Waterboarding is Torture, and Torture is Wrong

Not to mention ineffective. Econo-Girl has serious doubts as to whether European lives were saved.

Econo-Girl's purpose in writing this blog is to start a dialog on the Geneva Convention, since it now applies to the Department of Defense again. Guess it's not quaint anymore, eh?

Over the next few weeks, Econo-Girl would like to post articles about the Geneva Convention, like its origin and major provisions. Legal analysis is not the magic some would have you believe.

If the grunts and paper pushers are knowledgeable, the anti-torture infrastructure will be strengthened.

- - - - --

The above post is a recreation of a post that got me fired from the CIA. It is not exact, but covers the main points as best I remember them. I had a blog called Covert Communications on a kind of classified Internet. I wrote a version of the above post and classified it so that only Americans with clearances could read it. You couldn't even get to the blog if you had less than a Top Secret and above clearance anyway.

Another purpose of the blog post was to start a dialog on interogation techniques with the people who are asked to do the interogating. It was to be a public education campaign, of sorts. I was going to do the research on my own time and type in the results when I got to work. I never spent more than 15 minutes writing any of my posts.

What can I say? Waterboarding is torture, and torture is wrong.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you got fired.


Anonymous said...

Good luck, Econo-Girl. I saw this mentioned on BoingBoing.

Is there any more about the intranet you can describe? Were you expected to spark internal conversation on policies like the Geneva Conventions?

Anonymous said...

Oh come on! So how did you get a job in that alphabet soup anyway? I am quite sure they had some background on you before you went to work there, did you not know what you were getting in to? This county is being run by psychopaths. They have little respect for human rights. I am left to think you committed career sucicide upon realizing where our country was headed...


NelC said...

I hope you still have some enthusiasm for this project. Just because you're not on the inside any more, doesn't mean you shouldn't continue to try and continue the debate.

Anonymous said...

Given that most intelligent people have a conscious - who does the agency get to work for them these days?

Shihei said...

Good on ya! I commend you for risking yourself, both life and liberty in order to bring to lite the appropriateness of the Geneve Convention's purpose and how it's very merits are being undermined willfully by top brass in our government and military while the grunts barely know anything about it.

Whatever I can do to help I am MOST interested to assist in such a campaign!

Anonymous said...

Where would one find your post "at work"?

Anonymous said...

I read your blog on the high-side. I read the very post you recreated here... and you got fired for it?!?! I find it hard to believe that the blog post is the sole reason. I have 10+ years in and I am your not-so-typical punk rawk XhardcoreX gun toting IC kid. The last person I saw fired, wasn't even fired, he was given the option to resign. The government doesn't fire you for thinking out loud. You get fired for stealing, selling our country out or lying to the IG. What really got you fired?

Anonymous said...


I enjoyed reading CC on intellink, and I'm sorry to hear about your dismissal. Hopefully someday the IC will come to be more receptive to critical viewpoints.

. . . but I'm not holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you had to experience being the victim of belief-based decision making. Welcome to reality. You'll obviously end up better off for the change.

I wonder if an very informative video of a carefully controlled waterboarding of a volunteer, maybe even a well-known philanthropist or performing artist who could even fund it, would help people understand waterboarding?

Certainly, if it is not torture, then no government agency would care at all to try to stop such a visual demonstration?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to see that you've been fired for what appears to be an unjust cause. Dialogue is always important, especially in our free society. Questionable acts that may or may not ammount to torture are topics that require the utmost attention -- especially in the today's world! You acted like a true a patriot by doing so and it's sad to see you get the short end of the stick. I hope that you will continue to act patriotically without letting such incidents phase you.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, you mean people with souls actually blog on Intellink?

GeoMullah said...

Were you on double-secret probation first before you were canned? Or, did you piss off someone who came after you? (WGM)

Anonymous said...

you still have a clearance?

Anonymous said...

I didn't think anyone read those intelink blogs...

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear yet that another voice of reason inside the National Security State has been squelched.

It may not pay the rent, but in the end, doing the right thing is all there is...

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Dear Econo-girl, Thank you for being brave enough to share what happened to you. The truth needs to be known.

Thank you as well for being a person of integrity and decent enough to open a dialogue about torture. You are right, torture IS wrong. It's wrong by law and by the standards of human ethics.

If you were fired for having a sane mind, being capable of wanting an honest discussion, that is their loss.

I wish you a better working environment and much success in the future.

Anonymous said...

