Thursday, January 22, 2009


Imagine it is August 30th 2001. You are a Special Agent for a government agency working on anti-terrorism

You have an Al Qaeda Terrorist is custody. The chatter is that something big is going down soon. You know this guy knows what it is. You have tried all the classic interrogation techniques. Good Cop bad Cop, trying to relate to the guy even bribery. He ain't talking.

The next step is to get rough with him, real rough. What do you do?


ambrosiajr said...

This is from George Tenet, CIA Director...

In late August 2001, when aggressive presidential action might have changed the course of U.S. history, CIA Director George Tenet made a special trip to Crawford, Texas, to get George W. Bush to focus on an imminent threat of a spectacular al-Qaeda attack only to have the conversation descend into meaningless small talk.

Alarmed CIA officials already had held an extraordinary meeting with then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on July 10 to lay out the accumulating evidence of an impending attack and had delivered on Aug. 6 a special “Presidential Daily Brief” to Bush entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.”

“A few weeks after the Aug. 6 PDB was delivered, I followed it to Crawford to make sure the President stayed current on events,” Tenet wrote in his memoir, At the Center of the Storm. “This was my first visit to the ranch. I remember the President graciously driving me around the spread in his pickup and my trying to make small talk about the flora and the fauna, none of which were native to Queens,” where Tenet had grown up.

Tenet’s trip to Crawford – like the July 10 meeting with Rice and the Aug. 6 briefing paper for Bush – failed to shock the administration out of its lethargy nor elicit the emergency steps that the CIA and other counterterrorism specialists wanted.

While Tenet and Bush made small talk about “the flora and the fauna,” al-Qaeda operatives put the finishing touches on their plans.

It wasn’t until Sept. 4 – a week before 9/11 – when senior Bush administration officials, including Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, “finally reconvened in the White House Situation Room” to discuss counter-terrorism plans “that had been lingering unresolved all summer long,” Tenet wrote.

Tenet’s memoir also provided new details about the emergency July 10 meeting that Tenet had demanded with Rice to lay out the startling new evidence of an impending al-Qaeda attack.

“The briefing [Black] gave me literally made my hair stand on end,” Tenet wrote. “When he was through, I picked up the big white secure phone on the left side of my desk – the one with a direct line to Condi Rice – and told her that I needed to see her immediately to provide an update on the al-Qa’ida threat.”

‘Significant Terrorist Attack’

After reaching the White House, a CIA briefer, identified in the book only as Rich B., started his presentation by saying: “There will be a significant terrorist attack in the coming weeks or months!”

But the evidence of an impending attack continued to pour in. At one CIA meeting in late July, Tenet wrote that Rich B. told senior officials bluntly, “they’re coming here,” a declaration that was followed by stunned silence.

The intelligence community’s evidence was summarized in the special PDB that was delivered to Bush while he was vacationing at his ranch in Crawford.

The PDB ended by noting that “FBI information … indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York. The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.”

Bush apparently was not pleased by the CIA’s intrusion on his vacation nor with the report’s lack of specific targets and dates. He glared at the CIA briefer and snapped, “All right, you’ve covered your ass,” according to an account in author Ron Suskind’s The One Percent Doctrine., which relied heavily on senior CIA officials.

Ordering no special response, Bush returned to his month-long vacation of fishing, clearing brush and working on a speech about stem-cell research

ambrosiajr said...

They had the info SOL..and they got it without torturing someone. Yet, they still never acted on it.

I don't think it would have mattered if you tortured another human being to get the same info. The Bushies still wouldn't have done anything.

ambrosiajr said...

So lets leave out all the bullshit about he kept us safe.

As I have said before, except for those 3000+ people that died on 9/11. It was on his watch, he had the info, and he did nothing about it but stay on vacation.

So, lets just keep thanking him...

Anonymous said...

You watch too many movies.

Son of Liberty said...

All very interesting but you did not answer the question.

Come on lets see somebody answer the question.

Anonymous said...

Call Jack Bauer!

johnlusher said...

Car battery, jumper cables and the terrorist testicles. Any additional questions or instructions required?

Son of Liberty said...

Mr Lusher,


Now lets here from all you pansy assed liberals. What are you going to do. Are you going to get out the jumper cables or are you going to let 3000 people die.


You want to outlaw torture. Fine but answer the rfeaking question.

Anonymous said...

You are an idiot

Son of Liberty said...

I am an idiot and you have still not answered the question.

I will tell you why those who are so upset about terrorists being tortured will not answer the question.

It is because they know they can not admit that they would rather see 3000 people die then waterboard a terrorist.
They can not admit it because that choice is the immoral one. not the choice to use torture.

So they call me names to deflect the issue and avoid answering the question.

They can not voice the indefensible.

ambrosiajr said...

So then, you would give up your morals and principles to extract information from a terrorist. Even knowing that sometimes, coerced information is false.I thought that conservatives NEVER gave way to the expedience of giving up their principles for any reason.

