I am going to say this as plainly and as simply as I can.
The America we have grown up with and love, has, since the beginning of her young history, enlisted 'questionable techniques' to gain access to information to protect the National Security of the U.S. and her allies. More refined techniques were undoubtedly used during WWI, WWII, and the Korean War. These interrogation techniques, undoubtedly, turned the tide for us during all foreign wars. If the same concerns of today were applied during WWII, it is certain that we would have never gained access to information as to how close the Germans were to manufacturing a hydrogen bomb nor the whereabouts of the heavy hydrogen that was being harvested to do it. The difference between then and now, we didn't have the news media hawking and spying on our military's every move.
I find it also interesting that many BW OT denizens quote the Constitution when it is something they are passionate about but conveniently ignore it when it comes into contradiction to their views (Freedom OF religion, Right to Bear Arms, etc.). Our enemies do NOT fall under the protection of the COTUS. When one attempts to apply civil liberties that were guaranteed to legal citizens and residents of the U.S., to our enemies, that will only serve to erode our national security and the security of our allies.
I find it disturbing that some persons here are more concerned about the rights and welfare of our enemies than our National Security and our allies and that is down right shameful.
When anyone is more concerned about the rights of our enemies than they are about our national security, and they act on that concern to come to the aid of the enemy, that person is a traitor, pure and simple. Running to the aid of the enemy by standing by their side to 'guarantee their rights' endangers national security. Information we previously had access to by several unsophisticated methods, becomes unavailable when we concern ourselves about interrogation of detainees. We have CIA operatives and military professionals who are trained and skilled in the art of interrogation. This is not something that just started happening. These are techniques that have been refined and used for several hundred years.
I am NOT sanctioning the eradication of an entire people, children, women and their fathers/husbands. It's amazing when the discussion turns to 'what about the children?' instead of 'what about our national security?'
The conflict in Iraq is another discussion. We are there. I wished we weren't, but we are and we have to finish it, no matter how unpopular that is. We can't turn over to the Iraqis a country in it's present condition. To do so would only ensure even more future instability.
I say when we finish breaking a few fingers, yanking a few toe nails and subjecting detainees to an endless loop of Edith Bunker belting out 'Those Were The Days', after information is gained and checked, we shower them, shave them, feed them a seafood feast wearing a clean change of clothes and then roll in a 50" LCD TV for them to watch whatever they wish. I guarantee you the best our boys would get is a final moment before their head was lopped off.
Cmitch, this is a poorly constructed argument regardless of the cheerleading you are getting from the peanut gallery. No one is suggesting our national security is second to ensuring our enemies are treated with the utmost care and understanding, which the foundation of your fabricated argument. Once removed, your argument falls flat, making your argument one of convenience.
The issue here is investing in what makes America unique and great. You and certain others, would, apparently, give that up for convenience, expedience and vengance. The easy way out. Which, in the long run, regardless of how deservedly uncomfortable you perceive it makes our enemies, is specifically eroding our national treasure of lives given for the idealistic principles of our Constitution, such as the basic premise enunciated without any condition of nationality therein that "all men are created equal." The idea that our founding fathers would find your preposterous proposal that only citizens of the United States of America are to be treated by our government, when in the complete control of our government, in a manner that recognizes and respects the inalienable rights they are endowed with by their creator valid, just doesn't stand up to any logical examination. The only interruption at our borders in the recognition of those inalienable rights is due to the behavior of other governments.
And, the real issue at hand here is the use of torture to extract information from these individuals. The fact is the issue being taken has nothing really to do with making "our enemies" feel better instead of worse, and that it has everything to do with maintaining the faith Americans have in their government, and rebuilding the image America has enjoyed in the past, over the globe. This perspective seems to be lost in your discussion or not considered at all. Besides, other than in Hollywood shows, it would seem the practical result is, torture does little more than force people to talk while degrading the self image Americans have of their government. What the victims of state sanctioned torture you advocate say while being tortured has to be validated by other means, as, under duress people inclined to fold under torture say what ever they believe will make the torture stop. Not a particularly reliable source of information, and in the grand scheme of things, a really bad bargain for America's security. We would be much better served by acts that build our image inside and outside of our borders. But down deep I think you already know that. Jim