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March 14, 2002
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"Rendition" is the State Department legal term for when they ship (its a lot like extradition minus due process ) Al Qaida/Taliban POWs to a friendly 3rd country such as Egypt or Jordan for questioning. "Why not just question them in Guantanamo" you ask? Thats because in some countries, interrogation is less regulated than it is on US soil. Neat, huh?
posted by BentPenguin (52 comments total)

 
Wow. Anybody have any documents with the official version of this story? Any negations?
Cuz if that's true, it's so cynical that it makes my head reel.
posted by milkman at 6:47 AM on March 14, 2002


Torture tourism! Obviously this is a heinous practice, if the report is true, but it brings to mind a relevant question: If doing this prevented a plot to kill thousands of Americans in a planned dirty-nuke attack on Manhattan, would it be worth it?
posted by rcade at 6:48 AM on March 14, 2002


Well it's selling your soul for the knowledge, rcade. Comes down to whether your favour pragmatism over idealism.
posted by dlewis at 6:54 AM on March 14, 2002


If doing this prevented a plot to kill thousands of Americans in a planned dirty-nuke attack on Manhattan, would it be worth it?

No. You either have standards or you don't. You torture or you don't.
posted by Summer at 6:56 AM on March 14, 2002


Interesting - no actual allegations of the US, or anyone else actually torturing anyone. Just a note that what the countries people are being shipped to have in common are less rigorous laws than the US in interrogation. (Of course, they also have a large number of other things in common - such as the fact that they are all Islamic, have all themselves had trouble with Muslim extremists, have intelligence agencies that may know the nuances of the region to a greater degree than the US - or anyone else, etc., etc. ... but that wouldn't make for a story nearly as exciting as one implying that they were being shipped to these countries for the purpose of CIA-backed torture, now would it).

It is interesting how this article portrays things:

"He was taken from Indonesia to Egypt on a US-registered Gulfstream jet without a court hearing after his name appeared on al-Qaida documents. He remains in custody in Egypt and has been subjected to interrogation by intelligence agents."

I notice he wasn't "questioned" - no, he was "subjected to interrogation". Hhhmmm ...
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:03 AM on March 14, 2002


I think it would be worth it, given the extreme consequences of a nuclear attack on American soil (and the likely consequences of an American response). Thousands would die. The economy would be in shambles. A wider nuclear war could result.

While I could describe the hypothetical tortured Al Qaeda member as a really bad guy to help my argument, even if he's as innocent as Daniel Pearl, if he has credible, significant information that could prevent the massacre of thousands, I think the U.S. should do whatever it can to get that information.
posted by rcade at 7:06 AM on March 14, 2002


Well, evildoers get tortured. That's what freedom & democracy are all about.

Don't do evil, and you won't get tortured. Simple enough.
posted by Mondo at 7:06 AM on March 14, 2002


Or we could just send them all to France, as was considered in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui Would everyone be OK with that?

Both Morocco and France are regarded as having harsher interrogation methods than the United States.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1022-01.htm

The principal subjects of concern [regarding the issue of torture in France]* identified by the Committee included, inter alia: the absence of a definition in law of the act of torture; provisions by which prosecutors may decide not to investigate allegations of torture or prosecute those identified as responsible; that evidence acquired through torture may still be used before the courts; the failure to prohibit refoulement or extradition to a country where there are grounds to believe torture may occur; and sporadic allegations of violence by police during arrest and/or interrogation.

http://www.hri.ca/fortherecord1998/vol6/francetb.htm
*comments in brackets are mine.
posted by syzygy at 7:11 AM on March 14, 2002


Well it's selling your soul for the knowledge, rcade.

Thats one way of looking at it. You might recall that much hay was made of the FBI's inability to get a search warrant to read Moussaoui's Laptop prior to 911 even though everyone privy to the case knew their suspect stunk on ice.