I will put another hypothetical to you. What if, even after you tortured another human being, he gave you false information and those people still died. Was it worth it? Or would you feel like you just betrayed that last vestige of humanity you may have had left in your soul for absolutely nothing.

Kind of like the Inquisition, where people were tortured so that they would die by beheading rather than roasing alive to an agonizing death.

Son of Liberty said...

Interesting question Ambro.

first I am not giving up my principles because the highest principle is preservation of life.

Second I am talking about situations where you have near certainty that the terrorist has information that would save lifes.
I am not suggesting torture be undertaken willy nilly

Could we make a mistake. Yes. I weigh the possibility of a mistake against the possibility of lifes saved.

Could they give false information? Possible but unlikely, people who give false information under those torture generally do so in two situations. One where the lies will not be discovered b/c they know that if the lie is discovered they are at risk of more torture.
Second where they have no hope and they just want to die quickly. Those situations will not generally apply to what I am talking about.
If they do lie and are tortured for nothing well quite frankly it hurts them more then it hurts me. I would feel worse if I knew I did not try everything I could to save those lives.
For those still not convinced
Ask yourself what you would do if you knew your family was among those who would die.

Anonymous said...

Here's a principle for you: WAR IS WRONG. Want another one? KILLING IS WRONG. Don't preach to us about your "principles", you're only principle is "I ME MINE", jerk-off

Anonymous said...

Hey dingus! Why don't you take a gun, point it at someone, and pull the trigger? Then you can tell us all about defending your "principles", you unprincipled bozo!

Son of Liberty said...

Anonymous #1
and Anonymous #2

Could you both clarify who your comments are directed towards.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Here’s another principle for you, all of you, whoever is reading this: forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

Have you got anything to add to that, bonehead?

Son of Liberty said...

I can't tellfor sure who these anon are directing their ire at. Me or Ambro. Please address your name calling to a specific person so we are all clear about where you stand.

Thank you.

ambrosiajr said...

I'm sure its you SOL...I'm too much of a pacifist for these comments...

and you never answered me...who's Timmy?

Anonymous said...

The principle of "Forgive us our trespasses" applies to EVERYBODY! "Me or Ambro"??? What’s the difference? Do you think all those soldiers gave their lives storming Normandy so we could torture each other? There is a bigger picture here, you blockhead. They were fighting for HUMANITY you dumbass. What kind of people do you think we are? What kind of person advocates torture? I’m sorry that you can’t get an erection unless you’re looking at pictures of naked Iraqi men forced to pile upon each other, I really am. Just go take a Viagra and stop pretending to be a hero because you’re just a pussy, Mr. Son of Liberty. If you ever came face to face with a terrorist you would shit your nylon panties. You are a disgrace to all Americans. Go pray for forgiveness.

Son of Liberty said...

Ambro Timmy was just a random name
signifying a child.

Son of Liberty said...

Forgive us our tresspasses?
I am not advocating torture as a form of punishment. In fact I am only advocating its use in a very limited circumstance.
Have you even read what I have written?

STILL no one answers the question. What is your answer. Do you let 3000 people die rather then torture the terrorist?

Come on give me a viable alternative. It is not like I want to torture anyone. I really would rather not. I just want to save all those innocent livess.

And one final thing stop with the refrences to my imagined sexual turn ons. It just makes you look stupid.

Son of Liberty said...

As to the other anonymous comments who may or may not be the same person (really get yourself a name, I would be happy to suggest some ;-)

War is wrong? Was our entering WWII wrong?
Was the North fighting to preserve the Union and resulting in end of slavery wrong?
Was the revolutionary war wrong?

I agree that killing is wrong (except in self defense) Killing is exactly what I wish to prevent

You seem to object to my language about principles.
Well tell me which is a more principled position.
Torture one terrorist to save 3000
or don't torture the terrorist and let 300 die. What is your position? lets discuss it. I am willing to listen.

Finally I fail to see what my ability to shoot someone has to do with defending principles. Really the only time such violence is warranted is in self defense or defense of others. I would never suggest deadly force because someone disagreed with my principles.

Anonymous said...

Son of Liberty, what is worse: hurting somebody or begin hurt by somebody?

Anonymous said...

..I'm sorry, I meant "What is worse: hurting somebody or being hurt by somebody?"

Son of Liberty said...

Hmmm I see where you are going.
You are addressing the question. That is good.

Well from a moral perspective hurting someone else is worse.

Does that negate our right to self defense?

And then you have to ask which is worse hurting someone or letting them hurt someone else? I can take the moral highroad and give my own life rather then take a life. But how moral am I if I do not protect other innocent life?

Do we shoot a terrorist to save a hostage or let him kill the hostage?

Do we kill Hitler to save 6 million Jews and God only knows how many other people?

Is turning the other cheek an absolute?

Anonymous said...

