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Debate Info

96
59
Yes No
Debate Score:155
Arguments:72
Total Votes:182
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 Yes (42)
 
 No (30)

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Should Bush and company be prosecuted for torture?

title says it all really.

Yes

Side Score: 96
VS.

No

Side Score: 59

Yes they should...as should anyone in our government who knowingly directed, participated or knew of such goings-on at any US government prison. I don't care if it's a "little" water boarding, little slits on your testicles, little taps on the ear drum, little bamboo slivers under the nails or what. It's torture nonetheless and this country should be above such things.

Side: yes
ThePyg(6759) Disputed
0 points

water boarding does not cause permanent physical or mental harm like the other things you described.

if water boarding does not do what the definition of torture is... how the hell is it torture?

Side: No
Cerin(203) Disputed
1 point

So that's where the bar is set at now? "Permanent physical" harm? If police bring you in for questioning, should they be allowed to stab/beat/punch/electrocute you (not fatally), since, well, you'll heal and it won't be "permanent"?

We executed Japanese soldiers at the end of WWII for water boarding. Apparently Japanese water boarding == torture, but CIA water boarding == eXtreme interrogation.

Side: yes
4 points

The thing that makes us civil and protectors of human rights, is the fact that we do not participate in torture or torture like practices... We as "leaders of the free world" (and i use the term free exremely loosely) are the ones to set the example. Besides, torture is not a reliable source of information.

Side: yes
3 points

Bush & company approved the legal opinions behind the CIA memos recently released, and any sane individual would consider the methods described as torture. Granted, legally, the definition is somewhat vague, and considering the political pressure from Republicans, they'll probably never actually get prosecuted.

Supporting Evidence: Olbermann on Obama refusal to prosecute Bush CIA torture (www.dailykostv.com)
Side: yes
2 points

Of course they should be prosecuted for Torture. It's the obligation of the United States, as a party of the UN Convention on Torture to prosecute any and all of it's nationals involved in act of torture within the US territory and out of it. Furthermore, the country has prosecuted and condemned people for war crimes (namely torture) before. If Bush and his minions are not prosecuted, not only would it be highly hypocritical, it would also make the United States lose more of its credibility in the eyes of the world.

Side: yes
2 points

Absolutely. Torture is against the law, and if Bush and his associates ordered or encouraged it, regardless of reason, they should definitely be held to the same standards as anyone else.

Side: yes

It is a fact that Bush's regime tortured prisoners; the real question is why they are not currently being prosecuted for a felony.

Side: yes

Bush and company should not be prosecuted for torture. A little water boarding never hurt anybody. Getting your head cut off with a rusty pocket knife, however, is quite a different story.

Side: No
ledhead818(632) Disputed
7 points

That is inhumane and factually incorrect. First of all water boarding causes lasting psychological problems.

Dr. Allen Keller, the director of the Bellevue/N.Y.U. Program for Survivors of Torture, has treated "a number of people" who had been subjected to forms of near-asphyxiation, including waterboarding. An interview for The New Yorker states, "[He] argued that it was indeed torture, 'Some victims were still traumatized years later', he said. One patient couldn't take showers, and panicked when it rained. 'The fear of being killed is a terrifying experience', he said".

There is a real risk of death from actually drowning or suffering a heart attack or damage to the lungs from inhalation of water. Long term effects include panic attacks, depression and PTSD. I remind you of the patient I described earlier who would panic and gasp for breath whenever it rained even years after his abuse".

It is a violation of international law that the US agreed to. I have heard many people claim, "Oh it's no big deal you can just hold your breath" or "It's just a little water on your face what is the harm in that?" You are ignorant. You do not understand the physical and psychological effects of thinking you are drowning. It doesn't matter if you go into knowing you will be fine. It essentially does drown you very slowly, and you feel just like you are drowning. It's no coincidence that the have volunteered to try to it as long as they can, cannot last for more than 10 seconds. Now imagine, you haven't slept for days, you aren't being fed properly, and some thugs grab you from your cell strap to you a board and put a cloth on your face. That is immeasurably worse than doing an experiment. I forgive you for your barbarism because you are clearly ignorant of the facts, but you need to understand that this is a practice that does not even have words to describe its cruelty.

