uneasy all my life just because someone might put my name in the wrong database. And most people feel alike. That's why we have those laws and regulations. This is freedom.

And I'm not giving it up for some terrorists.

And when I'm criticising the US over this, it's actually because if it happens in the US, it can happen here. Because we are no better.

Had 9/11 happened here we would have this discussion the other way round.

I do not accept as fact that Russia and China are given the same level of moral outrage by the elites and citizens of Germany given the US.

It is interesting in that the one nation who has a formal mutual defense agreement with Germany is the one nation the Germans seem to be most outraged with. Guess this says a lot about how important the US really is to Germans.

But in one sense it does not matter. I kind of hope the outrage continues.

Then Germany can depend on AI and HRW and the other members of the chocolate summit to protect there interest world wide as the US leaves Europe and NATO to the euros. It would be a natural alliance of people who hold the same points of view. Damn forgot the UN.

It surely would be a relief to many Americans who have grown more than a bit tired of all of this.

I also like SOCSTATE Rice's talking point about sharing intelligence. Maybe the US should just stop giving the EU anything and let the bombs blow up where they might.

Maybe once you suffer a few tens of thousands of dead Germans, you might be able to focus on what is actually taking place in the world.

Then again that is a bit of wishful thinking on my part. I think that would have no effect on you at all. It would be spun as the fault of the US.

BTW there must be a funding shortage for the terrorist in Iraq, I see they have not only taken this fine German citizen but also a french one. So in no time at all there will be this announcement about returning these fine people to their families. How is that old song.........I'll be home for Christmas.

Then again that might be a bit too religious for the euros.

It is certainly more comfortable to be the moral absolutist when it comes to coercive interrogation methods ( CIM ) - but don't pretend that this choice does not cause innocents to die as well - and in my view many more

I would say this is one area where the moral absolutists have a blind spot - they are so sure of their position You should at least have some doubt

As for the whole "can't you see you are bringing us down to their level" argument - what can I say

The Nazi's and Jap's bombed cities and we did it right back at em

And we won the war and secured the peace

I suppose we sank to their level - but there was a war on so I don't feel guilty about it

Now if you think this debate is fun and games now - wait until the WMD 9/11 - and waterboarding will be looked back upon as a low level tactic and if it is banned, along with those other techniques of CIM and we do get hit and we do find a link to an incarcerated AQ operative who knew who some of the players were but didn't talk...well - we'll see how much the moral absolutists have achieved

I believe one of the most succinct and eloquent rebuttals by an American of the absolutist position that Querdenker articulates is the last three sentences of the late Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson's opinion in Terminiello v. City of Chicago:

"The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact."

I should think that the views of Justice Jackson would carry an especially large amount of weight in Germany.

(What Justice Jackson was defending, by the way, was the conviction of a defrocked priest for disturbing the peace when his anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi rants incited a riot. Jackson did not see the conviction as an infringement of free speech, but rather as a permissible and justified action to maintain both order and the right of free speech.)

@Helian

>> "I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on a few things."

By all means. Disagreements are the only really interesting conversations. They raise the passions and sharpen the wit. I once read a quote something to the effect, "It is amazing what nonsense even the most intelligent person, sitting and thinking by himself, can for a short time come to believe." We need to disagree if we are to remain lucid and have confidence in our own points of view. May we disagree again!

@Pogue

>>"I would say this is one area where the moral absolutists have a blind spot - they are so sure of their position You should at least have some doubt"

Moral absolutists? My opposition to torture has nothing to do with morality. Is the debate about torture really so trivial that such phrase mongering and the creation of imaginery strawmen who "have no doubt" is appropriate? Is just winning the argument so important to you?

>>"The Nazi's and Jap's bombed cities and we did it right back at em"

Really? Can you remind us where the American Auschwitz was located, and the route for our version of the Bataan death march?

>>"Now if you think this debate is fun and games now - wait until the WMD 9/11 - and waterboarding will be looked back upon as a low level tactic and if it is banned, along with those other techniques of CIM and we do get hit and we do find a link to an incarcerated AQ operative who knew who some of the players were but didn't talk...well - we'll see how much the moral absolutists have achieved"

Yes, and if someone gets murdered and we do find a link to an incarcerated criminal who knew who some of the players were but didn't talk...well - we'll see how much the moral absolutists have achieved.

How much closer do we have to get to your own family before you start feeling the heat, Pogue? Shall we tolerate a little wife beating, too? Is it OK for the enemy to torture your children? The security you crave is a phantasy. In fact, our security depends on standing by the principles we never should have abandoned in the first place. Let Naumann and the rest of the self-righteous European and American scarecrows chatter on. Their faux virtuous indignation makes them handy tools for the proponents of torture, as we have seen on this thread and in many other venues. Objectively, they are collaborators in the torture. Beyond that, they are irrelevant to the debate.

Let us set a standard and an example for the rest of the world. In the end the innocents we protect won't just be anonymous Iraqis, caught up by chance in some military sweep, people whose suffering we can bear with ease because they are far away and different from us. In the end the innocents we protect will be our own children.

