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Torture and Interrogation

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Is it ever ethical to torture someone in order to get valuable information? What about using various "lighter" interrogation methods?

 

Say we have some Iraqi prisoners who *may* hold valuable information. How ethical is it to deny them sleep or food for 24 hours to weaken them before interrogation? What about giving them "truth" serum or other "light" methods of coersion?

 

When is it ever necessary to use torture to get information?

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Only when a significant number of lives are immediately at risk and there's no other way.

 

As far as sleep deprivation and other techniques that aren't actually torture, any time it's determined to be appropriate under existing guidelines.

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I'd say it's not ethical to torture someone, but as faf indicates there are occasions where it will be morally justifiable.

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Guest dionysis

This is why the West will lose the war on terror, because we have are stuck with our 'social norms' and view transgression from these norms as wrong! Torture and terror are weapons in our arsenel which we choose to forget about for fear of upsetting a few liberal do-gooders.

 

I was unfortunate enough to witness a British civilian being dragged along a highway behind a chevy caprice in Saudi Arabia a couple of weeks ago, I sincerely doubt that the terrorists responsible felt any sense of guilt - my question to you all is "why should we feel any sense of guilt?".

 

We are at war, a war that has been waged against us for 30 years, it started in Beiruit and is now being waged against us where-ever we are.

 

In answer to your question "When is it ever necessary to use torture to get information?" the answer is simple - whether for information or not, torture is a weapon which we must use to our fullest capabilities for our survival.

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This is why the West will lose the war on terror' date=' because we have are stuck with our 'social norms' and view transgression from these norms as wrong! Torture and terror are weapons in our arsenel which we choose to forget about for fear of upsetting a few liberal do-gooders.

 

I was unfortunate enough to witness a British civilian being dragged along a highway behind a chevy caprice in Saudi Arabia a couple of weeks ago, I sincerely doubt that the terrorists responsible felt any sense of guilt - my question to you all is "why should we feel any sense of guilt?".

 

We are at war, a war that has been waged against us for 30 years, it started in Beiruit and is now being waged against us where-ever we are.

 

In answer to your question "When is it ever necessary to use torture to get information?" the answer is simple - whether for information or not, torture is a weapon which we must use to our fullest capabilities for our survival.[/quote']

 

Are you retarded?Thats a terrible thing to say. :mad:

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What about giving them "truth" serum or other "light" methods of coersion?

In my opinion, sodium pentothal is a perfectly good thing to use. No pain, all the information.

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Torture and terror are weapons in our arsenel which we choose to forget about for fear of upsetting a few liberal do-gooders.

That's not a great answer to the whole question of "is torture ethical", now is it?

 

"A few liberal do-gooders" my ass.

 

 

In my opinion, sodium pentothal is a perfectly good thing to use. No pain, all the information.

Iirc sodium pentathol is quite over-rated.

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Yeah, I googled it, and now it looks a lot less potent then what I originally thought. I suppose I shouldn't listen to my classmates...

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I don't think it's ethical. The problem in all interogation is recognising the true response. Using physical torture, you may achieve a response faster, but the problem still remains, how do you know it's the true response? Torture does not eliminate this problem, which makes it largely pointless, as well as unethical.

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There has to be another useful solution to waging a war on terrorist cells. I just cannot think of one right now. It's hard to fight an invisible enemy when they're hidden in the public. Really the only solution is to kill as many of them as possible. Take crime families in the U.S. as examples. Leaders went to jail but the family lives on. You can't ever really stop them and torture isn't the answer. The extremists want to die and I'm sure they'd rather die than give valuable information to those who want it.

 

Or the U.S. could just not fight at all.

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what's sad is the definition of torture under us law. it says that something severe must be done for it to be defined as torture; something like causing perminant brain damage, death, the loss of limbs etc

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Lie detectors with truth drugs and body language experts would be my 1`st choice.

I`m fairly certain that since each has a margin of error, that it can be reduced significantly by implementing all these methods at the same time :)

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The problem with lie detectors is that they don't detect lies. There is no such thing as a 'lie detector'. Moreover, it has been shown that Polygraphs can be fooled. With minimal training, most people can fool the polygraph reader, and absolutely everybody can render the printouts meaningless.

