Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?

Started by Norman Teigen, December 10, 2014, 03:40:50 PM

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Donald_Kirchner

Been there, done that. At first, however, I thought maybe it was a Dave Benke post.   ;)
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Richard Johnson

Quote from: peter_speckhard on December 12, 2014, 09:07:25 AM
Since you have already confessed to not understanding what I'm trying to say and called my anagolies impenetrable, why not just conclude, "I don't get your position," rather than declare that you know my position but I don't?

I liked "anatomies" better.  8)
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: Coach-Rev on December 11, 2014, 08:21:02 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on December 11, 2014, 10:49:41 AM
Pastor Kirchner writes (re the report saying that torture did not gain any "valuable" information)
Which is absolutely disputed by those who were there and in the know. But I suppose those who gained the benefit of the safety rendered by CIA actions can sit around and quibble about the word "much."

I comment:
Well! Duh! What would you expect them to say?

Fascinating.  Just fascinating.  So they can't be trusted though they were there and were participants in that.  They must be lying to cover something up you imply.

And a couple of years back you incessantly hammered that second hand reports didn't count for anything because they were NOT there and first hand witnesses, AND there obviously had to be more to the story.

So its now clear that you will only accept testimony, first hand or other, that corresponds only to your point of view.  In certain circles that's referred to as a self-reinforcing delusion.


There's a difference between an eye-witness and a participant. Uninvolved observers have nothing to lose by telling the truth as they saw it. Participates in illegal or questionable activities could incriminate themselves by telling the truth. It is likely that they will seek to justify their actions.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

peter_speckhard

Quote from: Richard Johnson on December 12, 2014, 09:59:47 AM
Quote from: peter_speckhard on December 12, 2014, 09:07:25 AM
Since you have already confessed to not understanding what I'm trying to say and called my anagolies impenetrable, why not just conclude, "I don't get your position," rather than declare that you know my position but I don't?

I liked "anatomies" better.  8)
Anagolies? I'd better stop using this iPad. I obviously can't type very well on touchscreen keyboards.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: WJV on December 11, 2014, 10:15:22 PM
I'm amazed that this discussion is happening in the US. The country of my youth was proud of being — whether it was true or not, whether it was accurate or not — the good guys, and (at least pretending to) act(ing) that way. We didn't (officially) torture. We didn't (officially) kill everyone attending a wedding party. People were rightly and truly outraged when government actors were shown to have played off-book, even if the final results were acceptable. Discussions of how much mistreatment is torture would have been met with opposition from many, but now? Not so much. It makes me wonder if anyone involved in the "interrogations" ever had a conversation like this (some possible language warnings): Are we the baddies?


Of course we thought we were the "good guys". Much of the world didn't agree with our assessment of ourselves. For about the last 60 years, "Ugly American" was an expression used by others about us. After 9-11, Bill Maher was chastise for even raising the question about what we might have done to provoke such hatred that would result in these suicide missions. "America just doesn't do anything wrong that would provoke anger," was basically the response he got. Yet, there were the four suicide jet crashes. I don't think they happened because those Muslims thought Americans were "the good guys."


In a class on American Civil Religion, Roger Fjeld, noted that the two things lacking in American civil religion are: (1) Jesus Christ - (we can trust "God," but we don't bring Jesus into our motto); and (2) repentance. We abhor the idea of admitting we did anything wrong. Politicians have people to help them construct a positive spin on just about everything.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2014, 10:05:11 AM
There's a difference between an eye-witness and a participant. Uninvolved observers have nothing to lose by telling the truth as they saw it. Participates in illegal or questionable activities could incriminate themselves by telling the truth. It is likely that they will seek to justify their actions.

Try asserting that in a court of law to a jury. Eye witnesses, i.e., those who were there and involved, are less reliable than a 3rd party writing a report from what they heard from others?!   :o

Not only is it a crock; the writers of the Democratic report are hardly "uninvolved." They have an agenda.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: Pr. Don Kirchner on December 12, 2014, 10:24:13 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2014, 10:05:11 AM
There's a difference between an eye-witness and a participant. Uninvolved observers have nothing to lose by telling the truth as they saw it. Participates in illegal or questionable activities could incriminate themselves by telling the truth. It is likely that they will seek to justify their actions.

Try asserting that in a court of law to a jury.


It happens all the time. The prosecutor asks the defendant, "Did you commit this crime?" "No, I did not." Or, "It was self-defense." Or, they might use the 5th amendment - and refuse to testify against themselves. (I don't believe that the military have 5th amendment protection in military courts.)


