Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Marc Thiessen--breaking codes like breaking people

Marc Thiessen interview with the Heritage foundation's The Foundry:



Be sure not to miss the part where he equates President Obama's decision to stop using "enhanced interrogation" methods with a fictional scenario in which Neville Chamberlain boots Churchill out of office and stops the attempt to crack Nazi codes. Right--because breaking codes is exactly the moral equivalent of breaking people.

16 comments:

  1. Should a soldier be treated as an individual or should be treated as an entity of a larger whole? If he's an entity of a larger whole which is committing an aggression, then is he not in some respect an aggressor?

    The individual soldier is not guilty of aggression because he is recognized as part of a larger whole which has authority over him. And if he is first an individual and only secondly a soldier, then would it not follow that he would likewise be culpable for the aggression? Which he is not.

    So when a soldier is interrogated, he's not interrogated as individual, but interrogated as soldier. And given that difference, is there a difference in how an individual can be interrogated versus how a soldier can be interrogated?

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  2. Mr. love the girls:

    A solider retains his human dignity when he puts on the uniform. The interrogator does not receive dispensation to ignore the subject's human dignity when he puts on his interrogator's hat.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

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  3. "A solider retains his human dignity when he puts on the uniform."

    Obviously. But what does that have to do with the question?

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  4. Is there a difference?

    Unless you're talking about soldier ants vs individual ants, the answer is no.

    While one may try to dehumanize the soldier by lumping him in with some shapeless aggressor, the soldier is still an individual human being made in the image of God.

    Chris

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  5. Mr. love the girls:

    All interrogation subjects must be treated as children of God.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

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  6. @love the girls -

    He is interrogated as an individual soldier.

    So certainly, he is an aggressor insofar as he is a member of the aggressor's army.

    But he is not an aggressor in the sense of attacking me immediately. He is my prisoner. He is no longer a combatant, even if he remains an enemy.

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  7. ... is there a difference in how an individual can be interrogated versus how a soldier can be interrogated?

    Yes. A criminal acting outside the laws of war may be treated as a criminal: he may even be tried and executed if that is necessary to protect the common good. These things may be discussed with him, and there may be a plea bargain.

    A soldier must be treated as a POW: three hots, a cot, name, rank, and serial number, that's it.

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  8. RE: Geneva Conventions

    The Conventions provide protection to all prisoners or detainees regardless of legal status. They also provide for the trial of prisoners. For instance if a prisoner violates a regulation of the prison in which he is held or is suspected of committing a war crime or crime against humanity. How the prisoner is to be interrogated and tried depends upon the legal system of teh host country.

    For instance during WW II the USA secretly (in 0order to avoid retaliation) interrogated, tortured and tried 14 German prisoners for the murder of fellow German prisoners (informants). Immediately after the fall of Germany the USA secretly executed the 14. This is a violation of the Conventions because the USA did not comply with the codes of its own system.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

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  9. Zippy writes : "I expand on my reply in this post."

    Thank you Zippy. Especially the last sentence. I ask a question and the moral police can't wait to assume the worst while not even considering the question beyond the most facile.

    Equal treatment never happened to those who for months on end defended every surreal argument for war the Bush sent up. Why, because it was assumed the person was arguing in good faith and had some modicum of decency.

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  10. terrorists != soldiers

    Correct. They are criminals or war criminals. Which for some reason some people don't want to concede, because you aren't supposed to torture war criminals: you are supposed to try and convict and even possibly execute them, but not torture them.

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  11. Wow, good to see all the terrorist protection society has finally gathered here including Shea, Richie, Zippy, and the gang.

    Now you all can hang around, read all the evil things the USA does, and wring your hands and cry out shame on all those evil WWII war criminals who beat the Nazis and Japs. And those today on the front lines of the war on terror know folks like you have their back as they fight to keep you guys safe. Of course you have never been on the front lines prefering to criminalize every action taken in war from as far away as you can get. FDR and Churchill are war criminals for leading troops who firebombed cities and we can add Truman to the list for dropping the A bomb. Lets round up all the people in their administrations, all the generals that ordered these war crimes, and those soldiers who carried them out. We must have had the wrong folks lined up for the trials after the war or maybe just not enough of them. Goodbye sissies.

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  12. Greta:

    A good way to show us sissies how brave you are is to address the fact that an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church has condemned firebombing and nuking cities.

    Otherwise, all you're saying is that you don't like us, and we already know that.

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  13. Otherwise, all you're saying is that you don't like us, and we already know that.

    And she's avoiding the question on the table: In what category do terrorists belong? Civilian, criminal, or prisoner of war? I think most say criminal. Except in muslim or totalitarian states, torture is not an option in the treatment of criminals. If you try POW, no go on torture as well. Which brings us back to the main issue: trying to pretend there is some other category that permits torture. It don't exist.

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  14. Greta:

    "terrorist protection society"

    The folks fighting ISAF in Afghan are Pushtuns. They make up @ half the population and live in @ half of Afghan. Curiously the enemy controls the same half of Afghan even after 9-years of fighting ISAF. The Taliban are recruited in the main from Afghan and Pak Pushtuns. The USA, via the Pak ISI, founded and funded the Taliban. When they were killing Soviets occupying their homeland we called them "freedom fighters". Now that they are killing Americans occupying their homeland we call them "terrorists". BTW the opium crops that the Pushtuns depend on were made possible by a 1960 era US Aid project which irrigated crop lands in Helmund and elsewhere. The first prisoners in GTMO were Pushtuns who were already in PAK and Northern Alliance prisoners prior to 9/11/01. We purchased them like so many cattle on the hoof to populate GTMO. The Pushtuns had nothing to do with 9/11/01.

    Currently the USA rarely fights terrorists. Instead we fight insurgents who were once our allies. We are fighting stupid and loosing because people like you live in a Jack Bauer fantasy world. Your fantasy costs much American blood.

    "those evil WWII war criminals who beat the Nazis and Japs."

    During WW II the US Government as a matter of policy did not use torture as an interrogation tool. Instead its policy (with exceptions noted above) was to treat prisoners humanely. The USA, unlike now, also had a very successful interrogation program.

    "And those today on the front lines of the war on terror know folks like you have their back as they fight to keep you guys safe."

    The sad thing is that the 6,000 American soldiery KIA so far did not loose their lives defending the USA or, in the main fighting terrorists. They died fighting insurgents who were once are allies against Communism and Muslim theocratic governments such as in Iran.

    "Of course you have never been on the front lines preferring to criminalize every action taken in war from as far away as you can get."

    I am an old solider who, unlike yourself, has spent his life going into harms way for the USA. I Have happily shed my blood for my country. As I type I am laid up in a cast from an old jump injury. Since you are such a fire breathing dragon I suggest that you seek employment with Blackwater, or a similar company, which seeks males and females and senior citizens for employment in Afghan. There are slightly more US contractors in Afghan than there are US Soldiery.

    "FDR and Churchill are war criminals for leading troops who firebombed cities and we can add Truman to the list for dropping the A bomb."

    Objectively speaking those responsible for such atrocities broke the 5th Commandment and we should pray for their immortal souls.

    "Goodbye sissies."

    Please let us know when you secure employment in Afghan as a security contractor.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

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