"I'll take 'Examples of Successful Torture' for $200, Alex..."
Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 127
  1. #1
    xxl
    xxl is offline
    Moderator
    Reputation: xxl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    35,956

    "I'll take 'Examples of Successful Torture' for $200, Alex..."

    With all this talk of torture, neo-torture, and frat-boy hijinks gone sideways, I got to wondering: Does torture ever work? The defenders of US practices in recent times mention often the need to torture, and typically present hypotheticals that could've been ripped from the script of "24," i.e., many-will-die-unless-we-do-this," or, less often, "imagine-the-evildoers-have-your-child-hostage."

    As I understand it, the argument is that torture, while abhorrent to all, is sometimes necessary for the greater good.

    (Plus, our version of torture isn't as bad as their version of torture, so it's cool. But I digress.)

    So, since torture has been around a longish time, there must be some examples of success using torture in this fashion. But, having grown up in the Lies-My-Teacher-Told-Me generation, I couldn't think of any. And my Google skills are anything but madd. So help me out.

    Given the centuries that torture has been practiced, there should be at least one cogent example of its success. There seems to be many examples that point to torture's ineffectiveness. So, can anyone give an example of torture working? Needn't be current, but I would like to know if there is an instance of torture being effective, vs. the guys doing it saying it was effective.

    I anticipate the argument that torture's "successful effects" are often "a bad thing didn't happen," which is hard to demonstrate. I also expect that many cases of torture, even most, never see the light of day. But surely, with all the history of torture's use, there must be some case that can be shown where it was effective?

  2. #2
    Opus was just napping
    Reputation: thatsmybush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    19,657
    Silly boy...have you forgotten 1692?

    Where would this country be today if we had not eradicated witches with a healthy dose of peine forte et dure.
    In the time of battle you don't rise to the occasion you resort to the level of your conditioning...

  3. #3
    xxl
    xxl is offline
    Moderator
    Reputation: xxl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    35,956
    Quote Originally Posted by thatsmybush
    Silly boy...have you forgotten 1692?

    Where would this country be today if we had not eradicated witches with a healthy dose of peine forte et dure.
    "...but how do we know she is a witch?"

  4. #4
    Palm trees & sunshine!
    Reputation: KenB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    24,200
    Quote Originally Posted by xxl
    But surely, with all the history of torture's use, there must be some case that can be shown where it was effective?

    I would say that the very nature of the information gleaned in modern times would preclude us from ever hearing about it. State secrets and all that. Add to that the fact that we signed the Geneva Conventions and there's really no enticement to make the successes public.


    supervillain

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Rolando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1,766
    Torture successful as intimidation? Mexican drug gangs?

  6. #6
    Opus was just napping
    Reputation: thatsmybush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    19,657
    Quote Originally Posted by xxl
    "...but how do we know she is a witch?"
    Ask around...

    /insert obvious reference below.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    In the time of battle you don't rise to the occasion you resort to the level of your conditioning...

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Snakebit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    69,508
    Quote Originally Posted by xxl
    With all this talk of torture, neo-torture, and frat-boy hijinks gone sideways, I got to wondering: Does torture ever work? The defenders of US practices in recent times mention often the need to torture, and typically present hypotheticals that could've been ripped from the script of "24," i.e., many-will-die-unless-we-do-this," or, less often, "imagine-the-evildoers-have-your-child-hostage."

    As I understand it, the argument is that torture, while abhorrent to all, is sometimes necessary for the greater good.

    (Plus, our version of torture isn't as bad as their version of torture, so it's cool. But I digress.)

    So, since torture has been around a longish time, there must be some examples of success using torture in this fashion. But, having grown up in the Lies-My-Teacher-Told-Me generation, I couldn't think of any. And my Google skills are anything but madd. So help me out.

    Given the centuries that torture has been practiced, there should be at least one cogent example of its success. There seems to be many examples that point to torture's ineffectiveness. So, can anyone give an example of torture working? Needn't be current, but I would like to know if there is an instance of torture being effective, vs. the guys doing it saying it was effective.

    I anticipate the argument that torture's "successful effects" are often "a bad thing didn't happen," which is hard to demonstrate. I also expect that many cases of torture, even most, never see the light of day. But surely, with all the history of torture's use, there must be some case that can be shown where it was effective?
    When our soldiers returned from NK prison camps, we learned many of the techniques we see used today, at least the style of interrogation. There may have been a few holdouts but pretty much all of them were broken and gave whatever information they were asked for.

    We can also look at the inquisition. You may say that it made people lie but the truth was not the objective. Torture was to discover heresy and it did at pretty close to 100% success rate. We wouldn't want to portray that as a wonderful success story but it WAS a success story, it worked to reach their goal. If it can make people tell a lie that will take them to a horrible death, how can you doubt that they would give up the truth as well?