So then, if you had a suspect in custody today, with an impending attack looming, would you hold to the Constitutional ideals and xtend them to a foreign agent? If you did hold, would you be able to defend your decision after an attack if in hindsight it turned out your suspect did have prior knowledge? Is that better or worse than if you did interrogate and then it turned out that he was no threat?

Which position is more defensible? Perhaps the bill of rights etc should only be applied to US citizens and Perm residents, but even thats a flawed solution for obvious reasons.

Way back in law school, I recall reading a Sup Ct Jurist (I forget which one, they all dress alike) speculating that if someone were ever able to steal a nuke in the US, it would be the death of constitutional rights since in his opinion, these rights could then be easily waived in order to recover the nuke, eg. house to house search.
posted by BentPenguin at 7:35 AM on March 14, 2002


to the post: don't do evil and you won't get tortured. What the hell is that supposed to mean! You are guilty and therefore you are to be tortured? Ever hear of the 5th amendment? Do you know why we have that in place? No man should be forced to testify against himself. Now, that was put in place becasue in medieval Europe, and in early America, you could torture the confession (?) out of him and then feel it was ok to execute him.
I am sure the rejoinder is: well he is not American so such safeguards do not apply. Right. Then why not use them for anyone and everyone?
The notion of sending these prisoners elsewhere goes back to the early days of our attack upon Afghanistan. Israel, for example, has been condemned for using torture on captured known terrorists. Yet here we do the same thing but haven't the guts to simply make it a policy. This then is a govt that is hypocritical : pretending to values it really does not honor. I am not taking a postion here for or against such things but pointing to the duplicity we employ.
posted by Postroad at 7:42 AM on March 14, 2002


> I notice he wasn't "questioned" - no, he was "subjected
> to interrogation". Hhhmmm ...

When the state does not permit the torture of prisoners, questioning remains questioning. When the state permits and encourages torture, questioning easily becomes subjection to something worse, and the state becomes far worse for it.

> Don't do evil, and you won't get tortured. Simple enough.

In my dictionary, evil -- "morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked" -- is not narrowly defined. What evil acts should earn you (or, say, your little sister) torture in jail? Drunk driving? Shoplifting? Tax evasion? They're all evil. And what should the torture be? Pulling out your fingernails? Your teeth? Burning your genitalia? Threatening to kill your children?

If the US encourages the torture of prisoners, maybe it isn't a country worth defending.
posted by pracowity at 7:47 AM on March 14, 2002


i think i remember something like this with people being sent to israel where it was assumed they would be tortured. like the country just threatened them to go to israel and that was enough to scare them, i don't rememebr the specifics though. i don't think it was related to 9/11.

also, please ignore mondo, he's just baiting people
posted by rhyax at 8:01 AM on March 14, 2002


To clarify, I was being sarcastic. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

What is evil and what's an evildoer ? Depends where you live. So, I side with those that believe in rights, regardless of the circumstances.

"We" are supposed to be different, democratic and freedom loving. So why is it that "we" are no different, and in some cases, worse, than the "evildoers".
posted by Mondo at 8:13 AM on March 14, 2002


If doing this prevented a plot to kill thousands of Americans in a planned dirty-nuke attack on Manhattan, would it be worth it?

Using this logic, would it have been OK for the Japanese to torture US POWs in WW2?

I think we would disagree.
posted by Red58 at 8:22 AM on March 14, 2002


I notice he wasn't "questioned" - no, he was "subjected to interrogation". Hhhmmm ...

Does (a) splitting hairs over word choice or (b) trying to subvert the discussion into an analysis of liberal bias change the original (and surely more important) question of whether the U.S. is sanctioning and encouraging torture of human beings and whether this is a good thing or a bad?
posted by rushmc at 8:31 AM on March 14, 2002


Using this logic, would it have been OK for the Japanese to torture US POWs in WW2?

One was a retaliatory response during the biggest war of all time.
One is an unprovoked attack on a civilian populace.

Still can't see the difference?

