From Gitmo to Abu Ghraib

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The Schmidt-Furlow report on Guantanamo is classified, but the government has released an executive summary of it. Andrew Sullivan extracts the most important information:

What we saw [in the Abu Ghraib photos] was indeed shocking. But we were emphatically told by the administration that none of this was policy, that all of it was dreamed up by some nutjobs on the night shift who got their ideas from bad television or their own demented psyches. When some of us pointed out that there was clear evidence that some of these techniques were authorized, that, indeed, the commander of Guantanamo Bay had been sent to Abu Ghraib to "Gitmoize" it, we were told we were slandering the troops and the administration.

One great merit of the Schmidt report—which is otherwise riddled with worrying euphemisms, dismissal of troubling facts, exoneration of almost all commanders—is that we now know that almost every one of the Abu Ghraib techniques was practised and innovated at Guantanamo. These were not improvised out of nowhere. They were what the report calls "the creative application of authorized interrogation techniques," and the interrogators "believed they were acting within existing guidance."

Marty Lederman has more analysis here.

NEXT: It Takes a Village (and the FTC)

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  1. it warms my heart to see reason accept advertising from a group dressing Laura Bush up in a solidiers uniform about to find a live IED or perhaps a civilian to shoot. She’ll get the job done in a VA hospital in 20 years…at least they didn’t show her handing out candy to kids…

  2. Lap dances? Oh, the horror.

  3. Does anyone find the picture of Laura Bush in combat fatigues holding a rifle ridiculous and stupid?

  4. Only if you’re not comparing it to the other images that particular advertiser has put up.

  5. I’ll grant you that to a point, Eric.. but there’s something particularly revolting about “Laura Bush for President: She’ll Finish the Job”.

  6. “But we were emphatically told by the administration that none of this was policy, that all of it was dreamed up by some nutjobs on the night shift…”

    I can’t believe they had the balls to float that one. And the fact that they’ve gotten away with it thus far, is enough to drive me to the bottle. If I ever sobered up I’d have to start shooting people. But this story won’t stay dead and may yet rise up out of the grave and turn on it’s masters in the white house.

    For all the other lies (WMD, yellowcake, etc) he told, GW deserves to rot in hell for all eternity. But for Abu Ghraib he deserves to rot in prison till he stops breathing.

  7. Lap dances? Oh, the horror.

    Why, of course. The only debate is over: 1. Lap dances, 2. Frat parties and 3. Lemon chicken pilaf. I don’t know why those damn liberals wanna keep changing the subject.

  8. Jesse Walker,
    After earlier exchanges with Dynamist and kwas, I had thought about my posting this. Here it is:
    I was a Marine infantry officer in Vietnam for 13 months from 1968-1969. Vietnam was my war. I thought it was winnable, and was deeply disappointed we didn’t win it.

    Over the years since, I began to realize what a small percent of the population are those such as myself. If you weren’t there, you’re reluctant to speak out about the atrocities and idiocies of war. Witness the first five posters here. It’s a Catch 22. I don’t want a higher percent to experience war so they can condemn it. But we need more people condemning war. It not only doesn’t accomplish stated missions, it causes death, destruction, and sows the seeds for revenge and future wars.

    I have on hold at the library, Gwynne
    Dyer’s, ” War, the Lethal Custom.”
    Although I haven’t read it, I think I’m recommending it here, based on reviews.

  9. Steven Crane, taking into account the First Lady is pro-choice, anti-war, an occasional smoker, and one time potdealer (all according to the irrefutable Alexander Cockburn), that add might as well have Michael Moore in it.

  10. Interesting timing on the release of the report. With the Bush administration so bogged down in other scandles who will notice?

  11. Vodkapundit explains why Sullivan just doesn’t get it.

    The gist, paraphrased: VP points out that Sullivan says this isn’t how America used to be, and VP says, well, yes it is – this is how America was, is and always will be with enemies who do not play by the rules – like the Japanese at Pearl Harbor – and maybe when he’s 63, Sullivan might “get” what it means to be an American.

    And I agree – I am so convinced of our generally superior decency as a society that I any of these borderline cases – lap dances, barking dogs (why are the barking dogs a problem?), turning the heat up and down, interrupting sleep, making people wear thongs on their heads, grabbing suspected terrorist’s genitalia – I just don’t give a crap. Add to that that Sullivan’s case for systemic planning and knowledge of the worst of this stuff higher up the chain of command, I still think it’s horseshit. What’s his evidence? That disparate elements in two spots around the globe in our campaign against terrorists have been accused of sexually humiliating prisoners. Does it really take a genius to think, “Hey, making them do a little gay dance while wearing a bra might really get to these wannabe theocrats!”? No – it takes about two seconds of thinking and bam. Sullivan points out it happened on overnight shifts generally. If Sullivan had ever worked an overnight shift in his life, he might understand that the overnight shift is always a little off kilter, and military life is normal life+(10xStress^nth) – oh, and by the way, these guys are trying to kill us, our mothers, our fathers, our brothers and our sisters. I’m supposed to A) care that this happened and B) care that it was systemic, if by chance it was?

  12. See my point, “Uncle” Jesse?
    Eleven posts so far. Ten doing a Mexican Hat Dance.

  13. Ruthless, perhaps I spread my sarcasm too thick. You don’t see me dancing right now.

    As for the rest of ’em, look at the attitude. It’s all “borderline cases” and What’s-the-Big-Deal, and They’re-Foreigners-Anyway-and-Therefore Guilty-of-Trying-to-Kill-My-Sister. Most Americans seem unable to empathize with a non-American. Must be our “generally superior decency as a society.”

  14. All right, I was too pissed to reread all the posts. Sorry.

  15. I’ve been jumpin’ up and down about this for a long, long time.

    …According to my read of the Schlesinger Report, the disgrace at Abu Gharib was a result of the confusion created when Donald Rumsfeld changed torture policy under the advice of Antonio Gonzalez.

    Read the Schlesinger Report for yourself.

    Considering this, I don’t understand why Bush promoted Gonzales to Attorney General. Considering this alone, I understand that Donald Rumsfeld is utterly incompetent. I don’t know whether the President should be tried or impeached because of this…

    …but I understand that, considering all of this, none of us should put much faith in the President’s leadership.

  16. Ruthless: I’ve been arguing the “finish the job” angle of the war(s), and also some “Bush and gang aren’t the big morons y’all want ’em to be”. To withdraw immediately seems to invite chaos (the evil twin of anarchy) and probably more death overall in the nearer term. Bush has a set of beliefs which are reasonably consistent and useful. They’re not my beliefs, but I must acknowledge that they work for a world defined by the terms he uses.

    When I first saw the WTC burning, I cried. Sobbed, actually. But not so much over the loss I saw on TV, but because I knew it was just the beginning of a whole lot more death. I don’t think I have to experience combat to abhor war. Maybe if I had fought I would be somewhat less tolerant of those who do not.

  17. Ruthless, good work with your service and all, but just because you served doesn’t give you the final word on diddly squat. See: Kerry, John for details.

  18. Adam,
    I don’t want to damn you with praise, but yours is just the attitude needed.

  19. “Add to that that Sullivan’s case for systemic planning and knowledge of the worst of this stuff higher up the chain of command, I still think it’s horseshit. What’s his evidence?”

    Rumsfeld rewrote torture policy per the Gonzalez Torture Memo! Look at the Schlesinger Report–look at the Appendix with Rumsfeld’s list of approved techniques. …Run them against your memory of the Abu Gharib photos. …See any similarities?

    …You gotta ignore a pile of stuff, including the Gonzales Torture Memo and the Schlesinger Report, not to see any evidence.

  20. Adam,

    How were the Japanese not playing by the rules? Suprise attacks aren’t against the rules of warfare.

    I’m not so convinced about the superiority of our government.

  21. Dynamist,

    Only the naive think that “finishing the job” is that simple or short. Expect another ten-twenty years of insurgency in Iraq at the very least. Expect another two generations of Islamic terrorism. Bush and his advisors are naive and foolish and full of the usual hubris found in powerful states.

  22. “What’s his evidence?”

    I don’t know what his evidence is, but I know why I hold the Bush Administration responsible:

    “…the abuses were not just the failure of some individuals to follow known standards, and they are more than the failure of a few leaders to enforce proper discipline. There is both institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels.”

    —-Schlesinger Report .pdf page 7 of 126.

    “In the Summer of 2002, the Counsel to the President queried the Department of Justice Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC) for an opinion on the standards of conduct for interrogation operations conducted by U.S. personnel outside of the U.S. and the applicability of the Convention Against Torture. The OLC responded in an August 1, 2002 opinion in which it held that in order to constitute torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain and suffering that is difficult to endure.”

    —-Schlesinger Report .pdf page 9 of 126

    The OLC opinion in question obviously refers to the Gonzales Torture Memo, dated August 1, 2002.

    “…[Donald Rumsfeld] directed the Department of Defense (DoD) General Counsel to establish a working group to study interrogation techniques. The Working Group…included wide membership from across the military legal and intelligence communities. The Working Group also relied heavily on the OLC. The Working Group reviewed 35 techniques and after a very extensive debate ultimately recommended 24 to the Secretary of Defense. The study led to Secretary of Defense’s promulgation on April 16, 2003 a list of approved techniques…”

    —-Schlesinger Report, page 10 of 126

    “The existence of confusing and inconsistent interrogation technique policies contributed to the belief that additional interrogation techniques were condoned.”