All torture is wrong? That's an awfully black-and-white statement for a rather murky gray world. I think most people would agree that it's morally permissible to torture terrorists if their is a high likelyhood that it will save lives, i.e., the ticking time bomb test. After all, is it morally o.k. to kill them on the battlefield? What about sniping a jihadist who is about to slit someone's throat? What about the death penalty at all? It's a somewhat utopian worldview that says we should condemn torture absolutely.

Dean said...

I followed a link from BoingBoing. Wow, your Blog layout is VERY similar to mine. Probably pretty common actually. Hope you don't mind if I post some of your info (waterboarding) on my Blog.

Anonymous said...

its wrong but since this administration intell became a politics game and not the otherway around like it should be.

Tilleyjam said...

I'm sorry to hear what happened to you. Good luck looking for a job.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I guess I think you crossed the line. But you have made a statement. Good for you.

Anonymous said...

would anyone who read CC's/EG's intellink blog please contact Spencer Ackerman at The New Republic. E-mail sackerman [at] tnr [dot] com. Especially the straightedge hardcore IC dude.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

Sorry you got fired too. I'm never voting republican. I don't trust them.

Econo-Girl said...

Thanks for the support. It means a lot.

I was NOT fired for stealing, but specifically for writing the anti-torture post. I know this because that is what I was told.

My hope is to continue to spread the word that torture is not effective.

I will put my previous employment behind me and move forward with love. Bitterness only holds a person back, and going backwards is not my interest.

There will be no more details about the secure blogs because it is irrelevant to my primary purpose, which is fighting the use of torture in this country, and by this country.

Anonymous said...

NEWS | OPINIONS | SPORTS | ARTS & LIVING | Discussions | Photos & Video | City Guide | CLASSIFIEDS | JOBS | CARS | REAL ESTATE

Blogger in France Sues After Being Fired

The Associated Press
Thursday, July 20, 2006; 1:10 PM

PARIS -- The 33-year-old British expat in Paris writes under the pseudonym "La Petite Anglaise" and tells of love affairs, single motherhood and office bloopers with self-deprecating, "Bridget Jones"-style humor.

She kept her popular blog anonymous, never revealing her full name or workplace. But despite her attempts at secrecy, her employer found out and fired her _ unusual in labor-protected France, where workers have strong legal protections.

Now she's suing her employer in a case generating buzz on both sides of the English Channel.

The lawsuit is seen as a test case in France, where there have been few cases of bloggers getting fired, unlike in the United States, where there is even a word for it: getting "dooced," a reference to the author of http://www.dooce.com , Heather B. Armstrong, who was fired for writing about her colleagues.

The expat in Paris goes only by Catherine and declined to reveal her last name because of the personal tales she recounts on the site, http://www.petiteanglaise.com . She says she was careful never to reveal online the name of the British company she worked for as a bilingual secretary.

Most of her office stories were, she says, "fairly humorous anecdotes about things that happened to me" _ accidentally exposing her cleavage on a video conference screen or tumbling down a staircase. She also poked fun at the office portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

"I wasn't describing what my employers did, or disclosing professional secrets or criticizing the firm or anything," she said in a telephone interview.

Her employers, the accounting firm Dixon Wilson, cited "loss of trust" and said they felt she had damaged their reputation, Catherine said. Though her name was never used online, her photo appear in a French newspaper article about her blog.

The company also pointed out that she had acknowledged lying about absences from work, saying two half-days were for childcare when she was really playing hooky. And she sometimes used her work computer to update her blog _ though she says she only blogged during downtime, when others would write e-mail or read newspapers.

Dixon Wilson did not return several calls seeking comment.

On July 10, Catherine filed a complaint with a workers tribunal, suing for up to two years of salary, or about $110,000.

On her blog, Catherine revealed her predicament this week, describing how she tried to keep up her spirits for her 3-year-old daughter the day she got fired by throwing an impromptu birthday party for a doll.

She had 10,000 hits the day of the announcement, and now she has more than 300 messages from well-wishers.

"What's the French word for dooced?" one well-wisher wrote. "Maybe you could make one up."


Anonymous said...

CC - I was away from work while this happened. I'm sorry to hear of your situation, and hope you keep doing what you believe in.

"Dave" from IC Blog.

Anonymous said...

You have supporters in DIA.

Anonymous said...

Remember she was working for a contractor who can dismiss a lot easier than a governmental agency. d

Anonymous said...

stupid is as stupid does

Anonymous said...

The modern practice of waterboarding involves tying the victim to a board with the head lower than the feet so that he or she is unable to move. A piece of cloth is held tightly over the face, and water is poured onto the cloth. Breathing is extremely difficult and the victim will be in fear of imminent death by asphyxiation. However, it is relatively difficult to aspirate a large amount of water since the lungs are higher than the mouth, and the victim is unlikely to actually die if this is done by skilled practitioners. Waterboarding may be used by captors who wish to impose anguish without leaving marks on their victims as evidence.

