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Author Topic: So now we torture on behalf of the Chinese?  (Read 6426 times)
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Pyperkub
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« on: May 21, 2008, 03:13:41 PM »

This thing just keeps getting worse (from ABC news):

Report: U.S. Soldiers Did 'Dirty Work' for Chinese Interrogators

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U.S. military personnel at Guantanamo Bay allegedly softened up detainees at the request of Chinese intelligence officials who had come to the island facility to interrogate the men -- or they allowed the Chinese to dole out the treatment themselves, according to claims in a new government report.
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Fireball
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008, 03:17:46 PM »

This filthy, worthless administration has set out to destroy everything that is good about America. The basic decency for which our country was once known is now gone. This president, and his supporters, are to blame for this, and for the repercussions that might come if we do not correct course dramatically.
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MrZubbleWump
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2008, 03:32:46 PM »

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Uighur detainees were kept awake for long periods, deprived of food and forced to endure cold for hours on end, just prior to questioning by Chinese interrogators.[

I'm against torture but I'm not sure that the above is what I would call torture.  If anything it's making the prisoner uncomfortable but I doubt that any long term physical or mental damage was the result.  The article does not give any details about what the Chinese did other than to do the above themselves.  I don't consider this outrage material.
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 03:37:55 PM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 21, 2008, 03:17:46 PM

This filthy, worthless administration has set out to destroy everything that is good about America. The basic decency for which our country was once known is now gone. This president, and his supporters, are to blame for this, and for the repercussions that might come if we do not correct course dramatically.


True. Everyone loved us prior to the GWB admin.  If only his 8 years hadn't undermined the previous 230 years of good will we'd built up with everyone around the globe...
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DamageInc
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2008, 03:42:41 PM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 21, 2008, 03:17:46 PM

This filthy, worthless administration has set out to destroy everything that is good about America. The basic decency for which our country was once known is now gone. This president, and his supporters, are to blame for this, and for the repercussions that might come if we do not correct course dramatically.

We have pretty much done similar things in almost every war or combat situation we have been in going back to even the earliest days of this country. Heck after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor they rounded up all the American Japanese and put them in detention camps. I'm not necessarily saying it is always fair or right, but don't just blame the administration as it has been a fundamnetal stance since the beginning.
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cheeba
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2008, 04:36:44 PM »

Quote from: ATB on May 21, 2008, 03:37:55 PM

True. Everyone loved us prior to the GWB admin.  If only his 8 years hadn't undermined the previous 230 years of good will we'd built up with everyone around the globe...

Are you being sarcastic?
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Fireball
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2008, 04:47:38 PM »

Quote from: ATB on May 21, 2008, 03:37:55 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 21, 2008, 03:17:46 PM

This filthy, worthless administration has set out to destroy everything that is good about America. The basic decency for which our country was once known is now gone. This president, and his supporters, are to blame for this, and for the repercussions that might come if we do not correct course dramatically.


True. Everyone loved us prior to the GWB admin.  If only his 8 years hadn't undermined the previous 230 years of good will we'd built up with everyone around the globe...


No one is arguing that America has ever been universally loved. But you cannot argue that Bush's heinous crimes against decency and humanity haven't destroyed our moral authority in the international scene. We are now a nation that is known for conducting torture -- the same crimes we executed Germans and Japanese soldiers for committing.

Bush has destroyed America's brand. This the end result of his presidency. We are a ruined nation on the global scene. We have an economy that is in the tank. We have an executive branch that has assumed powers that do not belong to it. In every measurable way, Bush has made this nation weaker and worse.
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2008, 04:50:29 PM »

But he was on Deal or No Deal, so everything is cool, man.

Go team!
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Fireball
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2008, 05:58:57 PM »

Quote from: Purge on May 21, 2008, 04:50:29 PM

But he was on Deal or No Deal, so everything is cool, man.

Go team!