    —-Schlesinger Report .pdf page 12 of 126

    “We cannot be sure how much the number and severity of abuses would have been curtailed had there been early and consistent guidance from higher levels. Nonetheless, such guidance was needed and likely would have had a limiting effect.”

    —-Schlesinger Report .pdf pp. 15 & 16 of 126.

  23. I remember, during the Cold War, hearing conservatives denounced the abuse that took place in Soviet prisons, in all apparent sincerity, and thinking that the revulsion we shared, and the determination to define America as the opposite of all that, was something all of us could share, across party lines.

    I don’t think that any more.

  24. “I remember, during the Cold War, hearing conservatives denounced the abuse that took place in Soviet prisons, in all apparent sincerity, and thinking that the revulsion we shared, and the determination to define America as the opposite of all that, was something all of us could share, across party lines.”

    Of course, there were conservatives who, in all sincerity, denounced the abuse of the Soviets and thought to define America as the opposite of all that. I was one of them.

    …As I recall, there were leftists who, during the Cold War, were quite reluctant to accept that what was happening in the Soviet Union was really happening, just as there are Americans among us today who are reluctant to accept what we did to prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Gharib. There were Serbians who were reluctant to accept that the Milosevic regime massacred civilians as it did. There are Japanese people who are reluctant to face the way the Japanese Army treated both civilians and prisoners during the war. …I don’t think anyone wants to think their own would treat people that way.

    …There are those among all the groups mentioned above who justify their own actions by dehumanizing their victims too, it’s an ugly side to human nature I fear.

    I’m usually not the type given to quoting Shakespeare, but I couldn’t help but think of this:

    QUEEN ELIZABETH:

    O thou well skill’d in curses, stay awhile,
    And teach me how to curse mine enemies!

    QUEEN MARGARET:

    Forbear to sleep the nights, and fast the days;
    Compare dead happiness with living woe;
    Think that thy babes were fairer than they were,
    And he that slew them fouler than he is:
    Bettering thy loss makes the bad causer worse:
    Revolving this will teach thee how to curse.

    —-Richard III – Act 4. Scene IV

  25. The gist, paraphrased: VP points out that Sullivan says this isn’t how America used to be, and VP says, well, yes it is – this is how America was, is and always will be with enemies who do not play by the rules – like the Japanese at Pearl Harbor

    Sullivan does let his emotions often get the best of him, but he’s dead right here. America’s civil liberties record during WW2 is far from admirable, but the officially-sanctioned abuse and torture of detainees weren’t among the transgressions. Stephen Green, like Glenn Reynolds, is quite reasonable and level-headed when holding court on most subjects, but is prone to fits of knee-jerk militaristic bravado on matters of foreign policy.

    I am so convinced of our generally superior decency as a society that I any of these borderline cases…I just don’t give a crap

    Well, as long as we’re not stoning adulturesses and deliberately massacring civillians in enemy locales, we’re morally superior to them. That’s one hell of a standard you’ve got there.

    Does it really take a genius to think, “Hey, making them do a little gay dance while wearing a bra might really get to these wannabe theocrats!”?

    As Sullivan has noted before, the Israelis, who have a lot more experience in dealing with such psychopaths, and whose experience with terrorism comes much closer to constituting a “war”, have generally chosen to eschew the abuse/huimiliation route on account of its ineffectiveness in terms of procuring useful information from detainees. The Israelis are also a bit more logical when it comes to airport security, but that’s a seperate matter.

  26. I am so convinced of our generally superior decency as a society that I any of these borderline cases ,

    I couldn’t agree more. Acts of rape and sexual assault are exactly what prison guards should be doing. Hey, do you suppose Rumsfeld would lighten my sentence if I gave him some pointers?

  27. As someone who working in detainee operations in Iraq in 2003, this whole “it all eminated from Rumsfeld’s memo” theory is crap. First, no one in Iraq to my knowledge had any idea about the Rumsfeld memo or anything else coming out of the Pentegon. The problem was just the opposite, there wasn’t any guidence from on high on how to deal with detainees. The people on the ground were left figure it out for themselves with an outdated and vague Army field manuel on interrogations. On top of that, there was an insurgency going on creating tremendous pressure on interrogators to get actionable intelligence. You can disagree with the methods, but to say that Rumsfeld or anyone at the Pentegon is somehow responsible is rediculous.

    As far as Abu Garib, I happen to know the lawyers who prosecuted the Grainer case and they would have loved nothing better than for Grainer to have plead out and fingered people above him. Was Grainer a hardcore G. Gordan Liddy covering up Rummy in the Penegon? No, of course not. He didn’t save his own ass by fingering someone above him because he couldn’t. There wasn’t anyone to finger. They were undersupervised, bored, sadists. Nothing more. Some SSG on the night shift at Abu Garib didn’t read some memo from Rumsfeld and the Justice Department and think it was okay to torture prisoners and there is NO evidence that he or England or any of the rest of the crew were ordered to do what they did.

    Abu Garib reminds me of Lee Harvey Oswald. People believe in rediculous conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assasination because no one wants to beleive a little nobody like Oswald could kill the President. In the same way, no on wants to believe that a bunch of redkneck prison guards on the night shift could do such tramatic damage to the United State’s image. So, instead, they try to trace it back to some memo that no one on the ground ever heard of much less read written by a suitable villian like Rumsfeld. Andrew Sullivan has completely taken leave of his senses on this one.

  28. So where did all the knowledge come from? Are you going to tell me that those bastards just so happened to know all about pressure positions and what sort of cultural taboos would affect Muslim prisoners the strongest? Most importantly, what about the fact that similar stuff seems to have been happening half a world away, carried out by people who had never met the guards in Abu Ghraib? Coincidences happen, but at what point does a string of coincidences cease to be luck and start being a sign that something deeper is going on?

  29. “First, no one in Iraq to my knowledge had any idea about the Rumsfeld memo or anything else coming out of the Pentegon. The problem was just the opposite, there wasn’t any guidence from on high on how to deal with detainees.”

    More or less, that’s my point. Interrogation guidelines intended for Guantanamo were put in force in Iraq. From what I can tell, it wasn’t supposed to be that way. Regardless, it was Rumsfeld’s changes, under the advice of Alberto Gonzales, that initiated the policy confusion. …and then it took wing and migrated.

    “Some SSG on the night shift at Abu Garib didn’t read some memo from Rumsfeld and the Justice Department and think it was okay to torture prisoners and there is NO evidence that he or England or any of the rest of the crew were ordered to do what they did.”

    I wouldn’t say there was no evidence. I remember hearing a claim that she was following the orders of MI…

    …Regardless, I don’t think anyone’s claiming that the Torture Memo or Rumsfled’s re-written interrogation guidelines were read by England and company. There are plenty of people sayin’ that the policy confusion caused by Rumsfeld’s changes was ultimately responsible for the abuse, and if you read the Schlesinger Report, I’ll think you’ll see that’s an easy case to make.

    “In the same way, no on wants to believe that a bunch of redkneck prison guards on the night shift could do such tramatic damage to the United State’s image. So, instead, they try to trace it back to some memo that no one on the ground ever heard of much less read written by a suitable villian like Rumsfeld.”

    “…the abuses were not just the failure of some individuals to follow known standards, and they are more than the failure of a few leaders to enforce proper discipline. There is both institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels.”

    —-Schlesinger Report .pdf page 7 of 126.

    I don’t know if you looked at my post above John, but after you’ve read the Executive Summary of the Schlesinger Report, I don’t think you’ll be so quick to dismiss the idea that the policy confusion caused by Rumsfeld’s policy changes was ultimately responsible for the abuse. …at least, I don’t think you’ll dismiss it as a ridiculous conspiracy theory.

  30. Hakluyt,

    “I’m not so convinced about the superiority of our government.”

    But then, you are convinced of the superiority of the French government, so um….

  31. Hakluyt wrote:

    “How were the Japanese not playing by the rules? Suprise attacks aren’t against the rules of warfare.”

    aren’t they, if war hasn’t been officially declared between the nations? if I recall correctly, neither we nor Japan had declared war

  32. John,

    These two statements are in no way contradictory:

    “First, no one in Iraq to my knowledge had any idea about the Rumsfeld memo or anything else coming out of the Pentegon. The problem was just the opposite, there wasn’t any guidence from on high on how to deal with detainees.”

    Officers who should have been keeping the SSGs in line did not do so, because they were not leaned on to do so. They were not leaned on to do so, because the ranking officers were made to understand how the prisons were supposed to operate. Those ranking officers were made to understand this by their uniformed and civilian superiors, who set the policy.

    And no, I don’t believe that the practices were independently discovered by each set of abusers. First of all, the cases of prisoner abuse almost all are coming out of camps – Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Baghram – that have heavy MI presence. I can’t recall any coming out of plain old POW camps, in which the MPs were running the joint. Second, the techniques line up way too well with those described in the torture memos – waterboarding, sexual humiliation, dogs, “Pride and Ego Down.” I recently read a letter from a Special Forces veteran who describes how, during his evasion and resistance training, the officer playing the prison camp commander threw a Bible on the ground, called it worthless, and stomped on it. Does that sound at all familiar to you?

  33. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that however high this goes it falls short of Rumsfeld and Bush, so that nobody’s ox will be gored. Just for the sake of argument.

    Can anybody tell me if any good has come of using the techniques in question?

