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Torture or not torture....a point I never hear

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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:38 PM
Original message
Torture or not torture....a point I never hear
I was just listening to the Ed Schultz Show and a Republican caller was talking about how the torture in Iraq was not what he considered torture. He talked about his son going through water torture (in college, I assume) and how what happened in Iraq was not so different and so on. But this whole argument holds no water with me for this reason:

When a college kid gets "tortured" during an initiation,no matter what happens to him, he NEVER has to fear for his life! He always knows that the torture will stop just short of anything that would actually be bad enough to prosecute, etc. He knows that his "torturers" would never want to actually cause him permanent harm, much less kill him. This is not so with the case in Iraq. I'm sure those guys getting tortured in Iraq had the added enhancement of wondering if the last thing they were going to feel in life was a lite-stick up their butt. The added fear of death turns an innocent college trick into a terrible torture. I never hear anyone mention this aspect of the issue although I think the context of fearing for one's life while being tortured makes it so different from a college initiation that only a fool or an idiot would compare the two. Does anyone agree with me here?
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greyfox Donating Member (692 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Indeed I do agree n/t
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. That makes a lot of sense really
Bryant
Check it out --> http://politicalcomment.blogspot.com
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
3. The other thing is that fraternity initiations are VOLUNTARY
As nasty as fraternities can get, what they do is nothing compared to having high voltage electrodes applied to one's sensitive body parts or being beaten until one's bones break.
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jeff30997 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:42 PM
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4. Of course I agree. And don't forget that those tortures...
Lasted for weeks if not months.
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shraby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
5. An act that inflicts pain, fear
and mortification is torture. The first 2, physical and the last mental. Another aspect is the uncertainty that it won't quit or be repeated.
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:43 PM
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6. True
and I think not only have people died and or been physically hurt (against their will also which is different), but we have also tortured foreign citizens (an innocent German man, and maybe more).

HUGE difference.
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Mandate My Ass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:50 PM
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7. Hubris and ignorance with a smattering of racism
We invaded their country, we captured them against their will, denied them due process, jailed them and tortured them in ways that are extremely offensive to their concept of manhood, culture and religion. And then there is the rape of women and children. Hazing? Are they nuts?

Just because we tortured them "American style" doesn't mean we can chalk it up to good, clean fun.

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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. And then there's the worst aspect of torture--it doesn't always work
How do you know you're not getting information that you want to hear? And how to you know the victim has the information you seek? It would certainly explain the intelligence failures we've been having, such as bombing weddings and residential areas.

:headbang:
rocknation
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:58 PM
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9. It doesn't matter if the caller thought it was torture
It only matters that it meets the definition of torture in US Code 18. (It does; frat hazing does not.)

The caller's personal opinion is neither legally binding nor relevant; the law is.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
10. Thanks
and I'm glad I'm not crazy for thinking along this line, but why is it that I never hear anyone arguing this point when they throw out that "college initiation" comparison. Ed just said "thanks" and hung up on the guy. I've never hear a single person mention this part of it on any radio or TV program.
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ChairOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
11. And more importantly perhaps, initiatees CHOOSE to do it...
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 04:06 PM by ChairOne
This is one of those cases where context makes all the difference. One and the same physical activity can be one thing in one context, and another in another. The difference between sex and rape, for example, is in many cases context dependent (the context being willingness/unwillingness).
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. I think everyone would pretty much agree
And apparently, after hearing the arguments for the guy on trial for the Abu Ghraib torture (likening it to cheerleader exercises), it needs to be said out loud.

But it is of the same self-evident sort of thing as "water is wet." Of course abusing prisoners is torture. By the very nature of their incarceration, prisoners are held against their will (setting aside some rather pertinent questions of whether they "deserve" to be there or not), and their captors hold the absolute power of life and death over them. That's why the Geneva Conventions are real specific about what a country can and can't do with or to prisoners of war. With rare exceptions, college or fraternal club initiates are where they are voluntarily, and the hazing rituals inflicted on them is done with a specific purpose and definite end in mind. Prisoners have no such assurances.

The fact that we actually have to explain this point is indicative of how low our society has sunk. And, if nothing else is going to get folks to distinguish right from wrong on this issue (and I'm looking at apologists for torture), we observe these rules and conventions so that when our people are captured or imprisoned, we can reasonably demand that they be treated in accordance with those rules and conventions. By torturing our prisoners, we are giving permission to others to torture our people when they are taken prisoner. Not a very comforting thought for our folks in the field, is it?
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I totally understand all these other points
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 04:08 PM by OnionPatch
and I believe they are actually the more important points. It just strikes me as strange that we let them get away with comparing it to college pranks without pointing out that the fear of death is what makes these two situations so completely different.

And yes, is is really depressing that we have to even explain this to people, and Christians, no less! God help us.
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