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HRW Calls for a Probe into Bush Admin Torture

bsh1
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12/1/2015 9:38:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The Human Rights Watch organization, as well as senior officials in the American Bar Association, have called on the Obama Administration to reopen a probe into 21 officials, including former President Bush, regarding allegations of illicit torture occurring during Bush's 8 years in office.

[http://news.yahoo.com...]

Thoughts? Reactions? Comments?
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TBR
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12/1/2015 9:44:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/1/2015 9:38:59 PM, bsh1 wrote:
The Human Rights Watch organization, as well as senior officials in the American Bar Association, have called on the Obama Administration to reopen a probe into 21 officials, including former President Bush, regarding allegations of illicit torture occurring during Bush's 8 years in office.

[http://news.yahoo.com...]

Thoughts? Reactions? Comments?

Bout time.
bsh1
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12/1/2015 9:47:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/1/2015 9:44:45 PM, TBR wrote:
At 12/1/2015 9:38:59 PM, bsh1 wrote:
The Human Rights Watch organization, as well as senior officials in the American Bar Association, have called on the Obama Administration to reopen a probe into 21 officials, including former President Bush, regarding allegations of illicit torture occurring during Bush's 8 years in office.

[http://news.yahoo.com...]

Thoughts? Reactions? Comments?

Bout time.

Lol. I concur.
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TBR
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12/1/2015 9:59:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/1/2015 9:47:35 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 12/1/2015 9:44:45 PM, TBR wrote:
At 12/1/2015 9:38:59 PM, bsh1 wrote:
The Human Rights Watch organization, as well as senior officials in the American Bar Association, have called on the Obama Administration to reopen a probe into 21 officials, including former President Bush, regarding allegations of illicit torture occurring during Bush's 8 years in office.

[http://news.yahoo.com...]

Thoughts? Reactions? Comments?

Bout time.

Lol. I concur.

What is so very sad is, right on this site I have seen the result of accepting torture. Young members talking about it like it is no big deal. Like "sure we torture, what of it".

Dark days. That is the Bush legacy. Very dark days.
Fly
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12/1/2015 10:51:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/1/2015 9:38:59 PM, bsh1 wrote:
The Human Rights Watch organization, as well as senior officials in the American Bar Association, have called on the Obama Administration to reopen a probe into 21 officials, including former President Bush, regarding allegations of illicit torture occurring during Bush's 8 years in office.

[http://news.yahoo.com...]

Thoughts? Reactions? Comments?

This latest report was actually released a year ago, and the AG already closed the previous inquiry in 2012. Call me cynical, but I don't see anything new happening on this at this juncture.

Bernie would do it, though!
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YYW
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12/2/2015 1:22:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
HRW is an NGO with offices in a whole lot of cities across the world. It's not a legal organization, and the ABA does not have any kind of investigative authority to intrude on matters of national security. The suggestion that they could, really, is kind of comical. They have no power, beyond their ability to lobby politicians, which (while influential in some circumstances) will achieve precisely nothing meaningful in this instance. We all know that the CIA did some egregious things, and we all know that they probably continue to do some egregious things. HRW isn't going to change that, though. This will raise marginal awareness, and that's it.
Tsar of DDO
TBR
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12/2/2015 2:29:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
And that is a good thing. Raising awareness that is.

Look, we all know bush Chaney, none of them will face any real accountability, but we have lots of "kids" coming along that have no idea what happened. Many are so deluted that they think sanctioned torture (among other egregious offensives') are normal. I say again, this is the dark legacy
YYW
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12/2/2015 2:59:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 2:29:44 AM, TBR wrote:
And that is a good thing. Raising awareness that is.

Look, we all know bush Chaney, none of them will face any real accountability, but we have lots of "kids" coming along that have no idea what happened. Many are so deluted that they think sanctioned torture (among other egregious offensives') are normal. I say again, this is the dark legacy

DISCLAIMER: Highly controversial post to follow. All the world other than TBR... I've heard every argument against this, and I'm not going to change my mind.

