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The Lone Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:22 AM
Original message
A hard question --- with no simple answer.
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 09:37 AM by The Lone Liberal

Let us consider this scenario; you have just captured a terrorist who has without any doubt placed a nuclear device in some city with a large population. The bomb will detonate within three days killing millions of people. What are the limits to which you will go to extract the information in which city the bomb is hidden?

Mark Bowden, the author of "The Dark Art of Interrogation in the September 11, 2003 article in the Atlantic Unbound addresses the moral dilemma of what is acceptable and what is indefensible as we move into the epoch of potential non-state supported mass murder.

http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/interviews/int2003-0...

What is the answer? How we answer this question is perhaps a indicator of the society in which we will live in the future. Whether it will be society of perpetual fear or a society in which we condone atrocious act in the name of survival. The question will be answered within the next few years.
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liberalnurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'd get him high on crack.....then he would
soon jones for a fix. A crack head will do anything to get more crack...

What do ya think?
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'd use a more stable drug
and delivery system to control how much he's getting. Some people have unknown heart conditions and drugs should be titrated for optimum control and keeping him able to divulge the info.
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liberalnurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Very professional...I like that a lot!
:)
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are_we_united_yet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:54 AM
Original message
Ingenious
Except, now he's a crack head for ever. This has a burdening side effect to society. But I guess if he (or she) was going to detonate a bomb, you already had societal problemt eh?

Why would someone do this? And I need a better answer than "They hate our freedoms".

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DuctapeFatwa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
3. Evacuate the city and leave him there, no need for torture

Morality aside, torture victims are just as likely to confess to crucifying Jesus or killing JonBenet as they are to whatever you want them to confess.

The only reason for torturing anyone is because someone wants to do harm to another human being.

The US has already admitted both what it calls "torture lite," and sending people to "friendly countries" for "more intense interrogation" as well as "interrogating" the small childrenn of people they have in "custody."

Within a few years, the main thing that will change is that the small children will be "interrogated" on live TV.
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rock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
4. Dismemberment, slowly
I assume your question was practical, and not legal in nature. Of course, it's just what I would do, I'm not promoting torture.
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dofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
6. How interesting. A hypothetical question
designed specifically to get the responders to agree that torture is okay in certain situations.

Your set-up is shaky. I'm not convinced you can "know for certain" a nuclear bomb has been placed somewhere and have not clue what city it's in.

Or, how about this: You know for certain there's such a bomb, and the person you have in hand is a 14 year old. Female. She's pregnant.

See what I mean? You can set up any hypothetical you want. Torture is still wrong.
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Stone_Spirits Donating Member (586 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. you got it
it's a set up. Heard this guy interviewed on NPR this morning, asking this same question. This is some dangerous BS. I said to my partner " just watch the NPR interviewer will not ask the most important question, WHO decides what the nature of the danger is that warrents these methods of interogation?" Of course, the question was not asked and this bogus hypothetical was not challenged for the propaganda that it is.

How many of the prisoners the US holds at Guitmo and other places have a ticking bomb planted in a major city?

so typical of the propaganda used to justify violence and war.
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ProudGerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
7. bogus hypothetical
How can you without any doubt know he planted a nuclear device, but have no clue about where he put it? To have no doubt whatsoever that he did plant a nuclear device, you have to have known he had one at one point. Then it becomes a point of your own imcompetence that allowed a man to walk around with a nuclear device without knowing exactly where he was. Torturing someone is no way to go about atoning for that.

It seems to me that the question is slanted to get people to say torture is ok in some circumstances.
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Solomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Exactly. You got it.
As I've said lately, people are now starting to get desperate over the lack of cooperation we are getting from Iraqis.

I'm starting to hear things like "round 'em all up and kill 'em", and this thread is contrived excuse to "torture 'em."
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The Lone Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. The question is one that is being addressed in our name
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 10:23 AM by The Lone Liberal
even now. We must consider what is our ethic is on this question. That is the reason for the question. Read the article.

An out-of-hand answer is too simplistic approach. Sure the statement of unequivocal knowledge that the threat is real slanted the question. However, to say that we will allow millions to die in order to punish incompetence is also a tad draconian.