I don't consider myself a "moral absolutist" because those people will sooner or later hit the brick wall of reality. Yes we want to set standards, but they won't be absolute. Moral goalposts do shift. A few centuries ago torture would have been the most normal thing in the world, in a Christian world btw. Few people questioned cruel executions of criminals. Only the chosen few would have criticised slavery in the 17th century. Few people felt it was wrong to let children work in coalmines in the early 19th century. In Germany beating your children is illegal now, but in the 60s teachers would still beat pupils with a cane and few people thought this was wrong.
Most moral decisions are in fact practical ones. Yes moral outrage about slavery grew in the 19th century, but in the end slavery was abolished because it didn't work (anymore).
Most things we do are a compromise between liberty and safety. We now use seat belts although they restrict our freedom of moving in the car.
Gabi asked "what if terrorists succeeded in attacking a nuclear power plant?" Yes, that's a risk. I don't know how high the odds of success are, but there is a simple way to prevent that: Close the plants.
Of course nobody would do that. We are willing to bear a "restrisiko"… and we know a plant can explode without any terrorists, too. We have decided to take the risk.
If we decide to torture suspected terrorists, there might be a chance we discover a plot about blowing up a power plant. That singular success would be offset by numerous false alarms. Ask a suspected terrorist under torture whether he planned to blow up a plant and sooner or later he'll confess to it.. just like all those witches who confessed to intercourse with the devil. We'd be left to find out which plot was actually real, and we'd be no wiser. We might even miss that one real plot we would have learned about in a "regular confession".
That's why torture was abolished. Of course there was a moral factor, but in the end, the practical reasons carried the day. People also found out that anyone could be a witch.
In the end, there is no stopping once you open the floodgates. That's why moral outrage about torture is helpful, although the real reasons to be against it are of a predominantly practical nature.
Terror has many faces. "La terreur" was exercised by the French state against the "enemies of the Revolution". Same with Stalin. It means the loss of safety, inalienable rights.
Terrorists can cause terror… the fear of being blown up in a café, a bus, a plane. This is a fear we can get used to. Sounds awful but we adapt to dangers. We are not afraid to drive every morning although the chance to be killed in an accident is much higher than being blown up by terrorists. The Israelis, who live much closer to daily terror than we do, have adapted to it in remarkable ways. The disco that was blown up by terrorists will be re-opened… and the opening party will be packed with people. Sure you can not completely adapt to terror, but the terrorists will not win in Israel.
But if we give up our way of life, our freedom, if we believe that the terrorist threat justifies living in constant worry and fear of the state, of secrecy, of someone knocking at your door at 3am… we will lose big. And win nothing.
It's sad enough that we need to adapt to fears we cannot change, at least not easily. We shouldn't try to top this by creating nightmares of our own doing.

Sorry everyone, I didn't mean to 'hit and run'.
My hsuband has decided to come down with the flu, the dog has just got home from surgery and the Internal Revenue Service says I owe taxes on a $6000 pension disbursement I never got.

War? What war?

Gah.

@Helian
>>My comment above is in response to a question from Pamela.

Yes. Well, I am aware of Fishback's allegations and I have no opinion on his credibility. But you failed to address the issue I raised.

U.S. policy

If torture was part and parcel of U.S. policy and not just the acts of some bad actors why is Fishback, et. al., getting any hearing at all?

That's all I'm trying to establish.

And my husband is throwing up again - apologies for not being able to stay and fight the good fight.

"I don't consider myself a "moral absolutist" because those people will sooner or later hit the brick wall of reality. Yes we want to set standards, but they won't be absolute."

Your standards for CIM seem quite absolute to me - "NO - NEVER"

"Most moral decisions are in fact practical ones."

Yes - and the decision to allow various CIM on suspected AQ sorts in the post 9-11 world was just such a practical decision.

"If we decide to torture suspected terrorists, there might be a chance we discover a plot about blowing up a power plant. That singular success would be offset by numerous false alarms."

How on earth do you calculate such a fact - from your imagination?
If a terrorist group managed to cause a nuclear meltdown and massive radiation release it might cause millions of casualties, long term health issues, widespread contamination

I wouldn't like to predict what might happen if we don't get the information we need ( or even if we do! ) - but I wouldn't be so cavalier about the threat we face

As for false alarms - thats part of security anyway - ever been in a building that was evacuated due to a phone call?


" Ask a suspected terrorist under torture whether he planned to blow up a plant and sooner or later he'll confess to it.. just like all those witches who confessed to intercourse with the devil."

Talk about strawmen - the old "he'll confess to anything under cim so its of no value" - well, it doesn't actually work like that
You check the information and build a dossier of information to check and countercheck

When you arrest two suspects you don't keep them in the same room

So no - you don't put the bamboo shoots under his fingernails and ask "are you planning to blow up the Eiffel Tower - we know you are!" and he says "yes, yes I am, whatever you say!" and then you rush off to check

If the CIA feels CIM is important enough to continue despite the sort of umbrage it arrouses from the usual, and some not usual ( McCain ) sources - then I take it THEY feel it has value

That you do not carries rather less weight with me


"We'd be left to find out which plot was actually real, and we'd be no wiser. We might even miss that one real plot we would have learned about in a "regular confession"."

