Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dumb Intelligence

POINT UNO: The act of VIOLENCE and TORTURE, lost of credibility.
I personally feel that the Americans are not employing the most efficient methods of interrogation. This is because they resort to torture rather than persuasion which results in the victims providing them with less than true information because they just want the torture to stop. These methods that they use are very violent and sadistic, which is not expected in today's more civillised and developed society.

Also, the people that carry out these torture methods are not qualified to do so. This is because the CIA that were instructed to do so, many of them that carried it out weren't exactly qualified, this may endanger the victim's life. It has also been argued that the military would be better equipped to handle this, however, the Secretary of Defense thinks otherwise. This in a way shows that he is inapt in handling such matters, as he does not take the welfare and view of others into consideration when there was discontent voiced out.

The use of waterboarding and other torture methods is causing the Americans to lose their moral credibilty because it is mentioned that the quality of the information extracted is sometimes false. Thus, it causes people to have doubts about the information that they are getting. I personally feel that if people were to actually have doubt in such events, they may feel that their lives are being jeopardized by the government, especially when dealing with potential terrorists. Because if int he event that these 'potential terrorists' were to give false information to save themselves, we do not really know what is going to happen next. This causes a great deal of uncertainty and unrest in society.

POINT DOS: What are the impacts?
These sets of false information can also impact the society other than causing unrest. This is because if other countries learn about these acts, they may in turn doubt the capability and credibility of the US. Its is stated that, "torture won't get us any closer to discovering when they are going to go off." This means that it is not through violence tand torture that we can help to eradicate this matter of terrorism. By having torture, we may be able to obtain information. But we do question whether or not this information is credible because we do not have much proof on it. This means that the information is passed off as 'credible' without other forms of conformation on the credibility of it all. Does this really help to put a country at ease? Or does it just make the matter worse off than before?

These questions are one of the many that bother the people who know about the issue. This is because they do not know what goes on within the bowels of the government but merely what they are shown or told. This I feel that people are always kept in the dark and it feels as if we are living in a closed society, not matter how much we declare to be an open one, because of the sheer fact that we only see and hear about what is on the surface and not what that is going on within the belly of the beast.

What is stated, " Obama shoudn't stop at declassifying the memos. " I do agree with the author that more should be done to address this issue. This is because, what the president does, not only impacts his parliament, but also community as a whole. I feel that Obama should not declassify the memos, but instead address that matter that has caused this unrest in society. By declassifying the memos, he is only covering up for the mistakes of the Americans, and people may feel that if the Americans know that their president will cover up for them, they may not stop and evaluate their decisions and actions.

Also, like mentioned, Obama should indeed launcha full-view investigation in the pratices, because this not only jeopardizes the current society, but it may just be that spark that leads up to an even larger holocaust. ideally, we do not want that in society, thus I feel that Obama should review what has been done and make the amends while the night is still young and not when it worsens the situation.

-Sam (:


  1. Commenting on Sam's review of a review.

    Point 3) (Disagree)

    I cannot agree with Sam on her third point that President Obama should do more than de-classify the “torture” memos.

    The de-classification of the memo’s detailing the harsh tactics deployed by the CIA officials would have a few negative consequences. It would only serve to inform the potential/ future terrorists the outer limits and boundaries of the US intelligence. We do know that countless terrorist organizations such as the Al-Qaeda have terrorist training camps and have stepped up military and resistance training to different methods of torture and are even prepared to die for their cause. In light of this, the de-classification of the terror memos is akin to telling the enemies the distance US is willing to go to extract vital information from the terrorists and would only make it much harder to get information from suspected terrorists. Our next generation of terrorists would come charging, properly informed and fully prepared to be prisoners of the US.

    Point 2) (Disagree and agree)

    Being all nice and fuzzy (interrogation) may work when trying to get the offenders of theft, robbery and perhaps even rape to confess however in this case, we are dealing with potential hardcore criminals and masterminds,who are blinkered to see only the fulfillment of their cause and who cannot see the trails of destruction and loss of lives as a result of their actions. It is unlikely that they sucumb to relentless interrorgation and persuation, and spill classified information about future operations.

    However, I believe that perhaps a more civilised approach could be undertaken when questioning the suspects. Yes, the words civilised waterboarding contradicts itself but what I mean is perhaps a more structured approach? Perhaps, the US and the CIA could look into employing of qualified personel to lead the interrogations.

