Remember that old Pete Seeger folk song,

Where have all the values gone?
Long time passing

Where have all the values gone?
Long time ago

Where have all the values gone?
We have dumped them every one

When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?



Unless you have be living in a cave in Siberia you may have noticed that the values that the United States once upheld (even if they were not perfect) have pretty much been eliminated.

You remember, things like lying, cheating, torture, conflict of interest, caring for others, killing, the rule of law, taking responsibility for your actions, democracy …….. you know stuff like that.




Oh sure, before they are elected they spout those values and after they are elected they spout those values but THEY NEVER SPROUT those values once they are in office. NEVER!


And when false values are the watchword of the day we really start to see for ourselves the downfall and breakup of our society.


Because if we, as a society, don’t have strong values to promote and uphold, then we have NOTHING.


If people don’t have honor within them the chances for them to be an honorable person is diminished.

And that is where we stand right now, with “one foot over the line” or was that “one toke”? Sweet Jesus.




So, let Tubularsock run you through an easy one, TORTURE.


THERE IS NO EXCUSE TO EVER USE TORTURE ON ANIMALS OR HUMANS EVER, PERIOD. This has to be a core value because anything less leaves you with no honor of self, period.


And yet the current President of the United States believes that it “works” and has stated that he believes in it.


And now we see that the Congress of the United States believes in torture, as well, thereby they have approved a Torturer to head the CIA, “Bloody Gina”.


And of course whenever Torture is mentioned fucking Dick Cheney is brought out of his lair to expound upon its virtues.


And Cheney, loves the virtues of torture so much that he loves to be beaten by Lynn in their dungeon to bring about sexual arousal. “Beat me, beat me Lynn!”


And just to show you that Tubularsock isn’t some liberal goody-goody, Tubularsock’s fantasy has always been meeting Dick Cheney in some dark alleyway and in one rapid movement slicing his chest cavity open with a rusty Boy Scout knife and reaching in and pulling out his beating bloody stolen heart and throwing it into a pig pen to be consumed! They’ll eat anything!


But hey, won’t happen because Tubularsock has taken an anger management seminar.


AND the fact that the statistical chances of Tubularsock encountering Dick Cheney in a dark alleyway is “ZERO” so there you go …….. math wins out!


Of course, “Bloody Gina” would not say that torture was MORALLY WRONG because she ran a torture site and should be in jail as a war criminal rather than made the head of the CIA!


But the United States has lost that value, morality.



Another value we have lost is TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR ACTIONS. Have you noticed that?


“Bloody Gina” was the chief of staff for Jose Rodriguez, the director of the CIA National Clandestine Service. She was responsible for drafting a cable ordering the shredding of videotapes depicting torture sessions, despite a court order staying their destruction.


That action is against the law but not only did she “follow orders” as any good German SS solider would do BUT THE ONLY ACTION taken by any governmental body for a blatant illegal action was to promote her to CIA Director.


So with that you can throw out the RULE OF LAW as another lost value.


And remember if the RULE OF LAW principle was really practiced then George, Dick, Don, Condo, Killery, Dump, Obummer would ALL be in prison today for war crimes.


However, that value has been tossed aside.


Well, for the ruling class anyway. But don’t you jaywalk! You’ll be in the clinker!

The list goes on and on but the values are lost to our nation and won’t be coming back any time soon. The cracks in the Republic are rapidly expanding and Donald Trump is no more to blame than the American population for sitting by and selling out our principles.


As for Tubularsock, you’ll find him,
“sittin’ on the dock of the Bay, wasting time”





Tubularsock Added May 21, 2018 - 12:26pm
We live in strange times and we have lost our way. And all the blame can't be put on just President Dumb Tweet. He is just the current crook that is taking his position as Head Swamp Rat along with his dysfunctional family.
opher goodwin Added May 21, 2018 - 1:14pm
Everything you said is right - except I'm not sure the pigs would step so low as to eat that heart!
Torture can never be justified - ever- by any civilised country - whatever the outcome.
I'm not so much reminded of that Pete Seeger song so much as another of his:
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?

[Verse 4]
Oh workers can you stand it?
Oh tell me how you can
Will you be a lousy scab
Or will you be a man?

Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?

[Verse 5]
Don't scab for the bosses
Don't listen to their lies
Us poor folks haven't got a chance
Unless we organize

Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on? 
Thomas Sutrina Added May 21, 2018 - 2:43pm
Torture, is water boarding torture?  The answer is actually clear.  I have heard that the military has used waterboarding as part of training for being captured in war.  It is also been said that those that have experienced a few water board experiences understand the outcome of each session and know that their body is not harmed. 
Now it is very unpleasant to have your body start the natural responses of drowning which it does for water boarding.  In fact if you get a medical description of drowning there are only two sources. A revived individual which I can not recall ever reading or hearing an audio or someone that was waterboarded.  The person doing the describing never said he or she was TORTURED.
The CIA and military that used waterboarding have clear and multiple statements for the justice and judicial departments defining water boarding as NOT TORTURE.  As I have presented above is I am sure part of the clear statements.   
Humiliation, forced to defecate on oneself, derivations like water boarding are very unpleasant.   They do bring on natural responses like cramping or fatigue and some civilization trained responses.  There again in no damage to the body resulting. 
I consider torture as causing some damage to the physical body and the mind that is also physical.  Electric shock treatment, not considered torture, done about a century back that does alter the mind.  There are many medical practices in the past and I am sure the future will say some of today's practices are just as much destructive. 
Maybe we should look a little closer, court or board of doctor are the real tortures because they prescribed drugs that alter the human body.  Individuals themselves torture themselves with the things they put in their bodies.  If you want to define torture and something that changes the capacities of a human and is unpleasant, my list would include tobacco, alcohol,  marijuana, barbiturates, etc.  The unpleasant part maybe the effect of stopping. 
Katharine Otto Added May 21, 2018 - 3:01pm
Well, Tubularsock,
Do you want to remain a citizen of a nation without values?  What are the alternatives?  Can individuals secede?  I guess foreigners can own land here, but is there such a thing as a nation-less individual?  Maybe we should invent a new categories of individuals without countries, whose money is still good and land deeds still valid but without the will or right to vote.  I might vote for that.
Bill H. Added May 21, 2018 - 3:44pm
Good one, Tube!
You are totally correct as usual.
We have not had a leader for years that has acted as a great example.
The current "leader" has no morals, compassion, or concern for what is best for the country.
I am afraid that once the people have lost these commodities, there is no going back.
Stephen Hunter Added May 21, 2018 - 3:45pm
I certainly agree that torture of a human being should not be tolerated. The current environment of fear, has caused some to say it is ok in certain circumstances. But certainly not all of us agree, and we all have a stake in upholding basic human rights. 
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2018 - 3:49pm
Great once more Tube. And that also counts for our slimey asslicking EU "politicians". Fuck morals for a cheap buck....
James Travil Added May 21, 2018 - 4:21pm
Waterboarding, lol! It is a LOT more than waterboarding.
The lying, torturing, propagandizing, drug trafficking, coup-staging, warmongering Central Intelligence Agency has done some of the most unspeakably horrific things to human beings that have ever happened in the history of our species. If you think I’m exaggerating, do your own research into into some of the CIA’s activities like the Phoenix Program, which used “Rape, gang rape, rape using eels, snakes, or hard objects, and rape followed by murder; electric shock (‘the Bell Telephone Hour’) rendered by attaching wires to the genitals or other sensitive parts of the body, like the tongue; the ‘water treatment’; the ‘airplane’ in which the prisoner’s arms were tied behind the back, and the rope looped over a hook on the ceiling, suspending the prisoner in midair, after which he or she was beaten; beatings with rubber hoses and whips; the use of police dogs to maul prisoners,” and “The use of the insertion of the 6-inch dowel into the canal of one of my detainee’s ears, and the tapping through the brain until dead. The starvation to death (in a cage), of a Vietnamese woman who was suspected of being part of the local political education cadre in one of the local villages…The use of electronic gear such as sealed telephones attached to…both the women’s vaginas and men’s testicles [to] shock them into submission.”
Jeff Michka Added May 21, 2018 - 4:28pm
Since waterboarding ISN'T torture, Sutrino, then "Surf's up, lets waterboard the Sutrino" is only fair and proper.  They'll stop when you turn FDR.  LOL.
Bill Kamps Added May 21, 2018 - 4:34pm
Well Tube, I am not convinced there was a time when the values that the US claims to have, were lived up to by its politicians.  I dont think they are any better or worse, on average, than they were 100 years ago, or some other time in history.  Since corruption, greed, desire for power are human traits that have always been with us, I dont see how the country  avoided them at some period of time.
Perhaps it is more in our face now, than in the 1800s when there was no media, and most people never went more than 20miles from their home in their lifetime.  But that doesnt mean it didnt exist.
opher goodwin Added May 21, 2018 - 4:37pm
Thomas - a disturbing defence of torture. I think if you were put through the things you describe you'd be psychologically damaged. I know I would be.
opher goodwin Added May 21, 2018 - 4:37pm
Katharine - a global citizen.
opher goodwin Added May 21, 2018 - 4:38pm
Bill - there's always going back. It's just a hard road and requires a decent leader with real moral values.
opher goodwin Added May 21, 2018 - 4:40pm
James - and still going on!
opher goodwin Added May 21, 2018 - 4:43pm
Bill K - I'm sure it existed. One only has to read Wolf Hall or Bring Up The Bodies to see the terrible things they did in the name of Christianity. They were bestial. They're just a little more sophisticated now, that's all.
But that doesn't excuse it. Torture is wrong and most people abhor it.
Bill Kamps Added May 21, 2018 - 4:43pm
opher, going back to what? when? when were politicians not corrupt?
EXPAT Added May 21, 2018 - 5:31pm
How blind to reality all you dirty sock crowd are! TRUMP is keeping his word, weather you agree or not, with what he was elected to do.
Saddam Hussein complained to the International Court, that he was being tortured, because he was given local cigarettes, instead of his custom made German brand.
It is laughable to hear you Looney Tunes declare that Torture is never acceptable. Is not incarcerating a person for life torture? If I had a choice of life in prison, or being water boarded under medical supervision,  I would have no problem volunteering for water boarding, as many journalists, and investigators have.
opher goodwin Added May 21, 2018 - 5:44pm
Bill - not exactly going back to anywhere - more retreating from an abhorrent immoral position towards a higher moral position. There is always a way to progress.
opher goodwin Added May 21, 2018 - 5:48pm
EXPAT - well opening up another discussion on whether incarceration could be considered torture is another debate. Personally I don't think it's in the same league as having your balls fried, your eyes jabbed with red hot needles or a white hot poker shoved up your rectum.
Torture is barbaric. If you want to hold the high ground and make out that your culture is superior you do not do it.
EXPAT Added May 21, 2018 - 5:50pm
Only the CIA has done terrible things Devil Boy?
When I was in the Tijuana Jail, I had to listen all night to the sickening moans of a guy who had stopped being human and just wailed for death.
Ever heard of the Stazi. The Secret East German police who used Nazi Torture text books.
How about the MS-13 guys who rip out the heart of an enemy.
Man's inhumanity to man, is legion. That is not an excuse. It is a FACT.
Some times we must become what we hate, to stop even greater hate and  slaughter of innocents.
If my son's were being held captive and a finger was sent to me, and I was with one of the captors, you would not recognize as human what would remain. But I would have the names and location of everyone involved.
Five Fingers (2006 film) - Wikipedia