What if the person wanted everyone to know that a device had been hidden and that it would kill millions. Millions or a few, act such as these have been carried out before.
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ProudGerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. still a bogus hypothetical
I did read the article.

The hypothetical states we have 3 days. It would be impossible to track down the nuclear device and remove/disarm it in that time? The "other" ways of torture, or coercion as the article talks about, would take much longer than three days. So we're left with the question of do we beat the ever living shit out of the man to make him tell us.

Its not an out of hand answer to say it's wrong under all circumstances to resort to torture. We can play what if till the cows come, with any subject. An imaginitive person could come with a what if scenario that would make it seem like the only answer would be to enslave all nonwhites. That doesn't mean that there are some instances where slavery is good.

Torture is wrong, neverminding the fact that it doesn't work.
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Stone_Spirits Donating Member (586 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. interesting..
two "hypothical question" posts, and two "you got it" posts. I guess some of us are on the same wave length here. :-)
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The Lone Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Okay, torture is wrong. ( I was not advocating that means, )
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 11:37 AM by The Lone Liberal
It is being done in our name. What do we do? Simply say, "shame on you for doing that." For those who would resort that extreme measure are not going to be deterred by us shaking our finger at them. During the purge of liberals in Germany there was a conversation related the in book "Defying Hitler' which went something like this, The night before several leading liberals had been murdered in their bedrooms by the SA. In the discussion one of the German lawyers said, "they should have been armed, its just like the liberals to not be armed."

Those that advocate and practice violence are not deterred by pacifist and the world of non-violence is only a dream. Even Gandhis world turned violent at the end.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. well that's a question
I can see discussing and it doesn't have an easy answer. The question posed in the article however, is dishonest IMO.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
9. I've thought about this question and honestly don't know what I would do.
But it makes me wonder what kind of torture methods bushco IS using with those they have captured -- when they aren't playing let's make a deal, that is.
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uptohere Donating Member (603 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
10. need to know who knows that we have this person
if the public knows and they understand who he is then you make sure he is captured by some other country (one without issues regarding torture, pretty easy to find in arabia and thats clearly where we're talking about). Do that and extract what you need to know (dismsmberment won't work by the way, too risky trying to control shock).

Otherwise you're probably screwed because there are laws concerning that. Best you can do then is for them to have a "heart attack" and extract the information before they are cremated. Then you take your chances with Amnesty International finding out. While the heart attack is undetectable, the information gathering may not be.

While this happens, it happens less than you think. Simpler and slower (and approved) methods are used. Time is not generally that critical or at least so far as you know.
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MojoKrunch Donating Member (513 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
15. What I'd want to know...
is how terrorists smuggled a **nuclear freaking bomb** capable of such destruction into the country through our *"HOMELAND SECURITY"* forces and who to hold responsible for such an egregious lapse in security.

And then I'd hire Nicole Kidman and George Clooney to find and defuse the bomb.
I mean since this is pure fiction and all.
;D

Retake:
"Let us consider this scenario; you have valid intel that says a terrorist group will hijack jetliners using them as weapons against major US cities, not as hostage tools. Parts of your intelligence community know who some of the suspects are and have brought this to your attention. What are the limits to which you will go to bury the information and allow the hijackings and subsequent destruction to take place to further your political agenda?"
How long can something so putrid stay successfully buried?

Mojo
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
17. oh come on!
how often could this scenario arise? How many people have been interrogated using illegal methods since the invasion of Afghanistan?

For that matter how many people were trained in torture at the School of the Americas?

The whole argument is a distraction to divert people from what is recognised by the international community as a crime.
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Warren Stuart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
19. Coventry - The other side of the coin
What are the limits the government will take to not protect its citizens?

Coventry was a city in England that the Nazi's were planning to bomb, the Allied forces had broken the Nazi code and knew of this beforehand. However if they warned the citizens of Coventry, then they would have tipped off the Nazi's that they had broken their code.

What did they do? Nothing. Coventry got bombed, with significant loss of life and property.

Was it the right thing to do? It greatly aided the Allied cause, however it is an event that is bitterly remembered in Coventry.

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