Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lord of the Rings & Enhanced Interrogation Techniques



This is a composite of the dialogue of two scenes in The Fellowship of the Ring - Gandalf's talk with Frodo in Bag End in the beginning of the book, in the chapter entitled Shadows of the Past, and at the Council of Elrond, in the chapter so titled.

'You have seen Gollum?' exclaimed Frodo in amazement.

'Yes. The obvious thing to do, of course, if one could. I tried long ago; but I havemanaged it at last.''Then what happened after Bilbo escaped from him?
Do you know that?'


GANDALF:
'Not so clearly. What I have told you is what Gollum was willing to tell – though not, of course, in the way I have reported it. Gollum is a liar, and you have to sift his words. For
instance, he called the Ring his "birthday present", and he stuck to that. He said it came from his grandmother, who had lots of beautiful things of that kind. A ridiculous story. I have no doubt that Sméagol's grandmother was a matriarch, a great person in her way, but to talk of her possessing many Elvenrings was absurd, and as for giving them away, it was a lie. But a lie with a grain of truth.

'The murder of Déagol haunted Gollum, and he had made up a defence, repeating it to his "precious" over and over again, as he gnawed bones in the dark, until he almost believed it. It _was_ his birthday. Déagol ought to have given the ring to him. It had previously turned up just so as to be a present. It _was_ his birthday present, and so on, and on.  I endured him as long as I could, but the truth was desperately important, and in the end I had to be harsh. I put the fear of fire on him, and wrung the true story out of him, bit by bit, together with much snivelling and snarling. He thought he was misunderstood and
illused...

...my search would
 have been in vain, but for the help that I had from a friend: Aragorn, the greatest traveller
and huntsman of this age of the world. Together we sought for Gollum down the whole length of Wilderland, without hope, and without success. But at last, when I had given up the chase and turned to other parts, Gollum was found.  My friend returned out of the greatperils bringing the miserable creature with him. 



ARAGORN:
I, too, despaired at last, and I began my homeward journey. And then, by fortune, I came suddenly on what I sought: the marks of soft feet beside a muddy pool. But now the trail was fresh and swift, and it led not to Mordor but away. Along the skirts of the Dead
Marshes I followed it, and then I had him. Lurking by a stagnant mere, peering in the water as the dark eve fell, I caught him, Gollum. He was covered with green slime. He will never love me, I fear; for he bit me, and I was not gentle.




GANDALF:
'What he had been doing he would not say. He only wept and called us cruel, with
many a _gollum_ in his throat; and when we pressed him he whined and cringed, and
rubbed his long hands, licking his fingers as if they pained him, as if he remembered some
old torture.

ARAGORN:
Nothing more did I ever get from his mouth than the marks of his teeth. I deemed it the worst part of all my journey, the road back, watching him day and night, making him walk before me with a halter on his neck,gagged, until he was tamed by lack of drink and food, driving him ever towards Mirkwood.

I brought him there at last and gave him to the Elves, for we had agreed that this should
be done; and I was glad to be rid of his company, for he stank. For my part I hope never to
look upon him again; but Gandalf came and endured long speech with him.'
`Yes, long and weary,' said Gandalf, `but not without profit....'





This post is a counter response to THIS. One of my friends likens the ring to EIT's, which he believes to be torture, and he believes that EIT's are wrong and intrinsically evil. But, how can a person be 100% certain that EIT's are intrinsically evil?
As shown above, the scenes from Lord of The Rings show that hash techniques were used to obtain the TRUTH, or force the truth from Gollum. Gollum was withholding the truth, information that he was holding inside him to aid EVIL. Gandalf used harsh means to extract the truth from Gollum in order to stop evil. These scenes show that harsh techniques were used in LOTR to get at the TRUTH and stop EVIL which is an apt comparison to the use of EIT's on terrorists.

31 comments:

Dolley Madison said...

Excellent insight, but I could not help noticing the striking resemblance between Golum and Nancy Pelosi....

Teresa said...

Dolley,
Gollum and Pelosi do look an awful lot alike. Twins separated at birth?

Ron Russell said...

I know nothing of "Lord of the Rings". But I do know that torture works and should be used when ever needed to get information that would saves American lives. To say anything else if foolish and helps the enemy. On this issue, I see no gray areas, but only black and white. Name, rank and serial number is fine for uniformed soldiers, but not for those who kill women and babies in the name of a false God, and who seek paradise only to fulfill their lust.

Eman said...

