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While banter and good fun are ok, please refrain from interrupting the flow of the debate once it's gotten started.

This is a second round contest.

The Topic: Is torture a justified interrogation technique?
Piazza seems to think it is, whereas Blade thinks otherwise.

Piazza will start the debate.

Both people will have 3 days to prepare their debate, with Piazza making his opening statements on or before Sunday. Blade will then have 24 hours to post his opening. Piazza will make his rebuttal against Blade's opening within 2 days time. Blade's rebuttal to Piazza will come, again, within 24 hours. Closing remarks will be started by Piazza within the next 24 hours, followed by Blade's no later than another 24 hours.

Judges will then give their winner within the next 2 days time
 

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Let me paint a picture for all of us (I will be using the USA for the following example, but this goes for any country):

The United States has gathered intelligence and we know there will be a terrorist attack within a few hours. Also, we've just captured a terrorist, who knows the details of the attack. However, he won't give in to standard interrogation tactics.

So, the following question comes up: Should we sacrifice the rights of one human (who's a terrorist anyway remember) for the lives of countless thousands?

Amnesty International estimates, that 75% of countries practice torture that is deemed illegal by their own standards.

Let's also think about the situation of environmental terrorism. There are many things that could be done by terrorist groups that could irreparably damage an ecosystem for generations.

These aren't even worst case scenarios, imagine a terrorist poisoning the water system, or using chemical and biological weapons.

All of this being said; I'd like Blade to answer this question: If you could have stopped 9/11 or 7/7 or any other terrorist act by using torture, how can you justify not doing that?

In conclusion, it is my staunch opinion that the rights of one criminal do not outweigh the lives of countless citizens.

Thank you, for taking the time to read my diatribe. And a special thanks to Prince Zane for coming up with the competition.
 

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may i congratulate you on gerrymandering the vote of the competition creator . nice work fella
 
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This question boils down to a very basic point. In civilized nations we are all innocent until proven guilty. Piazza used the
USA as his example nation so I'll do the same to keep it simple.

Until a suspect has had his day in front of a judge or jury and been given his right to legal counsel, nobody can be
assured of his innocence or guilt one way or another. That's the reason why the 6th amendment in the Bill of Rights
exists. There are already dozens of instances where so called 'terrorists' have been detained by the USA, denied all
access to a solicitor and tortured for information they probably don't even possess.

If the Bill of Rights is not followed, it's likely that the wrong person can be convicted and the guilty person will walk
away, free to commit more crimes, thus defeating the object of the prosecution. So when the Bill of Rights is followed
correctly it protects the nation and not just the accused. And before Piazza says that the Bill of Rights should not apply
to a foreign 'enemy'; the Bill of Rights does not discriminate between race, nationality, religion etc, and the
6th amendment is specifically for the 'accused'.

Now we have to question the validity of information gained from using torture. If somebody was to torture me I'd admit
to being a transvestite gayer who once buggered a cat. A man put under extreme duress will tell you anything you want to
know, even if it's all a pack of lies. What use is this information to the interrogator? None! On the contrary, precious
man hours would be wasted chasing wild goose chases while the real terrorists got on with their mission.

If you could have stopped 9/11 or 7/7 or any other terrorist act by using torture, how can you justify not doing that?
That's a very simplistic question and is taken totally out of context of the debate. that's taking an extreme
circumstance and applying it to the use of torture as a whole, which is poor form in my opinion.

If you allow USA to torture suspects where does it stop? it's a very slippery slope when you allow basic freedoms
to be taken away and soon enough there will be no basic human rights left, all in the name of national security.

The Geneva Convention was laid out over 60 years ago due to the attrocities carried out by the likes of Japan and
Germany during WWII. They tortured prisoners of war to gain information from them that would allow them to gain
an advantage in the war. If what you're saying is that it's okay for the USA to do it now; then you are also justifying
the torture of millions of people in the past. The Convention says that "Violence to life and person, in particular
murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture" is illegal, that's good enough for me.

Torture is not only immoral and dispicable, but also ineffective. It is the behaviour of third world nations, not world
leading countries and if you stoop down to their levels you become no better than the terrorists themselves.
 

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While you raise some interesting points, it must be stated: the bill of rights doesn't apply to people who aren't legal U.S. citizens!

Not only that, but any information gained by use of torture would definitely be used in conjunction with a number of types of lie-detection software. This technique has been used countless times by the USA and UK in the MI6 program.

While I agree that it is indeed not a happy idea, I also believe torture is a necessary evil and should only be used under the most extreme circumstances, such as in matters of national or global security.