Prosecutors have to rely on forensic evidence from experts who weren't involved, and other eyewitnesses. Even a participant who turns state's evidence - are they telling the truth against a co-defendant or telling a lie for personal benefits (immunity from the crime or a reduced charge against them)? It's often been said in this forum that we don't know the motivations of other people. That's also true of witnesses. They can have hidden agendas.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2014, 10:32:28 AM
It happens all the time. The prosecutor asks the defendant, "Did you commit this crime?"

No, it does not. You don't know what you are talking about, Rev Stoffregen, while asserting that you "believe" it. No decent trial attorney would ever ask such a question.

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2014, 10:32:28 AM
(I don't believe that the military have 5th amendment protection in military courts.)

That manifests your ignorance. You simply make up stuff to support your conclusions, Rev Stoffregen. See Article 31 of the UCMJ.

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2014, 10:32:28 AM
It's often been said in this forum that we don't know the motivations of other people. That's also true of witnesses. They can have hidden agendas.

As the Democratic report demonstrates.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Charles Austin

As to why I even try to respond, Peter, well I guess hope springs eternal. Perhaps someday I will understand the planet from which you speak, perhaps someday one of your anatomies will make sense to me.perhaps someday you will be able to speak in a way which is clear and understandable for someone like me.
As it is, I now see you falling in to the pit occupied by the Kirchner/Fienen enclave. Fire back at criticism in an "I must get the last word" mode, shift the subject slightly, or blame the failure to communicate on the other party. Or just declare the other party "wrong" without explaining what the actual error is. You and the K/F enclave will, of course, say none of this is true.
But that's how I see it.
As to the topic at hand, I believe that as a nation we have some deep thinking to do. But on some days, maybe days when I think too much about what I hear on this modest discussion forum, I severely doubt our ability to do any kind of deep thinking.
So carry-on. Those who were there when people were tortured, obviously have the best opinion and know what really happened and know how good or bad it was. Let's leave it all up to them.
Iowa-born. ELCA pastor, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. English major. Elitist snob? Probably.

Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: Charles Austin on December 12, 2014, 12:30:02 PM
Or just declare the other party "wrong" without explaining what the actual error is. You and the K/F enclave will, of course, say none of this is true.

So, what would you like explained, Rev Austin?
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

peter_speckhard

I've said for years that Charles and I inhabit different worlds altogether. It is an example of the big divide between orthodox traditionalists and progressive revisionists that cuts through all denominations. Interestingly, at the alpb anniversary celebration probably ten or twelve people, representing the ELCA, NALC, and LCMS told me that although they don't always agree with what I say, they especially appreciate the clarity of my writing, the same writing Charles finds utterly opaque. Yet Charles is an accomplished writer and Lutheran pastor. The only explanation is that we use such different assumptions that we make no sense to each other.

This was one of the points I made in Forum Letter in my critique of the ELCA sexuality study prior to CWA09. To me it almost read like gibberish, yet the bishops praised it for its crisp prose.

Harvey_Mozolak

Peter, I say this not to deprecate what you wrote comparing yourself and Charles or to start a political bomb lobbing...  but I always felt whenever Pres. Ronald Reagan spoke, I was embarrassed... he was like my grandpa blustering but not so sensibly and certainly not with class. And then other said, boy is he the grand communicator!  I felt like I was on another planet.  You may not like what Obama says at all, but he certainly makes a good speech, especially compared to some of his more conservative opponents , I feel ... but others, well...  And somehow I think (in my own crazy way) that I can separate the ability and style from the political position, but maybe I can't.  It is like preachers who just wanna say compared to a more traditional and scholarly sermon...   Harvey Mozolak   
Harvey S. Mozolak
my poetry blog is listed below:

http://lineandletterlettuce.blogspot.com

Michael Slusser

Quote from: Harvey_Mozolak on December 12, 2014, 06:17:22 PM
Peter, I say this not to deprecate what you wrote comparing yourself and Charles or to start a political bomb lobbing...  but I always felt whenever Pres. Ronald Reagan spoke, I was embarrassed... he was like my grandpa blustering but not so sensibly and certainly not with class. And then other said, boy is he the grand communicator! 
And yet it was Ronald Reagan who signed the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and persuaded the US Senate to confirm our commitment to that convention. Reagan and the Senate of that time committed our country to take the high road. We have not lived up to that commitment.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: Pr. Don Kirchner on December 12, 2014, 12:37:11 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on December 12, 2014, 12:30:02 PM
Or just declare the other party "wrong" without explaining what the actual error is. You and the K/F enclave will, of course, say none of this is true.

So, what would you like explained, Rev Austin?

I didn't think so.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Charles Austin

Not clever, Pastor Cottingham. Not helpful. Not anything. But not unexpected.
Have a nice day.
Iowa-born. ELCA pastor, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. English major. Elitist snob? Probably.

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