The Washington Post is reporting what some of us have believed all along – that the Bush Administration not only tolerated their people to torture – but they actively went out of their way to explicitly endorse torture.

The article says that the CIA (and in particular George Tenet) wanted a “paper trail” to protect itself from future questions over torture – and to tie the authorisation to the Bush administration.

One key part of the article is how the Justice Dept says that “…it doesn’t need to be in writing”. Make of that what you will.

All I know is that torture in all cases is wrong and should be condemned.

20 Responses

  1. I’d like you to have a talk to my wife and kids they torture me everyday LOL

  2. Mmmm in two minds here.

    If someone killed my family and the only way I could find who did it or to get a confession was to use a little torture. Then I tihkn I would condone it.

    I think the circumstances dictate action at the time. Unless we are the ones in the situation I will leave it to the people in the firing line to make an educated decision as to what action needs ot be taken.

    Having said that I personally do not agree with torture, yet realise in the world we live in it may be necessary to obtain information that could lead to the saving of millions of lives.

  3. But torture has never been proven to work. It is only in movies and 24 where it works.

    Have a read of – a very valuable website on the topic.

  4. Joni

    We may have to agree to disagree on this one.
    Global Warming has not been proven beyond doubt either but I still believe in it.

  5. sure mate… and I do see your POV

  6. Shane, we will always react emotionally when directly effected by an outrage to our family. The sense of personal retribution will be a driving emotion. This is entirely understandable, it is an instinct.

    Governments should not react with this sense of emotion/instinct, and policy cannot be based on it. Policy needs to be consistent and coherent.

    Cruelty to humans is inexcusable, though I note that some proponents like to draw distinction between duress and torture. It is a subtlety that is a little lost on me.

  7. Torture does not, in general, yield reliable information, history has repeated tales of how one person, in fear, can cause the death and torture of completely innocent people…

    Fear will make honest people lie and dishonest people – lie

    I have mentioned it before but the TV shows and movies from
    the USA increasingly use torture as part of the script – these shows often translate into real life and I believe that the US Government actively encourages “acceptance” of torture.

    For me the biggest problem is that the basic assumption of innocence is ignored in many cases…and if we degenerate into torture states then a) we condone others doing it and b) we lose all the freedoms our forefathers have fought and died for…

    …if this happens then torture just escalates…

    …question for Shane – reverse your reasoning – your child is overseas in the middle east and is suspected of being involved in someone’s death – the state condone’s torture to get the “truth”…

    …to argue against torture we MUST maintain the high moral ground!

  8. Tom

    Yes definition seems to blur with no true black and white policy. I suppose it is the same as my definition of abuse. I do not define a smack from a parent as abuse. I define it as discipline to ensure the child is corrected in their behaviour. Others define any touch to a child as abuse.


    It would depend on what the states definition of torture is and whether I believed or even suspected my child was capable of killing someone. While we might all say that none of us would belive our child capable of being a killer, it is quite surprising how many parents, actually, deep down, are aware of what their children are capable of, yet they block it out. Thats human nature we will always love our own more than anyone elses. If not I think we would kill them in the first few years LOL.

  9. You know things are getting desperate when the Trump lets fly, is he concerned about the cost in human terms of monetary terms? :

    “Property mogul and diehard Republican Donald Trump has told CNN that President George W Bush misled the US into the Iraq War and should have been impeached when the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006.

    “I was surprised that she didn’t do more in terms of Bush and going after Bush,” Trump said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, referring to Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    “It … just seemed like she was going to really look to impeach Bush and get him out of office, which personally I think would have been a wonderful thing.”

  10. Shane, do you have any children?

  11. TB

    No I do not have childrem.

    My father always told me that if parents didn’t love their own children more than anyone elses they would never tolerate what they put up with.

    I see it with all my friends that have children. They criticise our other friends kids when those parents are not around, yet I see their own children doing exactly the same things for which there is deafening silence or excuses.

    Thats why I try and generalise any reposnes when it comes to people having children. I understand I cannot speak from experience, but I can speak from observation of my sisters and their 7 children whom I have been a part of their lives since birth and actually living with them while their children have grown up.

  12. Thanks, Shane.

    Personally, I wouldn’t want to see any of my family or friends tortured no matter what the “definition”…

    There are many ways to torture people – none of them pleasant…or humane.

    We seem to have managed without it (officially) until GWB and Cronies arrived on the scene…

    Torture in our society is a backward step – although we seem to be doing that in so many ways these days …

  13. Torture is mostly not used to gather information and what America is doing with extreme rendition has little to do with gathering information. Definitely autocratic governments use torture as fear to suppress and control their populations.

    What I hate about America’s use of torture/duress is they don’t do much of it themselves but outsource it to other countries and private contractors.

  14. TB

    I totally understand and if human beings were a truly good species then it would never have been invented in the first place.

  15. 14. Shane | October 16, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Absolutely! 🙂

  16. If someone killed my family and the only way I could find who did it or to get a confession was to use a little torture. Then I tihkn I would condone it. Shane | October 16, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Shane I think that you have it regarding the problem with extracting confessions via torture.

    To precis your above comment: If someone killed my family – to get a confession – use a little torture.

    That is in order to extract a confession you have to be 99.9% certain that the person or people (men, women and children) that you are torturing are in fact guilty or at bare minimum have precise knowledge that X man or Y woman are the guilty people.

    You say: to find out who did it, use torture. Therefore you would suggest torturing the neighbors, associates, work friends, parish doesn’t matter who you torture as along as the guilty person is identified. Of course, that’s all been done before hasn’t it, Nazi Germany, Communist States, Pol Pot…torture works a treat doesn’t it and history has many such fine examples of the success of this method of ‘justice’. Pity about the people tortured who knew nothing.

  17. Min

    I totally agree with your comments. It is such a hard area and getting a confession using torture also goes against my nature. I see your point and many horrific depots and regimes have used torture. However like I said to TB if the human race was such a good race torture would not have been invented in the first place.

  18. Shane: Such a sad country America has become. At least there was once a facade of truth, justice and the American way. Who could have imagined that only 60+ yrs after WW2 and America being a leading force in the world for justice/anti-torture/support of human rights that they would have descended thus far.

    I think that people who support torture need to face up to the fact that torture is most effective when used against one’s loved ones rather than against oneself, for example hot pokers used on one’s 5 yr old daughter or one’s 3 yr old son.

    Agreed Adrian. I think that a lot of people have watched far too many James Bond movies where people go Arrrggggh, escape and traa daa no damage done. Or maybe WW2 movies, Ve hav vays of making you talk.. Information obtained under torture is notoriously unreliable: Yes, yes I’m a witch and fly on my broomstick and yes yes I cast a spell on Mistress Goodie which caused to make her puddings curdle and her sow to throw a 2 headed piglet. Down you go damn witch, you have confessed.

    Who said that the human race was good? I guess that we will survive just so long as the majority is.

  19. Who said that the human race was good? I guess that we will survive just so long as the majority is.

    Well said, Min!

  20. This only further highlights the rank hypocrisy indulged in by the US when they choose to moralise to other global citizens & indeed makes a mockery of their penchant for describing themselves as the “greatest country on Earth”.

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