Iraq

'We Learned It From Watching You!'—Islamic State Waterboarded Foley, Others

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Nothing clever to say, I'm afraid.
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The Washington Post reports an exclusive via anonymous sources: Murdered journalist James Foley and at least three others were waterboarded by the Islamic State (ISIL) in Syria. From the Post:

James Foley was among the four who were waterboarded several times by Islamic State militants who appeared to model the technique on the CIA's use of waterboarding to interrogate suspected terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. …

"They knew exactly how it was done," said a person with direct knowledge of what happened to the hostages. The person, who would only discuss the hostages' experience on condition of anonymity, said the captives, including Foley, were held in Raqqah, a city in the north-central region of Syria.

A French journalist who was imprisoned with Foley said he also endured "mock executions," something the CIA also reportedly did to prisoners at black sites overseas during the Iraq war.

Read more here.

NEXT: ISIL Waterboarded Western Captives

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  1. Yeah they must have learned it from the U.S….becuase it’s a technique so shrouded in mystery.

    1. ^This.

      These guys knew the technique and would use it regardless of whether the US had used it at any point in its history because they’re ruthless. Doesn’t mean we should use waterboarding or that our use is justified, but its a stretch to say they learned it from us or that it is in response to our employment of it.

      1. . . . but its a stretch to say they learned it from us . . .

        But they may have learned, *first hand*, practical techniques and how to maximize its effectiveness by, you know, *being waterboarded*.

        ‘Course that depends on exactly how often a torturee a) survives the process and b) how many who have, have been released back into the wild and aren’t still locked up somewhere.

    2. And yet – its awfully coincidental that our favorite ‘enhanced interrogation’ technique (the one that is supposed to be so useful that we can’t afford to abandon it) is now being used *by* the sorts of people we use it *on*.

      While correlation does not equal causation, this is one big fucking correlation.

      1. Used.

        Past tense. Get it right.

        1. 1. When did we stop?

          2. tense is kinda beside the point here. We *used* it, now they are *using* it – very likely in response to our *using* it.

          1. Obama on entering office outlawed the use of coercive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding.

            From the link supplied by Shackford.

            1. Oh, and yet it still went on for several years during his reign anyway.

              1. Link?

                I don’t remember that at all.

                1. Yeah, that’s not surprising.

      2. They cut off the man’s head with something akin to a survival knife. They’re pre-enlightenment thugs. They can’t even conceive of the idea of natural rights or compassion.

        Does anyone really believe that these assholes would not have used waterboarding had the US federal government not implemented it after 9/11?

        1. Considering how long it took them to get around to it? No.

          I’m not saying that these are goody-two-shoes ‘we follow the spirit and not just the letter of the Geneva Convention’ people.

          These are hard-core murderers. *But* the use of *this* particular technique is tightly correlated to our previous use of it over the last decade.

          That they are *torturing* people has little to do with us. That they are using our *preferred Technique* most likely is a response to our actions.

          Though, if anything, maybe we should be grateful they are using waterboarding. There are far more inventively horrible things they could be doing.

          1. *But* the use of *this* particular technique is tightly correlated to our previous use of it over the last decade.

            That they are *torturing* people has little to do with us. That they are using our *preferred Technique* most likely is a response to our actions.

            Because you say so?

            1. Yep. Mainly because I don’t think these crazy fuckers just do things for the fuck of it.

              They’ve painted America as an enemy, full of hypocrites (among other things) and this is one way to strike back at us.

              1. you seem to have completely lost your marbles dude.

                You’re talking about people for whom the torture and murder of kaffirs is *scripture*

                The fine details of the UN Convention against the use of Torture is not exactly regular reading material for the Caliph of ISIS.

                For the US, the issue is one strongly related to our belief in international law governing conflict.

                For these guys, its something ‘for kicks’.

                You’re nuts if you try and superimpose some kind of relationship between the two.

                1. There are a bajillion ways to cause suffering and horror.

                  If that’s all they wanted they wouldn’t be waterboarding.

                  The use of *this particular* way is a calculated jab back at us.

                  1. Do we have irrefutable PROOF that this photo-journalist’s head was actually decapitated?

          2. You’re giving them too much credit. These are the same people who just killed 250 prisoners of war in cold blood and who saw nothing wrong with sawing off Nick Berg’s head a decade ago. Maybe there’s an enlightened, theologically inclined soul among them, but I can assure you that he’s not the one running the show anymore than we’re running the show under Obama.

            The idea that people who cut off journalists’ heads with knives would hesitate for even a second to smash some American Devil kneecaps or, when they’re feeling generous, waterboard some POWs, is absurd.