Who are the mouthbreathers that actually like that show? It's pick a number. That's it. Pick a fucking number. No skill required, no talent, no knowledge. Just pick a fucking number.
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cheeba
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2008, 06:39:55 PM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 21, 2008, 04:47:38 PM

We are a ruined nation on the global scene.
Which explains why we don't have a bunch of immigrants who want to come to the United States!
 Roll Eyes
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MrZubbleWump
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2008, 06:41:08 PM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 21, 2008, 04:47:38 PM

Bush has destroyed America's brand. This the end result of his presidency. We are a ruined nation on the global scene. We have an economy that is in the tank. We have an executive branch that has assumed powers that do not belong to it. In every measurable way, Bush has made this nation weaker and worse.

Yeah, I felt the same way about this guy when he was president.




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cheeba
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2008, 07:30:33 PM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 21, 2008, 05:58:57 PM

Who are the mouthbreathers that actually like that show?
Perhaps these are the same mouthbreathers whom you wish to receive forcefully distributed wealth from those who likely do not watch?
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2008, 07:58:20 PM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 21, 2008, 05:58:57 PM

Quote from: Purge on May 21, 2008, 04:50:29 PM

But he was on Deal or No Deal, so everything is cool, man.

Go team!

Who are the mouthbreathers that actually like that show? It's pick a number. That's it. Pick a fucking number. No skill required, no talent, no knowledge. Just pick a fucking number.


...and Bush was on that show because the 5th graders would have eateded him fer lunch? biggrin
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Pyperkub
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2008, 08:00:07 PM »

So, just to be clear MZW and Cheeba - you're in favor of the USA allowing China to torture prisoners in our care, and aiding in that torture as well as possibly participating in it?  Rationalized in part because you don't like Jimmy Carter?
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cheeba
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2008, 09:20:50 PM »

Quote from: Pyperkub on May 21, 2008, 08:00:07 PM

So, just to be clear MZW and Cheeba - you're in favor of the USA allowing China to torture prisoners in our care, and aiding in that torture as well as possibly participating in it?
We haven't yet established that it *is* torture. Sleep deprivation? How much? Deprived of food? For how long? Forced to endure cold? How cold and for how long?

My current view on this topic is that none of us has enough information to come to an informed conclusion about this alleged torture.
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Brendan
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2008, 09:46:38 PM »

This is yet another indignity for the Uighurs they still have at Guantanamo.  The US has acknowledged that they aren't "enemy combatants", but even three years later, they haven't been released - because they can't go back to China, where they'd be tortured or killed, and the US won't grant them asylum.  So, there are plenty of them being held in Supermax-inspired solitary confinement in "Camp 6".

Well done, Bush administration.  Prevent them from being treated as political prisoners by the Chinese by... locking them in solitary confinement without charges for years after allowing the Chinese to torture them at an American military base.

Here's a three year old article in the WaPo which is sadly still relevant.

Quote
All 15 Uighurs have actually been cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay twice, once after a Pentagon review in late 2003 and again last March, U.S. officials said. Seven other Uighurs were ruled to be enemy combatants and will continue to be detained.

Even after the second decision, however, the government did not notify the 15 men for several months that they had been cleared. "They clearly were keeping secret that these men were acquitted. They were found not to be al Qaeda and not to be Taliban," Willett said. "But the government still refused to provide a transcript of the tribunal that acquitted them to the detainees, their new lawyers or a U.S. court."
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Brendan
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2008, 09:57:19 PM »

Quote from: MrZubbleWump on May 21, 2008, 03:32:46 PM

Quote
Uighur detainees were kept awake for long periods, deprived of food and forced to endure cold for hours on end, just prior to questioning by Chinese interrogators.[

I'm against torture but I'm not sure that the above is what I would call torture.  If anything it's making the prisoner uncomfortable but I doubt that any long term physical or mental damage was the result.  The article does not give any details about what the Chinese did other than to do the above themselves.  I don't consider this outrage material.

