Following the recent CIA revelations, is there any justification to torture?

After listening to the recent news regarding this subject, and accepting that most governments and security departments are guilty of it, can it ever be justified?

For example, if they have a suspect in custody, that they know has planted a bomb on the metro, is it enough just to ask him nicely over a cup of tea & a biscuit where he's planted it? Hundreds could die if it's not found. Is that a price worth paying? Imagine if someone you loved was killed in such an action. would that change your views?

A highly controversial subject I know, to be perfectly honest I don't know where I stand on this. I can't imagine how awful it would be if the authorities had the wrong person. I'm also aware that it is rare that any useful information is declared during torture as the victim will say what he thinks you want to hear at that moment, anything to stop the pain.

Should the 'West' take the high ground when dealing with organisations like ISIS, whilst they kidnap, torture and behead their victims?

It would be interesting to hear different views on this. Is this the right forum for this?

My very (!) personal opinion: I have been in law enforcement in many different roles for 28 years. I always was of the belief, that I can not do anything I would arrest anybody else for. So, no torture, no killing, no hurting anybody, except in self defense or defending others. This includes to shoot somebody driving into a crowd of pedestrians on purpose, killing police officers for no reason, attack soldiers just because or endangering my family. Torture to get information does not work as the CIA report demonstrates and just starts a circle of violence.
There is a reason for our centuries old legislation (includes the ban of torture). The Americans don’t get this, since they have no (such) developed legislation, just one of which they think it is the only valid one. At the end of the day, there is no current conflict, they are not in any way responsible for. No wonder that they get in the focus of attacks. Unfortunately some of the attackers don’t differentiate their victims - America is West.

Glen, there is free medicine against the "Fear Virus": the button at your remote control to switch off "news". Don't even consider mainstream as a source of impartial information relevant for your life here in France!!! Journalists are working for their own survival, for nothing else, - no matter what their political aspirations are. When you, e.g., think about this mercenary-rag-tag-gang, you should be happy when we finally have a cozy place for all our psychos enjoying their paradisal caliphate. (be on reality track: US embassy burring in Islamabad 1979 which was b4 the Iranian revolution) These lunies will die on their own imbreeding, and if they need help, well, left the RAF install french fryer into their Transall and so they can throw pork chops as humanitarian aid ;-) Just don't let us fuck up our liberties (as you remember: the guys in Ferguson did not talk about liberties, they demanded justice... but that's the way the USA has to go through.

Jane, you have saved me from writing a long comment!

So the Jews dun it?

Look lets get this straight.The USA supported Zionists will do anything to suppport the expansion of Eretz Israel. It doesn't matter to them because they have a US passport in their back pocket. So if everything goes tits up the State Department will rescue them. Meanwhile they oppress, as only people previously oppresssed, the poor bloody Palestinians. ISIS and ISL have really got nothing to do with this argument and I'm sure that Fatah and Hezbollah would rather the Wahabis would piss off to some camel dung strewn empty sector of the Saudi peninsula to pray and starve, the better to meet their maker. Of course I forgot that beside being faithful Moslems they are also bandits rapists and thieves. Nonetheless the Zionists must give up the occupied territories. Well that's what David Ben Gurion said and that was a long time ago.

The whole subject is a little depressing isn't it.

You have just reminded me why I decided to stop following this thread once before.
This time I really mean it.

The only thing I want to see of IS is the flash made by the daisy cutter Mike.

I have no wish to understand them.

That is because you are unable to see us as they see us.

I think we might have some way to go before people confuse the likes of you and me with IS

James, I am having trouble with you logic.
If their lack of "civilization" allows you to behave in an uncivilized way, you set foot on a slippery slope where nobody will be able to tell the difference between you and them.
There are a lot of people who see the USA as an evil force and when you break civilized rules of behavior, you just add strength to their arguments.

Mike, you are being a gentleman and thinking like a gentleman but these terrorists are at WAR with you and they don't think about politeness and laws only their need to kill you and as many others as they can. In war, you kill or be killed with such people.

UN conventions and national laws are fine but these are made by civilized people for civilized people but these Arab terrorists are neither civilized nor rational or do they care who they kill so long as it's in the name of Allah. We can't deal rationally and civily with people of this kind. They want to kill you because you are an unbliever. Needless to say, if it were a group of Christian or Jewish radicals with the same ideas, I would feel the same about them. I feel no pity for them. Look what they did in NYC and London.

I don't have any trouble understanding those people. That doesn't mean that I agree with them or approve of what they are doing. But it still doesn't make things any better torturing, abusing, humiliating and detaining people without trial. That just helps them with recruitment. And it is generally agreed that some of those guys were innocent - and that is unforgivable.

Mike, what you say is true but these extremists are prepared to die for their radical ideas of domination and therefore, they must be dealt with with extreme predjudice as it was with the Japanese soldiers who were so brain washed they would not surrender except a very few. They were dangerous even when wounded. Anyone who would fly buildings into skyscapers to kill thousands, wear bombs aboard planes to kill hundreds and massacre childred in schools as in Pakistan, and Afganistan cannot be dealt with sanely or compassionately. The normal person cannot understand this mentality but it's a very dangerous one.

Yeah, right oh! No offense Brian but I'm not one of your philosophy students & have no wish to play mind games with you or anybody else as that's the way these "nasty little arguments" as you put it, start. If people would only actually read what others say & comment on that instead of adding their own agenda things would go swimmingly. I simply stated what I thought I might do in a certain circumstance & my post is quickly associated with revenge, CIA, NRA & all sorts of things I hadn't mentioned. These days I often wonder why I bother to say anything here & sometimes even wonder why I got out of bed :-)

No Vic, I said that this could turn into a nasty little argument, like some of the posts that have turned sour in the past. I have NOT said anything about robust discussion. I have my beliefs about human rights in general, which given work with children in a world where also young people are tortured and brutally killed among other things, enforces my personal feelings. It has nothing to do with my education, more to do with work, thus I use international law as per conventions to guide the way because they show what is, at least theoretically, the principle employed universally. I repeat that we are between the devil and the deep blue sea here. The Sydney siege is illustrative of that at present. I simply do not think that saying that if one was in the situation and had to choose would mean that it would be justification for the torture of an individual to gain information that might lead to the rescue of 'my people'. It has too often proven to be the seal on their fate which is pretty violent. Sadly, neither way works. Both ways we end up with somehow dirty hands,; for doing or not doing, for allowing or forbidding. I am only disagreeing with how simple you make it seem and was trying to push you to justify how you can say it. However, in principle you do not agree with torture, I take it very clearly from what you are saying, and the likelihood of either of us ever experiencing it is highly speculative to the point of being 99.9% unlikely. So, yes your view is your own and not a justification. You have never been forced to give it immediate thought and I would hope never will be. That I always saw, but was trying to get behind whether you would or could explain why. I know that is expecting a bit too much but if I don't ask I do not know.

But back to nasty little argument and why I have opted out and will only respond to you, is that if this becomes a bitter and accusing thread like a couple of recent ones I do not want to be involved. That has nothing to do with you who I know and trust would not push it down that road, but possibly others would.

There's still a few of us left :-)

A virtual handshake. Nicely done, gentlemen.