  34. I know I’ve been lurking more than posting lately, but when did Ken Schultz change his name to Tom Crick? (At least he took my advice about changing his screen-name in hopes of avoiding the association of being totally discredit repeatedly…)

    I wanted to pass this thread over completely, and I should have. But I read it, and I regret reading it because I started to entertain the thought of copy and pasting my old counter-arguments to systematically dismantle (yet again) the arguments being repeated on this thread.

    How many times is Tom Crick/Ken Schultz going to post the same tired quotes and links to Schlesinger? What are we on now, the 5th or 6th reiteration of the same points?

    How many times is joe going to make this same comment? “I remember, during the Cold War, hearing conservatives denounced the abuse that took place in Soviet prisons, in all apparent sincerity, and thinking that the revulsion we shared, and the determination to define America as the opposite of all that, was something all of us could share, across party lines. I don’t think that any more.” (Most recent Comment by: joe at July 16, 2005 12:00 AM)

    I’m starting to think that some of you guys have actually programmed macros to spit out the same comment everytime someone mentions the abuses at Abu Ghraib or refers to Gitmo. If it’s not an actual macro, it’s ingrained so powerfully into their points of view as to make them indistinguishable from an actual computer operation.

    Instead of clobbering those same arguments – why bother when they’re still available in past comment threads? – I’m going to do something new. I’m actually going to add some new information to the discussion. (As novel as that might seem to some, I think it’s valid…)

    So here is a quote from the first part of the Executive Summary (that spawned this thread) that requires me to do more than invoke a macro. A dicey maneuver, I know, because its harder to address reality than to just hit the same grooves as before, but I’m going to give it a shot:

    “Detention and interrogation operations at Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) cover a three-year period and over 24,000 interrogations. This
    AR 15-6 investigation found only three interrogation acts in violation of interrogation techniques authorized by Army Field Manual 34-52 and DoD guidance. The AR 15-6 also found that the Commander of JTF-GTMO failed to monitor the interrogation of one high value detainee in late 2002. The AR 15-6 found that the interrogation of this same high value detainee resulted in degrading and abusive treatment but did not rise to the level of being inhumane treatment. Finally, the AR 15-6 found that the communication of a threat to another high value detainee was in violation of SECDEF guidance and the UCMJ. The AR 15-6 found no evidence of torture or inhumane treatment at JTF-GTMO.”
    http://www.dod.mil/news/Jul2005/d20050714report.pdf

    That last sentence is a real kick in the head to some people’s comments, I know. I almost wish I could say I was sorry about that without actually laughing out loud.

  35. Hakluyt: You seem to be falling into the “Bush is a moron” comfort zone. Invading to overhtrow dictators and then creating some kind of accepted limited government is probably a decade-long project, full of pitfalls and hidden shortcuts.

    A lack of persistent presence seems to invite more death, if 20th-Century Africa offers any lessons. Some can feel better because USA isn’t doing the killing, but more people are dead when the forces of “respectful” order within a society are not bolstered against the agents of chaos. The duration of intervention is partially determined by the strength of internal ordering forces, and whether than order is achieved by consent or by fear.

    thoreau: My first guess is that nobody could tell you. If any good info was tortured out, that probably gets worked into the overall intelligence, and it would betray other efforts to disclose that Hajji X ratted out Hajji Y. All the public gets to know are the negative effects, which supports their (well-founded) mistrust of the USA.

  36. rob: I had been wondering if joe, et al, considered that there may be some coverage of “torture” techniques in military training? Even just a warning to potential USA prisoners about what they might face would provide common seed to the poorly-supervised sadists running prisons. The idea is planted from above, but not as a suggested behaviour. Perhaps joe should ban torture-survival manuals, as they are used by some for bad purposes?

  37. Dynamist,
    Nah, its nothing from military training. All that is happening is that some joes are exploiting some common perceptions about what would hajji hate or be afraid of, from the stereotypes that most people have. If you knew nothing about hajji but the stereotype what would you think would get to them?

    Well we know that they are religios nutjobs. Everyone knows that religios nutjobs are uptight about sex. We know that they are nonwhites, everyone knows that non whites fear dogs. What else?

    I mean it is not like they independantly came up with the concept of nuclear fusion.

  38. The AR 15-6 found no evidence of torture or inhumane treatment at JTF-GTMO.

    Some people are disputing that interpretation of the data (see Lederman’s comments), but that’s not really germane to what Sullivan is writing about, which is the importation of techniques from Guantanamo to the Middle East.

    We know that aggressive techniques that aren’t necessarily torture were used at Guantanamo, and we know that out-and-out torture has appeared in Iraq and Afghanistan. The question Sullivan is addressing is whether there’s a link.

  39. kwais: That makes sense. Combine the hajji stereotypes with prison guard stereotypes in a war environment and I suspect you’ll get some pretty crappy behaviour. That could almost turn the argument on its head: Amazing there appears to be so little of this kind crime; either there are good checks in the system. Or like Ruthless might suggest, most of the bad stuff just doesn’t get reported (or photographed).

    I still wonder, although “torture” isn’t part of regular training, maybe it comes up when someone pulls prison duty? Telling people what they’re not to do often works as a suggestion rather than a warning.

  40. “We know that they are nonwhites, everyone knows that non whites fear dogs.”

    What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

    Oh, wait, I get it – it’s that irrational fear that Muslims have of being chained up and attacked by German Shepherds. You know, because they’re nonwhite.

  41. “Perhaps joe should ban torture-survival manuals, as they are used by some for bad purposes?”

    Or perhaps the same torture-survival manuals were used to train the men who served in the first Gulf War and Panama, and yet they managed to get through their tours without shoving glowsticks up people’s asses.

    Something made this crop of soldiers behave differently, just after the White House produced documents which severely narrowed the scope of illegal acts, and overruled the JAGs of three services when they called foul.

    So obviously, it’s a West Virginia thing. Bullshit.

  42. Something smells funny here.

    I’ve probably read a couple hundred of posts by “kwais,” and I don’t recall ever seeing any racist sentiment. Suddenly, when “he” is making an argument that posits the depravity of soldiers in the field, his posts are full of “nonwhite” this and “haji” that.

    I call shennannigans.

  43. joe: Acknowledging a widely-held stereotype is not “racist”. Unawareness of a widely-held stereotype is no proof of its limited range. Denial of the plausible effects of stereotyping is not proof of one’s nobility. A decade of societal development is likely to impact the behaviours of people drawn from that society. The jailors are reflections of their times, and today the jailors are acting out against people they probably believe want to repeat 9/11.

    Did you take your high horse to the ivory tower this week-end?

    Maybe Ruthless could shed some light on the effect of home-town stereotypes in wars against significantly different-looking people…or was that all invented by Oliver Stone?

  44. I’m 35 years old, and I’ve been around the block a few times, and I’ve lived around and grew up around all kinds of different people (Army brat, to boot), and I have never, ever encountered, as a general “widely-held” stereotype, “nonwhites are afraid of dogs.” EVER.

    Are there really people who expect the rest of us to be stupid enough to believe that? Because, if anything, dog breeds usually thought to be aggressive are increasingly popular among American blacks and latinos, thanks to their iconography in the hip hop/thug life scene.

    Nonwhites afraid of dogs, my ass. Anybody would be afraid to be trapped nearly naked on the floor with an apparently bloodthirsty German Shepherd being held on a long leash.

    Now, among Muslims, dogs are impermissible to touch or own — much like pigs — but that is not the kind of thing I would expect the average person in the field to know.

  45. “We know that aggressive techniques that aren’t necessarily torture were used at Guantanamo, and we know that out-and-out torture has appeared in Iraq and Afghanistan. The question Sullivan is addressing is whether there’s a link.”

    —-Comment by: Jesse Walker at July 16, 2005 02:35 PM

    I don’t understand what basis there is to question that there was a link. …and I’m just takin’ this from the Schlesinger Report, which was released in August of 2004!

    “Interrogators and lists of techniques circulated from Guantanamo and Afghanistan to Iraq. …Absent any explicit policy or guidance, other than FM 34-52, the officer in charge prepared draft interrogation guidelines that were a near copy of the Standard Operating Procedure created by SOF. It is important to note that techniques effective under carefully controlled conditions at Guantanamo became far more problematic when they migrated and were not adequately safeguarded.”

    “In August 2003, MG Geoffrey Miller arrived to conduct an assessment of DoD counter-terrorism interrogation and detention operations in Iraq. …He brought the Secretary of Defense’s April 16, 2003 policy guidelines for Guantanamo with him and gave this policy to CJTF-7 as a possible model for the command-wide policy that he recommended be established. MG Miller noted that it applied to unlawful combatants at Guantanamo and was not directly applicable to Iraq where the Geneva Conventions applied. In part as a result of MG Miller’s call for strong, command-wide interrogation policies and in part as a result of a request of guidance coming up from the 519th at Abu Gharib, on September 14, 2003 LTG Sanchez signed a memorandum authorizing a dozen interrogation techniques beyond Field Manual 34-52–five beyond those approved for Guantanamo (see Appendix D).”

    —-The Schlesinger Report, .pdf p. 11 of 126

  46. I think some of you guys didn’t get the point of kwais’ post at July 16, 2005 01:49 PM. He wasn’t talking about perceptions he has. He was talking about “commonly held perceptions” (or misperceptions) of some of the poorly trained guys in charge of Iraqi prisoners, which leads them to do some rather whack and ineffective things under the idea that they’re cleverly exploiting their prisoner’s cultural idiosyncracies.