Very interesting that this supposed bombshell of a story isn't to be found on the Washington Post. The Guardian is about as fair & balanced as Foxnews...
posted by owillis at 8:32 AM on March 14, 2002


Well, evildoers get tortured. That's what freedom & democracy are all about.

Don't do evil, and you won't get tortured. Simple enough.


So some people really are buying into this rhetoric? Some people really are unquestionably incorporating this kind of vocabulary into what is presuming to be intelligent discourse?
I had convinced myself that the polls were lying.
posted by milkman at 8:33 AM on March 14, 2002


Owillis, do your homework better. Or even better.
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:50 AM on March 14, 2002



> I notice he wasn't "questioned" - no, he was "subjected
> to interrogation". Hhhmmm ...

When the state does not permit the torture of prisoners, questioning remains questioning. When the state permits and encourages torture, questioning easily becomes subjection to something worse, and the state becomes far worse for it.


I was speaking of the rhetoric here ... Jordan and Egypt don't have the same laws the US does in regards to questioning. The article is implying that suspects were shipped there because of this fact. It is also implying that suspects were "tortured". Implying is the key word - the fellow could not come out and explicitly allege that suspects were shipped there for torture - as there he has no evidence that they were, or that torture took place. The entire article is a big pile of suggestive innuendo.

The mechanism of innuendo is the use of words like "subjected to interrogation" instead of "questioned".

The article has a really nasty slant ... the "torture" aspect is emphasized. The only actual substantive fact in the article is that an unnamed "diplomat" apparently told the reporter that suspects had been shipped to Jordan and Egypt. Everything else is conclusions and implications that the writer draws from that. Upon asking people about it, some actually said that suspects were shipped there because of the delicacy of the politics in the region ... for instance ...

An Indonesian government official said disclosing the Americans' role would have exposed President Megawati Sukarnoputri to criticism from Muslim political parties. "We can't be seen to be cooperating too closely with the United States," the official said.

Reasons like this make far more sense than the article's implied reasons - - i.e., that we shipped them there secretly because we wouldn't have been able to torture them here.

I do notice that the article did work as the author presumably intended - it took his entirely theoretical conclusion and made it the topic. Probably just worth emphasizing, though, that the author presents no evidence that the US, (or Jordan, or Egypt) has done anything other than question suspects that may have been involved in serious terrorism.
posted by MidasMulligan at 8:52 AM on March 14, 2002


Owillis, do your homework better. Or even better.
I stand corrected. I thought the story was from today, not several days ago. I still stand by the rest of my statement.
posted by owillis at 9:00 AM on March 14, 2002


And you wonder why there's the sense of a double standard in the talk of 'this was an attack on our freedoms.' (Oh, and where's your apology to the Guardian, owillis? Pride precedes a fall, and you tripped up big-style.)
posted by riviera at 9:08 AM on March 14, 2002


I've got no apology for the Guardian. They've shown themselves to be as strong an advocate for straight up anti-American sentiment as Fox News has for unquestioning belief in conservative ideology.
posted by owillis at 9:12 AM on March 14, 2002


The article has a really nasty slant ... the "torture" aspect is emphasized. The only actual substantive fact in the article is that an unnamed "diplomat" apparently told the reporter that suspects had been shipped to Jordan and Egypt.

Midas has a very good point. The story could have just as easily been framed as "U.S. stops being vigilante and finally turns Al-Qaeda/Taliban fighters over to neutral 3rd parties," (about which The Guardian has ironically - or hypocritically - complained on several occasions.)
posted by lizs at 9:31 AM on March 14, 2002


So, I side with those that believe in rights, regardless of the circumstances.

How about the right to defend yourself from those who would exploit those same rights as a clever means of killing you? Would you give your loved one's lives in the name of principle, or adjust those beliefs (hopefully temporarilly) in the name of self defense? Shouldn't rights as an institution be somewhat dofferent than rights specific to extraordinary threats?