Sanctioned torture is normal, and it's been the norm throughout American history, and world history, generally. It's horrible, and no one likes it, and no one wants to hear about it... but when push comes to shove, we all want (whether we will admit it to ourselves or not) the government to do what is necessary to keep us safe.

This is a subject, though, that is highly sensitive to a lot of people and among the most likely to evoke high degrees of moral outrage and other kinds of sanctimoniousness. That's not a bad thing, because we *should* condemn the use of torture in most circumstances, but there are times when the value of one person's right not to be subject to physical pain is just not worth the value of countless innocent human lives.

That's a hard bullet to bite, too. It really bothers a lot of people to think about morality in the context of a choice between, for example, a potential terrorist's having his teeth pulled out with pliers at a CIA blacksite somewhere in eastern Europe or South America, and an imminent threat to innocent people in the United States.

For me the choice has always been pretty simple: I will always sanction torture where innocent lives are on the line, because no person's right not to experience temporal pain is more valuable than an innocent person's right to life.

Before I go into this, I want to say that (because I know many people are too quick to react irrationally and they tend to jump to conclusions) I am not advocating the use of torture in most circumstances, or even more than a few circumstances. There are highly effective interrogation techniques which, when time is not an issue, can and should be used because they are more effective and more reliable. I can go into these at another time, but it's beyond the scope of the OP so I won't. Torture is horrible and I'm not disputing that, but in some circumstances it is justified.

But torture isn't effective!

Wrong. There are some kinds of torture that are ineffective (e.g. waterboarding). I've been waterboarded, and it's not that bad. It's just like that really uncomfortable feeling you get when you jump into a pool the wrong way and get water up your nose, writ large. It's psychologically traumatic to (weak) people, but it's not like you're going to actually drown. It just hurts... and then the pain stops. Waterboarding is weak.

The kind of torture that is effective is the kind of torture that makes a subject dread life to such an extent that he longs for death as relief to stop the pain. Effective torture is excruciating; painful in a way that few people on earth are even capable of imagining. For example, (I am not discussing actual cases of things the Bush administration did, so much as hypotheticals) a combination of physical stimulation (I won't get into the methods... they're gruesome) with adrenaline (or some other stimulant to keep the subject awake) and sense enhancing drugs (to make the pain worse) can be extremely effective. But, everyone gets caught up in waterboarding and all that jazz... it's absurd.

The reality of opposing torture is that to oppose it, you have to think that a potential terrorist's (or a terrorist sympathizer's, or someone who is affiliated with terrorists but who refuse to cooperate with the United States government) right not to suffer temporal pain is worth more than American's right to life. And I don't. I just don't buy into that framework of thinking, especially when the government would *only* torture someone when they refused to cooperate.

So, it's really that simple: don't want to be tortured? Then don't withhold information. Produce actionable intelligence, if you have it, and then all's well.
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YYW
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12/2/2015 3:09:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
With respect to torture, the only thing that's different about the Bush administration from, say, any and all other presidential administrations (including Obama's) is that information about what was going on in Guantanamo and some other places got out to the public. That's it. It's always been happening, and it's always going to happen.

The real lesson from this is to make sure that people who might "whistle blow" are not hired in intelligence jobs, and/or monitored. The whole issue is that while the public really wants torture to happen (or, at least they want the results of it... read: safety), what they don't want is to see how it's done... and I don't blame them. Torture is nasty, brutal stuff and almost all people shouldn't have to see it or be exposed to it. But it's necessary, a lot more frequently than most of us are comfortable admitting.

