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Posted: 1/30/2002 3:22:59 PM EDT
What should civilization's response be on the subject of torture? Let's say f'rinstance that a little girl has been kidnapped and buried in a coffin with sufficient air for twelve hours. The kidnapper is caught, but adamantly refuses to give up the location of the buried child. How far would you be willing to go to 'make' him give up the child's location? Hmmmm? Here is William F. Buckley's thoughts on this thorny issue: [size=4]Tortured Thought[/size=4] [b]Alan Dershowitz has spoken up vigorously on the subject.[/b] January 29, 2002 1:50 p.m. The fine handed down in Paris to the French general raises some questions the mere ventilation of which is painful. What happened is that Paul Aussaresses, an 83-year-old veteran of the Algerian war of 1954-1962, published a book in which he spoke matter-of-factly of his use of torture during the terrible years of the "Savage War for Peace," as British historian Alistair Horne wrote of that period. The retired general revealed that he had authorized torture and indeed executions quite routinely: "I was indifferent. They had to be killed, that's all there was to it." But you can't say that in France, because to do so is to "justify war." That sounds very strange in this part of the world, to fine someone for writing a book describing events that had taken place, and expressing his views on them. Some in France also find it strange. "This is the first-ever act of censorship on a personal account of French history," the general's lawyer said. "One has to fight for the right to tell history. That is why we will appeal." To "tell" history is different from implicitly approving of history, as the general has done by recounting tales of torture without instantly bemoaning them. And so the larger question is introduced. Professor Alan Dershowitz (as we might have expected) has spoken up vigorously on the subject, but making a rather unusual point. He says a), torture happens; b), we are better off trying to regulate torture, which is possible, than attempting to obliterate it, which is not; therefore, c), we should proceed to legalize it. He has in mind a "torture warrant." In specific situations, the person who wishes to resort to torture would phone a judge who would grant a warrant. What sort of situations? Not, says Dershowitz, torture intended to extract confessions. No, only what one might call ticking-bomb cases. Muhammad knows where the bomb is, it is due to go off in three hours and fifty minutes, and he declines to tell you where it is . . . - continued -
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:23:45 PM EDT
The constitutionality of torture is of course a question one would need to confront. But hark! The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution proscribes cruel and unusual punishment. Torture can be used as punishment and is widely so used. But the kind of torture General Aussaresses was talking about, and Dershowitz is talking about, is not an instrument of punishment, but of epistemology. [b]Where is the ticking bomb?[/b] Mr. Horne and other learned analysts of torture take the position that in fact the practice does not work. Someone in the Philippines, being tortured, confessed to having taken part in the Oklahoma City bombing, about which, in fact, he knew nothing. He was willing to say anything to appease the torturers. The most striking literary event that dealt with the subject, though without examining any philosophical questions, was the scene in Frederick Forsyth's novel, Day of the Jackal. The good guys know that the assassination of President Charles de Gaulle has been undertaken by a trained agent. They don't know who he is or where he is, but do track down an implicated manservant, kidnap and — torture him. He comes up with the vital clue to the assassin, who is stopped just in time, saving the life of Charles de Gaulle and augmenting the fortunes of Fred Forsyth and Hollywood. The book came and went without anybody protesting the torture, let alone asking a French court to ban the book and prosecute its author. The event was simply accepted — that's what people do. If, says Dershowitz, you learn that your son is buried in a coffin and will die in two hours and you proceed to use physical means to get the kidnapper to talk, what jury is going to convict you? But Mr. Dershowitz has it, actually, wrong. To attempt to describe legitimate reasons for torture breaks the spiritual back of the law. Mr. Dershowitz in the past has said that it is impossible to write law that could govern pornography, and he certainly has a case here, though his surrender to the difficulty smells a little of Schadenfreude. We should not torture an al-Qaeda prisoner — general rule; but to torture the one who knows where the hijacked airborne Boeing 737 is headed is an exemption to the rule. But not one we would wish to codify. Some acts of warfare, like some intelligence, are works of art, not articles of war. See article at:[url]http://www.nationalreview.com/buckley/buckley.shtml[/url] Eric The(ThoughtProvoking)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:33:00 PM EDT
I vote 'whatever it takes'! Sodium pentathol, hammers, tongs, whatever! Now, this is [u]just[/u] to discover the location of the buried child, not to be used to obtain a confession to be used against the kidnapper in a court of law! (The 'saved' child should be a pretty good and sufficient witness to hang this guy later at his trial!) Eric The(SoThe8thAmendmentIsPreserved!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:34:51 PM EDT
Eric, I ADMIT I lied in my 11th grade gene cloning deal. They really weren't going to clone you into Arafat. (They may do that next Friday.) Please, do not further "TORTURE" me by forcing the writings of William F. Buckley upon me !! I CONFESS ! now i've got to find the meaning of epis..episte or whatever.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:39:32 PM EDT
But, 5subslr5, did you vote for 'I wouldn't'? I thought you grew up in Alabama? Did you think that was sufficient torture for a lifetime?[:D] Eric The(NotEvenTweezers?)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:39:40 PM EDT
As a practical matter I'd have to agree with Bill. Certainty is the crux of the matter, certainty that we have the kidnapper/perp. After that some common sense regards for urgency should be followed....whatever experts think will reveal the information the quickest.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:41:57 PM EDT
I was going to vote for the hammer and tongs... However whatever it takes opens so many more doors!
