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[POLL] Should waterboarding be legal in interrogation?

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  • View Poll Results: Should waterboarding be legal for interrogation purposes?


    (Original post by Thutmose-III)
    I've already mentioned one, the attack on Peta Tikvah outlined by Yaacov Peri on pp 88-90 of the Gatekeepers book.

    The German case already completely destroys your position such that you're forced to play games and move the goalposts. The German case shows that physical pressure can induce someone to reveal information they otherwise would not have; your position collapses.
    The German case supports my position. The justification for torture is that it saves lives. No lives were saved. It was therefore unjustified.
    The justification for torture by the us is that it prevents attacks on us citizens, not that it simply reveals information but that it saves lives. Yet there is no single verified case of torture saving so much as a single life. None.

    There has never been a case where information obtained by torture has prevented an attack. Never. The cases cited are often from the perpetrators of torture. Never independently verified.

    I'm surprised at your lack of reasoning. You're using a case where torture did not prevent a single life as proof it saves lives. That case shows torture doesn't work- not a single life was saved.

    You're dealing in hypotheticals and not empirical evidence. The contrived situations which justify torture such as the ticking bomb situation simply do not exist in real life.

    (Original post by Thutmose-III)
    It has worked. The idea that torture doesn't work is the received wisdom of people who can't be arsed to actually research the subject.

    There was a case in the European Court of Human Rights; a murderer who had kidnapped a young boy and sent a ransom note to his parents was captured by the German police. He refused to say anything so they started slapping him around and threatening to throw him out of a helicopter. He broke, and admitted the boy was already dead and showed them to the body. Clearly it does work in some situations.

    The Israeli Shin Bet, which probably has the most experience of all the internal security agencies in the free world, is very clear that moderate physical and psychological pressure (slapping someone around, sleep deprivation, loud music) can elicit information that they wouldn't otherwise be able to access.

    During the first intifada Shin Bet looked at the numbers and concluded that using physical/psychological pressure they were preventing around 90% of terrorist attacks, if they stopped using it they would probably only prevent about 70% of attacks.
    Ah so an organisation that tortured lots of people claimed torture works?
    I wonder what their motive may have been...
    You're going to have to do better than that.
    That would be like asking Jimmy saville to conduct an enquiry into child abuse.
    You see all the claims that torture works comes from parties with vested interests.

    George bush claimed torture provided us with valuable information to prevent attacks yet there has never been anything to verify this. In fact most of the evidence was useless and the useful evidence was obtained by means other than torture.

    When we analyse whether torture works to save lives we must only use empirical, verified evidence of it working. Gafgen is not that. That's a hypothetical. In that situation torture saved no lives.

    No one would claim torture cannot extract information. Clearly if someone tortured or threatened to torture one of us to find out our middle name we'd tell them...

    But the claim is that torture saves lives. And therefore there needs to be evidence to show it actually saving lives, not 'evidence' which shows it may hypothetically.

    There simply is none.
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