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Passions in Poetry

From The Top Drown

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Mistletoe Angel
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0 posted 12-14-2007 03:21 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Reuters UK: December 8, 2007

CIA Director Michael Hayden admitted on Saturday that that the CIA had made and destroyed videotapes in 2005 documenting interrogations of terrorist suspects that used techniques critics have denounced as torture, including possible waterboarding, which were made in 2002 "as part of a secret detention and interrogation program that began with the arrest of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, two suspected al-Qaeda operatives who were among the first three terror suspects to be detained and interrogated by the C.I.A. in secret prisons after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The New York Times: December 8, 2007

The New York Times: December 11, 2007

The New York Times reported the same day that White House and Justice Department officials had advised the CIA in 2003 not to destroy these hundreds of hours of videotapes. However, Jose Rodriguez Jr., the chief of the agency's clandestine service who retired earlier this year, called for their destruction in November 2005 without even informing the CIA's top lawyer, John Rizzo, who was angry about the final decision. On December 11th, the Times then reported that lawyers within the CIA pushed a written advance to destroy the tapes.

The Chicago Tribune: December 11, 2007

Also, on Tuesday, John Kiriakou, whose 14 year stint in the CIA included a role as an interrogator in Pakistan from 1998 to 2004, was involved in the capture of Abu Zubaydah and was also one of the first to interrogate him, acknowledged that waterboarding was used in the interrogations, adding that "waterboarding works, at least in the case of Abu Zubaydah." and that
it “probably saved lives.”, but also that "it is no longer necessary." and indeed "it is torture." His motive, as well as his timing, for abruptly coming out, especially considering inquiries are sprouting by the day, remains unclear, as some are arguing he's trying to preserve his legacy or provide a cover-up.

ABC News: November 2, 2007

Finally, it is important to remember that, last month, it was reported that Daniel Levin, an acting assistant attorney general in 2004 who was "charged with reworking the administration's legal position on torture in 2004", had grown so concerned with the wateeboarding technique that he personally went to a military base near Washington and waterboarded himself. After doing so, "Levin told White House officials that even though he knew he wouldn't die, he found the experience terrifying and thought that it clearly simulated drowning."

Levin's Memo

By December 2004, Levin released a new memo, declaring the particular praxtice as torture and declaring: "Torture is abhorrent", though he alsoincluded in a footnote that the memo was not declaring the administration's previous opinions illegal. No second memo was ever released demanding tighter regulations on interrogation practices. Despite this, ABC’s Jan Crawford Greenburg had reported that the Bush Administration saw Levin as "too independent" and"not someone who could be counted on to endorse White House policies.”

*

*

Bloomberg News: December 13, 2007

Roll Call: HR 2082 (Intelligence Authorization Act): December 13, 2007

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to ban CIA agents from using waterboarding during the questioning of suspected terrorists on a mostly party-line vote.

Associated Press: December 13, 2007

Yet, not surprisingly, the President has threatened to veto the bill.

*

*

Howstuffworks: November 29, 2005

What I want to know here is, WHY do some still behave and think as though there's STILL a debate on whether waterboarding is torture or not? George Ryley Scott even documented in "The History of Torture Throughout the Ages" that a form of torture similar of that to waterboarding in modern times called the tortura del agua "consisted of introducing a cloth into the mouth of the victim, and forcing them to ingest water spilled from a jar so that they had the impression of drowning."

Later, such practices would be condemned by the international community, whether it was agents of the Dutch East India Company doing it during the Amboyna massacre in 1623, or the Kempetai and the Gestapo using it during World War II, or French paratroopers using it in Algeria during the mid-20th century, etc. And as early as 1901, as a nation, we declared waterboarding was wrong whena US court martial convicted Major Edwin Glenn of subjecting a suspected insurgent in the Philippines to the “water cure.” during the Spanish-American War. sentenced to 10 years of hard labor for water boarding an insurgent in the Philippines.

