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The Trumperium 2: Caesar by the Pussy

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Jon, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Arthellion

    Arthellion Death Eater

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    A mix of both. It is foolish to assume that torture -never- produces positive results. I agree that in general that it is non productive and the intelligence can be untrustworthy. That said, I'd rather someone who was willing to perform such actions if the situation called for it than someone who was not willing.

    Though ultimately you're equating the PR/Ideal of the USA with the citizens of the USA. There is a difference. Her actions may have harmed the prestige/ideal of the USA, but if it saved even one american life then it is worth it.

    In general, it is foolishness and counterproductive. It didn't produce positive results and in hindsight the decision to do so should not have been made, but it was. You can argue that it was a dumb decision based upon results, but I don't think the ethical argument is valid.

    Because

    I'm not referring to the responsibility or oath to the constitution. I would argue that there is an implicit responsibility of leaders to protect the lives of their citizens even at the expense of the moral consideration of other humans. This applies to all leaders not just American ones. If that requires breaking the Geneva convention and other treaty obligations then so be it.

    If it is a choice of who lives between one of your citizens who is a pedophile, raped numerous children and shows no remorse or every other humans who lived in other countries, the leader should choose the citizen of their country because that is their responsibilty. The average human being could choose the other humans who live in foreign countries, but I would argue that there is an implicit responsibility in the role of being a leader that requires you to place the well being and life of your citizens over those of others.
     
  2. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Headmaster

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    I don’t think it’s that easy to tear apart the PR-side of the USA and its citizens. They are intrinsically linked. It seems to me that the better the standing of the USA in the world, the safer its citizens.

    Torture makes allies lose trust and respect, and may make them more careful in the future when it comes to joint policies or operations of some kind, which is ultimately to the detriment of the US citizenry. Likewise, people already working against the USA now not only can feel justified about themselves and their reasons, but can pull others who might have been on the fence to their line of thinking, further radicalizing people.

    And who could blame them? Losing the moral high ground in a matter like torture is disastrous. You can’t convince people that western society is a good thing to have when the quasi-avatar of that society feeds prisoners mush through their assholes at the same time.

    Even if it is the case that torture has a marginal* chance of producing a positive result, the amount of needless suffering, cruelty, and collateral damage to get to that one bit of intel that might be true is staggering, especially since it’s also bad for your own citizens. At which point do you say, “Enough, this shit isn’t working. And even if it were, it isn’t worth it.”

    * I don’t have the numbers in my head, but I recall that there was a hefty report on CIA torture that entirely discredited the practice.
     
  3. pbluekan

    pbluekan Professor DLP Supporter

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    The problem there becomes defining what is viable, actionable, intelligence and what is not. At this point, if the method of interrogation is generally non productive, you might as well assume that whatever you get is going to be useless, so what the fuck is the point?
    Haha, fuck no.

    The Geneva conventions and other, similar treaties, exist to protect people from the worst of what our twisted little minds can conceive of in war. Arguably, the treaty does more to protect a nation’s citizens than whatever would be gained by violating it.
     
  4. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    "If it saved even one life." I can't even describe how much I hate that phrase. It has been used to justify the stripping of freedoms, to justify torture, to justify murder, to spy on Americans and violate the constitution. It is the polar opposite of freedom, because freedom has consequences.

    As it so happens, torture has consequences too. There are dozens of reports from intelligence officials within the three letter agencies and military intelligence that one of the primary motivations for radicalization was our torture practices. Those people have killed US troops, US civilians, and have sought to harm our allies as well. Every American who travels overseas is materially less safe because that. I have to look over my shoulder when I'm in Istanbul because I'm a target as an American, and it's because of shit like that.

    The "just one life" logic doesn't even hold up to the mildest of scrutiny. We spent $5 trillion in the middle east because of three thousand deaths in 2001. We've lost five thousand troops in the war since. Tell me, how many lives do you think $5 trillion worth of healthcare, education, and infrastructure investment could save? Exponentially more than eight thousand, I can tell you right now.
     
  5. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    @Arthellion , aside from the fact that torture is an abomination and an abuse of human rights...it doesn't work. Victims of torture will tell their captors what they think they want to hear. They'll make up wild stories, they'll incriminate virtually anyone, they'll lie. They'll do it because they want an escape, and they'll do anything to get it.