There are also numerous techniques that do not cause permanent damage, be it physical, mental or emotional such as: sleep deprivation, playing of loud music, or annoying sounds and things of that nature.
If the Bill of Rights is not followed, it's likely that the wrong person can be convicted and the guilty person will walk
away, free to commit more crimes
You raise an interesting point here, however it must be stated that: when crucial information is obtained it is almost always at a price. That price usually being immunity for the criminal who provided it. The United States, United Kingdom, Israel and countless other nations have granted asylum and immunity to countless terrorists and criminals in order to obtain information, so how does this keep us safe?

Strict parameters should be placed on when torture should be used, but that doesn't make it any less just.
 

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versa said:
Forget about the deadline. :p

Just make up for it NOW. :rolleyes: :D
Yeah, I don't care if its past deadline. Its up to the judges but in the interest of sport and intellectual debating, I'd be more then happy to not have you disqualified.
 
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piazza said:
While you raise some interesting points, it must be stated: the bill of rights doesn't apply to people who aren't legal U.S. citizens!

You are quite right here, the Bill of Rights applies only to the Federal government. It is basically a set of do's and don't for law enforcement agencies and the like. One of those don't is: 'Don't deny an accused a trial by jury'. Most of the people who would be subjected to this torture would be suspects, not convicts. So until they are criminally convicted by a court of law, you cannot apply torture to these people because you may well be torturing a perfectly innocent man/woman/child.

A lot of the suspects contained in Guantanamo bay are children. Are you sayig it is okay to torture them because they may possess useful information?


While I agree that it is indeed not a happy idea, I also believe torture is a necessary evil and should only be used under the most extreme circumstances, such as in matters of national or global security.

Who decides what is a matter of 'national security'? The corrupt agencies like the CIA and FBI? if you give people the power to use torture, they will abuse that power. Fact!

There are also numerous techniques that do not cause permanent damage, be it physical, mental or emotional such as: sleep deprivation, playing of loud music, or annoying sounds and things of that nature.

Permanent damage is irrelevant. No human being who is presumed innocent should be subjected to ANY type of torture, whether mental OR physical. What if the person turns out to be innocent? He'll then sue your government for millions of pounds. Do this many times over and you have a serious financial problem on your hands.

You raise an interesting point here, however it must be stated that: when crucial information is obtained it is almost always at a price. That price usually being immunity for the criminal who provided it. The United States, United Kingdom, Israel and countless other nations have granted asylum and immunity to countless terrorists and criminals in order to obtain information, so how does this keep us safe?

Indeed immunity is not the way forward. The UK does not offer immunity to criminals and our justice system is working just fine (barring the lenient sentences) so I don't see why the USA should be any different.

Strict parameters should be placed on when torture should be used, but that doesn't make it any less just.

You can't apply strict parameters to anything in America and expect people to stick to it. The Patriot Act was brought in allegedly to give law enforcement agencies special powers to gather information on suspected terrorists. But the government now use (abuse) it to spy on the nation as a whole. Why should the use of torture be any different?

Thanks for letting me reply after the deadline. Answers in bold.
 

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Blade said:
Thanks for letting me reply after the deadline. Answers in bold.
No problem.

You are quite right here, the Bill of Rights applies only to the Federal government. It is basically a set of do's and don't for law enforcement agencies and the like. One of those don't is: 'Don't deny an accused a trial by jury'. Most of the people who would be subjected to this torture would be suspects, not convicts. So until they are criminally convicted by a court of law, you cannot apply torture to these people because you may well be torturing a perfectly innocent man/woman/child.

A lot of the suspects contained in Guantanamo bay are children. Are you sayig it is okay to torture them because they may possess useful information?
I never said torture was ok for "useful information" only pertinent, imperative knowledge of a pending/past attack or catastrophe.

Who decides what is a matter of 'national security'? The corrupt agencies like the CIA and FBI? if you give people the power to use torture, they will abuse that power. Fact!

Saying an agency is corrupt then not providing a single fact stating why they are is a little beneath you don't you think? How do we know people would abuse the power to use torture when they haven't been given that power? For every unscrupulous politician, there's at least 2 good ones. We only hear about the corrupt ones, because they make the sexiest news.


Permanent damage is irrelevant. No human being who is presumed innocent should be subjected to ANY type of torture, whether mental OR physical. What if the person turns out to be innocent? He'll then sue your government for millions of pounds. Do this many times over and you have a serious financial problem on your hands.
No human being presumed innocent would be tortured. Btw, associating with terrorists is a crime in this country, just to let you know, therefore the people who'd be tortured under my parameters are going to jail anyway. As far as your "financial problem", we already have a doozy of one here. Not to mention, there isn't a jury who'd convict their own government officials of false terrorism, as long as the government uses their usual scare tactics.