I have no problem with enhanced interrogation techniques. Never have. The only ones that do have a problem are the squeamish and weak who won’t stand up for themselves much less the country that protects them. They are the ones on welfare and the government dole, suckling at the teat of a government bankrolled on the backs of those willing to work and unwilling to compromise. They used to work in car factories and now ask you if you want fries with your meal. They must work to pay the mortgage and the car payment. They are the diligent. They are Americans. We want our country to get to the truth. They want a tough America willing to be patient and fight till it’s won, not till we feel like quitting. The enemy of America is an enemy of Freedom and we must use whatever means necessary to expedite VICTORY!

The Right Guy said...

I prefer the interrogation techniques used in Casino. A vise, ballpeen hammer, and a circular saw.

Liberty said...

I think your logic is faulty. Firstly, Gollum was not aiding evil, but was instead merely stating (when he held that he had been given it as a 'birthday present') what he fully believed to be true, at that point.

Secondly...Gollum is a fictional character. Gandalf is a fictional character. The torture (or 'Enhanced Interrogation Techniques', since you seem to prefer the PC term) Gandalf exerted is fictional.

The use of such means in a fictional story does not grant us the right to use them on human beings. Period.

Teresa said...

Liberty,
My thinking is not faulty at all. These are not merely people stealing candy from your local store but in fact people who will do anything to kill us.

Plus, I don't need fictional books to tell me that the use of EIT's are a necessity and used for good to stop the evil terrorists from killing innocent civilans. I was merely countering my friend who thinks fictional books justify peace and him thinking that a utopian peace applied in books is is applicable in our society when in fact the reality of todays times show us otherwise. This is the real world and not some fictional book promoting a peaceful utopian way of life.

EIT's are not used on a whim but rather as a last resort to gain intelligence to thwart attacks on innocent civilians.

Liberty said...

Regardless of what they have done, they are still human beings. Their actions do not negate that fact.

And also, I think we need to examine why the terrorists want to kill us, to better understand what we must do to combat them. That is something that is sorely lacking, on every level of the American life. No one examines why the terrorists want to attack us- they just assume the terrorists harbor an irrational hate against us, when in fact it is quite different. (I could go into this at great length, including a commentary about the 'innocent civilians', but I won't bore you. ;) )

We can't fight evil with evil, as the man on the other blog pointed out. Evil only breeds evil, even if we use it in a way that is 'good'. Just because something is 'not as bad' as what someone else does, does not make it OK either. That's like saying "I didn't murder, I just beat somebody up, so it's OK." No. It does not work that way.

Let's turn this around- would you want these torture methods turned on you?

Have you ever considered that by using torture and continuing to incite the Arabians, we are merely digging ourselves further into a hole that will eventually lead us into the pit of hell?

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

The Right Guy said...

Understanding works as long as you aren't a victim. Ask the jews if they should have understood the nazis or people in the Gulag should have understood stalin. Some people are nuts, want you dead, and understanding why may take away where the responsibility lies. Do you ask a rape victim why they got raped?

Teresa said...

Liberty,
The fact that terrorists are human beings does not negate the fact that they our out to kill innocent people. They are our enemy, and not just a civilian thief robbing a candy store. If we don't stop them than these terrorists will kill us.

The terrorists want to kill us because we are not Muslim and that is what the Koran tells them to do. They want the whole world to submit to Sharia Law. They target innocent civilans while our U.S. troops try and stop terrorists from killing innocent civilians.

First of all we are talking about human beings that are planning on killing innocent civilans, have already killed innocent people, and/or aiding other terrorists in killing by withholding the truth, the vital information that would stop the terrorists from killing innocent Americans. The Terrorists intent is to kill many innocent human beings and the CIA agents intent in using EIT's is to save innocent lives. That is a HUGE difference.

You application of the EIT's to normal civilian Americans that do not cause a threat to civilans is ludicrous. But, if I was about to blow up something and kill innocent Americans I would expect to be given a grilling and the use of EIT's on me, but that isn't the case. Innocent civilians do not pose a threat to other innocent civilians.

Plus, these terrorists do not play by the rules of the Geneva convention and we should avail the CIA to every necessary tool to them so that they can stop these terrorists from killing innocent civilians.

What if a person planning to rob your house found you inside and threatened you to kill you? Say they pointed a gun right at you would you have a right to own a gun? and kill them to protect yourself? Or would you just allow them to kill you?

What if you were not allowed to own and use a gun to defend yourself? Would that be okay with you? The robber is human. So, my using your philospohy, the robber is a human being and has every to and should be allowed to kill you.

By not allowing our CIA agents to use the EIT's this country is taking a vital method of defense away from the CIA agents and in effect making it much harder to keep us safe and save innocent civilian lives from being blown to bits by the terrorists.

