fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond December 13, 2012 - 5:50am

(Waterboarding isn't torture when the motive is life-saving intelligence gathering.)

Exactly, who decides what is life-saving intelligence gathering ala Jack Bower or the current system in nameless hidden places because these are people who will kill you as soon as look at you. And where does this lead?

And what constitutes life saving intelligence gathering? Because a seasonal flu can kill as many people as a terrorist attack if not more. Remember the flu that fizzled? Everyone was amped up over it and on alert and there weren't nearly as many victims as other flu's. The key part of that was that those who did get hit hard went in and filled ICU beds that are in short supply and very expensive to operate and are usually needed by car crash victims and other serious life threatening problems.

Because the results of this situational ethic stuff has in short order allowed the suspension of rights and freedoms once guaranteed and fought for as well as electronic tagging and monitoring of all citizens. 

Why not some technique like DNA sampling of the terrorists and then tagging of all members of the family that produces such people and then simply produce pictures of them during interrogation holding their villages and families hostage to good behaviour?

And what about when the shoe is on the other foot? Your people are adjudged terrorists by a duly constituted body that represents far more of the population of the world and your country has just suffered an 8.6 magnitude earthquake, where you wouldn't expect it, a category five storm in the middle of winter and a massive grid related power failure that may or may not be computer virus related.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life December 13, 2012 - 1:20pm

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books December 13, 2012 - 1:45pm

Sometimes, albeit not all the time, I love you JGB.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life December 13, 2012 - 1:49pm

And it is those moments I live for, Sparrow.

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond December 13, 2012 - 5:46pm

Aww, sorry Jeffrey, did I spell a character's name wrong, Jack Bauer not Bower which is something completely different.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 13, 2012 - 9:36pm

What was the question?

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond December 14, 2012 - 5:52am

It wasn't a question it was a reaction to an inane statement which brought out another set of reactions to the two threads - one about writers being empathic or needing to be and the other about how you deal with difficult subjects, I seem to have hit the real thresholds of pain for some when I ask 'who decides' against a background of seemingly hard to handle scenarios. 

1. Do it right and hit the guilty instead of carpet bombing - up close personal murder of relatives.

2. What happens if the shoe is on the other foot - helping the mindset with some plausible scenarios.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 14, 2012 - 11:05am

Port, regarding the other threads I'd suggest addressing those issues there. Here you seem to be here mistaking American politics for the inability to handle pain. If you want to reach a largely American audience in a thought provoking way, I'd suggest a different issue. When you bring up water boarding, terrorists, law enforcement, and to a lesser but real extent anything from Fox (the T.V. network that aired character Jack B. on the show 24) we have all pretty much though about it as much as we are going to. We are in camps already. You won't get much reaction past, "Those others guys are bad/stupid." 

At the very least start us at a point when the person in questions hasn't joined a group almost universally viewed as evil. Ask, "What wll a uneducated herdsman in Whateverstan do when his flock is dead and al-Qaeda is the only group interested in helping him get new stock?" Point out that he is poor, has a family to feed, and has none of the resources we assume that everyone does. By the time he realizes he might have signed on with a bunch of really evil villains, he doesn't see a way out. Then you might get a bit of, "Oh. Wow there could be somebody who hates his job doing evil things out of fear. I never thought of that." Suggesting a kill their mom plan, is pretty out there. Suggesting that the U.N. is legit even more so.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life December 14, 2012 - 10:54am

'Whateverstan' < stealing this, TYVM.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. December 14, 2012 - 11:01am

Q: Who decides?

A: I decide.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books December 14, 2012 - 12:42pm

It's true. He does.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 14, 2012 - 4:06pm

It is already a saying Jeff, so feel free.

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond December 14, 2012 - 5:15pm

So Dwayne, are you suggesting somehow that asking 'who decides' when torture is not torture is an illegitimate question?

 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 14, 2012 - 7:51pm

I'm suggesting that asking questions regarding what is and is not torture regarding treatment of terrorist is pointless. It is a legitimate question, but it is one that we all feel is answered and done with it. I mean come on Jeff has a dancing Darth Vader with Storm Trooper chorus line as his answer and we are encouraging him. Does that seem like you are getting thoughtful feed back? I'm the only one to write anything in reply and it could be summed up by, "Don't bother asking, we are all sick of hearing about it."

@Jeff - BTW the dancing Darth Vader with Storm Trooper chorus line was awesome. 

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 14, 2012 - 7:54pm

Zero Dark Thirty looks and sounds good.

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts December 14, 2012 - 8:14pm

Exactly, who decides what is life-saving intelligence gathering ala Jack Bower or the current system in nameless hidden places because these are people who will kill you as soon as look at you. And where does this lead?

1) Nuremberg. 2)Parwan.

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond December 14, 2012 - 8:35pm

Too late, Dwayne has convinced me that all the good discussions have already taken place.

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond December 15, 2012 - 8:17pm

I just watched this video, it's going to lead me off to all sorts of places so

I guess everything wasn't a total waste.

http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch December 17, 2012 - 3:06pm

If the question is still open, I would say there is always the danger of a witch hunt resulting from information given just to stop the torture. But who decides? I don't know. I would say whoever decides should exercise extreme caution not to torture the wrong person and not to consider necessarily accurate the info acquired through torture.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 17, 2012 - 3:38pm

To be technical in the U.S. the answer is the Supreme Court, who ruled against it.

fport's picture
fport from Canada is reading The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond December 17, 2012 - 7:39pm

People can look at the exact same action and arrive at different interpretations.

Case in point. People sitting at a restaurant window see a security guard chase after and grab a woman and another runs up as well. She struggles mightily and ends up under the first security guard who stopped her. The second guard is on his radio. A third security guard shows up on a bicycle and stands by. She continues to struggle and screams as well. The first security guard continues to hold on to her.

People in the next booth over making no effort to leave their food to go and intervene go on about how it's three against one. And how they aren't being fair. That they are probably hurting her as well.

I mention that only one person is restraining her and that she has the complexion and scrawniness of a junky. I point out that the other two security guards are not jumping on her or forcing her arms behind her to detain her and that the security guards appear very restrained compared to what the police might do if she resisted that much.

The only other stray fact that I have is that that train station had had a few snatch and grabs of wallets in recent days by a woman.