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Tags jesse ventura , torture , waterboarding

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Old 21st April 2017, 09:17 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You don't know if any information obtained by any interrogation method is true until you confirm it by other means. And for a lot of information, confirming it by other means is much, much easier than discovering it by other means.
True, but the problem with torture is two-fold:

1) It has been shown to be much less effective at obtaining information that is later validated/confirmed.

2) It yields SIGNIFICANTLY more really false information as the target begins rambling to get it to stop.

I would say this describes a practically bad process in addition to a morally objectionable one.
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:20 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by TraneWreck View Post
You're saying: "Look, Fawkes was tortured and gave true, valuable information."

How do you know it's the true and valuable? Because you compare it to a story gathered from the torture of his co-conspirators.

It's no coincidence that all the stories of the tortured people in the gunpowder plot line up. They would have been tortured until they did.
Ok, but how do you know that this is the case?

Originally Posted by TraneWreck View Post
True, but the problem with torture is two-fold:

1) It has been shown to be much less effective at obtaining information that is later validated/confirmed.

2) It yields SIGNIFICANTLY more really false information as the target begins rambling to get it to stop.

I would say this describes a practically bad process in addition to a morally objectionable one.
See, we seem to agree. So why are we arguing?
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:21 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
Yes, I think folks are arguing different meanings of "work".

[...]

if work = extracting truth as actionable information that cannot be extracted in other non-torture ways AND the torturer knows all this at the time, then no I'd say torture doesn't "work".
You left out the other side: that it generates way more bad information that other means. If the price you pay for a small amount of accurate, usable information is a mountain of ********. It's hard to see how that qualifies as "working" from the perspective of an investigator. Torture, which has been studied, leads people down the wrong road more often than not, wasting time and resources chasing phantoms.
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:22 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Ok, but how do you know that this is the case?
Based on the studies of the efficacy of torture and coercive interrogation techniques.

There is a huge amount of work on this subject, including a lot of really good stuff that's been linked here.

Quote:
See, we seem to agree. So why are we arguing?
I think we agree on the important stuff and are arguing about a smaller, but relevant detail.

I enjoy the discussion.
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:24 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by TraneWreck View Post
I think we agree on the important stuff and are arguing about a smaller, but relevant detail.

I enjoy the discussion.
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:32 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by TraneWreck View Post
True, but the problem with torture is two-fold:

1) It has been shown to be much less effective at obtaining information that is later validated/confirmed.
No, that hasn't been shown. There are no good studies on the efficacy of torture compared to other techniques. Nor can there be, under western ethics rules on research. That itself is a problem for the use of torture as a policy, but it isn't the one you claim. What you believe you know about torture, you don't.
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:35 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by TraneWreck View Post
Torture, which has been studied, leads people down the wrong road more often than not, wasting time and resources chasing phantoms.
Studied scientifically? How would that be done when torture is illegal and morally condemnable in the first place?

It may not be possible to evaluate the effectiveness of torture when those who might use it to its best advantage are organized criminals such as the Mafia, street gangs, cartels, etc.
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:37 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by TraneWreck View Post
You left out the other side: that it generates way more bad information that other means. If the price you pay for a small amount of accurate, usable information is a mountain of ********. It's hard to see how that qualifies as "working" from the perspective of an investigator. Torture, which has been studied, leads people down the wrong road more often than not, wasting time and resources chasing phantoms.
Seconded!

While the widespread use of torture can sometimes result in obtaining data that could not be readily obtained otherwise. However, the widespread use of torture also produces vast volumes of false information as well.

And by the time one separates the truth from the fiction, then then the bit of truth that was obtained via torture is simply not worth of all the effort that it took to produce that one bit of truth.

That is what I have been saying for some time now, collecting data through the use of torture is actually a very poor way to collect data.
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:40 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Studied scientifically? How would that be done when torture is illegal and morally condemnable in the first place?
I ask you to cast your memory all the way back to the 2000's when a group of plucky young neo-cons decided they knew better than 5 centuries of human moral development and engaged in the wide-spread use of torture.