This is not a utopian peaceful society we live in like the books you and Kyle think we live in and would have us ascribe to. This is reality. The reality is that we are fighting against Muslim extremists that want to kill us and no amount of rolling over and playing nice will make them like us and convince them to stop their Jihad against the U.S. They are our enemy and to be treated as such. In fact, If our CIA agents are not given all the tools to acquire intel properly and well than I think we ought to just shoot every terrorist instead of bringing them and trying to bargain with them to get information.


In addition to knowing God better, doing justice leads to shalom, peace: Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever (Isaiah 32:16-17).

Where there is justice there is the possibility of peace. The opposite is also true: where there is oppression and in justice there can be no shalom.

Liberty said...

The reasoning of the men in al Qaeda is actually much more deep- or, at least, bin Laden's is, and he's the primary force behind it. Might I remind you that the Taliban never attacked us, so they don't count.

Coercive interrogation techniques (torture) have been proven to have bad effects on our intelligence. The fact is that torture is not a reliable means of getting intelligence. It never has been.

But let's say the government SAID you were going to kill innocent civilians. You don't have to even planned it, under the PATRIOT act- they just have to think you have, or say you have. That's it. And believe me, they will come get American citizens, I guarantee you.

I do not trust the CIA. Never have, never will. I am sure some of the work they do is honorable and excellent- but kidnapping men in the middle of the night and taking them to 'black-sites' with no oversight where who-knows-what goes on is not something I can condone.

Just because the terrorists didn't sign the Geneva Convention resolutions does not change the fact that we did. Our sense of justice, if nothing else, should prompt us to follow them, because we have a responsibility to live up to them. Just because someone else does not do something right, that doesn't give us license to similarly abuse the laws. It does not matter what they do- it only matters what we do.

What if a person planning to rob your house found you inside and threatened you to kill you? Say they pointed a gun right at you would you have a right to own a gun? and kill them to protect yourself? Or would you just allow them to kill you?

That's self-defense. Not national defense.

BUT- that's not me going to that person's house and preemptively killing his family before he does something to me. But if faced with such a situation, I would defend myself. Of course, I'm NOT legally allowed to have a gun...because I'm 15. But I do know Karate, and there are lots of fun moves I could use.

I would not just resort to killing him. I would try to disable him and then call the police. If all else failed, yes, I would have to go to more drastic measures. But self defense is different than preemptiveness.

"This is not a utopian peaceful society we live in like the books you and Kyle think we live in and would have us ascribe to."

*gasp* You noticed we've been living in 1984 too?!!!

How do you think that kidnapping men in the middle of the night is justice? How can half-drowning them be construed as justice? How can holding teenage boys and cooks be called justice?

Sorry, but I do not see these things as justice.

Liberty said...

The Right Guy- sorry I missed your comment earlier.

Understanding is important. If you do not understand your enemy, you cannot fight him. You cannot combat him, because you do not know why he is fighting you, and hence you cannot predict his actions.

Rape is not comparable to this situation. We are attacking sovereign countries, and we are fighting an enemy. We must know that enemy, or we will lose- of course, we've practically 'lost' anyway, since we have no idea what we're doing there, so there you go.

Teresa said...

Liberty,
Bin Laden may have been the original force behind terrorism but since he is in hiding and his funding has been cut off he is far less of a force behind it now.

Actually EIT's have been proven to gain invaluable intelligence in preventing multiple attacks that were planned on the U.S.

Look at this http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/28/AR2009082803874_pf.html

Actually with the Patriot Act there has to be known information for them to go after you for terrorism.

The CIA are the people who are supposed to be keeping us safe. They are given more lee way than FBI agents to make sure that they get information from the terrorists. There has to be someone who is willing to get their hands dirty, especially in today's times. If you don't want to do it, that's fine, but let the CIA do their jobs without one arm being tied behind their back.

The Geneva Convention only applies to a country and a uniformed military. Neither of those apply to either Al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Because of that, we have no obligation to live up to the Geneva Conventions. We actually need a whole new treaty dedicated to terrorism.

We did not go into Afghanistan preemptively. The terrorists who reside in Afgannistan and were harboring the terrorists responsible for 9/11 are the ones who preemptively killed 3000 innocent Americans. And, Saddam Hussein threatened us so were we just supposed to ignore that threat?

We must modify with the times or we will lose the war on terror and that is why the EIT's are a necessity in order to stop the terrorists.

If you tried to disable him than you would probably be dead. You honestly think he would stay around for the police? You think you have the capability to overpower this person who has a gun?

My point was if you were not allowed to have a gun than you would not have an essential item to save yourself. By not allowing our CIA agents we are forcing them to work without an essential item for them to be able not just save you but many, many innocent civilians from harm and death.

1984? Not before this year.

All of those you mentioned can be considered justice when it applies to saving innocent lives. After 9/11, these are tough times we live in, unlike any other time in recent history and we must use every available method against terrorists, who are not innocent human beings, to stop them from killing innocent civilians.