Five Fingers is a 2006 American drama-thriller film directed by Laurence Malkin, and written by ... Five Fingers was filmed in the Netherlands, Morocco, and Louisiana in 2004. ... attempts to extract information from Martijn about where he obtained the money to set up the program by cutting off his fingers one at a time. Martijn ...
James Travil Added May 21, 2018 - 6:07pm
Two wrongs make a right, got it Exlax. (*sarcasm*) 
James Travil Added May 21, 2018 - 6:09pm
"Torture is barbaric. If you want to hold the high ground and make out that your culture is superior you do not do it."
Exactly Opher, it's really not difficult to understand. 
EXPAT Added May 21, 2018 - 6:17pm
I don't reply to slogans, Devil Boy. If you ever have a thought, please share it.
EXPAT Added May 21, 2018 - 6:20pm
opher. Torture exists in EVERY culture.
James Travil Added May 21, 2018 - 6:34pm
"I don't reply to slogans, Devil Boy. If you ever have a thought, please share it."
^That's a reply. Moron. 
Autumn Cote Added May 21, 2018 - 6:57pm
Please note, it's against the rules to post articles to the site unless you comment on the work of others.  
A. Jones Added May 21, 2018 - 7:34pm
 If you want to hold the high ground and make out that your culture is superior you do not do it.
What if you don't give a shit about the "moral high ground" or proving which culture is superior? What if you simply need to ferret out actionable intel on the next planned terrorist atrocity?
The 3,000 victims of 9-11 thank you, Goodwin, for having sealed their fates ("No matter what the outcome folks, we will not use enhanced interrogation techniques to discover information that might have been able to save your lives had we been in possession of it early enough. Tough shit, you poor 3,000 souls. That's the price I believe you should pay for inhabiting the moral high ground and living in a superior culture. I, of course, get to decide where the 'moral high ground' is, and what values constitute 'cultural superiority.' Don't worry. You'll thank me some day. After you've been murdered.").
opher goodwin Added May 21, 2018 - 7:56pm
A Jones - the kind of society you would build and live in would not be worth shit.
It seems to me that the all the torturing carried out by the subhumans of the CIA was worthless. They still did not stop 9/11.
opher goodwin Added May 21, 2018 - 7:57pm
EXPAT - Even if that was true is that supposed to make it right?
As I said before - most people wouldn't sanction it. Only the minority of barbarians would condone it.
EXPAT Added May 21, 2018 - 10:16pm
opher. I know that hurricanes will kill hundreds every year and cause billions in property damage. That does not mean I condone hurricanes, or support their damage.
It is REALITY!! Hiding from hurricanes, condemning them, passing laws against them, or calling them immoral is a waste of time! What is; is!
There are animals around the world, that use torture daily to force their will on others. Sometimes, the only way to stop them is with their own tactics. Killing an entire family with a drone, is horrible. But sometimes by killing the terrorist father and his family , hundreds of lives of innocents can be saved.
The greater good ,sometimes can only be achieved by adapting the methods of EVIL. THAT IS REALITY,  I wish life was as simple as you wish it were. But survival demands we do what must be done, or be a victim of those without morals!
James Travil Added May 21, 2018 - 10:34pm
"There are animals around the world, that use torture daily to force their will on others. "
LOL, right! Some examples please... 
wsucram15 Added May 21, 2018 - 11:08pm
I do think we use over kill here in the US, I have argued that many times.  Someone kills hundreds or thousands we kill millions.  Does not seem to be a level playing field.
Man just has a way of making a point of killing man.  Its who we are as a culture.  Screwed up but true.
So to some degree Evil is a reality, I have seen it often here and I have heard about it a lot from my brothers who served in the military. Not so much from my older brother but my younger brother has talked to me about things he has seen.
I mean one of those under his command, didnt listen and could not wait to use the military phone to call home, he walked to a pay phone and got shot in the head, because he was wearing a US military uniform. That was in Iraq at the airport.
Torture is also not as simple as you think..although I do not agree with the practice, the mind skills and patience you have to have is tremendous. Most people just dont go in a room with chains and beat people half to death.  I suppose it depends on how fast the information is needed.  But if it was your families lives that depended on that information, it might be you in that room pouring water down someones throat.  Just saying...
wsucram15 Added May 21, 2018 - 11:12pm
As far as lost values, I just think the values are there, but divided as to which ones are the correct set of values.  
But will add, todays youth have lost a little something.  Not all of them, just some.
EXPAT Added May 22, 2018 - 12:03am
Just for you Devil Boy:
ISIS Torture Methods Revealed: Sitting With Severed Heads, Fuel ...