A very detailed report was generated from that fun little experiement:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senate...on_CIA_torture

Additionally, we have other countries who have engaged in systematic torture and kept records. The Soviet Union is a good example. Several Latin American countries who learned their techniques from us.

Also, we have a mountain of historical evidence: the combatants in WWII, the Salem Witch Trials...

There is literally endless evidence on this because we humans are sick ***** and every so often one of us has power and thinks, "Eh, all those damn hippies are wrong. Get me some sharp things and I'll find out the answer..."

Edit to add: Here's a guy who studied the neuroscience:

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.p...=9780674743908

Quote:
It may not be possible to evaluate the effectiveness of torture when those who might use it to its best advantage are organized criminals such as the Mafia, street gangs, cartels, etc.
The world would be a better place were those the only folks torturing.

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Old 21st April 2017, 09:40 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
Obviously, anyone can lie at any time. Does that even need to be said?
Yes, apparently.

Quote:
However, most definitely NO, torture *IS* fundamentally different. If you are asking me questions, I can choose to stay silent, or honestly say "I don't know." Under torture, that choice is less realistic.
That doesn't change anything about the need to evaluate information once obtained.

Quote:
I disagree. The moral repugnance will not be outweighed by the useless information torture will extract.
Since I never made any claim about where the balance falls, it's not possible for you to disagree with me on this. You can only disagree on whether or not this balance must be judged. If you judge this balance to fall against torture, that contradicts nothing I have said.

Quote:
It's useless because it's likely a lie
You are making a claim here that you cannot actually back up.

Quote:
likely unverifiable
It is no less unverifiable than information obtained by any other interrogation technique.

Quote:
You haven't seen it because it's a morally bankrupt argument.
No, you are wrong. The moral repugnance of torture itself is one of the main reasons to not train people in how to use it, since effective training would require its actual use during training.

You have fundamentally failed to understand what I'm saying.

Quote:
We don't throw money at better torture because torture is morally repugnant.
That agrees with what I said.
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:43 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No, that hasn't been shown. There are no good studies on the efficacy of torture compared to other techniques. Nor can there be, under western ethics rules on research. That itself is a problem for the use of torture as a policy, but it isn't the one you claim. What you believe you know about torture, you don't.
Maybe you addressed it earlier and I missed it, but what is your objection to the Senate Intelligence Committee's 6,000 page analysis of Bush era torture effectiveness?

Some of their findings:

Quote:
The CIA's use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.

The CIA's justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness

The CIA failed to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of its enhanced interrogation techniques
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senate...on_CIA_torture

Their conclusion is that it was less effective than the forms of interrogation that, say, obtained accurate, useful information from KSM, among others.
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:52 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by TraneWreck View Post
Maybe you addressed it earlier and I missed it, but what is your objection to the Senate Intelligence Committee's 6,000 page analysis of Bush era torture effectiveness?
It's not a controlled study. Saying that the CIA didn't do it well doesn't mean it can't be done well.
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:54 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
And by the time one separates the truth from the fiction, then then the bit of truth that was obtained via torture is simply not worth of all the effort that it took to produce that one bit of truth.
Isn't that true of intelligence gathered from any source?
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:01 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I supplied one off the top of my head because I was asked for one. But seeing how it was dismissed I don't have much confidence that _any_ example would satisfy you, hence my comment.

How is giving an example "off the top of [your] head" without checking the details or making sure of its applicability and then lamenting that because someone else did check up on it and thus no evidence will be accepted even if you do actually provide meaningful and researched evidence not the very definition of disingenuous on your part?
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:09 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by beren View Post
How is giving an example "off the top of [your] head" without checking the details or making sure of its applicability and then lamenting that because someone else did check up on it and thus no evidence will be accepted even if you do actually provide meaningful and researched evidence not the very definition of disingenuous on your part?
I highlighted the part of your post which was pure speculation. In order to make me look dishonest, you had to make stuff up. Do I have to explain how that's dishonest, beren?

The example works. I remembered it off the top of my head but I did check the details before posting. Why you somehow thought the highlighted was correct is beyond me, unless you did it specifically to make the conversation about me rather than about the example I gave.