Also your argument that because getting your head cut off is worse than water boarding is stupid. So because stabbing someone's eye out is not as bad as killing them, it should be legal, utter nonsense. Furthermore if given the option to die while being water boarded, I wouldn't be surprised if they chose to die. You do not understand what it is like to be water boarded. The United States sentenced a Japanese officer to 15 years of hard labor for water boarding. Water boarding is torture and totally ineffective. Those who authorize and condoned its use should be prosecuted for the laws that they violated. If they aren't served justice, our laws mean nothing

Side: yes

If water boarding is so ineffective, how is it that it yields results that allow us to stop terrorist plans?

Side: yes

Do you know what....

is more inhumane?

has longer lasting, negative phsycological problems?

is in violation of international law?

is more cruel and barbaric?

than water boarding?

cutting someone's head off with a rusty pocket knife.

Side: yes
gtride26(13) Disputed
1 point

can you prove that waterboarding never hurt anyone? Like ive said in other posts, I have never experienced waterboarding, and I bet you havnt either. There should definitly be more information pertaining to the physical and mental side effects of the technique

Side: yes
Conservative(4) Disputed
2 points

But the CIA and the US military has tested waterboarding on our own troops, and airman, the medical core even tested it.

Side: No
Cerin(203) Disputed
1 point

I'd prefer to hold our system of justice up to our standards, not the terrorist's standards.

Side: yes
4 points

If you try Bush for using aggressive interrogation techniques then Truman should have been tried for dropping the Atomic Bomb or Lyndon Johnson for bombing North Vietnam.

Side: No
2 points

In my opinion, yes, they should have. I don't understand why an act of war is not a crime, especially acts such as bombing civilian areas, much less an atomic bomb that killed and maimed countless civilians with unpredictable results and backlash that still exists to this day.

Side: yes
2 points

If they prosecuted them then all fututre presidents would almost be "afraid" to do anything different without going to prision. It would completely change the way the presidents run.

Side: No
Warlin(1213) Disputed
3 points

That's a weird way of thinking. It'd make an example out of them and show future presidents that breaking the constitution and committing atrocious acts in the name of 'justice' is wrong, and there is a price to pay.

Side: yes
gtride26(13) Disputed
3 points

Good! Presidents should be "affraid" to break the law.... just like every other citizen of the united states... If you break the law, whether it be federal, state, or geneva conventions, etc.... then you should fear the consequences of your actions

Side: yes

Bravo! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Side: yes
Cerin(203) Disputed
3 points

Uh, yeah, that's the point. Presidents should be afraid of breaking the law, just like everyone else.

Side: yes
2 points

But according to Nixon if the president does it, it is legal. /sarcasm

Side: yes
2 points

If a terrorist has information that could save thousands ...I would torture the crap out of him.....

Side: No
2 points

If it wasnt for the Patriot Act, warrantless NSA wiretapping and waterboarding, terrorist would have cut the cables holding the Brooklyn Bridge aloft and the entire span would have plunged into the East River, killing tens of thousands. They would have attacked the New York City subway system, just as they did the London Metro; they would have blown up the Herald Square stop-where Macy's and the heart of New York's shopping area is located. They would have destroyed Chicago's Sears Tower, as attractive a target as the World Trade Center. They would have obliterated the United States embassy in Paris, at the heart of the beautiful Place de la Concorde-right next to the spot where the guillotines reigned during the French Revolution. They would have blown up an Ohio shopping mall near Columbus. They would have destroyed the Toronto stock exchange and a number of police headquarters building there. They would have succeeded in mounting a strike called Operation Crevice, leveling important buildings throughout the city of London, England. They would have blown up New York City's tunnels. A Chicago terrorist would have exploded a dirty bomb, spreading radioactivity over a large area of the United States. They would have attacked cargo ships taking oil from the Straits of Hormuz, through which 40 perecent of the world's oil travels. Of course none of these plots were executed; many of them-including the final three list here-were thwarted just in times. Due to the Patriot Act, waterboarding and warrantless NSA wiretapes, Bush saves America lives, but of course you liberals hate America and all want to join the Taliban, just like that one CA guy.

Side: No
ledhead818(632) Disputed
0 points

Those are some pretty lofty claims considering you have absolutely no evidence. Let's disregard the fact that you have no idea what you're talking about for a second, and assume that unconstitutional wiretapping and torture did prevent the things you said, which they didn't. Even so it isn't worth it. The ends do not justify the means. I have a surefire way you could lower the crime rate. Just force every woman who gets pregnant and doesn't have a household income over $100,000 to get an abortion. The crime rate will lower, I promise you. But it isn't worth sacrificing our civil liberties. If we make every crime punishable by death, and you are guilty until proven innocent, kind of like under Stalin's Russia, the crime rate would approach zero. You could go anywhere in the middle of the night and nothing would happen to you. No would would ever take the risks of committing crimes and if they did they were killed. But that security is not worth the damage to freedom.