Aug 15, 2017 - ISIS prison in Manbij Handcuffs are pictured inside a prison, which allegedly belonged to Islamic State militants in Manbij, Aleppo, Syria, August 17. Reuters/Rodi Said. One of the most heinous pieces of psychological torture the group imposed on the group was the use of severed heads. A woman told the ...

Iraq: Sunni Women Tell of ISIS Detention, Torture | Human Rights Watch



Feb 20, 2017 - (Baghdad) – Fighters from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) are arbitrarily detaining, ill-treating, torturing, and forcibly marrying Sunni Arab women and girls in areas under their control in Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today. ... Human Rights Watch and others have ...

ISIS Torture - OpenYourEyes



Is ISIS' use of vi
EXPAT Added May 22, 2018 - 12:06am
Turkey: Renewed Torture in Police Custody, Abductions | Human ...



Oct 12, 2017 - People in Turkey accused of links with terrorism or with the 2016 military coup attempt have been tortured in police custody, while others have been abducted, ... EU member states in particular should use the opportunities of next week's Foreign Affairs Council and EU leaders' European Council, as Turkey ...

Torture returns to Turkey - Bruised and battered - The Economist



Sep 7, 2017 - Turkey's government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, proclaimed a policy of “zero tolerance” for torture in the early 2000s. But amid the fallout from last year's coup and a continuing crackdown against Kurdish militants, tolerance is back. Human-rights groups have cited instances of beatings and ...

Rights group says Turkish police use torture | Euronews

www.euronews.com › News › World


Oct 12, 2017 - Human Rights Watch says it has documented several cases of torture and enforced disappearances during the past year in Turkey.

EXPAT Added May 22, 2018 - 12:08am
A legacy of torture: Inside Lebanon's Khiam jail | Middle East | Al Jazeera



Aug 14, 2017 - Khiam, Lebanon - Ahmed Hussein al-Amine, a stout man in a checkered shirt and yellow baseball cap, stands atop a rusting Israeli tank, fixing the Hezbollah and Lebanese flags that fly from it. The banging of his hammer rings through the breeze. "I have lot of work to do today," Amine tells Al Jazeera.

Committee against Torture considers initial report of Lebanon ...



Apr 24, 2017 - The Committee was further greatly concerned about allegations of torture by non-State actors such as Hezbollah. The Prime Minister had recently declared that Hezbollah was a part of Lebanese Army, and was an essential part of the State – could the delegation clarify the position of Hezbollah in Lebanon, ...

