Are these torture?

<p>From this week's Newsweek. The Bush admin wants to amend the Geneva Convention to allow these procedures. Do you think they're torture? These five specific things:</p>

<p>1) induced hypothermia, 2) long periods of forced standing, 3) sleep deprivation, 4) the “attention grab” (forcefully seizing the suspect’s shirt), 5) the “attention slap,” 6) the “belly slap” and 7) sound and light manipulation. As NEWSWEEK reported this week in its story The Politics of Terror, a harsh technique called “waterboarding,” which induces the sensation of drowning, would be specifically banned.</p>

<p>if any of those were done to your son or daughter, what would you consider them?</p>

<p>go stand in a freezer for 30 minutes and you tell me</p>

<p>Actually, all of the above sounds like life in an American HS, depending on the climate. If you've ever walked through an all-boys HS in between classes, you'd know what I mean. But you'd have to include "Assault By Backpack" in the list.</p>

<p>"if any of those were done to your son or daughter, what would you consider them?"</p>

<p>I didn't offer an opinion. Yet. LOL</p>

<p>This meets my definition of torture:</p>

<p>
[quote]
Four of the foreign health workers told Human Rights Watch that interrogators subjected them to electric shocks, beatings to the body with cables and wooden sticks, and beatings on the soles of their feet, in order to extract their confessions. In May, Human Rights Watch interviewed the foreign health workers in Tripoli’s Jadida prison. </p>

<p>“I confessed during torture with electricity. They put small wires on my toes and on my thumbs. Sometimes they put one on my thumb and another on either my tongue, neck or ear,” Valentina Siropulo, one of the Bulgarian defendants, told Human Rights Watch. “They had two kinds of machines, one with a crank and one with buttons.” </p>

<p>Another Bulgarian defendant, Kristiana Valceva, said interrogators used a small machine with cables and a handle that produced electricity. </p>

<p>“During the shocks and torture they asked me where the AIDS came from and what is your role,” she told Human Rights Watch. She said that Libyan interrogators subjected her to electric shocks on her breasts and genitals. </p>

<p>“My confession was all in Arabic without translation,” she said. “We were ready to sign anything just to stop the torture.”

[/quote]

<a href="http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/11/14/libya12013.htm%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/11/14/libya12013.htm&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>The second and third were standard techniques used in the Stalin purges. They basically found they could get folks to confess to ANYTHING, even insist that they had done things that history has shown conclusively that they hadn't. </p>

<p>Menachim Begin writes quite movingly in his memoirs about having been tortured by the KGB with sleep deprivation. He writes in his book "White Nights", "In the head of the interrogated prisoner, a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep... Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger and thirst are comparable with it.</p>

<p>"I came across prisoners who signed what they were ordered to sign, only to get what the interrogator promised them.</p>

<p>"He did not promise them their liberty; he did not promise them food to sate themselves. He promised them - if they signed - uninterrupted sleep! And, having signed, there was nothing in the world that could move them to risk again such nights and such days." </p>

<p>This torture was also used by the Japanese on American POWs, most of whom later wrote that they much preferred to be beaten. One of the reasons these techniques are used is because they do not reveal physical scarring, important when the International Red Cross comes to visit.</p>

<p>I still don't understand why we use any "harsh" methods. The US government knows that such methods don't work. See page 6 of this military interrogation manual from 1987: <a href="http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/intel_interrogation_may-1987.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/intel_interrogation_may-1987.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>"the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts"....</p>

<p>In my opinion, they are not torture. </p>

<p>Personally, I don't like telling our enemies ahead of time whether or not we would torture or not if need be. I think to be a strong country you need to keep your enemy guessing; just my two cents.</p>

<p>They're unreliable techniques, and they make us look bad. So what's the point in using them?</p>

<p>How about using female interrogators on our big tough muslim captives....is that abusive, if they feel humiliated and degraded pursuant to the Geneva Convention?</p>

<p>i like those methods. They will never kill someone. They will never physically scar them and they will save my life. Whats not to like.</p>

<p>^^As I've said before, how can using the training methods that we use on our own soldiers be called "torture"? It's a foolish argument. We don't torture our own soldiers.</p>