The Right Guy said...

@ Liberty:
Since this discussion has gotten serious(I was half kidding about Casino), I will say that in general, torture doesn't reveal much useful information. People will say anything to avoid pain. The israelis use psychological interrogation to get information. They are very good at it, and like their airport screening with El Al, we could learn something from them.

To those that don't think water boarding is torture:
Many of our soldiers got the "water cure" from the Japanese in WWII. They called it torture.

As far as understanding our enemies, yes we should understand them, but in a purely analytical way. Many on the left say we should understand them, and actually do so in a way to shift blame to us. I could never understand such thinking. Obama falls in this category. I believe that there people here that want to tear down everything we are, we stand for and rewrite history to condemn us. Such thinking is short sighted and lacks understanding and as usual, context. Yes we should know our enemy, but not to embrace him.

Liberty said...

Teresa-
bin Laden is not the primary force behind all terrorism- just our current terrorism that we're supposedly fighting. (And doing a pretty bad job, might I add.) And no, his funding is not cut off. The money system over there is much different- there's a system of money-handlers, I think its called the hawala system: he doesn't use banks. The money put through this system is untraceable, and I'm pretty sure bin Laden is still getting funds, regardless of what we do.

Yes, Khalid is 'cooperating' with us. But how do you know he's not lying? One of the 'plots' he 'uncovered' was that someone (an Iyman Faris) was plotting to use blowtorches to collapse the Brooklyn bridge. Heh. Sure. I can see that happening if the guy had about a hundred thousand blowtorches and a year. The information we gain from men who have been put through these torture sessions has many holes.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7516880/ns/msnbc_tv-the_abrams_report//
http://www.newsweek.com/id/45788/page/1

About the PATRIOT act, I don't think that's true.
"Whoever harbors or conceals any person who heknows, or has reasonable grounds to believe, has committed, or is about to commit, an offense...shall be fined under this or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both." If they think someone is a terrorist, and someone helps said 'terrorist', said someone can be put in jail...even if they didn't know.
"Notwithstanding any other law, an indictment may be found or an information instituted at any time without limitation for any offense listed in section 2332b(g)(5)(B), if the commission of such offense resulted in, or created a forseeable risk of, death
or serious bodily injury to another person." they don't have to have information- they just have to think you did it.

Yes, the CIA has done such a good job, too! That's why they've caught all the terrorists! Wait...

I'm sorry, but I cannot condone any of my countrymen "getting their hands dirty" in such a way. They are "getting their hands dirty" in underhanded ways, by kidnapping men and whisking them away to black sites where there is no oversight, no knowledge of what goes on, and no idea of where they even are! I cannot sit idly by and let such atrocities be committed, regardless of who does them. There are other ways to get information, and to resolve this situation- like, um, leaving them alone.

So you admit that al Qaeda and the Taliban are not uniformed militaries nor countries. So, obviously, we cannot attack them as if they were. If we cannot imprison them as if they are, then we have absolutely no grounds to attack them as if they are.

The terrorists did not 'preemptively' attack us. They warned us they were going to attack, in fact. Several times. They attacked us after we had already attacked them. That would more properly be termed 'retaliation' or 'self-defense'.

IIRC, Saddam Hussein never threatened us. I admit my knowledge of the events leading up to the Gulf War and the Iraq War are a bit sketchy- a fault I am trying to remedy. But we had already fought a war with his country before. So what are we doing now? Cleaning up our own mess?

No, I don't think so. A man intent on burglary, with a gun, wouldn't expect someone to come at him. But that is irrelevant anyway. As you yourself stated on my blog when I brought up the issue of self defense and gun usage- that is self defense, not national defense, so it is inconsequential to this discussion.

Like I said, there are other ways to get information. Or, we could just like...leave. And leave them alone. To live their lives. Like we want to live ours.

Liberty said...

It will never cease to amaze how we think we have the right to go dictate to the rest of the world how they must think, act, and live- and yet, we want to be FREE and live FREE and be our own individuals. How does this work? What gives us the right to dictate to others?

1984 has been a reality for a long time now. Bushie's reign sure seemed an awful lot like 1984 at times- like how Iraq was once our ally, Afghanistan was once our ally, but now they're our enemy, and they've always been our enemy...

"We are at war with Eurasia, we have always been at war with Eurasia. We are allies with Eastasia, we will always be allies with Eastasia."

"All of those you mentioned can be considered justice when it applies to saving innocent lives"

You have a mistaken concept of what justice is.
"the quality of being just or fair; judgment involved in the determination of rights and the assignment of rewards and punishments"
Justice is a thief being ordered to pay back his debt to the men he stole from. Justice is a rapist going to jail.