Either way, you ended up making yourself look bad instead.
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:09 AM   #136
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Governments already routinely use forms of torture which aren't really regarded as torture per se. The most common is probably the removal of freedom (jail, prison, being detained, etc.), and the threat of loss of freedom.

The simple physical presence of police is a potential threat of the loss of freedom if you do not cooperate. Do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing and you will be handcuffed. That is a mild form of torture and we actively avoid it by cooperating.

Conventional interrogation can include threats of torture. We aren't going to let you go back home to your family until you tell us what we want to know. We can keep you here for a very long time, but we won't physically touch you. It's a torture that isn't generally regarded as a torture.
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:17 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Isn't that true of intelligence gathered from any source?
That is often the case.

I do not know if you have heard or not, but these days there is actually a considerable amount of skepticism regarding intelligence work.

While it is true that very once in a great while, intelligence services do hit a 'home run' which makes them quite appreciated for a least a few years. But the record clearly shows, that nations tend to be be poorly served by their respective intelligence services in spite of the vast amounts of resources that are used to support these intelligence services.

But that is a bit off topic for the purposes of this thread.
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:19 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
That is often the case.

I do not know if you have heard or not, but these days there is actually a considerable amount of skepticism regarding intelligence work.
I heard that somewhere, yes.


The internet is really the place-par-excellence for passive aggressive comments, isn't it?

So do you agree that your objection about having to check the information obtained from torture applies to other forms of intelligence gathering or not?
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:35 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I highlighted the part of your post which was pure speculation. In order to make me look dishonest, you had to make stuff up. Do I have to explain how that's dishonest, beren?

The example works. I remembered it off the top of my head but I did check the details before posting. Why you somehow thought the highlighted was correct is beyond me, unless you did it specifically to make the conversation about me rather than about the example I gave.

Either way, you ended up making yourself look bad instead.
I did not reply of the top of my head. I researched first. That's how I know that the phrase has a meaning that is the antithesis of looking up facts.

Some examples:

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/d...p-of-your-head
Note the usage example that puts the phrase and looking something up as opposites.



http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/off+the+top+of+head
Three explanations that support my understanding.

There are more if you want ...

You said your "supplied" the example from the "top of [your] head." In other words, what you gave us - "supplied" us- came form the top of your head. This is in no way the same as "remembering it and then researching it. Don't get upset that I believed what your actually said ....

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Old 21st April 2017, 10:37 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I heard that somewhere, yes.


The internet is really the place-par-excellence for passive aggressive comments, isn't it?

So do you agree that your objection about having to check the information obtained from torture applies to other forms of intelligence gathering or not?
Well of course I do agree that information collected via torture should be verified if it is possible to do so.

But even if the information is verified, then it may not be good information all the same. Also, if the information cannot be verified, then it may be good information all the same.

I am not trying to be obtuse, but this is an important issue.

If the data collected via torture can be verified, then it should be verified. However, if the information can be verified, then that rather implies that the torture was not necessary to begin with since one already had at least one other non-torture data source.

On the other hand, if the data obtained via torture cannot be verified, then that data may, or may not, be of use.

After all, military decisions are often made on the basis of incomplete and unverified information and if one were to wait until all of the information can be verified, then it is often too late for a military solution.

Accordingly, it is often difficult to say if unverified information gained via torture is really of any value at all or that the information produced via torture is actually part of some sort of disinformation mechanism.

Again, it all gets back to what I have been saying is that torture is actually a poor way of collecting data.
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:37 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
That is often the case.

I do not know if you have heard or not, but these days there is actually a considerable amount of skepticism regarding intelligence work.

While it is true that very once in a great while, intelligence services do hit a 'home run' which makes them quite appreciated for a least a few years. But the record clearly shows, that nations tend to be be poorly served by their respective intelligence services in spite of the vast amounts of resources that are used to support these intelligence services.
Intelligence is inherently covert and classified as Top Secret. We don't know a fraction of what happens because we aren't supposed to. We hear about some "home runs" but we may never hear about all the runners who are "picked off base". The reason is because they don't want the world to know what they are doing, and what they are working on, and how it all happens.

