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

A gentleman's response Mike. No offense taken & I hope non given :-)

Good point, Carl. And I can't honestly say I would feel any different in those circumstances.
But the original question was about how governments should behave. And it seems to me that if we allow them to adopt the methods of the bad guys, we give up our position on the moral high ground and nobody will want to take lessons in democracy and justice from people who are no better than they are.

Point taken, Vic. I think we are all agreed that we would feel the same way as you in those circumstances. I was just trying to suggest some reasons why that might not be the best response. Sorry if I have given offense.

Brian, I'm just re-reading last nights stuff & have to ask the question :- Is it "a nasty little argument" when people don't agree with you & a "robust discussion" when you're driving the discussion or have I missed the point? I actually thought this was one of our more civilised discussions bearing in mind the emotive subject. Just asking :-)

I am buying you a large one Vic and agree that you are perfectly entitled to YOUR views.

*Blows kisses and takes self off to shower* (been a long day!) x

The proposition you make Glen is false. The placer of the bomb these days is likely to be the silly twat who shouts allah akhbar and detonates bomb and himself. Or more deviously persuades brothers to transport supplies for other brothers ignorant of the fact they are transporting bombs linked to SIMS which when the call comes will destroy them and their fellow humans. The 24 scenario is pure Hollywood you can torture all you like but the guy you are torturing in all probability knows little or nothing. That's why any resistance/terrorist organisation is based on a cell system. The arrest of a single member of the cell should close it down. The cell member can only identify a limited number of the network and as long as they hold out for 24 to 36 hours then the rest of the network is safe. If you want to examine the deeper links of any organisation then long term conversations based on what you call tea and biscuits convrsations is required. Only by making friends or rather appealing to your interogee to save his skin do you make progress. This is what I don't understand about the CIA and Guantanamo. They have had years to talk quietly to their captives and to persuade them of their follies or to tell them and undermine the depth of their folly. Basically either the CIA is useless at interrogation or these guys have just been swept up in the madness post 9/11. This is not written with any sympathy for the tossers of IS or ISIL who I think are a disgrace to Islam and along with their Quatari and Saudi paymasters should be extirpated. However you look at it torture is both inefffective and illegal.

Good question, Brian. Hypocrisy? Worry that USA might become angry?

The world has indeed gone bonkers and it may well take some equally bonkers actions to stop IS.

I agree and I suspect that a nasty little argument might be brewing, so I'll see you at the pub Mike. My round I believe ;-)

Again, spot on Mike. The same for everybody or simply do not bother then back to savagery.

Well yes. Did I not start my first response by saying that we are between the devil and the deep blue sea? That does not solve the issue and what they are doing is beyond belief yet being allowed to grow! They have now set up a bit of their IS in Libya and now they are playing for big time in other countries. Where are the usual suspects to stop them? perhaps all the people I think are paranoid who say that they have been set up by the CIA and are, as has become evident, mainly using weapons from the USA. The world is mad.


On a more serious note, Glen has admitted that he had already made up his mind before he stirred up this hornets' nest. So I have said all I want on the subject and will take my leave.

Right Alan, law is culturally specific. For example, The USA still carries out judicial executions, which are abhorrent to most Europeans and that creates problems when they request extradition. But as the World becomes increasingly connected, we can hope for increasing convergence on important moral questions.
It is beginning to seem as if Brian and I are a bit outnumbered here, but I believe that in a just World, everyone should have the same human rights. The alternative can only lead to chaos.

"can you name a justification for any state or individual being above the law?" No, but I also haven't got a clue how to stop it. As it's pretty obvious all of the world's finest haven't found a solution in the centuries available to 'em I'll concentrate on looking after me & mine.

On a lighter note. Has anybody blamed Microsoft for this situation yet?

All well and good Brian but how do you think you would fair if you were to pop over to northern Iraq and explain to ISIS that chopping heads off on you-tube really is not cricket and most definitely against the law.

But we have, so go back to the first page are look at what is said about the UN Convention against torture. Most countries in this world actually have laws that forbid its use. Since it is manifold proven not to work, since many innocent people have been tortured, just think Jews, travellers, the disabled, the mentally ill, Communists, Jehovah's Witnesses, several thousand Polish officers in Katyn Forest before their executions and a fair few others after 1933 and up to 1944, then Pol Pot's regime in Cambodia, Franco's Spain and umpteen other countries, numerically far more innocents than people culpable of anything whatsoever, then can you name a justification for any state or individual being above the law?

Mike. This post & it's responses is the reason I seriously think of getting out of here. Why is it that I can't express a heart felt sentiment without all of the clever ones here climbing all over me. I'm not getting into a question & answer session to amuse you. I've told you what I think I would do in certain circumstances & am not advocating anything FULL STOP. Kindly go & find someone else to discuss this with. I'm just not interested in helping you show folk how erudite you are.

We can’t legislate for torture, or even make rules how/when it should be used, but in the real world, we have to accept that there is a need for torture. Sometimes we get it wrong, but many people still walking around today can be thankful that atrocities have been prevented because of torture interrogation. Anyway, it’s easy if a terrorist doesn’t fancy being tortured … Just tell the truth from the outset.