Justice is not kidnapping men who had nothing to do with our loss and carting them away to be tortured and killed by CIA agents.

"After 9/11, these are tough times we live in, unlike any other time in recent history..."

*ahem* terrorism has been around since...um...well, ever! Britain is quite regularly attacked. But their 'War on Terror' is....well, nowhere. They know that such tactics will not work. We should learn from them.

" and we must use every available method against terrorists, who are not innocent human beings, to stop them from killing innocent civilians."

But some of these men ARE! Not every single Arabian is a terrorist, and not every man who went to a Madrasah or has outspoken opinions about us is a militant terrorist who wants to kill us. But that is the attitude we take.

The Right Guy-
We should definitely try to learn from the Israelis.

Well of course waterboarding is torture- until WE do it!

I agree about understanding our enemies. I think we should make an effort to understand their reasoning- in a purely analytical way, as you stated. I don't want to go proclaim them my adopted brothers or something, but I do think we should attempt to get peace.

Teresa said...

Liberty,
Bin Laden has been behind terrorism with regards to al-Qaeda since the late 1980's. But, there are also other groups that look up to him since and try and replicate al-Qaeda since he was able to kill 3000 innocent Americans on Sept.11, 2001.

Funds were stopped from being distributed to Bin Laden most effectively shortly after 9/11. But, Bin Laden's family has cut-off his monthly stipend which was quite substantial.

This is the main reason for al-Qaeda targeting the West.
Al-Qaeda ideologues envision a complete break from the foreign influences in Muslim countries, and the creation of a new Islamic caliphate. Reported beliefs include that a Christian-Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam,[10] and that the killing of bystanders and civilians is religiously justified in jihad.

The West is not conspiring to destroy Islam. In fact, the opposite is true, they are conspiring to destroy both Christianity and Judaism and do not want to share the world with us.

If you want the United States to do nothing how do you propose we gain information and stop terrorists by doing nothing? You want the CIA agents to gather better information but want us to do nothing and leave the palces where we can gather that information in order to stop terrorists.

You act as if these EIT's were performed on loads of people when in actuality they weren't.

Waterboarding when used by the Japanese was administered in a different fashion, in a more harmful way, than when the U.S. used it. Plus, waterboarding was only used on 3 people.
http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/cia_director_confirms_details.php

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN05178151?rpc=92

Your version of 1984 is skewed in a big way. Bush did not violate our freedoms and attack our freedom and speech and liberties. Obama is attcking our freedoms. liberty and freedom of speech like no other President in our history. He is on a path of violating and shredding our constitution and our constitutional rights like NO other president ever.

The Patriot ACT did not and does not violate our freedoms. It has not affected me any way directly or indirectly. Can you name of a specific circumstance where the Patriot Act specifically aided in your liberties and freedom being violated?
The Patriot Act is part of the reason that we haven't had a major terrorist attack on our soil after 9/11.

Yeah, And Britain is overrun with numerous Muslim Jihadists hiding out in so-called peaceful Mosques. They are using that for cover. So, I'd rather be safe than sorry. I would rather allow the CIA the capabilities of preventing my life and many other innocent lives from being killed than have them do nothing and allow the terrorists kill innocent lives.

Justice is doing what it takes to stop innocent lives from being lost instead of being apathetic to what extent the terrorists will go to kill innocent lives.

The intelligence we gained through EIT's has no more holes than when we don't use EIT's. In fact I am sure the number of instances of false information given is higher when not using EIT's.

Saddam did threaten us. He made the world think that he both had weapons of mass destruction and was going to use weapons of mass destruction on the United States. If he hadn't made that impression very clear than I don't believe we would have entered Iraq.

Liberty said...

Teresa- You know, I would be able to answer your arguments much better if some of your facts were not copy/pasted from Wikipedia, which is not a very credible source.

Anyway-

I don't think we've cut off bin Laden's money flow, because he's still out there, managing to evade the best military in the world. The hawala system is untraceable, and unstoppable- millions of dollars are sent through it monthly, and the hawala changers leave no records.

"In fact, the opposite is true, they are conspiring to destroy both Christianity and Judaism and do not want to share the world with us."

No, they just don't want to share the Arabian peninsula with us- and that's OK. In case you hadn't noticed, they were there first. But then again, that hasn't seemed to matter much to us...ever. So I don't see why it should be any impediment now, do you?

I want us to stop fighting wasteful wars and wasting manpower and money we do not have in futile efforts. If we would just mind our own business, we wouldn't have to do anything to the Arabians. We could just let them live out their lives in (comparitive) peace, at least from us, and if they all kill each other, then at least it won't be on our heads.