If you are trying to have meaningful intelligent discourse, saying all liberals hate America and want to join the Taliban is just stupid. If you knew anything about politics or the Taliban you would understand that the Taliban are on the conservative end of the political spectrum so if anyone is going to join the Taliban it would not be liberals.

Side: yes
Conservative(4) Disputed
2 points

No evidence to back it up? yeah I do, and I got them all from the book Outrage by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, why dont you read it if your so concerned about me not having evidence to back up those claims. Chapter 5, page 175-196. By the way, both of them are New York Times Bestselling authors.

Side: No
2 points

If Bush gets prosecuted, that (female dog) Nancy Pelosi should be prosecuted as well, SHE KNEW. O yeah, she first claimed that ''I had no knowledge, repeat, I had to knowledge of waterboarding.'' Then next thing you know it shes saying ''Waterboarding was discussed, but they said they werent going to use it.'' ''I did not have sex with that women.'' Sound fimiliar? She sounds exactly like Bill Clinton did.

Side: No
ledhead818(632) Disputed
1 point

So you're comparing having an extramarital affair to authorizing the inhumane torture and abuse of people who were never proven guilty? To my knowledge there is no statute prohibiting Congress from not doing anything about torture. However, I do want anyone who knew about the torture programs who have their complicit support to be removed from office.

Side: yes
2 points

I say no strictly because something worse than waterboarding some terrorists could've happened (like another couple thousand innocent people dying). Of course, we all have no sincere proof what was next on the terrorists agenda (I think), but we know they were thinking of doing something else and we, successfully, stopped them... without murdering them. And they murdered many Americans to stop us from ... what? (No, really, I'm still unclear on the 9/11 crap). But anyway, you'd have to have a lot of balls to feel any sympathy for someone suffering psychological problems from waterboarding when it "probably" saved this countries ass. At least we didn't lower ourselves completely to Iraq's level and do the freaky shit they do.

Side: No
1 point

torture is defined as causing permanent physical or mental damage to an individual.

Water boarding, under the restrictions that were placed, does not and did not cause any permanent physical or mental damage. it is considered temporary discomfort for terrorists that saved thousands of Americans lives.

So no, don't prosecute for torture. it wouldn't make sense.

Side: No
ledhead818(632) Disputed
2 points

If you want to go by the dictionary definition "1 a: anguish of body or mind : agony b: something that causes agony or pain." Believe you me, it causes extreme anguish of mind. If you want to go by legal experts or human rights organizations, water boarding is absolutely a form of torture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterboarding#Classification_as_torture

Click the numbers next to each profession on that link for citations.

It does not cause permanent physical damage, but it definitely can cause mental damage. Many people who were water boarded suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and extreme aquaphobia.

It is not just temporary comfort, and it has not saved any lives stop believing the propaganda you hear. Water boarding was developed as a tool to extract FALSE confessions. And that is what we got from the detainees we water boarded. It didn't lead to information that proved viable. Actual interrogators unlike right-wing pundits, agree that it is completely ineffective. There are many techniques that don't even involve pain or fear that are really effective. Do yourself a favor and do some reading, don't just watch television.

Side: yes
ThePyg(6759) Disputed
2 points

so, by your definition of torture, having to listen to Taylor Swift would be torture for me, correct?

or maybe, having to go to school would be torture for some children.

there's a reason why we don't just say "agony or pain". it's because it's too broad. so we say it has to cause PERMANENT damage. which water boarding does not. it's actually less than what they do to Navy Seals in training.

Side: No
gtride26(13) Disputed
1 point

How would you know what mental damage may or may not have been cause because of this technique? Did you read a government report? Because Im sure those are such reliable sources of information. Kind of like marijuana will cause you to go insane and cannibalism. Unless of course you are an expert in psychology, and have spent countless years of studying torture techniques and the mental and physical effects of being subjected to such cruelties over and over and over.

Side: yes
1 point

Look, I know that Bush and his buddies did some crazy wacky things when they were in office, but I don't think they maliciously tortured any innocent people physically. I hate them too, but they should be prosecuted for something else.

Side: No
1 point

Whatever Bush and his cronies did can't be even a SMALL FRACTION of what the terrorists all over the world have done to us, and all the other countries out there who are also fighting terrorism (9/11!). These guys deserve it!

Side: No