In the United States, military personnel are taught this technique to demonstrate how to resist enemy interrogations in the event of capture. According to Salon.com, SERE instructors shared their torture techniques with interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp.

On the 18 November 2005, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito described the CIA's "waterboarding" technique as follows in an article posted on the ABC News web site:

"The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt. According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last over two minutes before begging to confess. 'The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law,' said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch."

Waterboarding is due to become a banned practice by U.S. personnel (including CIA officials) pending the release of a revised manual on interrogation procedures.

Anonymous said...

Spencer Ackerman-

Why don't you give a psotal address, as well. Some people might be willing to talk to you via the mail, but not via electornic ccommunications, given the administration's current attitudes and the possibility that the NSA or FBI might be listening. It's not that much harder for them to intercept the mail, but it takes more effort, involves more people, and is harder to keep quiet.

I was the Anonymous person who sent the article to Boing-boing, and I read her Intelink blog. I don't think I feel safe doing much more than bringing this post to public attention-I have a job and a family to worry about.

Anonymous said...

Read the NYTimes article. You look short, fat and frumpy. Your mother should be offended that you're offended by the comparison to her.

Aside from that, boo effing hoo. You used a classified software program to criticize the government. Go ahead and criticize, but don't do it on company time/resources and have the balls to identify your self BEFORE you get fired. Courage of convictions and all that. BTW, waterboard away if it'll save the life of my sister, even if she's as unattractive as you.

Bet you won't have the guts to post this, as "all comments must be approved by the blog author."

Anonymous said...

Hey CC!

So have you found out who first saw your post and raised the issue? It's interesting that you had commented on mine a couple of days before that you were under the radar screen. I wonder if your comment on mine caused someone to look at yours more closely...

We'll see...

Keep us posted and feel free to email me.


Anonymous said...

All forms of interrogations and interviews of suspects,witnesses, or persons of interest have shortcomings.

All information provided either willingly or unwillingly, through fear of consequence, through enticement to avoid consequence, through deception, coercion, birbery, extortion, torture or virtually any possible manner will provide information that is not completely reliable and requires additional methods of verification and evaluation.

Waterboarding, along with a host of other coercion methods can produce elements of information not obtainable by other methods. Such a technique is not always justified, necessary or ideal, but to rule it out as ineffective in all cases for whatever reason - is an obvious sign that someone has limited expereience in the development of information from interview and interrogation.

All arguments about the effectiveness of torture to produce information can be similarly applied to nearly any other acceptable method of interview or interrogation. Subjects who choose to communicate will often say what they believe the questioner wants to hear, whether it is to avoid pain, earn a reward, or defer consequences.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps focus on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, rather than the Geneva Convention.

That, together with the 14th Amendments application to "Persons" in the Jurisdiction of the US is, I feel, MORE damning than the Geneva Conventions.

Anonymous said...

Now that you were shit-canned ( the "S" word is acceptable - potty-mouth Prez uses it at all his international meetings), howzabout a real expose - tell all you know - make that Bastard Bush and Coward Cheney squim. Dulce bellum inexpertis....

Anonymous said...

I hope when the current administration is finally brought up on charges of crimes against humanity that they are waterboarded by their captors during interrogation. After all, it's not torture, is it?

AboutTruth said...

Let me get it straight? You were blogcasting on a classified website designed to coordinate and diseminate intelligence. Voicing your concern about interrogation policies was bound to raise hackles, but I applaud you!

Your efforts in using technology to stimulate your cohorts'collective consciences is like screaming fire in a crowded theatre, showng Dante's Inferno. Now you are "Ellsbergesqe". Make the best of it!

Anonymous said...

I too read of your case in the NY Times. Unfortunately, citizens of the United States of America have begun rationalizing what I believe to be war crimes. Those complicit in such crimes do not, apparently, take well to being questioned openly, and hence you have been fired. I am so tired of reading about the ticking time bomb scenario, as it is a false scenario which virtually never exists in the real world. Seldom to never does one capture a spy that one is certain knows key details to a planned plot. Far more likely is one to capture a person who may know some details to a plot, but then again, who may not know any details to a plot.

Aside from the legal ramifications of violating the Geneva Conventions and the International Declaration of Human Rights, torture dehumanizes both the victim and the torturer. I am heartened that there is currently a religious campaign again torture in the United States and hopeful that those who have encouraged torture and the inhumane or degrading treatment of captives will be held accountable in future years. Perhaps America needs a Truth Commission similar to what South Africa utilized to 1) aid us in determining what really happened and then 2) to help us in obtaining reconciliation between our victims and us.