    We have claims of success from those being accused of torture today and while we publish a laundry list of secret memos detailing the procedures, we don't publish the results. We are told that they were innefective but so far no real doccumentation to support that it failed.I doubt that anyone involved would deny that it is an unpleasant process that should not be undertaken lightly. I don't believe that it has been nor that it is systemic, routine for all prisoners. I also don't believe that it has "created" thousands of terrorists who were otherwise disinclined to participate.

  8. #8
    Opus was just napping
    Reputation: thatsmybush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    19,657
    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit
    When our soldiers returned from NK prison camps, we learned many of the techniques we see used today, at least the style of interrogation. There may have been a few holdouts but pretty much all of them were broken and gave whatever information they were asked for.

    We can also look at the inquisition. You may say that it made people lie but the truth was not the objective. Torture was to discover heresy and it did at pretty close to 100% success rate. We wouldn't want to portray that as a wonderful success story but it WAS a success story, it worked to reach their goal. If it can make people tell a lie that will take them to a horrible death, how can you doubt that they would give up the truth as well?

    We have claims of success from those being accused of torture today and while we publish a laundry list of secret memos detailing the procedures, we don't publish the results. We are told that they were innefective but so far no real doccumentation to support that it failed.I doubt that anyone involved would deny that it is an unpleasant process that should not be undertaken lightly. I don't believe that it has been nor that it is systemic, routine for all prisoners. I also don't believe that it has "created" thousands of terrorists who were otherwise disinclined to participate.
    Leave it to SNAKE to give the author of Malleus Maleficarum props for his writing.
    In the time of battle you don't rise to the occasion you resort to the level of your conditioning...

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Snakebit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    69,508
    Quote Originally Posted by thatsmybush
    Leave it to SNAKE to give the author of Malleus Maleficarum props for his writing.
    I don't even know that Malley guy.

  10. #10
    Opus was just napping
    Reputation: thatsmybush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    19,657
    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit
    I don't even know that Malley guy.
    Then I wouldn't use the Spanish Inquisition as an example...if I didn't know a thing about it.

    But that is just me...stickler about not just hoping no one catches me spouting off about something I don't know the first thing about.
    In the time of battle you don't rise to the occasion you resort to the level of your conditioning...

  11. #11
    xxl
    xxl is offline
    Moderator
    Reputation: xxl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    35,956
    Quote Originally Posted by KenB
    I would say that the very nature of the information gleaned in modern times would preclude us from ever hearing about it. State secrets and all that. Add to that the fact that we signed the Geneva Conventions and there's really no enticement to make the successes public.
    Heck, I'll take an example from less modern times, if you have one.

    Otherwise, I'm left with the same justification for torture that I've been offered for religion.

  12. #12
    xxl
    xxl is offline
    Moderator
    Reputation: xxl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    35,956
    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit
    When our soldiers returned from NK prison camps, we learned many of the techniques we see used today, at least the style of interrogation. There may have been a few holdouts but pretty much all of them were broken and gave whatever information they were asked for.

    We can also look at the inquisition. You may say that it made people lie but the truth was not the objective. Torture was to discover heresy and it did at pretty close to 100% success rate. We wouldn't want to portray that as a wonderful success story but it WAS a success story, it worked to reach their goal. If it can make people tell a lie that will take them to a horrible death, how can you doubt that they would give up the truth as well?

    We have claims of success from those being accused of torture today and while we publish a laundry list of secret memos detailing the procedures, we don't publish the results. We are told that they were innefective but so far no real doccumentation to support that it failed.I doubt that anyone involved would deny that it is an unpleasant process that should not be undertaken lightly. I don't believe that it has been nor that it is systemic, routine for all prisoners. I also don't believe that it has "created" thousands of terrorists who were otherwise disinclined to participate.
    Hey, which techniques did we "learn" from the NK? From what I've read, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, beatings, etc., are as American as apple pie. Did they add something new to our toolbag?

    You're using the Spanish Inquisition as an example of 100% success??? Yet, they still had to go and slaughter all those Cathars. It's universally agreed this was not the Catholic Church's finest hour. (Trebek and the judges would disallow that one, plus you didn't phrase your answer in the form of a question. )

    So, there's no documentation that it works, then. Which brings us back to belief in torture as a matter of faith, somewhat like prayer.