Again, I have heard all the outrage and whatever. I've seen all the arguments against what I said. I've heard everything that can be said about human rights and dignity, and etc. I don't care. American lives are worth more than any person's right not to suffer temporal pain. That's a value choice, and it's one based on what I care about most: life. Life trumps everything else. People are certainly free to disagree, but my mind isn't going to change.
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Romanii
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12/2/2015 3:38:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I agree with YYW, but I think circumstances in which torture becomes justified are so exceedingly rare that we can safely keep torture 100% illegal as a deterrent -- those very few situations where torture absolutely must be used in order to save lives can be legally bypassed somehow afterwards. Presidential pardon or jury nullification or something.
ColeTrain
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12/2/2015 3:56:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 3:38:57 AM, Romanii wrote:
I agree with YYW,

Eh. A little sketchy, but I agree with some concepts mentioned.

but I think circumstances in which torture becomes justified are so exceedingly rare that we can safely keep torture 100% illegal as a deterrent

Yes! This is absolutely true!

-- those very few situations where torture absolutely must be used in order to save lives can be legally bypassed somehow afterwards.

Agreed.

Presidential pardon or jury nullification or something.

Ew. Jury nullification? :P
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
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Romanii
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12/2/2015 4:06:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 3:56:35 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/2/2015 3:38:57 AM, Romanii wrote:
I agree with YYW,

Eh. A little sketchy, but I agree with some concepts mentioned.

What parts don't you agree with?


Ew. Jury nullification? :P

C'mon... it isn't possible for laws to be written in a way that every single technical transgression of them is actually a crime. Reality isn't that simple. There needs to be some mechanism for individual exceptions to be made, and jury nullification fulfills that role quite well.
YYW
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12/2/2015 4:26:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 3:38:57 AM, Romanii wrote:
I agree with YYW, but I think circumstances in which torture becomes justified are so exceedingly rare that we can safely keep torture 100% illegal as a deterrent -- those very few situations where torture absolutely must be used in order to save lives can be legally bypassed somehow afterwards. Presidential pardon or jury nullification or something.

Well, your agreement with me is surprising because I usually get a response like...

but the choice isn't between torture and dead Americans!

Except it is. There are evil people in this world, whose stubbornness is as manifest as their commitment to evil, and we have to deal with them in the War on Terror. And as much as I don't like wars on political methods, the idea of not fighting the war on terror is (and ought to be regarded as) morally repugnant.

The only reasonable, pragmatic issue is this: "under what circumstances is torture morally permissible?" and not "is torture morally permissible?" because of course it is. To oppose torture in all cases is to have American blood on your hands.

The problem is that people (most of whom are naive) think that if only we don't torture, or whatever, all our problems will go away. But they won't. It's just as bad as the belief that "if only we changed our foreign policy, these problems would go away!" That's absurd.

The world is what it is. Not everyone has to be willing to get their hands dirty (there are others that can and will), but people need to know when to leave well-enough alone.
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YYW
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12/2/2015 4:33:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The other common response I get is:

"You're a horrible evil person for supporting torture. You're a human rights violating, mean, hateful, horrible, psychopath whose lack of empathy forms the basis of our country's morally corrupt foreign policy."

I heard that kind of sh!t a lot too when I was in college... and that's exactly what I said it is: sh!t, because the choice in many instances is this: "Torture terror suspects" or "mourn the loss of dead Americans."

I always tend to conclude any speaking event I've done on the subject with this: "Will you be first in line to apologize to all the families of terror victims for not doing what we had the ability to do to save the lives of their dead mothers, fathers, brothers and children? What will you say to them? Oh, sorry... torture makes me uncomfortable so I put a stop to it! You stupid, naive fool. Of course torture makes you uncomfortable. It makes everyone uncomfortable... and we hate it, but we have to do it, in some cases, to prevent preventable tragedies. If only you were mature enough to leave well enough alone."

And I take a pretty strong position on it. It's the kind of position that most people, even if they don't like it, understand, because it's a pragmatic one that's based in the reality of the War on Terror we're fighting. Once I toss out facts about how it works, what results it yields and that kind of thing... people, even though they lose their appetites, tend to get it... but only after a whole bunch of dumb people go into rage mode.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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12/2/2015 4:36:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:06:40 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 12/2/2015 3:56:35 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/2/2015 3:38:57 AM, Romanii wrote:
I agree with YYW,

Eh. A little sketchy, but I agree with some concepts mentioned.