Jordan and Egypt don't have the same laws the US does in regards to questioning.

Both countries also successfully faced down challenges from extremists in their countries by means not (yet) condoned in the US. (See for example the so-called Black September 1970, re: Jordan under the rule of King Hussein. Then try and reconcile why the Martyrs are down with that, and yet all up in our grill over Israel. . .

Kill or be killed is what passes for political discourse in the middle east. They're playing by their rules in in the US, so why should we not respond in kind?
posted by BentPenguin at 9:31 AM on March 14, 2002


They've shown themselves to be as strong an advocate for straight up anti-American sentiment as Fox News has for unquestioning belief in conservative ideology.

In which case, you really ought to get out more. (If you want to see straight-up anti-Americanism, there are a dozen Arab dailies on the web. And European ones, too: Le Monde is always good for a laugh at your expense. But of course, you're American, so you only get to read the ones written in English.)

BentPenguin: want to know how Black September was wound down? It wasn't with torture. Quite the opposite.

and lizs: that's as weaselish a definition as could have slipped from the tongue of Don Rumsfeld. You'll next be saying that it's in the 'spirit' of the Geneva Convention.
posted by riviera at 9:41 AM on March 14, 2002


But of course, you're American, so you only get to read the ones written in English

Woo-yah, we 'mericuns don't cotton to no crazy furrin' languages! Gimme a break. We weren't talking about Arab dailies or Le Monde, were we? We were talking about the Guardian. You've been part of Mefi for all of 3 days so I'll excuse you not realizing that the Guardian has been the link of choice for those searching for anti-war sentiment.
posted by owillis at 9:49 AM on March 14, 2002


BentPenguin: want to know how Black September was wound down? It wasn't with torture. Quite the opposite.

I was rferring to the event which hatched the name of the terrorist group your link discusses.

In the late 60s, palestinians residing in Jordan became a serieous and explicit threat King Hussein, king by way of a Hashemite dynasty not really connected to the palestinian peoples. While willing to let many Palestinians live permanently in Jordan, Hussein had to draw the line when those same palestinians started mobilizing to assert their power over Jordan's "gov't". So he mowed down the uppity palestinians by the thousands, in Sept 1970.

While Hussein died in '99 and is regarded as a righteous leader, he had to kill or be killed (like his father back in 1952.) Some say that the Kurds were a similar threat to Saddam Hussein which is why he gassed entire villages, which the US uses as evidence of his evility.

Or perhaps you might try finding the thosands of peole who lived in a syrian city by the name of Hama until they too tried to get their hands on some governmental influence in the Syrian parliament. Assad killed untold thousands. No one knows for sure how many, but estimates range from 10 to 40 thousand.

You won't find muslims bemoaning these events cuz they happenned within the tribe and such events are part of the system in Arabic history and culture.

Now, if the US or Israel did such a thing, well ther esponse would be quite dif't now, wouldn't it.

So in short, your link is quite touching, but somewhat less than relevant, other than reminding me of a real world application of the 72 black-eyed virgins deal-of-a-lifetime thang.
posted by BentPenguin at 9:53 AM on March 14, 2002


bentpenguin: Both countries also successfully faced down challenges from extremists in their countries by means not (yet) condoned in the US.

You think that egypt has been successful against extremists? The extremist movement in egypt is steadily growing despite being technically illegal and oppressed (yes, tortured) by the government. The Muslim brotherhood is stronger now than it's been in many years. Instead of proving your point, egypt disproves it. Cracking down on extremists often galvanizes them, it doesn't get rid of them.

upon previewing your newest comment, I have to ask what point you're arguing. Your facts are correct, but what do they prove in this discussion? certainly not that these sorts of actions are justified (?). and certainly not that they are even effective in eliminating extremists.
posted by jnthnjng at 10:15 AM on March 14, 2002


You've been part of Mefi for all of 3 days so I'll excuse you not realizing that the Guardian has been the link of choice for those searching for anti-war sentiment.