    All except one group of people: The zealots who actually know things and don't want to tell you what they know. Those are the ones who will clamp their mouths shut and dare you to kill them.

    As a couple of folks have already pointed out, the "but one life" argument for extreme measures is a bad one; Abu Ghraib killed more American soliders than OBL ever did.

    But the fact that it's pointless and counterproductive, that it yields bad and untrustworthy information, etc., ought to be equally ir not more persuasive.

    If I want to interrogate you, there are much better ways to do it.
    --- Post automerged ---
    On another but related note, Sen. Rand Paul says he opposes Pompeo's nomination for State because of Pompeo's support for torture, among other things.

    Provided he keeps that stance on the Haspel nomination for DCI, she's toast.
    --- Post automerged ---
    Oh, and in other other news, it can now definitively say that Trump inspires domestic terrorism in his supporters.
     
  6. awinarock

    awinarock Heir

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    How have these guys not been charged with domestic terrorism already? They blew up a Mosque in a sucessful attempt to scare the Muslim community, they tried to blow up an abortion clinic, and they planted a bomb on a guys property trying to frame him for terrorism.
     
  7. Johnnyseattle

    Johnnyseattle Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    Because there are great people on both sides, remember? /s

    I can't think of many things that are less likely for this administration to do than label white republicans as terrorists, no matter how well they fit the description. I mean, have you seen some of the NRA's recruiting videos? Watch one, then watch a jihadist recruiting video, and tell me there's much of a difference in tone and message (aside of the Gun Barbie the NRA uses). Those guys don't really own the republican party per se, but they're at least minority shareholders.

    These guys will be celebrated by way more people than I'm comfortable admitting are my fellow Americans.
     
  8. Sataniel

    Sataniel Groundskeeper

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    I wonder where robbing Walmarts fits in their ideology.
     
  9. blob

    blob Fifth Year

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    US announces sanctions on Russia, additionally accusing them of a targeted attack at its energy grid.

    On one hand I am somewhat surprised that Donny Moscow did anything of the sort. On the other, fucking finally and on the irradiated third hand, those... don't seem to be the sanctions that Congress passed? It's mostly a bunch of ground folks of little value along with a single oligarch, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

    At least there's word that more is to follow, but seeing as it lacks any specifics, eh.
    @edit: have the original source (Department of Treasury press release)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  10. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Sanctions on the organizations targeted by the Mueller investigation is probably the absolute bare minimum that the Trump admin needs to be doing in order to stay afloat as the probe deepens, and the absolute maximum they CAN do without upsetting Pootypoots.
     
  11. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Apparently, McMaster is on the way out, too.

    So, so far:
    • Cohn out
    • Sec State out
    • DCI --> Sec State
    • New DCI

    • NSA leaving

    • EPA Administrator and HUD Sec in ethics hot water
    • VA Sec might be fired
    • Energy Sec --> VA?
    And that's this week, folks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  12. Spanks

    Spanks Minister of Magic

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    Now the people who reported are retracting it saying he’s staying. Either faulty sourcing or Trump pulling back because he hates when the media scoops him.

    Also, speaking of retractions, ProPublica has retracted its story about Gina Haspel running the torture operation in Thailand. Apparently she took over that station after the water boarding had already happened. https://www.propublica.org/article/cia-cables-detail-its-new-deputy-directors-role-in-torture
     
  13. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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  14. Dark Belra

    Dark Belra Minister of Magic

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    Washington Post is still headlining the story that McMaster is out. Same with CNN.
     
  15. Immet

    Immet Seventh Year

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    I keep thinking the reports of Trump as a child with no attention span must be at least slightly exaggerated, but seemingly not. What kind of boss actively stirs up conflict when trying to keep something absolutely vital going amidst difficulty?
     
  16. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity High Score: 3,994 Prestige DLP Supporter

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    As someone en route to an executive MBA and who has a decade or so of management experience leading high-performing (and sometimes not high-performing) teams, I'd note that conflict in and of itself isn't the problem. In fact, most modern management studies show that the best leadership teams encourage diversity and constructive conflict in their decision-making processes.