<p>It is silly to even discuss this "list" as it is way to vague.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Hypothermia? People die from hypothermia. How cold? It's not even an unpleasant way to go, you just fall asleep.</p></li>
<li><p>"long periods" 2 hours? or 2 days? </p></li>
<li><p>sleep deprivation - As mini pointed out, I understand (but don't condone) poisoning the neighbors' dogs that bark all night, every night. It can drive you crazy.</p></li>
<li><p>The attention grab? We have all heard of the dangers of baby shaking. There is a degree of force that can have the same effect on an adult. How much force is that? I don't know, lets try it and find out.</p></li>
<li><p>belly slap? gimme a break! Need I go on? OK, I will. Are we talking a little pink belly? We do that at slumber parties.... or are we talking ruptured internal organs?</p></li>
<li><p>Sound and light manipulation. I have paid good money to be subjected to sound and light manipulation. It's called rock condert + light show, and the sound and light was pretty intense. But are you blinding and deafening the prisoner? Or worse, are you blasting them with Britney Spears latest album? </p></li>
</ol>

<p>Totally ridiculous list and question.</p>

<p>ofcourse it has to hurt, do u expect interrogation to be pleasent? Also its misleading to say hypothermia causes death, because in a controlled enviornment it wont. Doctors do things to patients all the time that can cause death but it never happens because its controlled. I would like to add that you people are out of the mainstream considering most Americans support forceful interrogation.</p>

<p>I'd prefer the use of a reletively safe drug that would break a prisoner's resolve to resist questioning, loosen the tongue, and thwart the inclination to lie. Is there any such truth serum? If not, the government (or drug company) surly should be working on developing it. It would probably be measurably more effective at obtaining the truth than emotional, physical or psychological coercion/torture. As NJres pointed out, the definitions of what constitute "lawful questioning techniques" are devilishly subjective and greased for the slippery slope. And their effectiveness at obtaining "the truth" is questionable at best. Additionally, I suspect an interogator's belief that he/she is dealing with a dangerous and morally bankrupt individual makes it easy for his/her tactics to be motivated by a desire to "punish", regardless as to whether vital intelligence is actually extracted. Sleep deprivation, for instance, might very well induce psychosis before it serves to reveal any usable information. </p>

<p>Supposedly, the point is to save lives, no? If so, we should be looking with all deligence toward developing methods that circumvent potential charges of abuse and torture, methods that would allow us to maintain the moral high ground in the eyes of the world while meeting our objective to save American life and limb.</p>

<p>It already exsists its called sodium pentathol. And it works and we use it, but certain times other methods are more effective otherwise every government would be using it</p>

<p>I've heard of sodium pentathol, golani, but I'm talking about something more reliable and more effective. That said, I suspect that we don't SP nearly as often as we should, preferring instead to given in to the macho human urge to "inflict damage". Rogue governments and extremist groups that routinely use methods that can only be called, "torture" by any international standard, probably don't bother with SP. Obtaining the truth, I suspect, is only secondary to their main objective in many cases---that objective merely being to torture.</p>

<p>I think you would agree with me that this current government and every other government's goal, in america, has been to save lives rather than torture so if SP worked well then it would definitely be used, and i am sure pharmacuticals are working on a more effective truth serum. Its not a matter of Bush not wanting it, its a matter of Bush not being ABLE to have it. Also I dont think its fair to compare the "torture" that the CIA uses on terrorists and the torture rogue governments use on their crimminals. I just cannot see how one can draw a moral equivelancy bw violently shaking someone who is a mass murderer and say cutting off the genitals and then murdering someone for losing a soccer game...</p>

<p>I agree with Poetsheart. </p>

<p>"...we should be looking with all deligence toward developing methods that circumvent potential charges of abuse and torture, methods that would allow us to maintain the moral high ground in the eyes of the world while meeting our objective to save American life and limb."</p>

<p>We are a civilized country, the shining example to the world, not some rogue nation. There are ethical and moral responsibilities that go along with that role.</p>

<p>I think that it depends in part on whether we are at war.</p>

<p>Few Americans believe that Truman should have been tried for war crimes for dropping the A bomb on civilian targets.</p>