            Pre-enlightenment, pre-Lockean human beings are savages, the sorts of people who bind their enemies in pillories and stone them to death. That’s what the West was 500 years ago, and that’s where a significant portion of the ME is today.

            1. Part of my point – why they’re using waterboarding rather than electric testical torture is that it is a deliberate act aimed at our past actions.

              If they just wanted to torture for the sake of torture there are plenty of people who can get hideously creative.

              1. What makes you think that they’re not doing that as well?

                The difference between our perspectives is that you think that they leaked their waterboarding as some sort of Showcase of Horror, whereas I’m contending that this is business as usual in the Middle East.

                1. So, do you have IRREFUTABLE PROOF that this guy was decapitated?

                  Why would you be so sloppy to write that these are the same people who sawed off Nick Berg’s head a decade ago?
                  Got any proof of that?

                  1. are the same people who sawed off Nick Berg’s head a decade ago?

                    Yes and no. It seems Islamist groups go through mergers just like big conglomerate corporations.

                    The group that murdered Berg was the now defunct Muntada al-Ansar, of which Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was an affiliate member. al-Zarqawi also founded the al-Tawhid wal-Jihad group, which changed its name to Al-Qaeda in Iraq after they merged with bin Laden in 2004. AQI is the parent group of what would be later restyled as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

                    So there is a connection, but how strong depends on how closely you believe al-Zarqawi was involved with the Muntada al-Ansar.

                    1. I believe that you gentlemen are being rather more literal-minded than I intended.

                      Let me put it a different way: Islamists are, as an ideological group, fucking savages who are willing to murder innocent people for the crime of their nationality. They would thus be more than willing to stream some water through a cloth gag upon an infidel whom they might decapitate via survival knife at some future date.

                    2. HM, “the same people” means the individuals who allegedly decapitated Berg are the same individuals who have allegedly decapitated Foley.

                      Why do we not approach the alleged decapitation of Foley with the same degree of skepticism as Eric Margolis? I would think that you would accord far more credibility to him than propaganda pushing pukes at Fox News or nihilistic neocons like John Bolton or Sean Hannity or any other of the state’s stenographers.

                    3. No, LiteralmindedMike, it means that Islamists operate under the assumption that murdering people is A-okay as long as they’re not of your tribe of fundametanlist Islamist. Not that the asshole who cut off Berg’s head is still alive and kicking to cut off Foley’s head.

                    4. Why do we not approach the alleged decapitation of Foley with the same degree of skepticism as Eric Margolis?

                      To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought as beheading or not, we have no fucking business being there.

                    5. ” the alleged decapitation of Foley “

                      Are you suggesting ISIS has a hollywood-quality prop shop?

                      And fuck you, btw for making me go get that rather than you do your own homework.

                    6. Libertymike is a 9/11 Truther, so use that as your baseline.

              2. “Endo here has forgotten more about dispensing pain than you or I will ever know.”

      3. While correlation does not equal causation, this is one big fucking correlation.

        Only because you want to see it that way. The Japanese Empire waterboarded too. So did the Spanish Inquisition. Why not just say, “yeah, that’s been around a while, so no surprise there”

        1. Yeah its has been around a while. Why does it take until now for these guys to start?

          1. Would you have preferred they stuck with more-traditional Arab torture methods? a la – ‘hanging people from the ceiling and beating them with wire rods and chains until they die

            (*noted: these techniques were learned from Syrian/Jordanian/Egyptian interrogators, FWIW – people we’ve happily passed ‘terrorist suspects’ to in the past rather than be accused of ‘torturing prisoners’ ourselves)

            your desperate hardon to try and implicate US behavior in the atrocities of these fucknuts is really a little much.

            1. No one’s saying (as far as I can tell) we’re morally responsible for it. They do much worse shit all the time, and if we didn’t give them something to do as a “fuck you dad, you hypocrite”, they’d just pick something more horrific on the basis of sadistic glee.

              But because they can and do much worse shit all the time, it does seem like the use of waterboarding is specifically a jab at the US. I mean, if they stack heads in a pyramid, it’s just that they’re monsters. If they stack naked dudes in a pyramid, it’s an insult to the US.

          2. Why does it take until now for these guys to start?

            Who’s to say they just started?

    3. It would be one thing if they were using it for trying to gather intelligence, but their captives don’t know shit. They’re doing it to make a point.

  2. It’s not torture! Also, why do you hate Murica, Scott?

    /TEAM RED Derp

  3. Yep. It’s all our fault.

  4. Torture didn’t exist before the US implemented it.

    Come on, Scott.

    1. Are you trying out for the slave all-star team?

  5. “They knew exactly how it was done,”

    What are the chances they found somebody with firsthand knowledge (from the “torturee” part of the operation)?