YouTube: Senator Kit Bond's Comments On Waterboarding: December 12, 2007

Yet, it feels somehow 199 representatives in Congress have forgotten these lessons in history somehow, which one senator's comments this week, Kit Bond (R-MO) on PBS's "Newshour" with Gwen Ifill makes it feel as though we're retrograding back to pre-1901 debate mindet on waterboarding, at least in the political dimension:

*

GWEN IFILL: Do you think that waterboarding, as I described it, constitutes torture?

SEN. KIT BOND: There are different ways of doing it. It’s like swimming, freestyle, backstroke. The waterboarding could be used almost to define some of the techniques that our trainees are put through, but that’s beside the point. It’s not being used."


*

*

I suppose what I'm asking here simply is: "How in the world did waterboarding, which is obviously torture, become a debate again over whether it's torture or not?" And who in their right mind would dare to argue otherwise?

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
iliana
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1 posted 12-16-2007 12:37 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Noah, I think it became a debate again because there have been admissions and there are heads to roll over its use.  Military officials do not believe it works to get actionable intelligence because those tortured will say anything.  Let's hope the bill does not get vetoed, but it will because the implications to those who approved its use are condemnation.  

Happy holidays, dear Noah!......jo
Mistletoe Angel
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2 posted 12-16-2007 04:35 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

And there you point on the real hypocrisy behind the considerable opposition on this bill, Jo, which is that many who still support the current war policy in Iraq, and dismiss such controversial hot-button issues like abuse at Guantanamo, warrantless wiretapping and data-mining (Giuliani's firm this week was found to be financially linked to a data-mining operation called the Matrix) extraordinary renditions, secret prisons, the suspension of habeas corpus, etc. as propaganda entirely generated from a "Blame America First" constituency (I've already documented repeatedly many conservatives and libertarians who are hardly eye to eye with George Soros, MoveOn and the "usual suspects" as chief outspoken critics on all these policies) and their motivating role is simply political advancement even if it means making our nation look worse in the eyes of the global community, which in certain cases I agree but in others I dismiss bringing out the truth on some of the aforementioned issues as being just that, as the true essence of journalism is skepticism after all.

Yet, when these same White House apologists and their media personality sympathizers go from minimally voting against a bill that would bar waterboarding as a frm of interrogative practice, to a maximum of equating waterboarding to a swimming lesson, then they are doing EXACTLY what they accuse their political rivals of doing: making us look worse in the eyes of the international community; that we have returned to a pre-1901 mindset politically on the legality of "waterboarding", and that though our leaders in Washington repeatedly SAY that "we don't torture", they don't ACT equally as strongly through their decision-making, and that we appear passively accepting to such torture as a nation.

Moreover, such apologists often like to proclaim, regarding the so-called "war on terror", that these terrorists hate us "because of our freedoms". So, by that logic, wouldn't they be taking an even more die-hard stance in banning waterboarding in every sense of the word, since, after all, we decided as a democracy over a century ago that it was torture.......not to mention preventing warrantless wiretapping on random American citizens and the suspension of habeas corpus rights among other constitutional abuses......than those they routinely lambaste?

On this precedent, these 189 Republicans and 10 Democrats have damaged much of their credibility on defending our freedoms from our enemies by voting against that bill, and through THIS complacency they have offered these terrorist networks a seemingly indispensable well of propaganda they can use against us to embolden their recruitment efforts and make us look even worse than ever in the world, when while many proponents of the war insist that they hate us "because of our freedoms", we are chiseling away our own freedoms ourselves through fearmongering in the White House and Congress.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Huan Yi
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3 posted 12-18-2007 01:11 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=171513


.
Grinch
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4 posted 12-18-2007 03:37 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

I’m with Huan on this one and believe that the American Government should be free to undertake any means they deem fit, including torture, to extract any and all information to keep Americans safe. It’s not as if these people are innocent men and women like you or me - they lost all their rights as soon as they were detained on charges relating to terrorism.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk/3500156.stm

TomMark
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5 posted 12-18-2007 04:33 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Grinch, in American Revolutionary War, you would be on other side. Does this make you change your opinions?