Torture that "works" may be similar in that it's covert and not subject to any form of formal study or evaluation.
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:39 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by beren View Post
I did not reply of the top of my head. I researched first.
Stop it. I said that I supplied an example off the top of my head, not that I didn't know what I was talking about. Your inability to admit to having being wrong is more than a bit insulting.
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:40 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
Well of course I do agree that information collected via torture should be verified if it is possible to do so.
That's not what I meant. I meant that if you collect information via other means, you still have to verify the information. To me this means that this specific objection of yours to torture is irrelevant.
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:41 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Stop it. I said that I supplied an example off the top of my head, not that I didn't know what I was talking about. Your inability to admit to having being wrong is more than a bit insulting.
You talking to me or yourself?
You communicated poorly and won't admit that words have meanings.

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Old 21st April 2017, 10:44 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by beren View Post
You talking to me or yourself?
You communicated poorly and won't admit that words have meanings.
I repeat: I supplied an example off the top of my head. Yes, words have meanings, and my meaning was clear.

Now, stop with the personalisation.
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:46 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
I repeat: I supplied an example off the top of my head. Yes, words have meanings, and my meaning was clear.

Now, stop with the personalisation.
No, it was not clear. The meaning you now claim is the opposite of what your words meant.

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Old 21st April 2017, 10:47 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by beren View Post
No, it was not clear. The meaning you now claim is the opposite of what your words meant.
The very links you supplied agree with me: I drew the example from memory. Your line of argument is ridiculous. You didn't interpret it properly. Learn and move on.
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:54 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
The very links you supplied agree with me: I drew the example from memory. Your line of argument is ridiculous. You didn't interpret it properly. Learn and move on.
You need to reread them.

They say things like

if you say something off the top of your head, you say it without thinking about it for very long or looking at something that has been written

based on what you remember

without giving it too much thought or without precise knowledge.*



You objected to my saying you didn't check your facts. This supports you how?


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Old 21st April 2017, 10:56 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by beren View Post
You need to reread them.

They say things like

if you say something off the top of your head, you say it without thinking about it for very long or looking at something that has been written

based on what you remember
Hey, stop listening to yourself and read what I post: the EXAMPLE was off the top of my head. It doesn't follow that the content of the example was. Like, someone can say "off the top of my head, the most powerful car in the world is the Bugatti Veyron" and then check the information before posting it. It's absolutely not contradictory.

Now would you please drop this ridiculous semantic argument?

Quote:
You objected to my saying you didn't check your facts.
Because you're WRONG.
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Old 21st April 2017, 11:02 AM   #150
beren
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Hey, stop listening to yourself and read what I post: the EXAMPLE was off the top of my head. It doesn't follow that the content of the example was. Like, someone can say "off the top of my head, the most powerful car in the world is the Bugatti Veyron" and then check the information before posting it. It's absolutely not contradictory.

Now would you please drop this ridiculous semantic argument?



Because you're WRONG.
Got said it.
I took got literally.

You communicated poorly.
I am not wrong. My claim is about what you said you did, not what you actually did.



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Old 21st April 2017, 11:04 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by beren View Post
Got said it.
I took got literally.

You communicated poorly.
I am not wrong.
You can continue this argument with yourself if you want. You're derailed this thread with your nonsense enough as it is.
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Old 21st April 2017, 11:06 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You can continue this argument with yourself if you want. You're derailed this thread with your nonsense enough as it is.
You innability to admit being wrong, even in the face of evidence is insulting.

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Old 21st April 2017, 11:09 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Intelligence is inherently covert and classified as Top Secret. We don't know a fraction of what happens because we aren't supposed to. We hear about some "home runs" but we may never hear about all the runners who are "picked off base". The reason is because they don't want the world to know what they are doing, and what they are working on, and how it all happens.

Torture that "works" may be similar in that it's covert and not subject to any form of formal study or evaluation.
While I do agree with your first paragraph, I do have to take a bit of an exception to your second paragraph.