    What matters is the way in which conflict is managed. If it's positively managed and well intentioned, with everyone feeling they have a stake in the process, with the tone being, "we're driving toward the best decision as a group," then conflict can be a very useful and positive dynamic. Where conflict becomes poisonous is when folks become invested in their positions, when there's a real sense of winners and losers, when folks continually revisit past disagreements and work to undermine decisions they don't agree with, when early positions are staked out and unconscious and implicit biases cause people to defend their turf instead of exploring the space of possible options, when people aren't encouraged to challenge propositions but rather to shut up lest they be marginalized, we end up with chaos among warring yes-men and women.

    The current White House leadership and decision-making modality are going to be in management textbooks for decades to come as object examples of what not to do.
     
  17. Arthellion

    Arthellion Death Eater

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    I’m legitimately asking...

    Is there anything Trump has done that’s positive for theUSA?
     
  18. DerHesse

    DerHesse High Inquisitor

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    He made you look in the mirror?
     
  19. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    He changed his mind on the Afghanistan withdrawal. That one's up for quite a bit of debate, but the power vacuum when we leave would likely not end well.

    He may deal the death blow to the Imperial Presidency. People on both sides of the aisle with a libertarian streak have been complaining about the centralization of power in the presidency for decades. Most Presidential overreaches have gone unhindered in that time period, and we've seen a lot of legislative authority get delegated to executive agencies via the regulatory regime, as well as the tried and true complaint about war powers. If the Democrats should take Congress, then we will doubtlessly see the curtailing of presidential power. There have already been signs of it, such as the imposition of restrictions on Trump's ability to influence the sanctions passed last July. He's done some wriggling to get around it, but it's an unprecedented hamstringing of the presidency's ability to conduct diplomacy. It passed in the Senate 98-2.

    He's basically single-handedly resurrected investigative journalism. We were seeing the slow decline of institutions like the NYT, the Washington Post, etc. as people replaced proper news with entertainment "news" on social media. The fourth estate is at its strongest in decades.

    He's helped draw attention toward sexual assault, and restarted the national conversation on the matter. Would there be a #metoo without Access Hollywood? For all my issues with how the movement conducts itself, there is doubtless some good occurring.

    He's stiffened the resolve of other NATO and EU members to take responsibility for their own defense. Again, this one is of debatable benefit. They're taking responsibility for their own defense because the United States is no longer a reliable ally. We've abdicated our position as security guarantor, which means we will no longer be able to dictate world events nearly as effectively. When Europe, South Korea, Japan, and the UK feel more free to pursue national interests that are independent of the US, we lose out. I, personally, view this as a horrible blow to US diplomacy that has undone a century's worth of work. I can see how some would think it a good thing, though.

    He may lead to a period of introspection in the Republican party. They've basically abandoned every single position they've ever held sacred other than taxes. Trump is pro-union, anti-free trade, anti-state's rights, middling on guns, anti-NATO, against America leading on the world stage, anti-diplomacy. The head of the family/social values party is an adultering divorcee who frolics with porn stars and prostitutes on the world stage. He doesn't believe in American exceptionalism, and has equated our actions with that of repressive regimes. He's attacked gold star families and POW's. He treats Russia better than he does our allies, and cheers on rising dictators like Duterte and Erdogan. He's raised effective tax rates to punish Democratic states for disagreeing with him. The only thing he actually cares about is the culture war, and the party has backed him to the hilt.

    He's paid lip service to infrastructure, but from what I've seen of the leaked documents it'll be a sham. Basically no real funding, just tax breaks for companies who want to do private infrastructure investment. There's still potential there though, so I'll tentatively tally this one in the positives column.

    I've tried to be charitable, but for the most part it's been a disaster. One could write textbooks on the various arenas that he's done irreparable, generational damage in. Still, for the sake of argument I spent a half hour trying to remember or find things to give him credit for.
     
  20. pbluekan

    pbluekan Professor DLP Supporter

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    It should be obvious, but to be clear, these are good things that have come out of the ashes of the institutions and practices he is burning to the ground through his own mishandling. This isn’t really good he has done, but rather good that has come about as a result of him.
     
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