As for torturing, the worst will do best.

my thought

Grinch
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6 posted 12-18-2007 05:12 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Tom,

quote:
Grinch, in American Revolutionary War, you would be on other side. Does this make you change your opinions?


No.

Which side you’re on doesn’t matter.

The use of torture goes both ways, as soon as one side sets the precedent it automatically opens the door for your opponents to do the same, at the same time it removes the right to protest such treatment when you‘re on the receiving end.

If the revolutionaries tortured the redcoats it would only be fair if the redcoats tortured the revolutionaries. Likewise if the US wants to torture Muslims the US has to accept the consequences when the Muslims reciprocate.

As Noah pointed out the cost of removing the rights and freedoms of your enemy is that you have to surrender those same rights when the tables are turned.

As long as the US is willing to accept that the cost is outweighed by the benefits it should continue torturing muslims.
TomMark
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7 posted 12-18-2007 06:38 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Grinch, if you were captured and were tortured then you would justify it as it would have been all worth  for the sake of the American independence? then why not sell your information without being tortured?

Torturing captives is out of hatred, revenge and invalid of intelligence to get information with skillful talking.

And do you really believe that one can get information of WMD or where Bin Laden is about from those small potatoes?

my thought

and I take no words of handling reality from poets. Poets are dreamers.

My thought too.
Huan Yi
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Waukegan


8 posted 12-18-2007 07:14 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

"torturing muslims"

?

I think this discussion enjoys its
safe distance . . .
and so can equate Abu Zubaydah to Bambi
or Santa . . .

Actually much the same issues were involved with
the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, (which had it happened some years
earlier would have saved among others tens
of millions of Chinese).


This can easily be turned into
a personal question: is a principle
more important than saving someone
that matters to you from death and
or suffering?
Of course this may be a Jewish question.
.

[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (12-18-2007 07:53 PM).]

TomMark
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9 posted 12-18-2007 08:12 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Sir Huan,
what do you mean by principle?
To save someone mattered to me is my principle.

It is Grinch who asks for some tortures for nothing. he said that It should go both ways.
Huan Yi
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10 posted 12-18-2007 09:35 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


A principle is: "Thou shalt not kill".
The question then is if that means
the life and /or suffering
of your innocent child;
is it equally or more as good?

PS


How are children not innocent?

.
TomMark
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11 posted 12-18-2007 10:18 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Sir Huan,
First If you used God's words then you know that i am a sinner.
Then "Thou shalt not kill" actually has many translations based on the original words and meaning.  http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/notkill.html
http://www.christianhomesite.com/cherryvale/text/10command6.html

I will protect my loved ones with my life or a gun. or this is not related to the "torturing captives."
I am off topic, sorry!

_-------------------------
Debate
— Our bodies are better.
— Our bodies are more precious.
— Our blood is finer.
— Our blood is sweeter.
— Our dead are martyrs, yours are murdered.
— Your dead will become earth, ours will be higher.
— I am the victim and you are the killer.
— I will remain and you will vanish.
Like this, the generals speak
Like this, they debated:
Which is thicker?
The tear of a mother or the powder of a bullet?
http://israel.poetryinternationalweb.org/piw_cms/cms/cms_module/index.php?obj_id=7975
----------------------------------

[This message has been edited by TomMark (12-18-2007 11:00 PM).]

Grinch
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since 12-31-2005
Posts 2710
Whoville


12 posted 12-19-2007 04:51 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Grinch, if you were captured and were tortured then you would justify it as it would have been all worth for the sake of the American independence?


No but I’d have to concede that my torturers had justification if I’d been torturing them the day before.

quote:
Then why not sell your information without being tortured?


That would be slightly difficult if I didn’t have any information in the first place - read my link.

quote:
Torturing captives is out of hatred.


Or a misguided idea that the benefits of torturing outweigh the costs.

quote:
And do you really believe that one can get information of WMD or where Bin Laden is about from those small potatoes?


No, but it doesn’t matter what I think, if my government condones torturing I condone torturing in the eyes of the tortured.

Huan Yi
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Posts 6334
Waukegan


13 posted 12-19-2007 08:11 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.
.