Why, thank you for that gobbet of wisdom. I promise that once I get my posting rights, I'll make an extra-special effort on your behalf to look across the globe for my painfully contrary opinions. It probably won't be hard. In the meantime, my generalisation was meant to point up yours: singling out the Guardian as if it were the sole repository of critical comment (and thus making a fool of yourself with that Washington Post remark) is nothing but laziness. And finding different sentiments outside the media safety-blanket of the US is, you might be surprised to know, like finding straws in a haystack.

BentPenguin: I apologise for misreading your point about Black September. But both Hussain and Assad were ruthless because they were fighting from a position of weakness, not strength. That isn't an excuse, just a kind of Machiavellian explanation. (Hussain came to the throne at the age of 17, a few months after his grandfather was assassinated; Assad belonged to the minority Alawite sect.) The US is in a different position: one of strength, but acting weak, Norman Mailer's '370-pound man in need of constant reassurance'. Outsourcing interrogation is literally a 'cop-out'.
posted by riviera at 10:30 AM on March 14, 2002


singling out the Guardian as if it were the sole repository of critical comment

Could you please give me a break. This link points to the Guardian. The overwhelming source of anti-war links on Mefi since 9.11 has been the Guardian. Of course there is tons of anti-war sentiment out there, even in American periodicals (we're able to think intelligently while simultaneously dragging our knuckles, you know). I'm pointing out the Guardian because its "old reliable" for the anti-war folks here. If you can find a less biased source with criticisms of America's policy - more power to you. Not having any dissent isn't a discourse I'd like to have.
posted by owillis at 10:49 AM on March 14, 2002


It's called outsourcing. The question is, is it a necessary evil or more evil than necessary?

And what is the appropriate public response? Should we pretend people aren’t being sent to third party countries to be tortured as some in this discussion have tried. Is this policy in the end saving more lives than it destroys and does that justify it? How do we figure out if it has been effective or not if our government isn’t coming out and admitting it, which they can’t because the whole point is to prevent attention.
posted by euphorb at 11:02 AM on March 14, 2002


lizs: that's as weaselish a definition as could have slipped from the tongue of Don Rumsfeld.

no more weaselish than tacitly assuming that people are being sent to these countries to be tortured with *absolutely no evidence.*
posted by lizs at 11:22 AM on March 14, 2002


owillis: Stop wasting your time on the Eurotroll.
posted by rcade at 11:26 AM on March 14, 2002


owillis: 19 threads with "guardian.co.uk" during the past month, 19 threads with "washingtonpost.com" during the past month, 26 threads with "cnn.com" during the past month and 41 threads with "nytimes.com" during the past month. Sure, this is general news, but from a regular news perspective, Guardian threads are hardly "overwhelming," unless 18% of 105 threads somehow constitutes a majority in the owillis universe.
posted by ed at 11:54 AM on March 14, 2002


reminds me of a short story by ursula k. leguin called the ones who walked away from omelas. omelas, btw, is salem o. backwards! from a review:
a kind of parable about a mythical society which exceeds all utopias in brilliance and glory. There is, however, a clear, specific and horrible cost for the unsurpassed joy of its people. One is invited to consider whether the cost is appropriate, if not, why not, and how our own lives might be analogous. Insofar as our lives do mirror those of the people in the story, we are confronted with the choice of whether to walk away.
i think there was a story called the lottery(?) that was kind of similar, but i forgot who it was by :)
posted by kliuless at 12:31 PM on March 14, 2002


The fundamental problem with shipping suspects off, without due process, to face interrogation in countries that allow torture is the same as the problem which led us to ban torture here. Suspects may be innocent! Once you apply enough pressure, however, you can get a person to not only incriminate themself but anyone else that you want "evidence" against. At that point, not only have you committed a grave moral wrong, but the information you've gathered is untrustworthy, since the torture victim will usually end up telling you what you want to hear.