Do explain how this "regular confession" thing works in the WoT with captured AQ?
Did you read about the effectiveness of waterboarding on the number 3 AQ captured in Pakistan when he refused to talk

"That's why torture was abolished. Of course there was a moral factor, but in the end, the practical reasons carried the day. People also found out that anyone could be a witch."

leaving aside your witch fixation - torture was abolished - but CIM has continued in various forms to this day. Watch NYPD Blue and see Sipowitz in action threatening a suspected perp - THAT is called "torture" by many people

"In the end, there is no stopping once you open the floodgates."

Strawman number 2 - "where will it end!"
Well - we incarcerate people until trial and then after conviction - but I don't see anyone asking "where will it end - they will come for me next at 3AM!"

Bringing things to absurd extremes and suggesting we will eventually get there is we allow X is not pursuasive


"That's why moral outrage about torture is helpful, although the real reasons to be against it are of a predominantly practical nature."

Yet the CIA and DOD continue to wither this storm of criticism for defending CIM in the face of all your elequence. THEY feel it is practical and vital to continue CIM. You disagree with strawman arguements about how useless coerced information is ( "he'll say anything!" ) and how it is not a practical way of dealing with suspected AQ sorts in this war.

Thanks - I think the CIA and DOD have a better understanding of the practical requirements of the effort than you do.


"Terrorists can cause terror… the fear of being blown up in a café, a bus, a plane. This is a fear we can get used to. Sounds awful but we adapt to dangers."

When WMD is used by terrorists - not if but when - you may understand that your "cafe, bus, plane" did not cover the extent of the threat we face.

You are fighting the last war, a common mistake


"Sure you can not completely adapt to terror, but the terrorists will not win in Israel."

Oh really? And Iran is speeding ahead toward a nuclear weapon and their President says "we will destroy Israel!" - and yes, believe it or not, sometimes governments do things that are suicidal. I don't trust MAD to protect Israel

"But if we give up our way of life, our freedom, if we believe that the terrorist threat justifies living in constant worry and fear of the state, of secrecy, of someone knocking at your door at 3am… we will lose big. And win nothing."

More moral absolutism. There is another saying I am fond of quoting - "those who will sacrafice a little of their liberty for more security deserve neither liberty or security" Voltaire

Utter hogwash

We sacrafice a little liberty every day in exchange for security. We are all required to get and carry a license to drive - in exchange for the security we get from knowing every other person driving also has been tested.

We have exchanged some liberty for some security - and we don't lose sleep worrying about the 3AM knock

On the other hand - I do lose sleep over the threat we face. Maybe you don't - but I used to work in the WTC - and THAT "disco" didn't re-open


"It's sad enough that we need to adapt to fears we cannot change, at least not easily. We shouldn't try to top this by creating nightmares of our own doing."

I prefer not to bury my head up my arse and pretend that my lofty words and absurd extremes make the case for CIM less true.

As long as we are in the war - and I expect it to be for a long time to come - we can expect such activities to continue

If you insist on banning CIM - then the activities will simply take plane with no accountability whatsoever

When the bombs start going off in Germany ( recent footage of tests in Sweden has been found ) you will find yourself more isolated in your absolutist view

Habeas Corpus was suspended during the Civil War - it didn't lead to dictatorship

CIM is allowed today for suspected AQ - and I don't fear your knock on the door

Pogue, you're sure having a go at Querdenker but that outrage is astoundingly misplaced in defense of tort . . . oh, sorry CIM.

WTF ?

If you support torture, just say it.

And if opposing the use of torture by the United States of America makes me a moral absolutist, then moral absolutist is what I'll be. In fact I'm proud to be among those who support John McCain and his proposed legislation.

I think it's telling that upstream we have people reduced to mocking Germans about the lack of outrage against abuses in Russia or China. We have people slamming Germans for forgetting their own history. The KGB did it worse. The Gestapo did it more often. The Stasi did it more overtly. Don't know about you, Pogue, but being 'better' than those measuring sticks doesn't give me any comfort.

You, sir, can please yourself with NYPD Blue analogies, but really, WTF !

Rofe - wtf??

The fuck is that we at at war with a vicious enemy and I happen to believe that the CIM ( yes - I catagorically refuse to use the loaded "T" word thank you very much ) used by CIA and DOD is quite justified today

I am not trying to change your mind Rofe - you are a well known AQ apologist after all so of course any CIM against these poor darlings when the "real terrorist" ( aka Chimpy McHalliburton ) goes free is quite upsetting to you


As for NYPD Blue - deal with the reality that the EXACT actions used by that character is called TORTURE by those seeking to handcuff our efforts at breaking AQ and giving these chaps every protection of the Geneva convention without requiring them to adhere to any provision of same ( leaving aside that AQ is not a signatory )


Will innocents be subjected to the open faced slap if my position is accepted?
Of course - it will happen

Do innocents end up in prison under our current civil system
Of course - it happens

But I don't pretend otherwise

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