    That’s my general impression, anyway. As to the specifics of whether the average soldier on duty on Abu Graib or Gitmo is hip to the demographics of dog-ownership among American blacks and Latinos, and whether that has anything to do with any stereotypes of how non-American non-Europeans feel about dogs, I don’t know.

  47. “Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that however high this goes it falls short of Rumsfeld and Bush, so that nobody’s ox will be gored. Just for the sake of argument.”

    Personally, I can’t do that. I disagree with the morally pathetic opinions in the Gonzales Torture Memo, and I disagree with the implementation of those opinions as written in the interrogation guidelines Mr. Rumsfeld made policy. I contend that Mr. Rumsfeld’s administrative incompetence is to blame both for the mis-implementation of those policies and the resulting disgrace.

    …I regret that we invaded Iraq, and I believe the Bush Administration misled the American people into supporting the invasion. Now that we’re there, I don’t whether we should stay or go, for sure. …but I know this, the President’s acceptance of Rumsfeld’s apparent incompetence, Rumsfeld’s apparent refusal to publicly answer for his interrogation policies and the elevation of Mr. Gonzales in spite of his bad advice demonstrates that President Bush’s leadership should not be trusted.

    …That is to say, I don’t know if we should stay in Iraq or not, but either way, we can’t trust the President to lead us out of this mess. I’m tellin’ my friends, my family… I’m cryin’ it from the mountain! Regardless of what you think we need to do in Iraq, we need competent leadership to handle Iraq. …and the President is incompetent. …and nothin’ demonstrates that better than this. …except maybe the bogus WMD thing.

    “Can anybody tell me if any good has come of using the techniques in question?”

    The Schlesinger Report–and I keep harpin’ on the report ’cause it seems to me that many of us are yet to digest its contents–mentions that there was some good intelligence obtained by way of Rumsfeld’s interrogation methods at Guantanamo. However, it seems that much of it was of the after the fact, how’d they finance 9/11 variety. …Rather than the preemptive, ticking time-bomb, before the fact sort, that is.

    …Not that the report detailed the intelligence collected. I look forward to the day we can all look at the intelligence and argue about whether or not the intelligence was worth it. Of course, even if Rumsfeld’s interrogation policies prevented something big, I’m going to argue that I’d prefer to take my chances of being caught in a terrorist attack rather than having someone tortured to protect me.

  48. Phil- That’s one of the things that makes me rather suspicious about the whole thing. There are an awful lot of these tortures (the dogs, the “menstrual blood,” the public nudity, the sodomy, etc) that seem specifically tailored for Muslim consumption. Were these reservists really such prodigies in the art of torture that they were able to know exactly what would hit their charges the hardest?

  49. Oh, I’m sure the tortures (or if that’s too harsh a word for some cases, the activities designed to frighten and discomfort the prisoners) are intended specifically to upset, discomfort, freak out, harass, agonize, humiliate, scare the freakin’ jeebies out of, etc., Muslims.

    However, I don’t find it all that unlikely that reservists would have some information, possibly half-assed, about the things that Muslims find detestable.

    First of all, as they are being shipped to Iraq, they are probably given some kind of sensitivity briefing on what not to do to unduly upset, offend or antagonize the civilian Muslim process. (“Don’t hand them things with your left hand; that’s considered your ‘unclean bathroom hygiene hand’ and will upset them. Don’t sit with your legs crossed so that the sole of your feet are facing somebody; that’s considered rude or offenive. They are very uptight about sex; the conservative ones will be offended by immodest dress by women — no porn or Victoria’s Secret catalogs.” Etc., etc.) Maybe kwais can tell us if soldier get any such briefing. But anyway, I know this stuff just out of curiosity, and I knew it long before the current war. (I learned some of it because of the previous US war in the Gulf in the early 1990s.)

    In addition, I’m sure some scuttlebutt will be passed through the ranks about what Muslims find offensive, because they make a good story. (“Know what freaks a Muslim guy out? Chick’s menstrual blood. They think it’s unclean — could keep ’em out of heaven.” “No shit?” “They think dogs are unclean animals, too. If you pet a dog and then touch a Muslin, you’ll piss ’em off.” “Damn. So they hate Lassie and Snoopy?” Etc. etc.)

    I can easily see poorly trained guards and interrogators using this knowledge in unintended ways, thinking they are cleverly exploiting the prisoner’s cultural weaknesses. (“Even if we were allowed to punch the shit out of Achmed, he won’t talk. But here’s what we can do: Get a topless chick to smear red ink on Achmed, and tell him it’s menstrual blood. He’ll shit his britches! And we’ll threaten him with doing it some more unless he spills. And we don’t even have to actually hurt him! Who can complain about that?”)

    What these soldiers apparently failed to consider is that this treatment will not just cause the prisoners to freak, but also the rest of the Muslim populace when they hear about it.

    This seems a reasonable scenario to me.

  50. It seems reasonable, but it also seems to require a lot of contortions in order to reach. Maybe it happened just as you said, and in the absence of any other evidence we should probably do our best to believe just that, given the fact that our system is build on a presumption of innocence. But, what do you make of the fact that these soldiers who were acting at Abu Ghraib also had a decent working knowledge of proper stress positions and other tactics that are to say the least unlikely to come up in polite conversation? Either there was a bondage freak posted at Abu Ghraib, or the government wasn’t being entirely forthcoming when they told us that the Abu Ghraib matter was just the work of a bunch of bored morons who decided to take out their frustrations on some prisoners. Either way, it makes the idea that this came from higher up much easier to believe.

  51. Personally, I can’t do that. I disagree with…

    I know this guy who still hasn’t gotten over the loss of the Spanish Armada, too.

    Either way, it makes the idea that this came from higher up much easier to believe.

    What if it did? Would that give you Excuse # 2,057 [personal and immediate justification to bitch about Bush, Rumsfield, the war in Iraq, et al]? Or is my excuse count too low?

    What we’re bitching about is the fact that Rumsfield et al. didn’t personally send a letter to everyone in the armed forces saying “if you catch the enemy, you must immediately administer to them chicken soup for the soul, because after all we are a civilized, moral, upright nation”.

    Not that I have any particular love for Rumsfield et al. But war is hell. Or at least it used to be.

    From listening to some of you, if I was fighting the US and wanted to minimize my suffering, the best thing I could do is let the US catch me. Because if anybody even looks at me cross-eyed from that moment on, the lawyers and the MSM are going to get rich off it sooner or later.

    This is “war”. You cannot have a war without having an “enemy”. The “enemy” is, by definition, the enemy.

    Maybe we’d all like it better if we weren’t at war. Darn, if only Admiral Bush hadn’t lost the Armada.

    The only rational voices I hear around here are asking the question “what should we do now?” Except, I don’t hear anybody asking that question…..

    Exactly how do any of you expect that we should treat POW’s? “Not the way we treated them in Abu-blah blah” is not an answer.

    Remember the Armada! It sank. Gurgle gurgle. We’re talking about a real war now, with a real enemy and all that kind of stuff. What do you expect the US to do with POW’s? Give them Care Bear cards?

    It blows my mind that the whole US can get this wrapped up about what should have been a perhaps embarassing, but not particularly large, bump in the carpeting.

    Meanwhile, we still haven’t figured out whether to give the Iraqis Care Bears or thongs.

  52. The answer, of course, is to give Iraqi POW’s a female care bear with huge knockers, wearing nothing but a thong.

    The thong will upset them (Republicans). And they need to learn about sex anyway (Democrats). And the knockers? Well, they just go with the territory.

    Everybody’s happy now. Can we get on with life yet?

  53. This is “war”. You cannot have a war without having an “enemy”. The “enemy” is, by definition, the enemy.

    Is it really worth winning a war if we have to sacrifice everything we are in order to do it? If, in order to win we have to become just as bloodthirsty and dictatorial as our enemies were? Guantanamo Bay has to stop. I’m not very old, but I’m not so young that I can’t remember a time when shipping people far away and torturing them until they confessed to crimes which they may or may not have committed was something that the enemies of freedom and justice in the Soviet Union did. If our government can find it in themselves to justify this kind of behavior, then maybe our government has finally lost whatever was in it that was worth fighting for.

  54. What bothers me the most when I hear about the treatment of prisoners is not the way that they are treated.

    No, it’s the fact that:

    1) Some of it seems to involve indulging sadism
    2) Some of it seems to involve being tough because, well, dammit, this is war!, rather than a calculated effort to obtain useful information.
    3) There seems to be little in the way of processes for separating wheat from chaff, guilty from innocent, terrorist from guy in wrong place at wrong time, etc.

    In other words, it seems rather uncontrolled and ill-planned. I’ve heard that the Israelis are supposedly very deliberate, methodical, and intelligent in their use of torture…um, sorry, frat pranks (don’t want to offend any faint-hearted posters who can’t stand the T word). Supposedly they know what they’re doing and do it very carefully to get the results that they want.

    I don’t know if the reality of the Israelis lives up to the reputation, but I would be more willing to indulge our government if I saw more evidence of intelligent and selective application of proven techniques to people who definitely knew something and in cases where the info was time-sensitive. Yes, we could still debate it, there would still be objections, but at least we’d know that there was some method to the madness, some achievable ends that might hypothetically justify the means.

    But I don’t hear that. Mostly what I hear is “Don’t you know we’re at war here?”

  55. In a nutshell, it seems to me that what we have here is simply lashing out at the bad guys because we’re mad. The anger is understandable, but madness is not sound policy.