As far as whether the U.S. government has been moving suspects to where they can be legally tortured - I hope not, but I know too much history to dismiss the idea out of hand. The Post article linked above cites what amounts to circumstantial but hardly conclusive evidence. If anyone has ideas on where we could find more evidence one way or the other, I'd consider it a lot more useful than name-calling from the pro- or anti-war crowds.
posted by tdismukes at 1:00 PM on March 14, 2002


Via Queryserver government search: background on "Rendition" on page 15.
posted by sheauga at 2:33 PM on March 14, 2002


rcade: good point.
posted by owillis at 3:21 PM on March 14, 2002


Could you please give me a break.

Actually, I won't, because it's illustrative. You jumped on the story solely because it was reported in the Guardian. You have every right to think that the Guardian's entire output is full of shit, just as I have every right to think that the tactics being pursued by the US government (and the arguments of its ovine masses) are full of shit. It's that polarisation that illustrates the problem that the US government, and it appears, the general populace, faces when dealing with the Big Evildoing World. So (and this is for you, lizs), even if there is no clear evidence that either side is full of shit, the habitual incidents of perceived shittiness are more than enough to create the impression. (Just as ed's statistics prove that while you feel 'overwhelmed' by the presence of the Guardian, its oppressive presence is relatively minor compared to, say, the NYTimes.)

Covertly offloading suspects to be interrogated in regimes that don't share your precious constitutional freedoms sustains a precedent of behaviour that is perceived to be shitty. And while you believe that this protects you, I suspect that it creates enemies at a rate that far exceeds the ability of such practices to counter them.

rcade: since you've stuck me (quite unfairly) under the bridge, let me try to emerge, just to see if you can answer this question, which I put in a spirit diametrically opposed to trollery:

Do you value the ability to get information from your theoretical AlQuaeda man highly enough to be prepared to give up the constitutional protections that might be broken in order to get that information, were the interrogation performed in the US? (And let's say: give them up not just for you, but for your family.)

Because even though I took only a few philosophy classes, I believe that's a rough version of the categorical imperative, copyright Herr I. Kant. And I don't really think "I'm lucky that I don't have to make that choice" is a valid answer.
posted by riviera at 3:22 PM on March 14, 2002


kliuless: "The Lottery of Babylon" by Borges.
posted by electro at 4:05 PM on March 14, 2002


no, i've never read any borges before :) but i found it! the lottery by shirley jackson. the lottery of babylon looks pretty cool, tho.
posted by kliuless at 4:20 PM on March 14, 2002


Philosophically and journalistically, riviera is right. A categorical imperative must apply to all human beings. In modern times, John Rawls via his "original position" has argued along the same Kantian lines. I truly hate to simplify but here it is: what sort of social contract(what rights, what obligations)would rational human beings negotiate if they had no idea whatsoever if they were going to be born disabled, American, stupid, rich, poor, hardworking, lazy, Ethiopian, ill, healthy, et caetera?

You are either against torture or you aren't. Handing someone over to someone who isn't is, arguably, morally the same as torturing. It certainly goes against U.S. law.
To show this from the European side, this is why European states don't extradite criminals to countries that allow the death penalty, i.e. the U.S. and, in this respect, all the "rogue states".

Sure, it would be convenient - specially when criminals are known to be guilty of atrocious murders. But they don't because values are values and if you're against killing in any form, then you can't act in a way that would cause someone to be killed.

I'm not exaggerating much when I say it's a similar situation to hiring a contract killer. Look at the legal system's way of dealing with those who do and you'll understand there's little difference, punishment-wise. Morally, it reaks of cowardice and hypocrisy.

The U.S. legal and political culture is anti-torture. So it must be against torture everywhere. Handing suspects - or known murderers - over to countries who do condone torture is, logically, to open an exception.

Why the hell do European states not hand over known murderers to a country, like the U.S., they're so close to? Because you execute them. And they thing this is wrong. Look at it the other way round: suppose President Bush wanted to save an assassin and handed him to a European country, so that he wouldn't be executed. Would that be right for someone who is such a staunch defender of capital punishment?