  6. ‘Course, it *will* be interesting to hear how the ‘pro-kill ’em all’ people spin this.

    If its not torture when *we* do it, if its a legitimate interrogation technique (when we do it), are they going to come out and say that its kosher for *them* to do it?

    1. They’ll probably say something like, “You _are_ aware that they cut his fucking head off?”

      1. PROOF?

        1. Loose Change 2: Electric Boogaloo

    2. Hey, genius, what intel did these cro-mags hope to get from Foley?

      Oh? None? Huh.

  7. Allusions. How do they work?

  8. Why would they use “enhanced interrogation” techniques on journalists?
    Do they have some crazy notion freelance journalist is some sort of CIA cover?

    1. It’s not?

    2. We’re talking about people who think polio vaccinations are a CIA plot to sterilize Muslim men, and that the migratory patterns of birds are a fiendish Zionist plot.

      1. the migratory patterns of birds are a fiendish Zionist plot.

        They’re not?

      2. Don’t forget the belief that “the Jews” put poison in Pepsi.

        1. PEPSI = Pay Every Penny to Save Israel

          The more you know.?

      3. That’s ridiculous. Polio vaccinations are just a CIA plot to locate high-value value terrorist targets by identifying their children or relatives through genetic matches.

  9. If Foley had a choice, he would gladly agree to a water boarding attended by a medical professional (if they didn’t do that, then they didn’t follow protocol) over a thumbscrew or that medieval body stretcher.

    The moral equivalency game doesn’t work, sine they carved the guy’s head from his body instead of detaining him in Gitmo-like prison where he receives 3 American meals and prayer opp at a Catholic chapel.

  10. I am not sure what the take away of this piece is. It’s our fault that Foley was water boarded? That’s there’s a moral equivalency between ISIS and the U.S.? These animals regularly beat this poor man and eventually cut his head off. They just lined up over two hundred of their enemies and executed them en masse. This has happened a lot. They rape women, and then decapitate them along with their children. They are fucking excrement. I sincerely doubt that the U.S. record on water boarding has anything to with their behavior.

    1. The takeaway is – be careful of ‘deeming’ your actions to be moral, because if the enemy starts to do the same thing you don’t have a leg to stand on when condemning him.

      Similar to the ‘be careful what powers you give the current government, because one day the other party *will* be in power’.

      1. This is pretty weak stuff as well.

        You’re talking about a group who beheads people on TV.

        You think they were confronting ‘moral questions’ about waterboarding that US behavior suddenly gave them a green-light on?

        Because they were otherwise worried about being dragged to The Hague?

        you’re kidding, right?

        1. No, I don’t think they’re worried bout being dragged to the Hague – that’s what gives them the freedom to do this (coincidently, the same lack of fear of accountability is what has given *us* the freedom to waterboard).

          I think this is a big ‘fuck you’ to us.

          A big fuck you by using this technique, to stand there and *dare* us to say that its wrong for *them* to waterboard (waterboard, not torture in general and not cut people’s heads off) when our government outright says that this is a legit thing for *us* to do.

          1. If it was a fuck you, they would’ve videotaped it as propaganda.

            Our disagreement is that we think it’s not a fuck you. It’s business as usual for people who see torture as perfectly legitimate.

            1. Waterboarding is (even for those of us who consider it to be torture) weaksauce.

              If, as others contend, torture is just business as usual then there are more, uh . . *fun* ways to do this.

              *Waterboarding* is, IMO, a direct response to us.

              1. But it’s not. It was leaked to the media, not used as propaganda like the murders of American citizens.

              2. we’re going to be SO publically shamed by those guys who execute people’s children for doing the Prayer thing wrong!

                the argument you are attempting? It is pathetic.

                You can take issue with the US Govt engaging in behaviors which are objectionable both morally as well as under specific covenants of international law to which we are signatories.

                but trying to give ISIS credit for some kind of moral statement here is the apex of retarded.

          2. At the risk of sounding Clintonesque, what difference does it make? I agree that they selected this particular method of torture because we’ve used it, but do you think they really give a shit which of their behaviors we condemn? There are lots of good arguments against waterboarding, but the fact that it may encourage terrorists to pour water up your nose before they get around to severing your cranium isn’t one of them.

            Besides, even just from a PR standpoint most people discern a difference between a nation-state acting aggressively (even overly aggressively) against a terrorist foe, and a bunch of freelance derka derkas all hopped up on jihad. You may as well argue that we can’t condemn their kidnappings because we’ve used indefinite detention.

            1. No, I don’t think they care – I don’t even know where you get that. I’m not *defending* these people. I’m pointing out that, contrary to several flat, blanket assertions by other commenters, there *is* good reason to think that *this*, *this particular instance*, is in direct response to our actions.

