Tuesday, June 7, 2011

KEY Debate Video on Torture & It's Role in Hunt of OBL

The following discussion concerns a Debate offered by AEI and now available by Vido to general public. See the AEI home page description of the group here

June 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm as of this recent sending while this video was broadcast May 16th Some of the Comments were posted, evidently, after Human Rights First re-sent the video...

I hold the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge from Vietnam. I risked my life repeatedly for the values that the Bush administration tossed aside as soon as the going got rough: The search for the dignity of every individual, the spirit of shared sacrifice, the realization that torture can be as much physical as mental, refusing rationalization [where you do what you please and think up a reason for it afterward!!]. Torture is an act of despair, not of patriotism. It joins the practice of slavery as a black mark on the honor that makes and keeps our country great.–Tom Reilly (One of the Comments following this debate posted in June. )

Watch Human Rights Watch - Elisa Massimino - Debate Torture’s Role in the Death of Osama bin Laden

In a panel moderated by John Yoo at the American Enterprise Institute, Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino debates with Judge and former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and former Acting General Counsel of the CIA John Rizzo, amongst others, on torture. This panel was organized in response to the re-ignition of the torture debate coming out of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

How important were CIA interrogations in the killing of bin Laden? Are critics right that enhanced interrogations do not produce reliable intelligence? In light of recent events, should the Obama administration continue its current policy of killing rather than capturing and interrogating terrorists? And if not, should the United States bring captured terrorists to Guantanamo again? Participants will discuss these and other questions.

Watch the panel:

here June 7, 2011 at 6:14 am

ELISA MASSIMINO, Human Rights First
JUDGE MICHAEL B. MUKASEY, Former US Attorney General
JOHN RIZZO, Former Acting General Counsel of the CIA
BENJAMIN WITTES, Brookings Institution

Read Speakers' Bios GO here


Following this Debate there have been Six Comments supplied so far:

John Perry says:
May 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm
Let’s see… We’ve got Elisa against Bush yes man AG Mukasey, Bush torture architect John Rizzo, Bush legal lackey Yoo, who wrote the memos that said it was all legal, and Marc Thiessen sophomorically trying to justify torture by reading quotes from people who have undergone worse torture tactics than waterboarding. What a joke. These “men” are just pushing the same old lies to cover up obvious war crimes. The UN Convention Against Torture is clear and unequivocal. And we’re talking about a lot more than just waterboarding.

John says:
May 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm
If enhanced interrogations worked we would have had this guy years ago – IMHO they had solid leads given to them and they followed those leads – and bingo – bobs your uncle – Torture can make a person say anything and lead the interrogators around in circles- chasing their tales (pun)- It defies logic and common sense that torture years ago had anything to do with this outcome. Torture may have a negative impact on those that could and would help in coming forward with information – even the slightest bit of info can be useful – but if people think they might disappear; they won’t risk it (most wont anyway – would you) and who gets the reward monies for OBL? Someone out there helped and helped big time at great risk to themselves and family. As for killing OBL and others like him– armed or not, it makes no difference – his ideology, voice and the willingness of people to follow; made him deadly.

Erik Wood says:
June 6, 2011 at 8:20 pm
Let’s all be clear, torture or “Enhanced Interrogation” was never an instrument for the extraction of information. It is a weapon of intimidation used to scare the living hell out of an entire population. It has a very chilling effect on those who would speak out against or oppose the activities and policies of an authority. Especially when the precedent has been set forth that in spite of any established legal freedom of speech, one may be singled out as an enemy combatant and subjected to the same incarceration and treatment for exercising that right in a manner inconvenient to the establishment. Torture doesn’t achieve it’s desired effect if it remains undiscovered. Leaks about the practice of torture are fully intentional. The thinly veiled nomenclature which “attempts” to distinguish the practices from one another (torture vs. not torture) is intended to be transparent and unconvincing. It only strengthens it’s impact when the media discuss the matter endlessly, and the population is polarized in conflict over it’s morality.

Mark Seifert says:
June 6, 2011 at 9:11 pm
Torture was used to extract confessions, so that the real terrorist perpetrators of 9/11, Cheney, Bush, Silverstein, Giuliani, Rummy, et al. could point the finger at someone else, so they could get away with both mass murder (Iraq) and the murder of US citizens (9/11). An “ignoranus” is a dummy who is also an asshole. This title should be applied to anyone in the AEI and to Mukasey, Yoo, Thiessen, and Rizzo.
Since these bums are not in jail, where they belong, they should at least have their Medicare benefits taken away.

Gladys says:
June 7, 2011 at 6:14 am
Elisa handles this beautifully. She makes her points without getting caught up in the other panelists defensive points.

The 6th Comment was placed above on this post...

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