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Respectful discourse

December 21 2009 at 2:24 PM
Michael Dorosh 

Response to Killing Spies

Some points of order;
I detect no acrimony in the discussion so far, with the exception of Ken's continual use of sarcasm, which suggests to me a frustration on his point which may indicate an inability to express clearly his point of view. I can guarantee that if I am referred to as a "retard" again, however, I will certainly feel some reason to take a harsher tone with whomever feels the need to use such a term, particularly in regards to me personally.

I would also contest the use of the word "arguing"; I find that discussing topics of interest are generally what a "discussion forum" are for. Those that do not wish to discuss, or read said discussions, are free not to make use of this forum.

On to your post;

Your comments about Japanese and Russian stereotypes are by your own admission irrelevant, so we can dispense with them. You then say that:

As for torture, the British knew full well that torture worked and show that realization with their actions. They sent operatives on to the continent with only a rudimentary knowledge of what their network looked like and quite often knowing only one contact person. This was because the leadership knew if a person was captured and tortured, they stood a good chance of having the whole network collapse. In my mind, that's an admission that torture works.

There is no logic to this. I have no doubt the British may have thought or even deeply believed that it did indeed work. But your conclusion simply doesn't follow. Modern intelligence agencies have studied the use of torture (despite what Ken posted - it's obvious he didn't bother to read the linked pages - it refers to interrogation of terrorist suspects and other prisoners, not just 'roughing up' POWs in the field) and find it absolutely doesn't work. I would challenge you to do the same thing I challenged Ken to do - provide substantive evidence of information being collected from a prisoner that had an out of the ordinary influence on the course of operations that otherwise wouldn't have been collected. I know of no such examples.

You can champion terror all you want; that isn't the "argument" being made. Ken said that the Second World War wouldn't have been won without the use of illegal acts, including torture. He contends that illegal acts should be part of the repertoire even today, and that torture should be a tool in the inventory given its alleged past effectiveness. Unless someone can provide a solid example of torture being used to extract information that proved to be "war-winning", that argument simply falls flat.

This message has been edited by dorosh on Dec 21, 2009 2:25 PM

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