The clouds may be lifting Son of Liberty. Agreed; from a moral perspective hurting someone else is worse. Does that negate our right to self defense? Absolutely! Your morality is tested all the time. Often it proves very inconvenient to have morals at all. Remember, try as you may, not all things are under your control. It is perhaps the hardest lesson to learn, especially if you’ve lost a loved one to cancer, or to a violent crime, but you must accept this nonetheless. Now imagine you kill person A to save person B. Person B now nears the brunt of the greater wrong knowing that someone else was hurt and he wasn’t. Yes, the moral is the same in this case. Every action has a reaction that is equal but opposite. What do our actions mean in the few years we spend on this Earth? Thy kingdom come thy will be done. Turning the other cheek is unequivocally absolute. The only way to win a war is to give the enemy what they want. Now that’s a bitter pill to swallow and I imagine it may even enrage you but you know in your heart of heart anger and hatred are wrong. Please be an advocate for peace.

Son of Liberty said...

But what of my questions do we not kill Hitler or do we let genocide continue.

No I do not believe turn the other cheek is absolute. It has its limits.
Even more so when you are not defending yourself but someone else.
Their comes a point and it is debatable where that point is that one not only can act but must.
Admittedly I am probably too quick to reach that point but to say it can never be reached seems to me to invite destruction and history seems to bear that out. It is an diffficult and interesting question that maynever be answered.

In any event I am talking about something even less of a moral conundrum I am saying do not kill some one to save many lives but cause them sever physical discomfort to prevent Innocents from dying.

Son of Liberty said...


ALERT Intellectual breakdown has occured.

Ambrosia Jr who has frequently taken me to task for saying that terrorists should be tortured to extract information has just posted on another site

"I even agree with him (Christy) on some aspects, especially the death penalty. They should not only bring it back, but use it also."

So Ambro does not want to torture terrorists to prevent innocent people from dying but it is OK to Kill people for revenge.

Lets be clear about that. The Death penalty is not a deterent the only purpose it serves is retribution. (Which by the way is why even I whom many of you liberals think of as a moral reprobate am against the death penalty.)

I MEAN COME ON. WHERE IS THERE ANY LOGIC IN THAT. Ambro what the hell goes on in your head. is there any consistancy. do you actually think about your positions.

ARRRGGHHH I can't take it any more

ambrosiajr said...

SOL, ask Art, or Michael, or even Mike Panter. I have always been, and always will be an advocate for the death penalty. I have had 2 people in my family murdered, and their murderers stayed alive and in prison. Do you recall the Zarinsky case? He was convicted of killing my cousin, Rosemary Calandriello. He was ther first person in NJ to be convicted without a body, and he never told where he dumped her. It destroyed my Aunt and Uncle. He was a sadistic serial killer and was allowed to live. And yes, I do not believe in torturing someone to extract information, as that is not a moral position in my eyes. But if that person caused the death of another by murdering them, then I say execute them. I have also said that I know the death penalty is not a deterent, nor should be used as one. If you murder someone, you forfiet your chance to live in a free and open society. I have never made any bones about that position, and maybe if you had murdered people in your family, you wouldn't either.

ambrosiajr said...

As to the hypothetical terrorist of whom you want to pull out their fingernails, if they are the cause of those people being killed in an attack, then I would also say execute them. I have no tolerance for someone who takes another's life. But if the only reason you are torturing them is because you think they have information, than that makes you no better than they are and you lose the moral high ground.

And, we are supposed to be better than that.

Son of Liberty said...

I am sorry that makes but that makes no sense to me at all.

You will kill someone as revenge after they committ murder but you will not cause them pain in order to prevent the murder in the first place.

Can someone ANYONE explain the logic in that to me?

Ambro you really do not see the inconsistancy in that.

You have done the impossible I do not know what else to say i am dumbfounded.

Son of Liberty said...

And by the way I understand you reasons for wanting the death penalty.
Quite frankly if someone hurt my family my first reaction would be that i would want to kill them myself.

That being said the law should not cater to the worst of human desires. With all do respect to you and with sympathy for your loss I must say that the desire for revenge is not one of humanities better traits.

ambrosiajr said...

Now you know how I feel when I read some of your wacky comments.

But really, what's so hard to understand? You take a life, you forfeit your own. Fairly simple. You've given up your right to live in a civilized society.

And obviously, you weren't dumbfounded since you posted up another thought on the subject.

Son of Liberty said...

What dumfounded me is the dissonance between the two thoughts.

Rather then kill the terrorist after he kills people I would think it would be preferable to water board him beforehand and avoid anyone dying.

Anonymous said...

But what of my questions do we not kill Hitler or do we let genocide continue.

What if Hitler had won? The death and destruction in his wake would pale in comparison to European’s conquest of the New World. 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust. 25 million Native Americans were annihilated by the Europeans.

What if Alexander was defeated; or Genghis Khan? What about the Chinese in Tibet or the Americans in Iraq? It doesn’t matter which side of the struggle you may sympathize with, the world keeps turning. What can you do about it?

Jesus taught us how to pray:

Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

All that is born is destined to die, and all that is dead is bound to be born. Nations and religions come and go. They are not important. Turning the other cheek is unequivocally absolutely important.