Our government has repeatedly declared that these men can be set free, yet they're kept in solitary confinement.  They are not guilty of any crimes.  No outrage?
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gellar
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2008, 09:57:54 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 21, 2008, 09:20:50 PM

Quote from: Pyperkub on May 21, 2008, 08:00:07 PM

So, just to be clear MZW and Cheeba - you're in favor of the USA allowing China to torture prisoners in our care, and aiding in that torture as well as possibly participating in it?
We haven't yet established that it *is* torture. Sleep deprivation? How much? Deprived of food? For how long? Forced to endure cold? How cold and for how long?

My current view on this topic is that none of us has enough information to come to an informed conclusion about this alleged torture.

Well, where would be your line?  When is the line crossed to torture from... well shit, I don't really know what to call it.  Hazing?  Being a gigantic dillhole?  Enlighten me here.

Just for reference, this is how the UN defines torture:

Quote
"any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

gellar
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MrZubbleWump
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« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2008, 10:22:58 PM »

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"any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

According to the above, just about any kind of punishment that one can think of could be defined as torture.  I want to know what kind of punishment is appropriate for a prisoner under the above definition?
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Brendan
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« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2008, 10:45:31 PM »

Quote from: MrZubbleWump on May 21, 2008, 10:22:58 PM

According to the above, just about any kind of punishment that one can think of could be defined as torture.  I want to know what kind of punishment is appropriate for a prisoner under the above definition?

It would be more illuminating if you could list the type of punishments that are appropriate for innocent men rounded up by Pakistani bounty hunters.  Because the one they're getting now, even beyond the mistreatment by the Chinese six years ago, is indefinite solitary confinement in windowless rooms.

Is that reasonable and humane treatment, from your perspective?  Most of the people I know would argue that they should be released - in the United States, if no other country would take them.
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Doopri
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« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2008, 10:47:20 PM »

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I want to know what kind of punishment is appropriate for a prisoner under the above definition?

prison?
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Pyperkub
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« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2008, 10:54:33 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 21, 2008, 09:20:50 PM

Quote from: Pyperkub on May 21, 2008, 08:00:07 PM

So, just to be clear MZW and Cheeba - you're in favor of the USA allowing China to torture prisoners in our care, and aiding in that torture as well as possibly participating in it?
We haven't yet established that it *is* torture. Sleep deprivation? How much? Deprived of food? For how long? Forced to endure cold? How cold and for how long?

My current view on this topic is that none of us has enough information to come to an informed conclusion about this alleged torture.

The FBI agent thought enough of it to report it to the DoJ for Investigation.  An FBI agent likely trained in appropriate (and consequently, inappropriate) interrogation procedures.

Per this WSJ article, the FBI instructed agents witnessing allegations oft orture to document (some of) the treatment at Gitmo in a warcrimes file:

Quote
At one point, according to the report, agents were instructed to put allegations of detainee mistreatment into a "war-crimes" file. Other agents stopped reporting complaints because they believed military interrogators were operating within Pentagon rules.

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Pyperkub
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« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2008, 10:58:33 PM »

Here's some more detail from the report:





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gellar
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« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2008, 11:14:58 PM »

Quote from: Doopri on May 21, 2008, 10:47:20 PM

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I want to know what kind of punishment is appropriate for a prisoner under the above definition?

prison?

LOL.  Nicely done.

gellar
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Alefroth
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« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2008, 12:35:00 AM »

Quote from: DamageInc on May 21, 2008, 03:42:41 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 21, 2008, 03:17:46 PM

This filthy, worthless administration has set out to destroy everything that is good about America. The basic decency for which our country was once known is now gone. This president, and his supporters, are to blame for this, and for the repercussions that might come if we do not correct course dramatically.

We have pretty much done similar things in almost every war or combat situation we have been in going back to even the earliest days of this country. Heck after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor they rounded up all the American Japanese and put them in detention camps. I'm not necessarily saying it is always fair or right, but don't just blame the administration as it has been a fundamnetal stance since the beginning.

