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November 10, 2005

Derb on Torture

This pretty much sums up my thoughts. Liberal readers, fire away.

Posted by Matt at November 10, 2005 11:32 AM

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Tracked on November 13, 2005 04:13 PM


I'll side with Republican McCain on this one.

And I'd challenge you to find a biblical basis for suggesting otherwise (since this is a "god blog").

"Love your good to those who hate you"

Jesus, our Lord and Master and Teacher

Posted by: Dan Trabue at November 10, 2005 01:49 PM


    To a lot of people, it [torture] embraces the merest roughness or unkindness -- a shove, a kick, a slap, sleep deprivation, and so on.

    He's right. This, however, is torture:

      Two years ago, at Abu Ghraib prison, outside Baghdad, an Iraqi prisoner in Swanner’s custody, Manadel al-Jamadi, died during an interrogation. His head had been covered with a plastic bag, and he was shackled in a crucifixion-like pose that inhibited his ability to breathe; according to forensic pathologists who have examined the case, he asphyxiated.

    The man died pretty much the same way Jesus and millions of other victims of Rome did, hung in a position that compromised the lungs ability to gather and distribute oxygen. Crucifixion. A particularly gruesome way to die.

    Posted by: Jon Gallagher at November 10, 2005 07:03 PM

    I condemn that sort of thing that happened at Abu Ghraib. The other stuff...I think our laws should allow some leeway when interrogating high-ranking terrorists who are likely to have knowledge of terror plots.

    Posted by: Matt at November 11, 2005 01:22 AM

    Matt writes: I condemn that sort of thing that happened at Abu Ghraib. The other stuff...I think our laws should allow some leeway when interrogating high-ranking terrorists who are likely to have knowledge of terror plots.

    Do you mean to imply that you do not condemn any of the "things" that took place in the Salt Pit? Or at Bagram? Or any of the other unidentified locations in the American gulag archipelago? Do you have any words of condemnation for what was done to the wife and children of Mohammed Khalid? (Note: Derbyshire seems to know what I'm talking about and makes an effort to communicate his condemnation for all those things. You have not done so.)

    You do know what I am asking if you are willing to condemn, right? Because I do. I can dig up citations if your memory is weak...

    And while we are on the subject of sleep deprivation and exposure to extremes of temperature, it would be helpful if you were to bear in mind that the combination of these two things, as Americans have been saying is not torture, has been clinically shown to produce a medical condition called hyperalgesia, i.e. an oversensitivity to pain. Thirty-six hours without sleep in a refrigerator and/or a sauna is reportedly an excruciating experience— and I do not use that word lightly.

    I suppose none of that matters to a good Christian like you, eh Matt? No, I suppose not. Let your beautiful mind remain untroubled...

    Posted by: s9 at November 11, 2005 08:30 PM

    Gotta agree with S9 here. Besides, how much should the military be trusted to decide who might be guilty of terrorist behavior? By government and military accounts, a majority of the Guantanamo inmates should not have been taken prisoner. Similarly, over half the people incarcerated at Abu Ghraib were later found to be innocent, according to the Taguba report:
    Some of these people were beaten, raped or bitten by dogs. Certainly these cases qualify as torture. And since the policies that led to these abuses have been in place in other military prisons, can you really doubt that such abuses are not occurring elsewhere?

    Lastly, you say that "our laws should allow some leeway when interrogating high-ranking terrorists who are likely to have knowledge of terror plots". I have dealt with your misassumption that the military can be trusted to round up only the "bad guys". The only other point I would make is that many of the prisoners still being held have been out of the loop for so long that it is highly doubtful at this point that they can provide any useful information. The Bush administration wants to suspend habeas corpus. I say let their cases be reviewed instead of keeping them locked up indefinitely. Indefinite detention may not qualify as torture by the general definition. But in reality the practice must be psychologically excrutiating for the majority of prisoners who are innocent of terrorism.

    Posted by: dem at November 12, 2005 08:51 AM

    Matt, I didn't think you'd have any words of condemnation for holding family members as hostages, or beating prisoners to death, or smothering them to death with sleeping bags, or drowning them within an inch of their life, of solitary confinement for several months at a stretch, or any of that other stuff that Americans have done and continue to do.

    The good news is that we only have the word of highly unreliable and self-interested, corrupt officials that the dead and tortured victims of this policy were actually "high-ranking" terrorists and enemy fighters. Sure, the Supreme Court insisted that the administrati recognize the habeus corpus rights of the remaining detainees who haven't yet been tortured to death— but, the GOP Chamber of People's Deputies is getting ready to "overrule" their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. This is, of course, good news for you because it provides you with a transparently thin veneer of cover for your anti-Christian bloodlust, which allows you to argue that you only support officially sanctioned torture and murder of the Enemies to the State when they can't prove their innocence.

    Don't look now, Matt. That might be Moloch you're worshipping, not Christ.

    Posted by: s9 at November 13, 2005 03:48 PM