"Waterboarding when used by the Japanese was administered in a different fashion, in a more harmful way, than when the U.S. used it"

So since what we do is "not as bad", that makes it OK. Mm-hmm.
(That argument was originally my dads. :P)

"Your version of 1984 is skewed in a big way. Bush did not violate our freedoms and attack our freedom and speech and liberties"

I read 1984. Not the Cliff Notes. Not Wikipedia. It was an amazing book. (I think Orwell was a prophet, but that is inconsequential to this discussion.)

http://www.realchange.org/bushjr.htm
^ and those are all actions of a freedom loving gentleman.
And this is totally a quote from an upstanding patriot: "There ought to be limits to freedom." (News conference, May '99)

" Obama is attcking our freedoms. liberty and freedom of speech like no other President in our history."

I would dispute that. Lincoln and Wilson both passed 'anti-sedition' laws that curbed free speech. And FDR signed away our sovereignty, and gave us a big swift kick towards fascism. Nah, Obama isn't the worst in that respect yet.

"It has not affected me any way directly or indirectly. Can you name of a specific circumstance where the Patriot Act specifically aided in your liberties and freedom being violated?"

You're right, it may not have- yet. But there is a fundamental truth in all things concerning the government, and it is this- the moment they grab power, they will merely grab more.

People affected by the PATRIOT act and other 'counter-terrorism' efforts:
http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/5049867/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10725741/
http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/senate/26265589.html
^ There is the wonderfully amazing actions of our counterterrorism officials. They've stopped so many terrorist attacks, y'know.

Yeah, And Britain is overrun with numerous Muslim Jihadists hiding out in so-called peaceful Mosques. They are using that for cover.

So why don't we go attack Britain? War on terror and all that jazz...

"Justice is doing what it takes to stop innocent lives from being lost instead of being apathetic to what extent the terrorists will go to kill innocent lives."

Sounds more like retribution or vengeance to me, or preemptiveness, but not justice. Justice would be bringing the men who actually committed the acts to punishment. But since they're dead, justice cannot be brought to bear.

Liberty said...

"In fact I am sure the number of instances of false information given is higher when not using EIT's."

Citations? Stats? I would like to check the facts of the case. :)

"He made the world think that he both had weapons of mass destruction and was going to use weapons of mass destruction on the United States. If he hadn't made that impression very clear than I don't believe we would have entered Iraq."

No. Saddam did NOT make us think he had WMD's- Bushie, Rumsfeld, Powell, and Cheney took intelligence, skewed it and twisted it, then used it as justification for attack. (Johnson, for the record, did much the same thing, as did Reagan to stoke fires of outrage against the Soviet Union. But that is beside the point.)

Afghanistan, I might conceivably be able to see. Don't get me wrong, I still think our actions there were totally unjustified, but Iraq was definitely wrong, pure and simple.

Teresa said...

Liberty,
Actually Wikipedia, which I only referenced twice, is as reliable as any other source. Wikipedia gets its information from other reliable sources. Wikipedia makes it easy for you to check out whther the source is reliable or not with those little reference numbers you see at the bottom of the Wikipedia pages.

You are half-way correct about the hawala system. But, as I said before the U.S., other countries and his family have cut a great deal of his income off. That achievement was greatest right after 9/11.

Its not about us sharing the Arabian peninsula with them. The terrorists are the ones that forced America's hand to go overseas to stop terrorists from targeting and killing innocent civilians.

Bush is a freedom loving gentleman. He just doesn't sit back and wait for terrorists to kill many civilians. He made sure that we stayed safe after 9/11. Doing nothing to stop terrorism, as you propose, is not an option. The terrorists will take advantage of our weakness as they are doing today with the negotiator-in Chief now. Bush did not resemble anything that had to do with the novel 1984.


"I want us to stop fighting wasteful wars and wasting manpower and money we do not have in futile efforts. If we would just mind our own business, we wouldn't have to do anything to the Arabians. We could just let them live out their lives in (comparitive) peace, at least from us, and if they all kill each other, then at least it won't be on our heads."

You say this, but then you complain about our CIA agents not gaining enough intelligence. IF we do nothing as you propose NO person in any branch of governemnt can find any type of intelligence information to prevent another terrorist attack.

Obama has radicals, communists or communist sympathizers in his administration and every day he or someone in his admin does one more thing that threatens our liberty and freedom. Because of ignorance we elected Obama who is very similar to another politician who was legitimately elected during WWII.

The PATRIOT ACT is one of the major pieces what has kept us safe for the past 9 years. If it wasn't for the Patriot Act, I bet that the United States would have had another major terrorist attack within the last 8 years.

No. Justice is not vengeance or retribution. Justice is making the terrorists pay for killing 3000 innocent lives.
Leaving alone is not an option when fighting terrorists who want to kill us. That would be abandoning our National Security and National Defense.