    If somebody has an idea for the intelligent, constrained, and careful application of extreme measures to deal with extreme circumstances, let’s talk about it. Some might agree, some might disagree, but at least there’s be a case to be made. But all I see is lashing out blindly against the bad guys. That way lies madness and danger.

  56. “What if it did? Would that give you Excuse # 2,057 [personal and immediate justification to bitch about Bush, Rumsfield, the war in Iraq, et al]? Or is my excuse count too low?”

    Actually, Abu Gharib would be excuse number one.

    I supported the Bush the Younger Administration for a long time. Indeed, I voted for Dubya the first go ’round, just like I voted for Dole and Bush the Elder. I was too young to vote for Reagan, but I did go door to door for him. Though I registered libertarian to protest Bush the Elder breaking his tax pledge, I still consider myself a conservative Republican–by conservative Republican, I mean I want deep cuts in taxes, matching deep cuts in federal spending, free trade and a pragmatic foreign policy. I still lean pro-life.

    …I guess I’m not the type who thinks that being a conservative Republican means supporting the President and/or Party just because its Republican. Reagan once said something to the effect that he didn’t leave the Democratic Party, it was the Democratic Party that left him. …I can understand that. Only God, some of my friends, my family and my dog get my unconditional support.

    I supported President Bush right up until Abu Gharib. I admit to being marginally against the war on humanitarian grounds and pragmatic concerns regarding the Powell doctrine, but I also thought we should give the President the benefit of the doubt in regards to WMD, etc. I was as surprised as anyone that we didn’t find any WMD there, still that didn’t make me change my mind about support. Other libertarians here have marveled that it took so long for me to change my mind, but it really was Abu Gharib that did it for me. …maybe I’m slow.

    “Maybe we’d all like it better if we weren’t at war. Darn, if only Admiral Bush hadn’t lost the Armada. …The only rational voices I hear around here are asking the question “what should we do now?” Except, I don’t hear anybody asking that question…..”

    Actually, I’ve been tryin’ to answer that question. The answer should have something to do with the nature of the problem.

    I suppose there are instances in history where armies and corporations have gotten themselves out of trouble despite incompetent leadership. …but my money’s against it in this case. Have you seen any indication that George W. Bush–or anyone else in his administration–is likely to change tacks based on lessons learned from prior mistakes? …I’ve watched the Administration prettty closely, and I’m convinced that unless and until we get competent leadership–be it Democrat or Republican–we aren’t going to do whatever it is that needs to be done to bring Iraq to a successful conclusion. …A successful conclusion for the United States, that is. No, we can’t vote the Administration out of power, but we can do and say whatever it takes to undermine the Administration’s support among the American people.

    …Indeed, if failures on the ground or failures in Abu Gharib, etc. won’t prompt the President to change policies, philosophies or personnel, perhaps losing the personal support of the American people will. Hence, I think the most practical thing we can do is encourage our friends, family and co-workers to withdraw their support from the Presdient–and I don’t care what side of the debate they fall on. If they think that Reverse Domino Theory is the answer, they should realize that the Bush Administration doesn’t posess the administrative competence required to get that job done. If they think we should withdraw, they should take note that the Bush Administration doesn’t have the requisite competence to pull that job off either.

    This lack of administrative competence is well documented in places like the Schlesinger Report. The Administration left Rumsfeld in charge in spite of his strategic and policy blunders. Alberto Gonzales’ legal opinions, when put into practice, ultimately disgraced the American people; despite this, the Administration elevated Gonzales to Attorney General and appears poised to elevate him to the Supreme Court! We must withdraw whatever latent support we have for the Bush Administration, and we must encourage our friends and family to do likewise.

    …It’s the most practical thing we can do.

  57. “No, we can’t vote the Administration out of power, but we can do and say whatever it takes to undermine the Administration’s support among the American people.”

    That may be the stupidest thing I ever wrote! Whew! I’d love to re-write that! If any of you had written something like that, I’d have jumped all over it! …Just for clarity, let me say that I don’t believe that–not even a litte bit!

    If I had it to write again, I would have written, “No, we can’t vote the Administration out of power, but we can encourage the people we know to withdraw their support.”

  58. In other words, it seems rather uncontrolled and ill-planned.

    Valid criticism, thoreau. I agree, acting on anger alone is the road to madness. And I also wonder if that’s what has been going on.

    I’ve heard that the Israelis are supposedly very deliberate, methodical, and intelligent in their use of torture…

    Maybe, but there are two things to keep in mind about this. First, what the Isrealis can do is different from what we could do, practically speaking. We’re a lot bigger, which institutionally makes it exponentially more difficult to impose good QC.

    I’m sure some purist will try and slam me for this. To those who would, my counter is that you should not gripe about this until you have tried yourself to impose a uniform system of conduct on an institution that consists, not of tens but rather hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

    Second, the “dammit this is war” thing cannot simply be dismissed out of hand. Becoming a POW of the US military should not be like getting sent to a country club prison, relative to being in the war zone.

    I think we’ve gotten over-squeemish about this. “I wouldn’t hurt a flea, because that’s what I am and this is a moral, civilized country”. I hear that view point being the driver in way too much discussion.

    If you’re at war, then anyone taken as prisoner is someone you would have been shooting at to kill just before they became a POW. And now we’re going to moan about our own “moral short comings” because somebody stuck a pair of panties on somebody’s head?

    Give me a break. No, give me two, they’re small.

    I wouldn’t have the military condone what happened. But this shouldn’t be blown into more than a definite discipline problem. Instead I hear people talk like we’ve degenerated to the moral equivalent of barbarians.

    The reality of war is that it is war. War is hell.

    Don’t act on pure anger. But don’t expect that nobody’s going to get their sensibilities offended, either.

    The question of how POW’s should be treated is not easily answered. I think good answers have to come from people whose professions are in this arena.

    Which isn’t me. I don’t take prisoners.

  59. Shem,

    Is it really worth winning a war if we have to sacrifice everything we are in order to do it?

    So what? Does this mean that because the US has gotten “morality” (somewhat like getting religion), we are now a defenseless flower that anyone can pick and eat? Like the Dalai Lama (sp?) from Tibet?

    Pacifism, in the face of the communist Chinese? That fool deserved to be driven out of his country.

    My answer to your question is that you have confused what it means to live as a civilian, with what it means to fight a war defending those civilians.

    Civilian living is what it is, and likewise war is what it is. In war, there are times when one can only fight fire with fire.

    Civilians frequently have trouble digesting this little truth. In the end they want their civilized way of life defended against the barbarians, but they don’t want to see the dirty work of fighting barbarians.

    It’s like wanting to have your cake and eat it, too.

  60. Setting aside for a moment the dubious effectiveness of torture…

    Touching a detainee’s shoulder or back?
    lap dances?
    Verbal humiliation about sexual prowess or endowment?
    Putting a bra/panties on the head of a detainee?
    Restraining/leading him around with leashes?

    I have a friend who works for a magazine that, if the ads in the back are any indication, there are a lot of people that pay good money to be treated like this in their leisure time.

    I mean, I’ve pretty much ignored the stories about torture up until now, dismissing them as “Great, now we’re torturing people, I’m agin’ it.”

    But you know what? None of that shit is torture. Being threatened with an angry German Shepard while being forced to listen to Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrrty” isn’t fucking torture, no matter how much that album sucks.

    Torture is handcuffing someone’s hands behind their back and hanging them from the ceiling by their wrists.
    Torture is using pliers to pull fingernails and teeth out.
    Torture is having a group of men beat a detainee with batons to the point that he is no longer recognizable as a human being.
    Torture is rape and forced sodomy.
    Torture is running electrical current through a human.
    Torture is forcing a person to eat ground-up glass and drink boiling water.

    Torture leaves people crippled, disfigured, or dead.

    Exploitation of cultural taboos may be ugly and unpleasant, but it hardly constitutes torture.

    If there have been legitimate instances of real torture at Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, or anywhere else, I’ll happily oppose it. Heck, I’ll even happily oppose practices that aren’t necessarily permanently injurious, such as Water Boarding. But to condemn the government for noninjurious violations of cultural taboos and practices cheapens and ultimately damages protestation of instances of real torture.

  61. Tom,

    Actually, I’ve been tryin’ to answer that question.

    It’s a good question. I’m surprised that there’s so little discussion of it in the MSM. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

    I suppose there are instances in history where armies and corporations have gotten themselves out of trouble despite incompetent leadership

    I’ll drink to that as a long term outlook. But in the short term, I think changing horses in mid-stream is more likely to do harm than good for the whole cause.

    My historical record for that is the French Colonial experience in Vietnam. If the French had ever been able to figure out what the hell they really wanted to do in Vietnam, odds are good that Ho Chi Minh would not have been able to pull off what he did.

    But the French did in fact create the ideal conditions for a Ho to do what he did. In good part it’s because every little while, France would send a new Top Dog to ‘Nam who would change the policies of his predecessors. Result: nobody could count on anything being stable for any length of time.

    The Muslims have an old saying: better a little injustice than anarchy. A relatively predictable injustice is easier to live with because, at least you know what to expect.

  62. mediageek,

    If there have been legitimate instances of real torture at Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, or anywhere else, I’ll happily oppose it… But to condemn the government for noninjurious violations of cultural taboos…ultimately damages protestation of real torture.

    I agree. We’ve lost our senses and our sensibility here.

    OTOH, in spite of everything else I’ve said, there’s still a hard standing question on the other side of the fence: exactly how do we really want to treat the Iraqis?

    Picking up French Colonial Vietnam — and in fact, the entire European Colonial Era — on average the West has done a poor job of colonizing.