EXPAT Added May 22, 2018 - 12:09am
NOW do you understand Devil Boy? I doubt it!
EXPAT Added May 22, 2018 - 12:11am
Sorry for the overkill Tubesock, but idiocy is agrivating.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added May 22, 2018 - 12:31am
From what I've experienced, a big problem, not only in the U.S., but just about everywhere else in the world, is that we consistently fail to "practice what we preach." People generally want to see leadership by example at all times. In a fucked-up way, that's why I think groups like IS and others are gaining traction around the entire world and will always be here; people around the world are simply sick and tired of being constantly lied to and having fucked-up shit rammed down their throats that they don't like and really want nothing to do with.
After saying that...Fuck Em' All!!! lol
James Travil Added May 22, 2018 - 12:35am
The only idiocy is yours Exlax. I asked you for examples of torture in the animal kingdom. You couldn't provide even a single one. I would say that is pathetic, but it was your, still unsupported, accusation of the unnatural act of torture in the animal world that is, was, and remains pathetic. Along with your old burnt-out ass! Too bad, so sad, ROTFLMFAO! 
James Travil Added May 22, 2018 - 12:40am
I will say Exlax that besides comic relief, you provide an excellent example of why age does not always produce wisdom. My seven year old has more wisdom than you in her little finger! 
James Travil Added May 22, 2018 - 2:11am
"..although I do not agree with the practice, the mind skills and patience you have to have is tremendous. Most people just dont go in a room with chains and beat people half to death."
And thank the devil for that. Because according to psychology it is a sign of insanity and a developing sociopath to torture animals. And that is unquestionably a gateway to torture and murder if humans for sadast sexual perversion by depraved sociopath inhuman monsters and the savages like Exlax who lionize this vermin scum. 
Flying Junior Added May 22, 2018 - 2:33am
Sutrina gets it.  Just like the patriot, Richard Cheney explained to us...
If it doesn't involve major organ failure, it's not torture!
What were some of the more devilish tortures devised by the CIA and the U.S. Army in the early years of the twenty-first century?
Electric shock?  Boy Scout stuff.  Everybody got so upset about the hooded man at Abu Ghraib.
Abu Ghraib was just good old-fashioned sexual hi-jinks with cute Army chicks.
Bagram Air Force Base where prisoners were handcuffed to chain link roofs of their cages just taller than their reach.
Sleeping naked in outdoor cages in cold weather.
Sleep deprivation.  Constant bright lights.  Frightening sounds like the death cries of rabbits played on huge loudspeakers at high volume.
Sexual humiliation.  Desecration of the Koran.  No big deal, right boys and girls?
Naked pyramids of blindfolded prisoners at Abu Ghraib?  Again, where is your sense of humor?
Water-boarding?  What's the problem, snowflakes?  Haven't you ever tried it?  I know Sean Hannity volunteered to be water-boarded.  Trump did it just for fun.  Cheney has his whores do it to him.
I understand that torture is not uncommon in several Mediterranean and Arabic states.  I guess that's why the CIA and the Army rendered suspects to black sites in the very same countries that you mentioned.
Did I forget anything?  That's right, kids.  We don't know 10% of what happened.  It was all done in secret.  Some crazy kids that were losing their sanity began photographing it.  Prisoners began to tell their stories.  We don't know how many prisoners died from this abuse or were permanently injured and disabled.  We will never know the extent of abuses.
All decent Americans should get down on their knees and thank President Obama for ending this national shame.  He restored our prestige and honor.
Fuck Trump!  He is an ignorant, insensitive, pampered and disgusting parody of a human being.  WTF is wrong with you deluded fucks that love him?  And you hate Obama!?!  Y'all have lost your way.
Neil Lock Added May 22, 2018 - 2:53am
Tubularsock: Thanks for a most thought (and comment) provoking article. Torturing human beings is wrong. But I guess that torturing the torturers - and those that support them - can be OK. Can it be wrong to give people what they like? :-)
Katharine wants to be: a nation-less individual.
Opher wants to be: a global citizen.
To try to be "a global citizen," I think, doesn't solve the problem. It merely moves it up a level, to some unaccountable world government that would be every bit as bad as political governments today.
Let's face it, the political system of nation states has failed - which is part of Tubularsock's point. So I think Katharine is on the right lines here as to the kind of identity we should seek. We are first and foremost individuals. We need to work out our own ways of relating to each other (my favoured one I call conviviality)And we should reject the failed system of national (and supranational) politics, and those that take part in it.
James Travil Added May 22, 2018 - 3:14am
When I was in high school my homeroom teacher said that a nationlless individual was a "cosmopolitan". At least they have their own drink and magazine :) 
James Travil Added May 22, 2018 - 3:17am
Flying Junior, just relax guy. You have some good ideas, but just don't get overtaken by emotionalism. 
opher goodwin Added May 22, 2018 - 5:21am
Hi Neil - well I certainly reject the failed notion of nationality with all its patriotic crap and wars. I think that it's time we developed as individuals and learnt to cooperate globally.
opher goodwin Added May 22, 2018 - 5:25am
FJ - you outline the tip of a colossal loss of morality. The systematic use of torture and humiliation is counterproductive as well as being obscene.
Information gathered is suspect.
The outrage and fury it generates fuels further violence and hatred.
It creates more problems than it solves.
It is barbaric, subhuman and disgusting. No civilised country would condone it.
Thank you Obama for stopping it. A curse on Trump for supporting it. 
Flying Junior Added May 22, 2018 - 5:41am
Right on.
EXPAT Added May 22, 2018 - 5:51am
Amnesty: 141 countries still torture | Al Jazeera America