    (Point 1)
    Reliability of the information collected.
    (I agree)

    In both cases when a suspected terrorist is subjected to persuasive interrogation or brutal tactics, the reliability of the resultant information collected is questionable. If a terrorist were to provide inaccurate information about say a planned bomb attack on a certain day, and this information is passed on to the public, wouldn’t this only serve to stir up unnecessary paranoia within the general population?


    In conclusion, I am saying that we shouldn’t totally strike off harsher means of interrogation as it has many times in the past supplied us with vital information that has helped to save countless lives. Do keep in mind that society and laws have been put in place to protect the human rights of these suspects but they chose to take advantage of it and hence, it should alright to give them what they deserve.

    Dhasha :)

    (I hope it isn't too long)

  2. Point 1 – agree

    I agree that the use of waterboarding and other torture methods can cause the loss of credibility of the government as well as cause people to have doubts about the information obtained. When one is facing a situation of life and death, he would probably do anything to stay alive. This can cause doubts in the information obtained as if the suspect is actually innocent, but he is being tortured till he releases some information, he may out of desperation just choose to say some false information in order to be released.

    Point 2 – agree and disagree

    Torture is used in the hope that the suspect reveals some important information. It mainly plays on the person’s mind and extent of tolerance. In interrogating suspected terrorists, I feel that using such harsh measures can only be effective provided he is willing to give in to such circumstances. If torture was not used, it would be as good as forgoing the chance to obtain some important information from these suspects. Perhaps some countries would probably rather be accused of violating human rights than risking the lives of millions of people in the country if they have no clue what the terrorist might do next. It is only by torture that there is a chance that suspected terrorists might give in and divulge information.

    However, torture may not be effective as these terrorists would probably be fully prepared to die since he is willing to take such a big risk by participating in terrorist attacks. Hence, it is not surprising if he does not divulge any information because if he does so, his sacrifice would have been in vain.

    - amanda (:

  3. Point 1 is questionable. While it is valid to say that the information provided by a person being tortured may be less than true. I feel that there might be small possibility that the information given is wholly true. I feel as such as in stressful or painful situations where one is being interrogated for information, people would instinctively provide the interrogator with whatever information they do know, just so the torture would stop. When put in a tight situation as that, it would be difficult for someone to come up with an entirely new set of information that would seem true to interrogators. Due to this, it is possible that the information provided might be wholly true. Despite possibly compromising the quality of vital information received, this form of interrogation is very inhumanely.

    The third paragraph suggests that the moral credibility is at stake because information derived from those being tortured may be false. I believe that this problem can be erased by the government by careful inspecting every bit of information they receive. The government should source out and have references to ensure that they information provided to them is credible. Only after that should they release the information out to the public. Releasing false information out to the public would not only shine a bad light on the government, but civilians would lose hope and trust in the government.

    I agree with point 3. Simply declassifying the memos would once again, put the government as a whole in a bad light. Hence, Obama should be very cautious of the steps he take to handle these types of situations. Obama, being the president and now, known to be the most powerful man in the world, would have to take actions after considering the effects on them on the society, country and the world, as a whole.


  4. Point 1 :
    I agree with Sam’s that incessant and extreme torture to those detained would lead to inaccurate information collected. This is because, in a bid to make the torture stop, people would just say something to fizzle out the wrath of the person meting out the torture.

    (different view on the issue from point 1)
    However, apart from the fact that this torture would lead to flaws in the information obtained, it also reveals underlying issues about America.
    America is a non-secular state governed by biblical truths and believes that everyone is entitled to their own human rights, as stated in the declaration of human rights that the state pledges to. Therefore, they should know better than to use such degrading methods of torture to extract information out of those people that they detain. Not only does it contradict what they swore to abide by, it also goes to portray the barbaric persona of the Americans. This way of extracting information should only be carried out as a last resort and not as the easy way out.

    Point 3:
    I feel that Obama should not just declassify the issue but address the insecurities that these events have caused to the society as well as put in place even stronger defense measures against terrorism. Not declassifying the matter and letting it “float” around could cause even more speculation, leading to increased levels of insecurity and anxiety in the society. However, with technology so advanced these days, the declassification of the torture memos would let the enemy in on the secret of the U.S. As such, by adopting transparency, the U.S must also be even more ready to take on the “new and improved” versions of terrorists that will be even more ruthless and determined to keep the lips sealed even if they face torture interrogations. By doing so, the state can ease the concerns of the people as well as maintain good defense against terror attacks.