    I’d define “a good job of colonizing” as “we’ve integrated the Iraqis into our ways of living, to the extent they want to, and we’ve found a reasonable working compromise in the other areas”.

    That’s a tall order.

    In colonial Vietnam, the humanitarian impulses that came out of the French public rarely reached the Vietnamese people. The Vietnamese were consistently treated horribly by the French.

    Example: it was French colonial policy that the highest paid Vietnamese in French civil service could not make as much as the lowest paid French janitor, no matter what the Vietnamese was doing.

    This kind of crap is what gave Ho Chi Minh his opening. This kind of crap is what we cannot do in Iraq.

    It makes the question of how we should treat Iraqi POW’s all the harder to answer. I for one am still searching for a good answer.

    Civilian is civilian, war is war, and colonizing is colonizing.

  63. Does this mean that because the US has gotten “morality” (somewhat like getting religion), we are now a defenseless flower that anyone can pick and eat?

    Hardly. I can forgive just about any transgression that the military carries out as a result of a war being underway. But, for me, the Bill of Rights was always what made this country worth fighting for. The Congress is full of incompetent kleptocrats, the Courts do whatever they damn well please and to hell with the Constitution and the Executive Branch, with almost no exceptions, has been populated with criminals since the days of Taft. Through all this, there was always the Bill of Rights, or, given the offenses against numbers 2, 9 and 10, amendments 1 and 3-8. These are supposed to be indicative of natural rights, and we’ve spent the last 80 years telling everyone that what makes our system better is that we applied them to everyone equally. If these laws aren’t upheld by the government, if they really can find some viable “reason” to withdraw what were originally natural, human rights, then fighting is pointless. There’s nothing left to fight for. This torture can’t be allowed to become acceptable, because if it does then our lives as citizens are over. We’re really no better than slaves, waiting for our masters to take possession of us.

  64. mediageek, I agree that the first list is fairly benign. But, what about more borderline stuff like sleep deprivation or other psychological tactics? Not only can they damage people’s minds, they can also make that first list into the sort of stuff that’s every bit as damaging as water boarding. It doesn’t take much to break a man when he hasn’t slept for four days. None of the stuff on that first list is happening just by itself, because by itself it’s not really torture. It’s being paired with other tactics in order to make all of it effective.

  65. Shem,

    for me, the Bill of Rights was always what made this country worth fighting for. The Congress is full of incompetent kleptocrats, the Courts do whatever they damn well please and to hell with the Constitution

    Agreed!

    But I still contend that Iraq is not under the jurisdiction of the Constitution, even if the Constitution was still being upheld.

    Would you advocate that every POW being appointed an attorney and a trial by jury? Unless I’m misunderstanding you, it sounds like that’s almost what you’re saying.

  66. Shem,

    I can forgive just about any transgression that the military carries out as a result of a war being underway.

    Okay, I give up. I’m still not seeing where the line is that you’re trying to draw.

  67. Shem, to be totally honest, I really don’t know enough about the permanent effects of combined methods to be able to comment with any sort of certainty.

    I suppose that if it were to leave the person in a mental state more damaged than an average case of permanent shellshock received during combat, then I’d be against it. I’m obviously giving a pretty wishy-washy answer with that one, though. After all, what constitutes an “average case” of shellshock? Besides, acquiescing to some sort of “acceptable” level of permanent damage leaves me with a somewhat creepy feeling.

    On top of that, I don’t think you can predict with any degree of certainty what will cause a person permanent mental disability.

    The short answer to your question is that I’ve just got to shrug my shoulders, because I simply don’t know.

  68. Would you advocate that every POW being appointed an attorney and a trial by jury? Unless I’m misunderstanding you, it sounds like that’s almost what you’re saying.

    I don’t answer for Shem, but..

    Were one to go with the Founders’ belief that rights are an inherent condition of humanity*, sure, why not? After all, in an (admittedly) ideal world, there would be no problem with affording the same rights to a captured terrorist that we afford to murderers and rapists.

    *endowed by their creator, etc.

  69. mediageek,

    I have to disagree.

    People may be endowed with certain rights, by whatever means. But in my book those rights can be forfeited. Acts of terrorism are one way to forfeit. I think they call it “crimes against humanity”.

    Not everything is excusable.

    I also have a very hard time accepting the idea that the US taxpayer should — morally, or by any other line of logic — be shackled with the cost of providing a public defender for someone like OBL.

  70. There’s also a serious question about jurisdiction. What US law does any Iraqi break when they’re in Iraq?

    The US Constitution does not rule The Whole World. In the end, there’s “us” and there’s “them”.

  71. Meh. This isn’t a debate I’m terribly interested in, mostly on account of how pie-in-the-sky it is.

    However, I will point out that historically, those accused of committing crimes against humanity have been put on trial- Nuremberg after WWII, and the trials of Slobodan Milosovic and Saddam Hussein more recently.

    Were UBL caught would I want him to go to trial? I s’pose. After all, you and I both know what the outcome would be, he’d be found guilty and either imprisoned for life, or executed. The Wahabist nutters in the ME would first denounce it as nothing more than a spectacle put on by The Great Satan, and then claim it as proving the superiority of Sh’ari (sp) law over western ideals.

    So, in the end, whatever. It’s not like anyone with any sway is likely to ask my opinion anyway.

  72. Would you advocate that every POW being appointed an attorney and a trial by jury? Unless I’m misunderstanding you, it sounds like that’s almost what you’re saying.

    I do advocate this. I don’t see why it’s such an outlandish concept either. The rights in the Bill of Rights are supposed to be “granted by the creator,” which means that, as mediageek points out, if we’re planning on being consistent then everybody should be treated the same way. And I realize that this is a bone of contention because, in the real world, it’s our government’s stated position that these rights *don’t* extend to anyone outside of our country. Which, to my mind, is even worse than the torture itself. It’s not even “this was wrong but we had to do it to save lives and we will accept the consequences,” it’s “this was not wrong because these people are not Americans and are therefore not as deserving of basic human rights as an American is.” And if they can do it to one person, they can find a way to do it to anyone that they need out of the way.

    And you’re not seeing the line because I have no idea of where to draw it. Blasting somebody with music can be acceptable, but it can also be torture. It depends entirely on the situation in which the method is used, and we just don’t know enough to say. So, absent giving each POW a lawyer and a trial by jury, I guess that the best option would be to create some method of oversight that was A) independent B) nonpartisan and C) had access to every piece of information that the military had as well as the right to speak to detainees as well as D) the right to issue public reprimands once misconuct was found. Sort of a Trial By Jury Lite, with the goal of making sure that the military isn’t acting without any external control.

  73. Sorry, missed the posts whle I was composing a response…

    Conquerer, could your rights be forfitted? What if the government ruled that drug use were an act of terrorism? Theft? Any deliberately committed crime whatsoever? You may laugh, but 120 years ago it was an unthinkable affront to the Constitution that any sort of Federal income tax ever be introduced. Now look at where we are. Allow the government excuses to act on freedoms at your own peril, my friend. Other than that, I suppose we shall simply have to agree to disagree.

  74. This isn’t a debate I’m terribly interested in, mostly on account of how pie-in-the-sky it is.

    Problem is, nobody has a good answer. If somebody did, maybe they’d get listened to.

    Conquerer, could your rights be forfitted?

    Sure, if I chose to do the wrong things, I could forfeit my rights.

    What if the government ruled that drug use were an act of terrorism? Theft? Any deliberately committed crime whatsoever? You may laugh…

    I’m not laughing. It sounds like they’re almost doing just this in some instances.

    But we just went from Iraq to the USA. This is a different subject, different problem.

  75. Shem: Governments are instituted among men to preserve those rights. The USA was not instituted among Iraqis. Iraqis are not guaranteed Constitutional protections until they become citizens of USA. USA, when possible, does try to extend some or all protections to non-citizens. It’s harder to accomplish on the battlefield.

    If you draw the line by your principles, it seems like you want to give everybody protection. Then, work outward from that to the costs and consequences, and see how well the state that is the protector of rights can survive. It may be possible. Make your case.

    If you fail to draw a line, you have contributed little to extending the principles that are evidently important. If you draw the line by the predicted results in each situation, you haven’t really drawn a line, which doesn’t protect the principles. The line can be complex and circuitous, but it must be continuous and fixed, or the principles are at the whim of the moment.

  76. Conqueror-

    Sure, if I chose to do the wrong things, I could forfeit my rights.

    What if you didn’t do the “wrong things”? There’s no due process, no adversarial proceedings – so how would you prove it? And note that people are unlikely to admit mistakes – in a system that’s secret that is the only likely way to be caught. (other than muckraking, whistleblowing, etc.) That’s part of the function of what used to be the legal system – to act as a fact-finding process that is more likely to be objective because it is adversarial. (When it actually is adversarial.)

    Shem-

    The US owes a lot of the fundamental rights to everyone under the various treaties and international law. There’s such a thing as international due process. Then there’s the various torture and human rights treaties. Note that treaties signed/ratified by the US are second only to the Constitution in superiority. And the notion that they infringe on US sovereignty is pretty specious – in many cases the US helped write them, and the US leadership signed them, so they are actually an exercise of US sovereignty.

  77. It may be possible. Make your case.

    It would only be possible in that a massive, near simultaneous world-wide paradigm shift away from the concept of borders and nation states would have to take place concurrently with the recognition of basic human, individual civil liberties. The odds of this happening are probably worse than my odds of bedding Ali Larter.