Indeed immunity is not the way forward. The UK does not offer immunity to criminals and our justice system is working just fine (barring the lenient sentences) so I don't see why the USA should be any different.
America's justice system is working great as well. Immunity is probably the only way to gain information as quick as it'd be needed in those extreme circumstances unless torture is used.

You can't apply strict parameters to anything in America and expect people to stick to it. The Patriot Act was brought in allegedly to give law enforcement agencies special powers to gather information on suspected terrorists. But the government now use (abuse) it to spy on the nation as a whole. Why should the use of torture be any different?
Parameters are followed all the time here, again I'll bring up the fact that the times when they aren't just makes "sexier" news. The Patriot Act has absolutely no strict parameters in it my friend, that makes it a moot point. The Patriot Act never specifies what a "suspected terrorist" is. That's what makes that document a complete joke.


In closing, torture is a very hot-button issue with no one sitting in the middle. I can't see one person in the world sitting on the fence in this one. You either think its right, or despicable. Nothing more, nothing less. I believe the winner of this debate will probably receive votes from people who share there own opinion, either way; I won't be upset if Blade wins. Its been an honor.:)
 
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piazza said:
I never said torture was ok for "useful information" only pertinent, imperative knowledge of a pending/past attack or catastrophe.

How do you know that the person even possesses this information? It will all be based on guess work meaning many many people would be tortured for no reason whatsoever.


Saying an agency is corrupt then not providing a single fact stating why they are is a little beneath you don't you think?


Ask and you shall receive.

On March 9, 2007, a Justice Department audit found that the FBI had "improperly and, in some cases, illegally used the USA PATRIOT Act to secretly obtain personal information" about United States citizens.

On June 15, 2007, following an internal audit finding that FBI agents abused the USA PATRIOT Act power more than 1000 times, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates ordered the agency to begin turning over thousands of pages of documents related to the agency's national security letters program.

So as you can see, there is widespread abuse of the Patriot Act and it is fair to assume that any further powers bestowed upon the FBI would be abused too.


No human being presumed innocent would be tortured. Btw, associating with terrorists is a crime in this country, just to let you know, therefore the people who'd be tortured under my parameters are going to jail anyway. As far as your "financial problem", we already have a doozy of one here. Not to mention, there isn't a jury who'd convict their own government officials of false terrorism, as long as the government uses their usual scare tactics.

How do you know who would be tortured? People are tortured everyday at Guantanamo bay so who's to say that these people wouldn't be tortured if on American soil?

Everybody tortured in Guantanamo is still innocent by the way because none of them have been tried in a court of law, but they allow the torture to continue.


America's justice system is working great as well. Immunity is probably the only way to gain information as quick as it'd be needed in those extreme circumstances unless torture is used.

So basically we should allow the use of torture because the law enforcement agencies are too incompetent to extract information without resorting to the same tactics of nazi's. Strange logic.

Parameters are followed all the time here, again I'll bring up the fact that the times when they aren't just makes "sexier" news. The Patriot Act has absolutely no strict parameters in it my friend, that makes it a moot point. The Patriot Act never specifies what a "suspected terrorist" is. That's what makes that document a complete joke.

The "Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" Act aka Patriot Act gives law enforcement agencies the power to imprison somebody indefinitely and withhold them their basic rights to an attorney. And now you want to give these same agencies the power to use torture as a means of extracting information? I don't think you realise just how dangerous and unscrupulous your own government are.

In closing, torture is a very hot-button issue with no one sitting in the middle. I can't see one person in the world sitting on the fence in this one. You either think its right, or despicable. Nothing more, nothing less. I believe the winner of this debate will probably receive votes from people who share there own opinion, either way; I won't be upset if Blade wins. Its been an honor.:)

Torture is immoral, inhumane and most importantly, illegal! Nobody on Earth has the right to say who can be tortured because it is something that was outlawed over 60 years ago and for good reason. The heads of all nations got together and decided that torture was a despicable act to inflict upon a person and although times have changed, the basic rights of human beings should not.

Thanks for reading.

It has been my pleasure Piazza :)
 

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Holy Cow :eek: What a civilised debate....
I was expecting a few underhand tactics :(

Wouldnt fancy being a judge cos its a tough one to call. Both made very good cases.
 

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Closing stage now. Pizza to go first.

Jazz 16 said:
Holy Cow :eek: What a civilised debate....
I was expecting a few underhand tactics :(

Wouldnt fancy being a judge cos its a tough one to call. Both made very good cases.
You are right. It would be extremely difficult to break the news to the loser, much like how Fergie felt to omit Park for the CL final.

The judges would certainly need more time for this one, I believe. And a shame again they clash so soon.
 
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