What parts don't you agree with?


Ew. Jury nullification? :P

C'mon... it isn't possible for laws to be written in a way that every single technical transgression of them is actually a crime. Reality isn't that simple. There needs to be some mechanism for individual exceptions to be made, and jury nullification fulfills that role quite well.

The whole point to torture is this:

We only do it where we absolutely have no other option, but when we do it, we do it correctly. That's the ethical restriction that has to be put in place. And there is no reason to pass laws about this kind of thing... other than to severely punish whistleblowers.
Tsar of DDO
thett3
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12/2/2015 4:42:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Trump will make our enemies so scared that we don't need to torture them! Make America great again!
DDO Vice President

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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
thett3
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12/2/2015 4:44:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
We used to run the extraordinary rendition argument in debate all the time on national security topics. good times
DDO Vice President

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"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

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"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
YYW
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12/2/2015 4:46:54 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:44:28 AM, thett3 wrote:
We used to run the extraordinary rendition argument in debate all the time on national security topics. good times

Extraordinary rendition is something I don't like.... it's just outsourcing our dirty work, and compromises security interests. Better to keep this kind of thin in-house.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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12/2/2015 4:47:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:42:34 AM, thett3 wrote:
Trump will make our enemies so scared that we don't need to torture them! Make America great again!

lol

In a more serious note... Do you agree with what I said about torture?
Tsar of DDO
thett3
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12/2/2015 4:47:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:46:54 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:44:28 AM, thett3 wrote:
We used to run the extraordinary rendition argument in debate all the time on national security topics. good times

Extraordinary rendition is something I don't like.... it's just outsourcing our dirty work, and compromises security interests. Better to keep this kind of thin in-house.

Yeah, if we're gonna do it just do it. Although I think it's very naive to believe that this kind of thing will never happen...it always will.
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
thett3
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12/2/2015 4:49:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:47:24 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:42:34 AM, thett3 wrote:
Trump will make our enemies so scared that we don't need to torture them! Make America great again!

lol

In a more serious note... Do you agree with what I said about torture?

Yes. I'm in favor of limited use of torture in extreme situations...although I'm also not naive enough to think my opinion on this matters or ever will matter. If the CIA knows that it's necessary to torture a suspect they will so do and the administration will always turn the blind eye...it's just how it is.
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
YYW
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12/2/2015 4:50:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:47:52 AM, thett3 wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:46:54 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:44:28 AM, thett3 wrote:
We used to run the extraordinary rendition argument in debate all the time on national security topics. good times

Extraordinary rendition is something I don't like.... it's just outsourcing our dirty work, and compromises security interests. Better to keep this kind of thin in-house.

Yeah, if we're gonna do it just do it. Although I think it's very naive to believe that this kind of thing will never happen...it always will.

Btw. if you agree with what I said, and want to do a team debate about it against someone who disagrees, I'd be down.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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12/2/2015 4:50:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:49:44 AM, thett3 wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:47:24 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:42:34 AM, thett3 wrote:
Trump will make our enemies so scared that we don't need to torture them! Make America great again!

lol

In a more serious note... Do you agree with what I said about torture?

Yes. I'm in favor of limited use of torture in extreme situations...although I'm also not naive enough to think my opinion on this matters or ever will matter. If the CIA knows that it's necessary to torture a suspect they will so do and the administration will always turn the blind eye...it's just how it is.

Smart man.
Tsar of DDO
thett3
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12/2/2015 4:52:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:47:24 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:42:34 AM, thett3 wrote:
Trump will make our enemies so scared that we don't need to torture them! Make America great again!

lol

In a more serious note... Do you agree with what I said about torture?