I've gone on too long and not yet broached the journalistic side of the discussion, but riviera is being labelled a troll just because he's made an effort to point out the very simple fact that things aren't as simple as some would want them to be.

The Guardian is liberal and left-wing but it's also a funny, cantankerous, well written newspaper that no Labour government can truly count on. Like the New York Times, though much less straitlaced and politically correct, it is gloriously unreliable: it is that wonderful thing, a proper newspaper.

You really do have to read it daily - not just read twenty anti-American links on MetaFilter. This is not the world, you know. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:25 PM on March 14, 2002


Pardon the typos - a little hommage to the Grauniad.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:28 PM on March 14, 2002


[The Guardian] is gloriously unreliable: it is that wonderful thing, a proper newspaper.

Well, it is made out of paper. One out of three ain't bad, at least in some sports. But to imagine there is anything proper about unreliability, or to call the result "news," is to miss entirely the point of reportage.
posted by kindall at 4:33 PM on March 14, 2002


Kindall: Heh. I meant unreliable as far as political institutions, namely The Labour Party, are concerned. News-wise they're very reliable - otherwise they wouldn't be a good newspaper.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:09 PM on March 14, 2002


riviera is being labelled a troll just because he's made an effort to point out the very simple fact that things aren't as simple as some would want them to be.

Au contraire. I'd say riviera is being (rightly) labeled a troll for making silly statements such as:

the US government (and the arguments of its ovine masses)
and
But of course, you're American, so you only get to read the ones written in English.

If that's not Eurotrolling and absolute facile nonsense, I dunno what is. Those statements add no value to the salient points riviera may have made, and they go a long way toward reinforcing polarisation, of which riviera claims to be no fan.

riviera - Zusätzlich, ich bin amerikanisch und ich las meine Zeitungen auf Englisch, Spanisch und Deutsch. Wahnsinn, oder?
posted by syzygy at 4:23 AM on March 15, 2002


Outsourcing.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:14 AM on March 15, 2002


No, I labelled him a troll because he can't seem to make a comment without a pointlessly argumentative anti-American sneer and an unflattering description of people he disagrees with (fools, lazy, weaselish, "ought to get out more," etc).

It's quite a performance -- and I'm only talking about a single thread. When you start looking at his other contributions and see things like his comment that dhartung is "drooling,", I think it becomes clear that our new friend isn't interested in treating any opinion but his own with respect.
posted by rcade at 11:58 AM on March 15, 2002


Ah, but I am interested in treating others' opinions with respect, rcade; it's just that some people aren't so devoted to respecting their own. Shouting 'troll! troll! troll!' doesn't disguise the fact that you still haven't answered my question.
posted by riviera at 2:06 PM on March 16, 2002


Riviera - perhaps you'd care to put us all out of our misery over at MetaTalk, where this question is being addressed even as we speak.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:41 PM on March 16, 2002


Am I willing to see the U.S. risk constitutional safeguards by using torture to prevent a dirty-nuke attack of Manhattan? Absolutely.

I think the consequences of such an attack are a much greater threat than the use of torture under state-of-emergency circumstances. Our rights seem to have weathered the occasional declaration of martial law.

Of all the arguments used in opposition to the use of torture, I'm not particularly persuaded by the notion that we cease to be a "country worth defending" if we stoop to such heinous tactics. We've done worse for lesser reasons -- often in the last 50 years simply for geopolitical gamesmanship with the Soviet Union -- and the history of the U.S. is hardly one in which our behavior has always meshed with our ideals.

Is this so heartlessly pragmatic it's creepy? Probably.
posted by rcade at 8:10 PM on March 17, 2002


> Is this so heartlessly pragmatic it's creepy?

Yes. Creepy. Like killing people because jailing them is expensive.
posted by pracowity at 10:21 PM on March 17, 2002


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