  13. #13
    Not Banned
    Reputation: atpjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    49,013

    getting a person to admit to

    something they are not
    or something theu did not
    =
    success

    Spanish Inquisition wanted to prove there was heresy around so they tortured people into admitting they were heretics

    Bush and Co. wanted to prove Iraq was involved in 9-11, Al Qaeda.....
    one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for few

    still not figgering on biggering

  14. #14
    xxl
    xxl is offline
    Moderator
    Reputation: xxl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    35,956
    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    something they are not
    or something theu did not
    =
    success

    Spanish Inquisition wanted to prove there was heresy around so they tortured people into admitting they were heretics

    Bush and Co. wanted to prove Iraq was involved in 9-11, Al Qaeda.....
    Yep. Now that I have a new pair of bolt-cutters and know some unenlightened people with extra fingers, I may just have to "prove" the existence of unicorns.

  15. #15
    Unlabeled
    Reputation: Reynolds531's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    3,720
    In June 1943 the Gestapo arrested Rene Hardy. Under torture he gave up information that led to the arrest of Jean Moulin, Pierre Brossolette, and Charles Delestraint.

    I'll argue that torture was not effective enough to break the French Resistance, and I'll argue that the stories of Nazi torture and atrocities helped recruit new members to the French Resistance. Parallel arguments can be made today regarding the effect of American torture on Al Qeada..
    Lugged Steel Treks

  16. #16
    xxl
    xxl is offline
    Moderator
    Reputation: xxl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    35,956
    Quote Originally Posted by Reynolds531
    In June 1943 the Gestapo arrested Rene Hardy. Under torture he gave up information that led to the arrest of Jean Moulin, Pierre Brossolette, and Charles Delestraint.

    I'll argue that torture was not effective enough to break the French Resistance, and I'll argue that the stories of Nazi torture and atrocities helped recruit new members to the French Resistance. Parallel arguments can be made today regarding the effect of American torture on Al Qeada..
    To be fair to Monsieur. Hardy's memory, there was considerable controversy over whether he was tortured, or a collaborative mole:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1987/04/15/wo...arbie-aid.html

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Snakebit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    69,508
    Quote Originally Posted by xxl
    Hey, which techniques did we "learn" from the NK? From what I've read, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, beatings, etc., are as American as apple pie. Did they add something new to our toolbag?

    You're using the Spanish Inquisition as an example of 100% success??? Yet, they still had to go and slaughter all those Cathars. It's universally agreed this was not the Catholic Church's finest hour. (Trebek and the judges would disallow that one, plus you didn't phrase your answer in the form of a question. )

    So, there's no documentation that it works, then. Which brings us back to belief in torture as a matter of faith, somewhat like prayer.
    I have given you two examples of success, of the two the NK one is more to the question and it DID work on our guys. You keep pooh, poohing this and questioning my credibility with nothing substantial to support your own arguiment. Do you have examples of extreme stress in interrogation failing?

    I didn't claim that the Inquisition was a shining moment in Church history, only that it accomplished what they set out to do, to reassert the power of the Church and punish and remove any powers that might try to alter the balance. The same sort of tactics work today for Islamic extremists like the Taliban.

  18. #18
    Unlabeled
    Reputation: Reynolds531's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    3,720
    Quote Originally Posted by xxl
    To be fair to Monsieur. Hardy's memory, there was considerable controversy over whether he was tortured, or a collaborative mole:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1987/04/15/wo...arbie-aid.html

    Thanks, I didn;t realize that there were different versions of the story. It's ceratin that torture didn't work on Jean Moulin and torture did not defeat the French Resistance.
    Lugged Steel Treks

  19. #19
    xxl
    xxl is offline
    Moderator
    Reputation: xxl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    35,956
    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit
    I have given you two examples of success, of the two the NK one is more to the question and it DID work on our guys. You keep pooh, poohing this and questioning my credibility with nothing substantial to support your own arguiment. Do you have examples of extreme stress in interrogation failing?

    I didn't claim that the Inquisition was a shining moment in Church history, only that it accomplished what they set out to do, to reassert the power of the Church and punish and remove any powers that might try to alter the balance. The same sort of tactics work today for Islamic extremists like the Taliban.
    You mentioned that the NK taught us new tricks, but give me something specific. If it worked on our guys, what info did they divulge to the enemy? Folding under pressure isn't enough, because there are plenty of examples, from just the past war on terror alone, where guys cracked, and said whatever it was they thought their torturers wanted to hear, veracity be damned; that's the conclusion of the CIA, anyway.

    And your definition of success for the Inquisition could be applied equally well to any repressive and totalitarian group. It's also quite odd to claim this as success, when the promulgation of non-Catholic faiths suggests otherwise.