My good friends dad works for the government in a similar capacity to many of the things that the secret service does. He says that once every new president is sworn into office there is a "Holy sh!t" moment for them all as they're briefed on how things actually work, and what really happens. I think this explains why even Obama discretely allows for things like extraordinary rendition. There are things going into these decisions that none of us know or ever will know. Who knows exactly what the kind of information we've gotten has prevented? It'll never be revealed.
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
YYW
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12/2/2015 4:53:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:52:18 AM, thett3 wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:47:24 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:42:34 AM, thett3 wrote:
Trump will make our enemies so scared that we don't need to torture them! Make America great again!

lol

In a more serious note... Do you agree with what I said about torture?

My good friends dad works for the government in a similar capacity to many of the things that the secret service does. He says that once every new president is sworn into office there is a "Holy sh!t" moment for them all as they're briefed on how things actually work, and what really happens. I think this explains why even Obama discretely allows for things like extraordinary rendition. There are things going into these decisions that none of us know or ever will know. Who knows exactly what the kind of information we've gotten has prevented? It'll never be revealed.

Yeah, that's pretty consistent with what I've heard as well.
Tsar of DDO
ColeTrain
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12/2/2015 2:10:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:06:40 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 12/2/2015 3:56:35 AM, ColeTrain wrote:
At 12/2/2015 3:38:57 AM, Romanii wrote:
I agree with YYW,

Eh. A little sketchy, but I agree with some concepts mentioned.

What parts don't you agree with?

I think waterboarding (for some people) is worse than YYW makes it out to be. Also -- though I know YYW won't change his mind, and that's not what I'm trying to do -- I think torture is inhumane, and shouldn't be used on anyone, for anything. That's just personal opinion, not trying to start an argument.


Ew. Jury nullification? :P

C'mon... it isn't possible for laws to be written in a way that every single technical transgression of them is actually a crime. Reality isn't that simple. There needs to be some mechanism for individual exceptions to be made, and jury nullification fulfills that role quite well.

Lol. It's not bad all the time, but it can easily be abused. I was mainly being sarcastic. :)
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
TheFlex
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12/2/2015 3:27:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
After reading the article I feel like this is akin to Hillary's Benghazi scandal.
Something that has been looked at before and bringing it up will probably result in the same thing as the Benghazi hearings, nothing of true worth.
I just don't see it gaining much traction, at all.
bsh1
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12/4/2015 11:38:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:50:00 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:47:52 AM, thett3 wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:46:54 AM, YYW wrote:
At 12/2/2015 4:44:28 AM, thett3 wrote:
We used to run the extraordinary rendition argument in debate all the time on national security topics. good times

Extraordinary rendition is something I don't like.... it's just outsourcing our dirty work, and compromises security interests. Better to keep this kind of thin in-house.

Yeah, if we're gonna do it just do it. Although I think it's very naive to believe that this kind of thing will never happen...it always will.

Btw. if you agree with what I said, and want to do a team debate about it against someone who disagrees, I'd be down.

Whiteflame and I would do this with you or with you both if you want.
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

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YYW
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12/4/2015 11:42:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 2:10:52 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
I think waterboarding (for some people) is worse than YYW makes it out to be. Also -- though I know YYW won't change his mind, and that's not what I'm trying to do -- I think torture is inhumane, and shouldn't be used on anyone, for anything. That's just personal opinion, not trying to start an argument.

Well of course for some people it's terrifying. It's the sensation of drowning, which you cannot control, when you're typically tied down to a board with your feet elevated and water running down your nose and throat. But it's the psychological aspect of it that's so hard for most people... which is why terrorists who complain about it are just pathetic.

If you're a terrorist, then you should be able to handle a little waterboarding. And you should *expect* to be waterboarded or worse.
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12/4/2015 11:44:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 4:53:55 AM, YYW wrote:

We'd propose the following topic wording: "A just government may use torture as a policy tool."
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