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The problem with lie detectors is that they don't detect lies. There is no such thing as a 'lie detector'. Moreover, it has been shown that Polygraphs can be fooled. With minimal training, most people can fool the polygraph reader, and absolutely everybody can render the printouts meaningless.

 

I'm glad I waited, but I was going to say the exact same thing(that is why evidence derived from a lie detector is not admissible in the court of law) if it were not for YT's insertion of 'Truth Drugs'.

 

So the question still remains, I suppose. Assuming that these drugs really do work, then in combination of using them and lie detectors, is it possible to arrive at a concrete reason/logic/truth?

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Well, again, there is no such thing as a 'truth drug' (insofar as there is no drug that will make a person tell the truth). The efficacy of drugs used for that purpose is highly questionable.

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Ok. Don't know much about the drugs, real or not, but, then from what you're saying that the notion of a 'truth drug' is really a placebo?

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Not a placebo, they do have an effect (e.g. eroding resistance/conscious control or increasing suggestibility [hypnotics]). It's that they are in no way a guarantee of 'the truth'.

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I'd say it's not ethical to torture someone, but as faf indicates there are occasions where it will be morally justifiable.

I agree completely, but the problem is where you draw the line -- or, better yet -- WHO draws the line. For inteligence people, every information is critical. Would you say that always justifies torture? I'm not sure.

 

Plus, I'm *sure* there are better ways than SLAPPING / food-deprevation / sleep-deprevation and so on to get information out of a suspect. Specially these days.

 

And Glider,

Not a placebo, they do have an effect (e.g. eroding resistance/conscious control or increasing suggestibility [hypnotics]). It's that they are in no way a guarantee of 'the truth'.

I agree it's not a guarantee but with the proper "guidance" from a psychiatrist or a trained psychologist, I'm sure enough correct information can be reached to understand the truth.

And it's still far better than physically and mentally abusing and torturing someone.

 

 

And one last thing I have to say:

I think we should all remember that there's a huge difference between interrogating someone in "peace times" and interrogating in a warzone.

I htink we'd have an entirely different debate (and opinions, I'm sure) if we'd talk about how FBI/CIA/NSA/whatever conducts day-to-day interrogations of criminals. It's much different than to have to interrogate a simple "lowly" soldier in the middle of a war that goes on at the gates of the base.

 

Not that I condone any of this. I'm just saying it's different.

 

~moo

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And Glider' date='

 

I agree it's not a guarantee but with the proper "guidance" from a psychiatrist or a trained psychologist, I'm sure enough correct information can be reached to understand the truth.

And it's still far better than physically and mentally abusing and torturing someone.

 

~moo[/quote']

 

I agree it's better than torture. Anything is better than torture. I just don't think it's any more effective.

 

Proper guidance from a psychiatrist or psychologist may or may not access the truth, depending upon the resistance of the individual. Even then, it will only be what the individual believes to be the truth. That will be whatever he/she was told by his or her seniors and may or may not relate to 'the truth' (depending on the probability of capture) and certainly will not go beyond what that individual needed to know in order to complete their objective.

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At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, I have to say that sleep deprivation and muscle fatigue is not really severe torture. Sure it's humiliating and lacks any moral fiber. But did you know when Sadam was in power he had his military force (or whatever) cut the tips of peoples tongues off, chop their fingers off with swords, or put their arms over two seperated blocks and smash the part in between with a club to break it? I'm sure you did. So what's worse, all those horrible things, or a little nakedness?

 

Everyone is so quick to scold the U.S. that they take any chance they get to make us look bad.

 

p.s. watch the video of Sadams torture and then compare them to pictures of Abu Ghraib. Suddenly being naked and hooded seems like fun.

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Why do we even bother classifying sleep deprivation and muscle fatigue as torture? I didn't exactly see amnesty international coming to my aid during basic, or SEAR :P

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I think it's prbably because sleep deprivation will induce psychosis and then kill you (it doesn't take as long as you'd think either). As for muscle fatigue, you should try to maintain for just 5 minutes one or two of the 'stress positions' that certain captives are held in for hours. Here's an acute one: Place your back against a wall. Slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your lower legs are vertical. Stretch your arms out in front of you at shoulder height parallel to the floor, hands palm down. Stay there. Do not move.

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