Teresa said...

Liberty, since you were like 6 or 7 years old at the time how would you remember what actually happened with regards to Saddam Hussein?

The Senate voted to send our troops overseas because Saddam Hussein convinced both Democrats and Republicans alike, as well as other countries that he did have WMD's and was threatening to use them. If he had confided in the U.S. and said it was all a ploy used for his national security interests against Iran than the United States would not have entered Iraq. But, he didn't do that. Saddam did in fact leave the U.S and other countries with the impression that he had and was going to use the WMD's. Was the U.S. supposed to think that he was lying or should we not take threats against both our nation and civilians seriously? What if Bush hadn't taken that seriously and it was true? Who knows whether you or I would be alive today? I would much rather be safe than sorry.

The Right Guy said...

@Teresa:
Wikipedia is not the most reliable source of information. If it was, when I got my master's degree, I would have been allowed to use it in references, we were not, and for good reason. anyone that is an editor can change information, and many ties without oversight and verification. Same goes for posting stuff. I forgot the name of the individual, but it had to do with the climategate scandal. One of the gentlemen involved was a wikipedia editor and changed thousands of entries that challenged AGW. That is as far from peer review as one can get.

If you do use wikipedia, as we all do, check their references and use other sources such as ESCOhost or some other online information library. The problem is, I have have it in spades, is that the nature of blogs and journalism in general is timeliness. I'd rather thoroughly thrash out my ideas than just go with it, which has it's dangers, but it's very hard to do unless you blog/write full-time and do nothing else. I don't, as I work a normal job and have a large family. I am sure it is the same for many others.

Teresa said...

@Right Guy I did not say most reliable as you stated I said. In fact I said this, "Actually Wikipedia, which I only referenced twice, is as reliable as any other source. Wikipedia gets its information from other reliable sources. Wikipedia makes it easy for you to check out whther the source is reliable or not with those little reference numbers you see at the bottom of the Wikipedia pages."
I mentioned that it is as reliable as any other source since you can check its facts and it references other sources. Its reliability is based on those other sources facts or lack thereof. I stated before about the need for checking the references, henceforth I mentioned the numbers which are the references at the bottom of the Wikipedia pages.

Liberty said...

Teresa-
"Actually Wikipedia, which I only referenced twice"

The standard practice when referencing is to provide a link/the name of the materials referenced. Not to just c/p it. Just sayin'. ;)

"You are half-way correct about the hawala system. But, as I said before the U.S., other countries and his family have cut a great deal of his income off. That achievement was greatest right after 9/11."

And you know this because...?

The hawala system is untraceable. It's not a bank that keeps records. Hawala dealers live everywhere in the Middle East (and here). The money passes through hundreds of hands before reaching its destination. There is no way to intercept it. I highly doubt we have stopped bin Laden's money flow. Highly.

"Its not about us sharing the Arabian peninsula with them. The terrorists are the ones that forced America's hand to go overseas to stop terrorists from targeting and killing innocent civilians."

BUT WHY DID THEY DO THAT?! Do you think they're just irrational automatons like some Americans I know? They did not attack us for no reason! Their reasoning is that we are being imperialistic and living in their land- a highly credible reason.

Bush is a freedom loving gentleman. He just doesn't sit back and wait for terrorists to kill many civilians.

These two do not equate. A freedom loving gentleman would abide by the Constitution- which, BTW, includes not pushing through a bill that reduces my fourth amendment rights to nil, not unconstitutionally declaring war by using a loophole law, and not taking control of the economy with a 'bailout' bill.

"Doing nothing to stop terrorism, as you propose, is not an option."

Let me try to explain this to you one more time.

We cannot stop terrorism with conventional warfare. It is impossible. We will never be able to do it. Terrorism is a tactic, not a country. The men who use terrorism are all over the stinking globe! If we're declaring war on terror, we'd better proclaim war on Saudi Arabia and Somalia and the Sudan and Egypt and New York City and Palestine and Yemen and Los Angeles and Turkmenistan...

"You say this, but then you complain about our CIA agents not gaining enough intelligence. IF we do nothing as you propose NO person in any branch of governemnt can find any type of intelligence information to prevent another terrorist attack."

If we weren't over there, we wouldn't have to have wartime intelligence about them. Besides, our intelligence-gathering efforts over there are a farce. Our equipment is way too advanced to gather any SIGINT or COMINT, and our HUMINT efforts are a laugh riot. Our current efforts are accomplishing exactly nil.

"If it wasn't for the Patriot Act, I bet that the United States would have had another major terrorist attack within the last 8 years."

There has been no planned major terrorist attack within the last eight years. The last one was 9-11, and al Zawahiri was planning an op to bomb the NYC subway system, but called it off because "not enough people would die." What does that tell you?