There are good records from World War II regarding the torture that was done by the Germans and Japanese to learn military secrets, and one will find that the data they obtained was of little, if any, practical value once it was obtained.

Also, there is the more recent Senate report on the use of torture during the Bush Administration and they could not even find one case where torture provided any data of any real value.
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Old 21st April 2017, 11:13 AM   #154
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Sorry, but I have to unpack this a bit ...

Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
That's not what I meant. I meant that if you collect information via other means, you still have to verify the information.
Yes. I do agree that is normally the case. When intelligence is collected, then every attempt is made to verify that intelligence.

This fact does indeed apply to cases where intelligence is obtained via non-torture.

I hope that clarifies things for you.

Quote:
To me this means that this specific objection of yours to torture is irrelevant.
And I am afraid that I cannot determine what you are saying here, so please clarify it if you can do so.

Thanks much in advance.
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Old 21st April 2017, 11:15 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
Sorry, but I have to unpack this a bit ...
I do that all the time. No need to apologise.

Quote:
And I am afraid that I cannot determine what you are saying here, so please clarify it if you can do so.
Well if your objection applies to all forms of intelligence gathering, it can't be used specifically as an objection to torture, can it?
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Old 21st April 2017, 11:17 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
It's not a controlled study. Saying that the CIA didn't do it well doesn't mean it can't be done well.
I see your argument.

I think there's more than enough historical data from us, the Soviet Union, Nazis, Latin American countries (whose strong men we installed regularly tortured)....etc. to conclude that it isn't effective.

Also, we have plenty of studies about coercive interrogation techniques - there's an entire branch of legal academic studies focusing on these issues - to fairly extrapolate. If less coercive means yield bad information, it's pretty safe to conclude that the effect of more coercive means will just be worse.

But yes, the controlled study hasn't been done, nor will it...at least not by us, hopefully. The next Nazis who come along and devote clinical precision to their perversions will have to go down that route.
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Old 21st April 2017, 11:19 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by TraneWreck View Post
If less coercive means yield bad information, it's pretty safe to conclude that the effect of more coercive means will just be worse.
The evidence seems to point that way, though I don't think that it's self-evident.
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Old 21st April 2017, 11:22 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Governments already routinely use forms of torture which aren't really regarded as torture per se. The most common is probably the removal of freedom (jail, prison, being detained, etc.), and the threat of loss of freedom.
Torture has a legal and internationally established definition. There are obviously cases on the margins that will test any definition, but nothing you mentioned really fits that category.

Quote:
Conventional interrogation can include threats of torture. We aren't going to let you go back home to your family until you tell us what we want to know. We can keep you here for a very long time, but we won't physically touch you. It's a torture that isn't generally regarded as a torture.
There is a great deal of legal academic work aimed at studying these issues. The malign effects of torture with regard to information gathering (setting aside the ethical issue) is seen in coercive interrogation methods that don't fall under torture.

A good example of that is the Brendan Dassey case.

There is another interesting case where an officer managed to get 4 people in separate interrogations to confess to a crime they didn't commit entirely by accident - the officer was not trying to force a confession:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...e-confessions/

This is all on a continuum to torture. So I disagree with how you're using "torture," but you are raising a really important point about things we've come to accept as normal being highly coercive.
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Old 21st April 2017, 11:23 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
The evidence seems to point that way, though I don't think that it's self-evident.
That's fair. It's not a matter of logic; it's a matter of empiricism.
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Old 21st April 2017, 08:04 PM   #160
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If someone being tortured will say anything to get the torture to stop, why wouldn't they say the truth?

And as far as non-torture yielding higher quality information, we have many examples of the police eliciting false confessions without the thumb screws. Now, if the answer to that little factoid is that the police were not conducting the interview properly, and that's why they got a false confession, then I'd say the same about a bad torturer - if they are getting bad information, they are doing it wrong.

A better way to view the topic is as a scale of incentives and matching the right incentive to the person in front of you. Threats of incarceration or a plea deal might work for one but not for the next.
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