“I think that waterboarding is probably something that we shouldn’t be in the business of doing,” Kiriakou said. But then he added: “What happens if we don’t waterboard a person, and we don’t get that nugget of information? I would have trouble forgiving myself.”
.
.

“For all the hair pulling over waterboarding today, the Washington Post explained December 9 that top Senate and House leaders, including then-House Democratic chief Nancy Pelosi of California, were briefed on CIA interrogation tactics — among them: waterboarding. With the sole, reported exception of Rep. Jane Harman (D., Calif.), key Republicans and Democrats were enthused, or at least quiescent, about all of this.

“Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing,” said Porter Goss, former House intelligence chairman and then Director of Central Intelligence from 2004 to 2006. “And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement.”

One American official at a September 2002 waterboarding discussion recalls that Republican and Democratic congressional leaders attended. “But there was no objecting, no hand wringing.” On the contrary, the Washington Post’s Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen reported, “The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough.”

The same liberals and Democrats convulsing over waterboarding today barely twitched when their deity, William Jefferson Clinton, addressed this matter. As Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz recalled in the October 17, 2006, Los Angeles Times, Clinton would get tough with terror suspects, provided one’s paperwork is in order. As President Clinton told National Public Radio last year:

Let’s take the best case, OK. You picked up someone you know is the No. 2 aide to Osama bin Laden. And you know they have an operation planned for the United States or some European capital in the next three days. And you know this guy knows it. Right, that’s the clearest example. And you think you can only get it out of this guy by shooting him full of some drugs or water-boarding him or otherwise working him over…

If they really believe the time comes when the only way they can get a reliable piece of information is to beat it out of someone or put a drug in their body to talk it out of ’em, then they can present it to the Foreign Intelligence Court, or some other court, just under the same circumstances we do with wiretaps. Post facto.”

.
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NzIzNmViZGZhN2EwY2NjNjVhODFiOGNmMGExMzA0MjY=&w=MA ==

.


Grinch
Member Elite
since 12-31-2005
Posts 2710
Whoville


14 posted 12-20-2007 04:40 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Let’s take the best case, OK. You picked up someone you know is the No. 2 aide to Osama bin Laden. And you know they have an operation planned for the United States or some European capital in the next three days. And you know this guy knows it. Right, that’s the clearest example. And you think you can only get it out of this guy by shooting him full of some drugs or water-boarding him or otherwise working him over..


Or we can take the worst case, you pick up someone you think is a leading member of a terrorist organisation that you know is planning a major terrorist attack on a US city. You think this guy knows all about it so you work him over, shoot him full of drugs but he just won’t spill the beans. So you get tougher -US lives are at stake - you start beating him with batons on the soles of his feet, extinguish cigarettes on his chest and wire his testicles up to a twelve volt battery. Turns out the guy has a weak heart and collapses and dies under further interrogation without saying a word about the upcoming attack, which isn’t surprising because he doesn’t actually know anything - turns out he’s not a terrorist at all he’s a simple shopkeeper from Delhi with a wife and two kids who just happens to look like the wanted terrorist.

Two days later footage is released on the internet showing two captured volunteer aid workers from New York being systematically beaten by their hooded captors who are outraged by the actions of the US government.  American businesses abroad are targets of arson attacks by  massed demonstrators protesting the injustice and a militant group beheads an American soldier and hangs his body by the feet from an Iraq bridge.

I feel just as much sympathy for the shopkeeper as I feel for the aid workers and the soldier whose family see the footage of him swinging from the bridge on CNN. Oddly enough my disgust for the interrogators and the people carrying out the retaliations is the same too.

Sure the shopkeeper could have been a terrorist, a terrorist attack could have been foiled, US lives could have been saved., WMD’s could have been in Iraq and Elvis could be alive and well and living in Florida.

If you can guarantee 100% that the people you want to torture have information that will definitely and directly save lives I’ll torture them myself and throw the batteries in for free but if the US tortures one innocent person I’ll be more likely to be found standing outside Mc Wal-Mart banner in hand.

[This message has been edited by Grinch (12-20-2007 06:32 PM).]

 
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