  78. Our nation has survived fairly well through the years, and until recently there was no talk, in public, at least, of not extending our rights to everyone in the world. In fact, the problems that have faced us today in the form of global terrorism and, in our recent past Vietnam, have come about precisely because we failed to live up to our principles. We allowed our “need” to destroy the Soviets to justify hideous actions at home and abroad. The people that we stepped on as a result are still out there, and they aren’t inclined to allow us to forget what we did. Does anybody really think that the Muslim world would hate us nearly so much if we hadn’t spent the past decades toppling their governments, governments freely elected, and instituting dictators that are anathema to what we were always taught America is? With all due respect Dynamist, I’m not the one who has to defend my position. My position is defended ably by the fact that the nation was incredibly prosperous and free until we started entertaining the notion that the human rights that we hold dear could be removed if the need was great enough. And even so, I have never once heard anyone tell me what benefits our safety or prosperity was deriving from their loss. It’s always couched in hypothetical terms: “if we can get information/preserve safety/win this war in this way, we have a duty to do it.” And then they insist that it has proven helpful, but never do they point to anything whatsoever that it has accomplished. I didn?t benefit from the bombing of Cambodia during Vietnam. I’m not protected by keeping some cancer victim from smoking a joint, and although the jury’s not back I’m not seeing how torturing an Iraqi carjacker for information he doesn’t have is protecting me from a terrorist bombing. I’m not so attached to my principles that I would still demand that they be held to no matter the cost; I wouldn’t like it, but I would at least understand. But to give up on proven formulas that have not even been given a fair trial for decades in favor of stopgap solutions whose ultimate cost and benefit have never been shown is incredibly foolish. I won’t lie; it’s not going to be easy. We’re going to have to actually face up to a lot of things we did that may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but which have produced despots all over the world, and we may have to work a little bit harder at making friends instead of buying loyalty, but it’s the only way we can really ensure real, long term safety.

    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you – where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast – man’s laws, not God’s – and if you cut them down – and you’re just the man to do it – d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.

    -A Man For All Seasons

  79. t would only be possible in that a massive, near simultaneous world-wide paradigm shift away from the concept of borders and nation states would have to take place concurrently with the recognition of basic human, individual civil liberties

    How is that necessary? Point me to a single thing that violating the Constitution without some legislative backing has done that was good for this country and it’s people. The only thing I can think of that remotely fits the bill is slavery’s end, and even then much of the heavy lifting was done largely through congressional law rather than executive fiat. In the absence of any positive examples, and a preponderance of negative ones, allowing torture, in violation of the 4th, 5th 6th and 8th Amendments, is just too much of a risk to our freedoms as Americans to be allowed to continue.

  80. So then, we should extend the benefits of US citizenship to all of Spaceship Earth.

    Hmmm. I think a few Muslims, among others, will find this amusing.

    OTOH, people in the PRC will be relieved to know they can at last buy that oil company they’ve been after. Which I would have a problem with if it wasn’t the gov’t of the PRC that was doing the buying….

    If you thought the cost of the welfare state was huge before, just wait until all of them get signed up.

    I give you a lot of credit for going out on the limb and making a stab at the problem, Shem, don’t get me wrong. Many people haven’t. [I also tend to be sarcastic, in case you hadn’t figured that out yet.] But I think there’s a problem or two with the idea of treating everyone like a US citizen. Try again.

    My whole point in all my posts above can be summed up this way: we have little grounds for throwing stones at Bush, Rumsfield, and the gang, if we can’t answer the question of how to deal with Iraq and Iraqis ourselves. If they’re lost, can we hand them the map for home?

    I’ve got disagreements with Bush, Rumsfield, and the gang. But let’s face it, this is a tough little corner.

  81. It’s not a matter of granting all the rights of citizenship to everyone on Earth. That would be infeasible at best and disastrous at worst, I agree. It’s a matter of taking the rights granted by the Bill of Rights and saying that nobody, not even us, are allowed to abridge these. Had we been doing that all along, I daresay many of the problems that we now face today would never have materialized, and, even if it wouldn’t completely solve the ones that we face now (and I still maintain it could go a long way towards doing just that) we would at least stop making enemies all over the world.

  82. kwais,

    Actually, I’m not convinced of the superiority of the French government either. Enjoying French wine, loving Parisian restaurants, contemplating hikes in the Massif Central, etc. is quite different from thinking that French government is superior. In other words, don’t confuse me with Jacques Chirac. Thanks.

    biologist,

    No, an official declaration of war is not required by the “rules” of war; indeed, most wars have never been opened in this way and official declarations of war have been more and more anachronistic since the 18th century.

    Dyanmist,

    You seem to be falling into the “Bush is a moron” comfort zone.

    No. Being naive or having too much hubris or being foolish doesn’t indicate that one is a moron. A moron is a person of subnormal intellect; a fool is someone who acts unwisely, but fools can generally learn from their mistakes. Words have meaning (even if those meanings change at the whim of human culture); I suggest you get used to that.

    As to your arguments about chaos, note that civil society aren’t created by militaries; our failures in Nicaragua, Haiti, Cuba, etc. should have taught us that a long time ago.

  83. Dynamist,

    BTW, as you seem to accept that decades of patience and American effort will be required in Iraq, one has to start asking questions about cost and benefit. If it is indeed decades (as I have predicted), then the case can be made that leaving Iraq to its own devices might have been the simpler solution in the first place. Now we are of course “stuck” there; and our image as a powerful nation has been weakened in the process.

  84. All this talk about “they don’t get any rights because they’re only POWs” ignores the fact that most of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib, by the military’s own admission, were NOT POWs, but either petty criminals or even innocent people who were simply swept up in dragnets.

    And people here are saying that the US Constitution doesn’t apply in overseas countries we occupy, and the President says the Geneva Conventions don’t apply, so what laws DO apply? The law saying ‘The US can do whatever the hell it wants?”

    Even if all we’re doing is violating minor cultural taboos (like the taboo against being sodomized, or stripped naked and menaced by vicious dogs), this behavior is a far cry from when we were told that we would be the “liberators.”

  85. Fun fact: on NPR this morning I heard that the first formal charges have been filed against Saddam, for an incident in 1982 where some residents of a small village attacked his entourage, and Saddam responded by destroying the village and killing as many people there as he could. This is, of course, entirely different from when a dozen criminals killed Americans in Fallujah and we responded by basically destroying the entire city. So remember: when Saddam does it to Iraqis, it is a crime against humanity; when we do it to Iraqis. . .hey, the Constitution doesn’t apply over there.

    Also, the “rape rooms” are gone, which is a good thing; raping a woman with a penis is a crime against humanity, but raping a man with a glowstick is. . .hey! Don’cha know there’s a war going on?

  86. Jennifer-

    Why do you want to distract us by reminding us that rape and sodomy and murder were committed? It would be so much easier if we all just pretend that it was only about dogs and leashes and underwear hats.

  87. Thoreau-
    I am simply pointing out that it is unpatriotic to hold us to the same standards as the Iraqis. You see, when SADDAM raped and tortured and murdered Iraqis, that was EVIL; when WE rape and torture and murder Iraqis, it is to deliver them FROM evil. Which is a totally different matter.

  88. I’ve just read through this thread, and I was vastly amused by “I, the evil c’s” implication that not torturing people implies pacifism.

    I seem to recall one of the early cases that got attention was an Iraqi officer who was killed during interrogation. He was suffocated. Because he was captured wearing a uniform, and during the war, he was explicitly covered by the Geneva Convention (a treaty we have not “officially” bowed out of yet).

    At first, the army tried to say he died of natural causes…but eventually admitted that they killed him.

    I love how not wanting soldiers to stick glowsticks up peoples ass holes makes me a pacifist. Although my personal fav is when they taught the retarded afghan guy to scream like Timmy in south park when they beat him (the “south park conservative” thing that hit n run linked to a while back). Yep, asking my army to behave like civilized folks is now apparently the same as weakening them.

    Why are we better then them again? Stalin would be proud of our progress towards a new world order.

    I’ve been following this and as far as I can tell, most of the rank and file soldiers and most of their commanding officers have stated direcltly and repeatedly that these were orders, both from above them, and from MI.

    Goll, darn, Washington, Franklin, Jefferson and Madison might be growing restless in their graves, but ole Joe Stalin and his majesty Mao are happy as a clams.

  89. Remember, Skeptikos, the terrorists are evil people who hate freedom and have no regard for human rights. So if we start respecting people’s human rights, the terrorists have won!

    Also, Saddam was worse (mainly because Saddam had over thirty years to raise hell over there, whereas we’ve had less than three so far. But I am a patriotic American, and I’m sure we’ll be able to catch up soon enough. Remember, we’re number one!).

    But the people of Fallujah who lost their homes or their loved ones because twelve people in their city murdered four Americans are no doubt very, very grateful that Saddam is gone. Now, at least when their lives are destroyed, they’ll know that they’re being destroyed in the name of freedom and human rights.

    You know how that stupid Geneva Convention says you can’t have “collective punishment,” like collectively punishing a whole city for the sins of twelve scumbags? If we honor the Geneva Convention, the terrorists have also won.