May 12, 2014 - Brazil and Mexico, two states where police enjoy frequent impunity for their transgressions behind closed doors, had the highest percent of respondents say they did not feel safe from torture if arrested. In other countries, the use of torture is part and parcel of broader state-sponsored discrimination against ...
EXPAT Added May 22, 2018 - 5:58am
I am tired of trying to present the real world to the delusional. When I refer to human animals, as is the vernacular of the day, thanks to Trumps description of MS-13, Devil Boy thinks I Am referring to real animals.
Why try to talk sense to the senseless who think OBAMA stopped torture.
I will find another thread to comment. This thread is unraveled.
wsucram15 Added May 22, 2018 - 6:14am
James..have you ever served in the military? Have you ever seen what happens to US soldiers?  Not on the internet but firsthand.
Now Im not saying that in most instances we need to be there. I disagree with many military moves. I have protested against some of them.  But to condemn the practices of trained people on ORDERS by the way, w/o first understanding why or the purpose of the action is a mistake.
But as I said, I do understand it, and also dont condone the practice as an everyday thing.  There is however, I will admit a time and place for everything.   I will leave it at that.
Flying Junior Added May 22, 2018 - 6:15am
Obama stopped torture by the U.S.  No one claimed more.  You are a U.S. citizen.  Just about any president could have condemned the rampant abuses of the Shrub administration.  The point is that Obama did it nobly with credibility and international support.  He also backed it up with a proven track record.
Maybe that doesn't mean Jack Shit to you
To my knowledge the U.S.A. did not torture POWs anytime in the 20th century.  There probably exist those who could prove me dead wrong. 
There may still be torture by the the CIA, the Army and other players of the U.S. Government, but it is not legally sanctioned by a corrupt DOJ.  Maybe Trump has quietly re-instituted torture.  I'm not sure exactly what would be the point of that or just exactly who we would torture.  So I'm going to guess that ongoing torture by the U.S. government is at a ten-year low about now.
opher goodwin Added May 22, 2018 - 6:20am
EXPAT - I would suggest that it is a reality that needs to change.
America should not condone its bestial actions by comparing itself to the worst. It should set an example don't you think?
How can it say it is better if it is doing the same as the worst?
wsucram15 Added May 22, 2018 - 6:20am
I will also add, that Trumpty Dump..has no idea what he is ordering.  He has never served one minute in the military, let alone active duty or suffered any torture except maybe a line for his Kentucky fried chicken.  There is no need for a man like that to order the torture of people to what end?  He is killing his own people, that should be enough. 
But thats another story for another day.
opher goodwin Added May 22, 2018 - 6:22am
FJ - Trump certainly condones torture so it wouldn't surprise me if he hadn't covertly reintroduced it.
Doug Plumb Added May 22, 2018 - 6:49am
There cannot be any kind of values associated with dialectical materialism because it is a reactionary philosophy and only useful when problems emerge. It provides no rational precepts from which to judge if anything is good or bad. Kant says its like leaving a boat untied to a dock. It can be paddled anywhere, it can drift anywhere, with no clear path to get back.
opher goodwin Added May 22, 2018 - 7:08am
Doug - we provide the rational precepts to judge if a thing is good or bad. It is biological morality. 
Torture is always bad.
Dino Manalis Added May 22, 2018 - 9:24am
 Lost values are nothing to sing about!
Bill Kamps Added May 22, 2018 - 9:31am
I disagree that values were lost.  I dont think there was a time when the country had a greater sense of its values, and they were recently lost. I think there always were people at the top driven by  greed and power.  Perhaps we know more about what they are doing now, than before, but it was always there.
In many  ways, certainly in the areas of minority rights, the country is now closer to those values of equality, than before.  It still has a ways to go, to achieve a more perfect Union, paraphrasing Lincoln.
Dave Volek Added May 22, 2018 - 11:26am
Bill Kamps
I dont think there was a time when the country had a greater sense of its values, and they were recently lost.
Well said. Nostalgia for a past that was never really there is not a good defense of any position. And on so many fronts, we have come a long way in creating a better society.
I recall a radio interview by author P.J. O'Rouke. He said when we yearn for the past, think DENTISTRY! There's no way we would want to go back to dental treatments of 100 years ago!
We still have more work to do. I'm not too sure western democracy can take us much further along the path we need to go.
I am coming to the life conclusion that to acquire some of these high-powered positions, one has to live their career on the dangerous side. If one stays safe and follows all the rules, one will not be in a position to become elected or appointed.
Another sign to abandon western democracy and look for a new way.
Bill Kamps Added May 22, 2018 - 11:40am
I'm not too sure western democracy can take us much further along the path we need to go.
We just dont know because we cant predict the future.  Im sure the people of 1918, could  not imagine the  advances in medicine, when millions were dying of the Spanish flu.  
Western style "democracies" give us the tools to improve our situation.  It will take people getting fed up with the status quo, for it to happen.  Right now they only give it lip service.  Kind of like the  MeToo movement, will it cause real change, or just some protests? we have to wait and see.