              Not that we trained them, not that they couldn’t figure this out on their own without us, only that we did this – which they didn’t like – and said it was OK.

              Now they do it and turn around saying ‘well how do you like it now?’

              And splitting hairs like ‘we did it to terrorists to get crucial information’ goes in the face of everything that has come to surface bout our interrogation program.

              1. No, I don’t think they care – I don’t even know where you get that.

                From things like this

                The takeaway is – be careful of ‘deeming’ your actions to be moral, because if the enemy starts to do the same thing you don’t have a leg to stand on when condemning him.

                and

                Now they do it and turn around saying ‘well how do you like it now?’

                Again, I don’t think their selection of waterboarding was an accident, either. But whether or not we used it is neither here nor there because they are using an array of vastly more unsavory practices which we have never employed. So for the sake of argument, if we can’t condemn them for waterboarding then there’s plenty else – and worse – for which we can condemn them. Again, what difference does it make?

                And splitting hairs like ‘we did it to terrorists to get crucial information’ goes in the face of everything that has come to surface bout our interrogation program.

                How so? And define “crucial”. I don’t think the government did it believing that they were working under a ticking timebomb scenario, but I do think they were pumping people for actionable intelligence versus doing it for the hell of it, like these jihaderps are.

            2. And no, I don’t differentiate between a nation-state and a bunch of free-lance anythings.

              I’m not big on the whole ‘legitimate nation’ meme anymore. Its used to excuse a lot of bullshit.

              1. I didn’t say you do. I said “most people”.

                1. How many American children have died in the good ole USSA the last 8 years as a direct and proximate result of drone strikes conducted by jihadis?

                  How many American children have died in the good ole socialist cesspool known as Amerika the last 12 years as a direct and proximate result of conduct perpetrated by jihadis?

      2. Waterboarding a known terrorist in a controlled environment (with medical staff at the ready) in order to extract infortaion.

        Waterboarding random innocent people only to inflict pain and spread terror, with terms set by whoever’s committing the act.

        Since the two things aren’t the same, a terrorist can’t do the latter and say they’re imitating the former. You can say waterboarding is unethical, but we abide by standards to actually NOT to seriously hurt the prisoner.

        1. “information”

        2. So, you trust the government now? The government that initially denied they did this. The government that denied shipping people out of the country in order to do this without worrying about American legal sanction.

          Is it because this is the most transparent administration ever?

  11. Used.

    Praise Obama! Bow down before His compassionate gloriousness.

  12. This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.

    Were they trying to unearth secrets Foley held… about his Amazon.com ID? WTF.

    while (its embarrassing to even have to say this) ‘torture is wrong’ = does no one in the editorial dept here think to distinguish between ‘torturing someone to get information about terrorist threats'(aka the ‘ticking bomb’ scenario)…

    …versus ‘torturing people’, because ‘jihad’?

    This is sort of akin to the equivocation made by many progs who opposed the Iraq war, who seemed to conflate US ‘collateral damage’ with Insurgents blowing up suicide bombers in crowds of civilians. Dead Civilians! Same thing, right?

    tell me we’re not going down that road.

    1. . . . distinguish between ‘torturing someone to get information about terrorist threats'(aka the ‘ticking bomb’ scenario)…

      When have we ever done that (the ticking bomb scenario, I mean)?

      Rather than ‘hey this guy *might* know something’ or ‘we waterboarded Mohammed and he said Said might know something so let’s get Said in the chair’?

      1. You ARE suggesting that there’s “no difference” when you capture and interrogate people who have committed acts of mass murder and are planning more….

        …versus, “some guy”.

        Cause, its all the same and shit?

        please.

    1. Assholes are still rational actors. They may be torturing dissidents and murdering infidels in cold blood, but they don’t want to starve to death in 20 years.

      1. Yeah? Did Muhammad and his Sahabah have a Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries? No? Ah ha! Enjoy your beheading for the sin of bid’ah!

        *drops mic*

  13. Hey guys! Did you know that the Muslim world learned about beheadings from the US as well? Seriously!

    1. Don’t sell us short. He clearly says that we invented the very practice human slaughter itself. First in the world, baby! Suck it, you Aztec scrubs! USA! USA!

      1. *practice of

    2. Well of course we did.

      America is the technological leader of the world. We invented *everything*.

    3. Just you wait until they discover the economic stimulus of government-sponsored scalping.

    4. And they say American exceptionalism is dead.

  14. I think I just heard Dick Cheney’s head explode form the cognitive dissonance.

  15. I hear they had another ISIS Bucket Challenge today and beheaded a Kurdish dude. Nuke these losers already!

    http://www.CryptAnon.tk

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