    But, I did find that the Inquisition gave us, and probably the North Koreans, this nifty little technique (from the Wiki):

    "The methods of torture most used by the Inquisition were garrucha, toca and the potro....The toca, also called tortura del agua, consisted of introducing a cloth into the mouth of the victim, and forcing them to ingest water spilled from a jar so that they had impression of drowning (see: waterboarding).["

  20. #20
    xxl
    xxl is offline
    Moderator
    Reputation: xxl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    35,956
    Quote Originally Posted by Reynolds531
    Thanks, I didn;t realize that there were different versions of the story. It's ceratin that torture didn't work on Jean Moulin and torture did not defeat the French Resistance.
    Oui, mon ami. Nice to know the entire country wasn't a bunch of haughty rifledroppers.

  21. #21
    Opus was just napping
    Reputation: thatsmybush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    19,657
    Quote Originally Posted by xxl
    Oui, mon ami. Nice to know the entire country wasn't a bunch of haughty rifledroppers.
    Marc Bloch...Strange Defeat.

    Hero--if there ever was one.
    In the time of battle you don't rise to the occasion you resort to the level of your conditioning...

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Snakebit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    69,508
    Quote Originally Posted by xxl
    You mentioned that the NK taught us new tricks, but give me something specific. If it worked on our guys, what info did they divulge to the enemy? Folding under pressure isn't enough, because there are plenty of examples, from just the past war on terror alone, where guys cracked, and said whatever it was they thought their torturers wanted to hear, veracity be damned; that's the conclusion of the CIA, anyway.

    And your definition of success for the Inquisition could be applied equally well to any repressive and totalitarian group. It's also quite odd to claim this as success, when the promulgation of non-Catholic faiths suggests otherwise.

    But, I did find that the Inquisition gave us, and probably the North Koreans, this nifty little technique (from the Wiki):

    "The methods of torture most used by the Inquisition were garrucha, toca and the potro....The toca, also called tortura del agua, consisted of introducing a cloth into the mouth of the victim, and forcing them to ingest water spilled from a jar so that they had impression of drowning (see: waterboarding).["
    Using our guys in the current conflict is a good example of success. They said what was wanted for them to say, denounced their country and it's effort on international television. While it may not have impressed you, you were not the audience it was aimed at. Still, if they did that, what information do you think they withheld?

    NK taught us the value of psychological torture. I have no specific examples of what our guys disclosed but it was probably whatever they had or knew, whatever the relative value of the information may have been. There will always be examples of individuals who may withstand the pressures of torture but they are relatively few. The majority will break.

    I'll give you an example of what pain, both physical and mental can do to you from a personal point of view. When I was in my early 30's, I was burned in an oilfield accident and ended up in Brooks Army Burn Center. That may well be the best place in the world to end up if your burns are life threatening but the treatment of burns is a long painful process. One of the treatments was to wrap the area in gause moistened with saline solution, allow it to dry and then pull it off along with the dead material (you) that stuck to it. This was done during daytime and then again in the middle of the night. I could take the daytime part pretty well but at night I came to dread going to sleep because I knew I would be wakened and rewrapped. I ended up crying like a baby and I guarantee that I would have given them anything to have ended that practice. The pain was the same as during the day but not the psychological effect. That is what torture is about and it don't even have to hurt all that bad. It's the mental breakdown of the subject and it does happen.

  23. #23
    xxl
    xxl is offline
    Moderator
    Reputation: xxl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    35,956
    [quote=Snakebit]Using our guys in the current conflict is a good example of success. They said what was wanted for them to say, denounced their country and it's effort on international television. While it may not have impressed you, you were not the audience it was aimed at. Still, if they did that, what information do you think they withheld?[quote]


    The CIA's report says otherwise. This guy doesn't seem to think so, either, and he ought to know:

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...,00.html?imw=Y


    Your accident sounds like a major bummer, but hardly justifies torture.

  24. #24
    Not Banned
    Reputation: atpjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    49,013

    yup

    Quote Originally Posted by xxl
    Yep. Now that I have a new pair of bolt-cutters and know some unenlightened people with extra fingers, I may just have to "prove" the existence of unicorns.
    torture will produce whatever answer you want to hear

    when admitting to a crime that ends in immolation seems like a 'better situation' than one is presently under, you know it isn't working

    "yes, burning alive sounds pretty good right about now"
    one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for few

    still not figgering on biggering

  25. #25
    Not Banned
    Reputation: atpjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    49,013

    amen

    Quote Originally Posted by thatsmybush
    Marc Bloch...Strange Defeat.

    Hero--if there ever was one.
    "I was born in France, I have drunk the waters of her culture. I have made her past my own. I breathe freely only in her climate, and I have done my best, with others, to defend her interests."
    one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for few

    still not figgering on biggering

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.