Great argument. Don't hold anyone accountable, 'cuz you know, other people have done it before.

Ale
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MrZubbleWump
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« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2008, 01:17:22 AM »

Quote from: Doopri on May 21, 2008, 10:47:20 PM

Quote
I want to know what kind of punishment is appropriate for a prisoner under the above definition?

prison?

Yeah I figured somebody would say prison.  Confinement of any kind can be maddening for many people so it's possible to argue that prison is a form of torture. 
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Brendan
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« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2008, 01:24:25 AM »

Quote from: MrZubbleWump on May 22, 2008, 01:17:22 AM

Quote from: Doopri on May 21, 2008, 10:47:20 PM

Quote
I want to know what kind of punishment is appropriate for a prisoner under the above definition?

prison?

Yeah I figured somebody would say prison.  Confinement of any kind can be maddening for many people so it's possible to argue that prison is a form of torture. 

Yes, of course.  People make that case about the Supermax system.  You're muddying the waters here.

My issue here is that our government permitted (and apparently committed) actions which, certainly, would be illegal to perform on an American citizen in the confines of the United States, regardless of whether they qualify under the torture statutes.  Why aren't you upset that we've done those things to a group of admittedly innocent people who, to this day, apparently remain in solitary confinement six years after we incarcerated them?
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2008, 01:56:13 AM »

Quote from: MrZubbleWump
Yeah I figured somebody would say prison.  Confinement of any kind can be maddening for many people so it's possible to argue that prison is a form of torture.

MrZubbleWump makes an interesting point: if some theoretical person could hypothetically argue that imprisonment itself might conceivably be a form of torture, why shouldn't we assume that *nothing* is torture until someone can prove otherwise? 

How does a reasonable person define "torture?"  Or "reasonable?"  Or "person?"  After all, dolphins are smart, emotionally sensitive creatures, and they would consider it torturous to *not* be dunked under water for long periods of time.  Water boarding would be the best part of their day, and those liberals would have us ban it as torture!

If Chewbacca lives on Endor, torture is a myth.

-Autistic Angel
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Brendan
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« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2008, 02:54:35 AM »

True - once those evolutionists convince the general public that chimps are persons, there's a bunch of people goin' to jail for torture.

MrZubbleWump's objection is actually handled by the passage that gellar quoted, of course:

"It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions."

As a youth, I never imagined I'd discuss torture statutes with someone named MrZubbleWump.  Life is funny.
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MrZubbleWump
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« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2008, 03:23:43 AM »

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Why aren't you upset that we've done those things to a group of admittedly innocent people who, to this day, apparently remain in solitary confinement six years after we incarcerated them?

I never said that I agreed with any of that.  I simply don't think it's correct for ABC to use the word "torture" as the headline for this article.  As a punishment my parents would sometimes send me to bed without my dinner.  Was that torture?  My employer will often make me work while the heater is broken or the AC is out.  Is that torture?  My wife will often keep me awake all night until we can settle the least little disagreement that we might have had?  Is that torture (yeah it is in my mind). 

My point has nothing to do with this administration or the "war on terror".  I simply disagree when news agencies scream "torture" the minute anyone is made the slightest bit uncomfortable.  If the rest of the world hates the U.S. then I think our media is at least slightly responsible by  creating all of this drama.  How many people will actually read the entire article?  Most people will simply read the headline and imagine Chinese interrogators water boarding or worse some innocent person.
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Brendan
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« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2008, 03:28:59 AM »

In the case of this article, the word "torture" isn't used at all.

None of the scenarios you've experienced fit the criteria ratified by the UN or described in the Geneva Conventions, but waterboarding does, as do many of the individual methods marked on that DOJ checklist that Pyperkub provided.