When we look at the local level, I see progress.  At the national level no.  However, the national leaders of the future are our  local leaders today.  The problem at the national level is that those  people are mostly very old, and very set in their ways of enriching themselves. The most ambitious make it to Washington, not necessarily a good thing.   One reason I support term limits, to keep new blood coming into the system, and to keep people from making a career out of Washington.
Dave Volek Added May 22, 2018 - 11:54am
Bill Kamps
I'm not too sure term limits will solve all the problems. If we have new fresh people all the time, the bureaucracy will be further entrenched as they can bamboozle the new politicians who really don't know that much about politics and government when they are first elected. We need some old guard in place who have gained some BS sensors from being there as long as they have.
The TDG will have a good balance between new blood and keeping some of the old guard around.
Tubularsock Added May 22, 2018 - 1:09pm
A. Jones, these B rated movie scenarios of attempting “to ferret out actionable intel on the next planned terrorist atrocity” does not apply to 9/11 in the slightest!
A couple of facts you seemed to have missed about the FBI’s investigation of some of the “high-jackers” before 9/11 is the FBI field office was on the trail of some of the “high-jackers” but were shut down from perusing by orders out of the Washington, D.C. bureau. (Presumably due to a investigational conflict with the CIA.)
Also most of the 20 plus “high-jackers” were ALLOWED to enter the U.S. on “Expedited Visas” from Saudi Arabia that were allowed by the Bush Administration.
So no torture was necessary to prevent 9/11 at the last minute because WE INVITED them into the country!
These clear movie scenarios seldom occur in real life and and if they do torture usually, if not always, creates false intel. Most people will tell their tortures ANYTHING they want to hear just to stop being tortured, according to experts in these types of situations.
So even if you throw out the “high moral ground” torture is not a reliable source of actionable intel and may even delay necessary action.
Thanks for your comment.
Tubularsock Added May 22, 2018 - 1:25pm
Autumn, Tubularsock has been commenting on other posted articles but several haven’t gone through. Tubularsock is still having problems with posting articles though this time it connected, but not without trouble.
Tubularsock Added May 22, 2018 - 1:59pm
Tubularsock just wants to thank the “dirty sock crowd”, as EXPAT has so declared, for commenting on Tubularsock.
It appears that EXPAT has his “finger” on it when it comes to the evils of mankind but the solution IS NOT to sink to the lowest common denominator as the solution.
It is emotionally tempting because “get back” feels good to some BUT then where’s the line?
Droning a terrorist’s family ONLY creates MORE terrorists not less. And “accidentally” killing civilians in pursuit of a terrorist ONLY creates MORE terrorists not less. This has proven itself threw-out the Middle East yet we continue the practice NOT because we want a solution but rather because we want destabilization in the region.
And in that goal we have certainly won.
The U.S. created the terrorists to do our bidding and they have, except some have turned on us as “blowback” ....... hence, 9/11. We did it to ourselves!
Katharine Otto Added May 22, 2018 - 2:00pm
It's torture for me to read these justifications and rationalizations for abusing fellow human beings.  Politically sanctioned torture on such grand scale is problematic, but isn't war a form of torture?  What about the informal torture in prisons by prison guards?  What about animal lab experimentation, or factory farming?  
Thanks, Opher and Neil Locke for acknowledging my position.  Unlike you, Opher, I don't believe in world government, because I don't believe in external authority.  I believe in no government, especially not government "over the people." 
I do believe that individuals acting alone, without external authority or peer pressure, are less likely to abuse other people or animals.  Thus, the idea of being a free agent carries with it the notion that I alone must take responsibility for my actions.
Tubularsock Added May 22, 2018 - 2:21pm
Katharine Otto, thanks for your comment. YES! War is torture but it has been canonized so it has become always acceptable as long as we say it is our last resort.
So “as our last resort” we have been at war continually. Oh, except Korea .... that was dubbed “A Police Action” not a war!
As for prison torture, animal lab experimentation, and factory farming they too fall under torture as well but out of site, out of mind.
Doug Plumb Added May 22, 2018 - 2:24pm
re "Doug - we provide the rational precepts to judge if a thing is good or bad. It is biological morality. 
Torture is always bad.  "
Really? So you wouldn't allow one person to be tortured to save a hundred from a bomb going off?
john guzlowski Added May 22, 2018 - 3:04pm
One time we believed in the four freedoms (freedom from want, freedom to worship, freedom from fear, freedom of speech).  We believed they were good for us and good for others.  
Now we aren't so sure.  I can't believe Trump coming out and espousing these for everybody.  Maybe for his base, but the heck with you and me.
opher goodwin Added May 22, 2018 - 3:46pm
Doug - no I wouldn't. Immorality is immorality. Torture can never be justified.
This is merely an excuse. Torture does not produce good intel, nor does it save lives. Torture demeans all who are involved with it. It can never be justified.
Torture is barbaric.
opher goodwin Added May 22, 2018 - 3:48pm
John - Trump has thrown morality into the air. He works on divide and rule. He fosters hatred, fear and loves chaos. 
He certainly does not support those four freedoms.
opher goodwin Added May 22, 2018 - 3:51pm
Katharine - I believe in freedom but I do not think we can ever have it without government. People, as you can see from this thread, are violent and cruel. Without order we have anarchy in which the strong and nasty impose their will. It would be a callous, violent place. The only thing that curbs their violence is law.