"Justice is not vengeance or retribution. Justice is making the terrorists pay for killing 3000 innocent lives."

I DID NOT SAY THAT. I defined what justice was, saying that what you were calling justice was not justice, but vengeance. "Making them pay" has been accomplished. We have killed hundreds of thousands (close on 700,000) of civilians. They killed 3,000. Yeah, I think we've succesfully wreaked our revenge now.

Liberty said...

Teresa-
"Liberty, since you were like 6 or 7 years old at the time how would you remember what actually happened with regards to Saddam Hussein?"

Um...let's see here...Oh I remember! There's this wonderful thing my town has, like, ten of! It's called a library!!!! It's like full of books, like from wall to wall!! And I like, check them out! And read them! And they can, like, tell me all this stuff!!

Oh, and let's not forget this wonderful thing all the news websites have- it's like called a news archive!! And, OMG, I can like...go find stuff!

"The Senate voted to send our troops overseas because Saddam Hussein convinced both Democrats and Republicans alike, as well as other countries that he did have WMD's and was threatening to use them."

No, Hussein did not! In fact, he DENIED it. Several times. It was Rumsfeld and Company, making up intel, that did that. The only 'concrete' intel we really had was from a TAXI CAB driver who supposedly overheard something from someone who knew someone who knew Saddam's defense minister or something.

"I would much rather be safe than sorry."

Let's see how far this attitude takes us when it's us countries are coming after. Because we do have nukes. And, we're the only country that's used them.

Teresa said...

Liberty,
Look here http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2004-03-17-oppose_x.htm


You believing terrorists over American soldiers and American interests is seditious in nature. YOU have shown by your statements that you want the ENEMY to WIN.

I am so glad you have shown me how much of a sheeple you are and your ineptitude in following liberalism, HATE AMERICA IDEALS.

Bush was for freedom. More than you, in your current state, will ever understand. He didn't take away your freedom. He protected this nation after 9/11. I make you a bet if Bush hadn't taken certain measures than you would be one of the first people crying wolf, boo hooing and saying he should have done something to stop the terrorist attacks.


Retreating and doing nothing is not an option unless you want to give our enemy every adavantage to win. It sure seems that way.

Liberty said...

Teresa- Interesting article. However, I must say that I don't see how we know Saddam had the 'intent' to do anything much beyond harrass his neighbors and play tough guy. And, like I said, if all the Middle Easterners want to kill each other, I don't see why we should do anything about it.

"You believing terrorists over American soldiers and American interests is seditious in nature. YOU have shown by your statements that you want the ENEMY to WIN."

How is believing the terrorists about why they attacked us seditious? Oh, I know why. Because I don't believe Fox News and their theory of irrational, turban wearing Mullahs who are just out to get us for some mysterious reason.

Uh-huh.

"I am so glad you have shown me how much of a sheeple you are and your ineptitude in following liberalism, HATE AMERICA IDEALS. "

Ah, so I'm inept at following liberalism! Why thank you, you just paid me the most lovely compliment! I never wanted to follow liberalism!!

"Bush was for freedom."

I love how you make this statement, but then do not back it up. After Bush's bailouts, his warrantless wiretapping programs, his two unconstitutional wars, his PATRIOT act which is blatantly unconstitutional, and his other failed programs, I fail to see how he's a paragon for liberty and freedom.

"He protected this nation after 9/11."

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

"I make you a bet if Bush hadn't taken certain measures than you would be one of the first people crying wolf, boo hooing and saying he should have done something to stop the terrorist attacks."

No, I wouldn't. If he had taken correct (Constitutional) measures, I would be the first to applaud him. But that is not what he did, and it is useless to 'what if' about it.

You continue to misrepresent and skew what I say. I am for a peaceful withdrawal from these countries. Why? Because we have no business there. We will NEVER defeat these terrorists with our current tactics; we are merely reinforcing their resolve, not to mention bolstering their numbers.

Teresa said...

Liberty,
Your words show that you are against this country's ability to defend itself. You are against National Defense at all costs even if that means innocent people pay the ultimate price later on.

I am Pro- National Defense

I am not for giving the terrorists ALL the advantages while wanting our intelligence agencies and military to be crippled by merely minding our own business and doing nothing to defend our nation, as you wish.

I am Pro- Defense of Nation.

Then, your own words mischaraterize your position. Or, is that what you really believe?

Liberty said...

I did a blog post in response since if I attempted to post it in comment form it would probably take two or three. It just clarifies my position a bit. :)

Linkie

Teresa said...

Liberty,
Thank you for clarifying your position. I read your post and it was very thoughtfully done. I will comment tomorrow.

Have a good night!

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