Regardless, to your earlier point - that you don't consider this "outrage material" - I wonder if you've reconsidered your stance given what you now know about the treatment of these men.
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Biyobi
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« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2008, 05:11:13 AM »

I can't believe all the negativity here.  Think positive people!  China just outsourced something to us for a change! thumbsup
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Victoria Raverna
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« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2008, 05:47:43 AM »

Maybe US need to help taking care of the Tibet protesters. Kidnap those troublemakers, send them to Guantanamo and keep them there until the Olympic is over.smile
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Trappin
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« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2008, 07:48:50 AM »

Its past time we close Gitmo and send the mujahideen home. Take the prisoners to the Afghanistan/SWAT border and release them back into the care of the Taliban. If the former Gitmo detainees choose to fight against US/NATO forces they will either be killed in combat or captured and detained by the Afghan government.

Its a win-win situation. Can we send John Walker Lindh back too?

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Brendan
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« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2008, 03:49:36 PM »

Quote from: Trappin on May 22, 2008, 07:48:50 AM

Can we send John Walker Lindh back too?

http://www.esquire.com/features/the-state-of-the-american-man/ESQ0706JLINDH_106
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2008, 03:53:41 PM »

Quote from: MrZubbleWump
I simply don't think it's correct for ABC to use the word "torture" as the headline for this article.  As a punishment my parents would sometimes send me to bed without my dinner.  Was that torture?  My employer will often make me work while the heater is broken or the AC is out.  Is that torture?  My wife will often keep me awake all night until we can settle the least little disagreement that we might have had?  Is that torture (yeah it is in my mind).

When your parents sent you to bed without supper, did you go to your bedroom or were you chained into a fetal position on a concrete floor for 36-hours?

When your boss asks you to work in uncomfortably hot or cold conditions, do you have the option to seek other employment or is your "job" to be incarcerated in solitary confinement for several years without access to legal counsel?

When your wife is keeping you up all night, is she simply arguing with you or is she utilizing a combination of forced relocation, loud music, blinding strobe lights, vicious attack dogs, water sprays, and stress positions to keep you conscious for days at a time?

-Autistic Angel
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cheeba
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« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2008, 04:02:41 PM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on May 22, 2008, 03:53:41 PM

When your wife is keeping you up all night, is she simply arguing with you or is she utilizing a combination of forced relocation, loud music, blinding strobe lights, vicious attack dogs, water sprays, and stress positions to keep you conscious for days at a time?
And do you *know* that any of this happened to these people ABC is talking about?

And have you ever argued with a woman all night? Fuck dude, give me the rabid German Shepherd over a woman wondering "where is this all going?" any day.
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Brendan
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« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2008, 04:11:54 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 22, 2008, 04:02:41 PM

And do you *know* that any of this happened to these people ABC is talking about?

It's the FBI making the claim, not ABC.

But you're right - how do we "know" anything, really, without first-hand experience?  Socrates famously said "I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance," and let's not even get you started on Charles Peirce, am I right?
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MrZubbleWump
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« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2008, 04:50:35 PM »

Quote
When your parents sent you to bed without supper, did you go to your bedroom or were you chained into a fetal position on a concrete floor for 36-hours?
 
To be fair, it was a hardwood floor.

Quote
When your boss asks you to work in uncomfortably hot or cold conditions, do you have the option to seek other employment or is your "job" to be incarcerated in solitary confinement for several years without access to legal counsel?
YES

Quote
When your wife is keeping you up all night, is she simply arguing with you or is she utilizing a combination of forced relocation, loud music, blinding strobe lights, vicious attack dogs, water sprays, and stress positions to keep you conscious for days at a time?

You know I really can't remember.  The only thing that I remember is her saying "don't you want to talk about this?" and then I think "am I going to get laid tonite?" and then the rest is just a blur.  I suppose there could have been attack dogs and water sprays (kind of sounds like fun) and I'm sure that if we did have sex afterwards then there would have been stress positions.  So YES.



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Brendan
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« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2008, 05:15:55 PM »

So, no movement in your position - this treatment of the Uighurs by the US governement and the Chinese interrogators isn't notable, and still isn't worthy of "outrage", then?
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