I want a peaceful world where people are free to live how they like as long as they do not hurt others or the creatures we share the planet with.
Without government I believe we would destroy each other and the planet.
wsucram15 Added May 22, 2018 - 4:34pm
This is one area where unfortunately I have to disagree with you guys. While I cannot condone any torture of a human being, especially some of the ones I know of...
I really cannot condone any torture of any type of creature.
However, you are talking about people who behead and torture our men and women daily for fun.  Now we may have earned that, but those people did not, they are there on orders or worse yet civilians.
While I think our government believes in overkill, I do not think that largely, fear itself is a great deterrent.  However, personal fear and the mind  is something different..more difficult to overcome. It is one of the few intelligence methods we still have that works.   When its done right, results are obtained.
But also thats like giving a cop a gun..  So you could argue this either way.
Like I keep saying..if it was your other half or children and you needed that information..torture would NOT be off the table.
Tubularsock Added May 22, 2018 - 4:50pm
wsucram15, the point is that the use of torture doesn’t guarantee success. You may send yourself on a wild goose chase being taken away from those you wish to save.
Then where are you and then how are you any less barbaric than your captive?
It is all a silly game in general because these “what if’s” are all movie scripts for most people in the world ........ seldom will this scenario ever materialize in one’s real life.
Torture is just WRONG and those that implement torture on others are mentally ill and need attention.
Tubularsock Added May 22, 2018 - 4:53pm
opher, thanks for all your comments. You are on a roll! So remember, Pete also sang “We Shall Overcome”!
opher goodwin Added May 22, 2018 - 4:55pm
Jeanne - when it is your own kids all reason goes out the window. You'd do anything. But that does not prevent me from categorically stating that all torture is wrong.
Dave Volek Added May 22, 2018 - 5:06pm
Without government I believe we would destroy each other and the planet.
Yep! Within a century, we'd be back to hunter-gatherer clans of 30 or so members, defending our territory from other clans. Strange as it seems, some WB contributors would sooner be living with this kind of social structure than have progressive taxes or a few people living on welfare.  
Tubularsock Added May 22, 2018 - 6:50pm
Dave and opher funny but aren't we already doing that with government? Seems like it to Tubularsock.
James Travil Added May 22, 2018 - 7:13pm
"But to condemn the practices of trained people on ORDERS by the way, w/o first understanding why or the purpose of the action is a mistake."
Just following orders. Wasn't that the Nazis excuse at the Nuremberg War Trials? Didn't fly then, and it doesn't work now either. And yes I served in the Army during the first Gulf War, and we all knew it was illegal to follow an illegal order. 
Tubularsock Added May 22, 2018 - 8:08pm
James, well that is clear why you were not appointed CIA director: the inability to follow an illegal order. Well, you'll just have to change your value system if you want to get ahead in "This Man's Army!"
Jeff Michka Added May 22, 2018 - 8:33pm
Isn't that "This Man's CIA," Tubular?   We now have Eddie Haskell's mom as head of the CIA.  Now, who sez Trump doesn't love strong women? LOL
Katharine Otto Added May 22, 2018 - 10:00pm
While I can't imagine hurting anyone on purpose, I know some people get off on causing pain.  Unfortunately, I agree that humankind has not matured enough to understand or practice self-governance.  However, I don't see any people mature enough to govern others, either.  
It's important to point out that laws are made to control other people.   Groups are capable of much more damage than individuals, and people with delegated power are some of the worst offenders, especially if there are no personal risks.  
Nobody's Sweetheart Added May 22, 2018 - 10:36pm
For some reason, I'm reminded of a line from Mr. Deeds Goes to Town:
"People here are funny. They work so hard at living they forget how to live. Last night, after I left you, I was walking along and - and lookin' at the tall buildings, and I got to thinking about what Thoreau said. 'They created a lot of grand palaces here, but they forgot to create the noble men to put in them.'"
Tubularsock Added May 23, 2018 - 12:44am
Jeff Michka, you may be correct. And YES on Eddie Haskell’s mom ......... too funny!
Tubularsock Added May 23, 2018 - 12:50am
Michael B., you are right on ........ You can never be too far afield with Thoreau! He rings true throughout time ........ scary if you think about.
Will mankind ever change for the better? Sure can’t count on it!
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
opher goodwin Added May 23, 2018 - 11:27am
Katharine - I think that you maybe underestimate the progress that societies have made. If you think back just a hundred years to the Wild West and look at the murder rate, rape and crime. The bully boys ruled the roost. We have curbed a lot of that bad behaviour. I don't fear laws or governments. I think they need controlling but they do a lot of good. Even now, under Trump, things are still better than they could be.
Pardero Added May 23, 2018 - 11:32am
Thanks for another great article.
Torture simply has a poor record of success. Torture's dubious value should preclude it from being used.
A summary of the rationalizations: 'It might save lives. Everybody else does it and always has.'
We didn't belong in the conflicts that the torture apologists are attempting to defend.
opher goodwin Added May 23, 2018 - 7:38pm
Padero - exactly. 
It doesn't work
It is immoral
The fact that other barbaric people do it is no justification.
Torture is never excusable. 
James Travil Added May 23, 2018 - 8:36pm
The barbaric fiends who do torture also do gang rape, honor killings, slavery, and child brides. I would have to conclude that if torture is OK so are those other things.