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:46:24 PM EDT
Nope, I voted against. They use it to find the child today, tommorow, they uise it on suspected tax cheats, the day after they might just use it because the whim strikes them, against you. I do not trust any governmental agent with that kind of power.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:47:11 PM EDT
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity. I don't know why he used the word like he did. It doesn't make sense. To me at least. [):)] NSF
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:49:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2002 3:54:43 PM EDT by pbrstreetgang]
as a sanctioned tool of the state? NO WAY! that power would certainly be abused. as an individual? perhaps serving the state? WITH ALACRITY! i only hope the mitigating circumstances can be introduced at my trial.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:52:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: But, 5subslr5, did you vote for 'I wouldn't'? I thought you grew up in Alabama? Did you think that was sufficient torture for a lifetime?[:D] Eric The(NotEvenTweezers?)Hun[>]:)]
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A damned serious topic and an attempt at a serious answer. (I voted for whatever it takes.) What is really perplexing to me is the position of Professor Dershowitz and this perplexes me to the point of wondering if Dershowitz' position is accurately portrayed. "What should be civilization's response to torture" would seem exactly the type question allowing an academic such as Professor Dershowitz to pontificate endlessly on the evil of man. Instead we are offered a real-world answer by the Professor. I'm not sure I understand all I don't know here. [?]
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 4:00:26 PM EDT
I agree 100% with hielo - does anyone actually believe that the gov't will [b]only[/b] use it in the extremely limited situations stipulated by law? Today it's "tell us where the girl is buried, or my pal with the pliers here will pull another toenail out" and tomorrow it'll be "tell us where that gun we [b]know[/b] you own is hidden, or you get to watch us skin another of your kids alive."
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 4:08:47 PM EDT
I also agree 100% with what Hielo said. Is the life of this girl an equal trade for the justice of the whole? Yes.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 4:27:19 PM EDT
Well, here's why I can't vote on this. There's a big difference in what [b]I[/b] would do, and what would be legal for the government to do. If I apprehended him, personally, well... Let's not go there. But the government should not get this sort of power in any situation.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 4:36:22 PM EDT
I voted "whatever it takes" assuming it was one of my kids and I had the kidnapper in [b]my[/b] control. Gov't agents are scary enough without the rack, a blowup Janet Reno doll,a pair of pliers and a blowtorch.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 4:48:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2002 4:49:21 PM EDT by platform389]
Hmmm....
The kidnapper is caught, but adamantly refuses to give up the location of the buried child.
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[url]http://www.mytoolstore.com/klein/63536.html[/url] Application of 42" version of above to finger joints. Remove one joint at a time until question is answered. I think that would be an effective method, don't you?[IMG]http://www.contrabandent.com/cwm/s/contrib/aahmed/biggrin.gif[/IMG]
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 4:54:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By hielo: Nope, I voted against. They use it to find the child today, tommorow, they uise it on suspected tax cheats, the day after they might just use it because the whim strikes them, against you. I do not trust any governmental agent with that kind of power.
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Coming from someone who also said that he would gladly profit from concentration camp labor, we'll be sure to place the appropriate weight on that.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 5:14:19 PM EDT
If it was my kid I would totally go "Dirty Harry" on the scumbag. Giving the guberment this power is something else entirely. They have a track record of abusing any power they are given. Today they will only torture terrorist, but tomorrow their gun confiscation task force will be torturing honest citizens. Too slippery a slope.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 5:19:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2002 5:20:59 PM EDT by trickshot]
Ever notice that it's always a wild straw-man type of argument that leads people to favor torture. How often, if ever, do the above circumstances ever play out in reality? Usually, by the time the cops catch up to the perp, the hostage(s) is/are long dead. There is nothing that legitimizes the state's ability to torture people. Nothing--it is always immoral, brutal, and wicked. A "civilization" is no longer civilized if it resorts to such tactics.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 5:26:31 PM EDT
I tried to answer the literal question "How far would "YOU" go...... To save a child, any child I would go far. Very far. Now if the actual question is "How far should the "government" go" - I reserve my right to give a different answer. [?]
Link Posted: 1/31/2002 11:25:42 PM EDT
hey Hun, I bet you can't start a thread without mentioning Israel or some jew...can ya'... Don't bang your head too hard against the wall at noon, dear boy. Eric the(howmanysalamisyougonnadotoday)Hun Buahahahahaha
Link Posted: 1/31/2002 11:37:38 PM EDT
22 INT. WAREHOUSE - DAY - MR. BLONDE AND COP Mr. Blonde closes the door after them. He then slowly turns his head towards the cop. MR. BLONDE Alone at last. C.U. COP'S FACE. MR. BLONDE (OS)Now where were we? COP I told you I don't know anything about any fucking set up. I've only been on the force eight months, nobody tells me anything! I don't know anything! You can torture me if you want-- MR. BLONDE (OS) --Thanks, don't mind if I do.
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