  90. Shem: I love where I think you want to go, but USA has been meddling in various corrupt and failed regimes, and commiting elective recreational brutality, essentially since its inception. Even if you dismiss the “pre-European immigrants to North America”, there’s plenty of ugliness on our hands in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. The principles have yet to be fully embraced. Overall, I see progress, not decay.

    you see, when SADDAM raped and tortured and murdered Iraqis, that was EVIL; when WE rape and torture and murder Iraqis, it is to deliver them FROM evil
    When our players do it, they get prosecuted. When Saddam’s players do it, they get promoted. Small comfort to the fellow with the illuminated bunghole, but it does point toward a difference between the systems.

    Hakluyt: Try to understand the ideas. Anybody can be a pedant.

    mediageek: massive, near simultaneous world-wide paradigm shift is a delightful phrase. I’ll being using it now, myself–I’ll try to give you credit. It goes against Dr. Leary’s principles, but what if the CIA dosed the Mullahs’ water supply? And if that worked, on to the ChiComs. Imagine Mao suits in tie-dyed colors!

  91. When our players do it, they get prosecuted. When Saddam’s players do it, they get promoted.

    Which is why when the “torture memo” leaked out, it destroy any chance Alberto Gonzales had of becoming Attorney General.

    Who got punished for violating the Geneva Conventions through the collective punishment of Fallujah, again? I can’t recall.

  92. [snark] Apparently, Jennifer, you’ve decided to suffer for all of us. [/snark]

    Was Fallujah “collective punishment”, or was it an example of an imprecise military operation? If an army wants to neutralize some people hiding in a city, they have to blow up a whole lot of houses before they get to the target. That’s war, not war crime, I think. If an army wants punish a population for their support of a dictator, they might firebomb a city to ashes. That’s more like collective punishment. But still, the firebombing is also a valid military tactic as it reduces the enemy’s capacity to wage war.

    If USA was committing collective punishment, why did we show such restraint (not burning Fallujah to the ground)?

  93. Hakluyt,

    then the case can be made that leaving Iraq to its own devices might have been the simpler solution in the first place.

    So what if that case can be made? The Armada sank. Now what?

    Jennifer,

    Remember, Skeptikos, the terrorists are evil people who hate freedom and have no regard for human rights. So if we start respecting people’s human rights, the terrorists have won!

    So what does this mean? That the whole answer to the whole thing is “the US has been BAD boys and girls” and that’s the end of it?

    Hey, silly me. It’s all so clear and easy. And now that we’ve excused our brains, what’s for lunch?

    There’s an underlying question that I’ve been poking at all along here.

    people here are saying that the US Constitution doesn’t apply in overseas countries we occupy, and the President says the Geneva Conventions don’t apply, so what laws DO apply?

    Now you’re getting warm….

    It may well be true that we’ve done things in Iraq that were wrong. I won’t dispute that. OTOH, the Geneva convention wasn’t designed to deal with Muslim terrorists. No legal system has been designed for that.

    You know, the Geneva Convention has been modified after every major conflict, in light of what got learned from it.

  94. “So what if that case can be made? The Armada sank. Now what?”

    I’ve been thinking about re-stating my case in simpler terms–although I think the appeal I made above was pretty straightforward.

    …Imagine four possibilities, listed in no particular order:

    A) Competent withdrawal
    B) Incompetent withdrawal
    C) Competent occupation
    D) Incompetent occupation

    I have trouble ranking these in order of desirability because I’m uncertain as to the ultimate effects of withdrawal. …Then again, I’m not sure the Iraqi leadership and the Iraqi people will ultimately embrace peace and democracy, even assuming an eternal occupation.

    …However, I am certain of this–the options assuming competence rank one and two. That is to say, I prefer a competent withdrawal to an incompetent occupation, and a competent occupation to an incompetent withdrawal.

    As I wrote above, I believe the Schlesinger Report demonstrates that the current Administration is fundamentally incompetent. If that is indeed the case, and it’s true that the competent execution of an Iraq strategy is more important than which strategy we execute, then doesn’t it follow that our highest priority should be achieving competent leadership?

  95. Evil Conqueror–
    Instead of criticizing me for questioning certain evil policies and tactics of our government, why not criticize the vile pieces of slime who are simply excusing said policies? Seriously–which attitude would more likely bring an end to these travesties?

    I don’t have an answer to “the whole thing,” but here are some partial answers–stop sodomizing prisoners. Stop murdering prisoners. Or at the very least, make sure the prisoners are actually GUILTY before you sodomize and murder them.

    And please, please don’t tell me that asking for so pathetically little is still too much to ask for from our government.

  96. Dyanmist,

    I’m not the one having trouble understanding ideas or ducking piercing commentary. You are. I never stated or implied that Bush is an idiot; he and his team are foolish however. Very foolish.

    I, the evil computer,

    Now what?

    Well, I can say that I told you so. I laugh my ass off nearly every day thinking about the hubristic hawk commentary of March and April of 2003 (or of January of this year no less).

    Simply be prepared for a bloody, decade or two long insurgency which may or may not end with the U.S. simply leaving a messy situation in situ.

  97. I, the evil computer

    I have two major problems with your interpetations:

    “It may well be true that we’ve done things in Iraq that were wrong. I won’t dispute that. OTOH, the Geneva convention wasn’t designed to deal with Muslim terrorists.”

    First, long before we got into it with “terrorists” in Iraq, we were fighting army regulars, wearing uniforms, bearing “serial” numbers, and rank. Yet we tortured them…as I said before, even killing officers and trying to cover it up (the pentagon first classified the death as natural causes of the one I’m thinking of, which required participation of various levels of officers to assert), we have also tortured the clearly retarded, taxi drivers and assorted sundry folks that even we didn’t believe were terrorists. No, it’s not “Bad USA” to explains it all.

    But…BUT…this kind of stuff is the difference between us leading as proud Americans, or just becoming another set of punk thugs.

    If we can’t do this right, then we shouldn’t do it at all. We are claiming the moral high ground here, and yet in execution it’s making us look weak, stupid, and incapable. And hypocritical, and that is damaging in the long run. Incredibly damaging.

  98. Skeptikos: Is claiming the “moral high ground” important? I mean, is it better to be moral, or to be alive? And how can any one of us make that choice for anyone else?

    Evil Conq: I suspect it is quite frustrating for those who cannot accept the current level of international bungling by USA that they can’t come up with a less-bungled alternative. It is far easier to tell us what’s wrong than to show us what is right.

    Hakluyt: With your grand and penetrating wisdom, I expect you will find a rewarding career as a Planner. See joe for details.
    🙂

    Jennifer: I pick on the domestic authority most of the time. The military is charged with a specific mission: defense of the several States. That mission cannot be accomplished by the same standards we expect for domestic issues. War does not allow time for congenial debate. Just like Shem, I love where I think you want to go, but I don’t see how you’re gonna get there if you have to give the troll a trial before you kill him and cross the bridge.

  99. Simple Dynamist. The Troll is the troll, right? Giving him a trial doesn’t change that. Letting him say whatever the hell he wants to doesn’t either. We don’t lose anything by giving criminals trials. In fact, we strengthen our position by gaining the public strength that comes of not being hypocritical. And, if we can’t prove that they’re guilty, then shouldn’t we start to wonder just how correct our actions were in the first place?

  100. “No, we can’t vote the Administration out of power, but we can do and say whatever it takes to undermine the Administration’s support among the American people.”

    That may be the stupidest thing I ever wrote! Whew! I’d love to re-write that! If any of you had written something like that, I’d have jumped all over it! …Just for clarity, let me say that I don’t believe that–not even a litte bit!

    If I had it to write again, I would have written, “No, we can’t vote the Administration out of power, but we can encourage the people we know to withdraw their support.”

    Comment by: Tom Crick at July 17, 2005 01:21 PM

    Hmmm… Was that a Freudian slip? Even the “re-write” sounds like it came directly out of the 4GW handbook:

    “The focus (Schwerpunkt) of the non-state player’s operations is the process, whatever it may be, within the state for deciding to continue the conflict.”

    Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not accusing you of actually being on al Qaeda’s side, just noting that it’s ironic how both versions of your statement support 4GW principle that works in their favor: erode the will to continue the fight against people who’d gladly wipe out most of us infidels…

  101. “…just noting that it’s ironic how both versions of your statement support 4GW principle that works in their favor: erode the will to continue the fight against people who’d gladly wipe out most of us infidels…”

    Go fuck yourself.

  102. Shem: The trouble with trials is they take time which can cost lives (and resources) in war. Sometimes it might be best to act when you’re less than 100% sure because the cost of delay seems greater than the (PR/moral) benefit. Even if you have the time to try the troll, and pretty much all of consensus reality agrees the troll is evil, there will be a vocal minority who points out your own flaws and claims you have no standing to detain or judge the troll.

    Important elements of the current presumed enemy see “due process” as a sign of weakness, and an opening in which to drive a wedge of doubt. If you’re right in the eyes of Allah, there’s no need for a fancy trial. The lack of conviction to kill the enemy is indication of moral laxity. A strength of the fanatics is their ability to draw a sharp and distinct line. Maybe the line is surveyed by foolish or goofy techniques, but the starkness of it is very efficient.

  103. Wow. Yep, that’s the brilliant, insightful Ken Schultz I remember!

    Now, if only you can demonstrate how your comment(s)/position doesn’t actually support that particular goal of the enemy, I’m all ears.

    Again, I want to make it clear that I don’t believe that dissnet should be quashed just because it might have the unintended consequence of aiding and comforting the enemy or that it might serve to drain the will of the people to continue the fight against the enemy.

    On the other hand, it’s downright eerie that you state it the way you do. It’s like it comes right out of the 4GW material. (4th Generation Warfare playbook, if I wasn’t clear earlier.)

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