Anonymous said...

In the photo, you look serious, secretive, and casual in a sexy sweater (not fat at all or unattractive) as the other poster wrote. I like the way the photo is a metaphor for your situation. Coming out of the dark back into the light to reveal the insanity going on in this administration concerning torture.
Does anyone really think information gathered form torture victim is accurate?

You're doing better work now for citizens being on the outside. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, girl!

Wilmington, DE

Anonymous said...

I like the way you put it first: simply, "torture is wrong." It doesn't matter whether it's effective or not, it's wrong and we must not do it, for our own sakes. Anything said further is pretense.

Anonymous said...

I am truly sorry to see that another voice of reason has been silenced. The only good thing that can be said about this administration is that, because of the 8 yr term limit, W. and his disgusting cadre of power-mad ghouls will eventually be forced out of office.

Or perhaps it's another "inherent power" of the Executive branch to void the 8 yr term limit if it so chooses? Wouldn't surprise me a bit if that argument is made.

Keep fighting. Keep believing you're right.

After all, you are.

Anonymous said...

I believe you said that you "classified" your post. It seems everyone in the political administration has the right to "classify". My limited experience with clasified information has quickened me to believe that classification of information by governments only conceals information rightfully belonging to the owners of that information, the U.S. taxpayers. Congratulations on acting on your beliefs.

NelC said...

Anonymous said:

"have the balls to identify your self"

Ha! Hahahaha!

Oh, dear me... such irony....

NelC said...

All forms of interrogations and interviews of suspects,witnesses, or persons of interest have shortcomings.

So, you seem to be saying that all interrogation techniques are equally effective at obtaining the truth.

I don't believe that's true, but if it was, then the only remaining question would be the moral one. In which case there is only one possible answer: use the other methods because torture is wrong.

Anonymous said...

i know loosing a job and career is a traumatic event, especially for something as tame as stating the obvious. i do hope your break with the national security state affords a better future. unfortunately, those who stay behind will no longer have your writings to press their conscience. too bad for the soul-less in spookdom.

Anonymous said...

I know you pass this, but I don't get it, maybe you instead of criticise the method, you shall give them some ideas, lets say strip yourself as a virgen in front of the poor gay and promise a "reward" if he talk

Jay said...

Let me begin by saying that I am 100% in agreement with you about the impropriety of torture and the importance of abiding by the Geneva Conventions.

That said, can you spare us all the pity party now? Let's point out the fact that you were not a CIA employee, but instead were a contractor. You weren't using your employer's resources to critically discuss your employer. You were instead using your customer's resources to criticize your customer. Is it any wonder that you were let go by BAE?

The above post is a recreation of a post that got me fired from the CIA

Let me say this again as clearly as I can. You were not fired from the CIA. The CIA was not your employer. BAE was your employer. The CIA was your client. You made your client unhappy. Whether they had a good reason for being unhappy was neither here nor there. You were fired by BAE for annoying their customer by improperly using their customer's resources.

If you have a grievance against anyone, it is BAE. BAE didn't have to let you go. They have lots of other projects. If they wanted to keep you around, they could have.

Let me finish by applauding you for speaking out and having the courage of your convictions. But isn't part of standing on principles being willing to take the consequences of your actions? It is easy to speak out when you know that you have nothing to lose.

Econo-Girl said...

This is not about revenge. I have no intention of spilling any secrets I have been trusted with.

However, I will say that since the official policy of the DoD and CIA is to follow the Geneva Convention, I should not have been fired for supporting that view.

Econo-Girl said...

What I wrote SUPPORTED CURRENT POLICY. Or didn't you know that the DoD and CIA have agreed to follow the Geneva Conventions? That's why I wrote it when I did. After that announcement.

I don't feel sorry for myself and I don't want my former job back.

I was told specifically that the 'Seventh Floor' at CIA HQ were highly upset with what I wrote. That's not BAE, although they were upset, too.

No Blood for Hubris said...

Oh? Is that their official policy? Since when?

They must have flip-flopped.

Last I heard, it was "Yippee-ki-yi-yay torture away"!

Anyhow, if it's now their official policy, it's one of those wink wink nudge nudge policies that exists on paper but not in reality (in the non-Bushist sense).

New Millennium Nigga said...

I just read about this (NYT, online) and am appalled. This country is upside down and yours is the head it seems to have landed on most recently. I hope everything turns out ok for you. We live in scary times.

Brenda said...

It has been said that all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men and women to remain silent. Thank you for putting yourself on the line for your principles. If more people would speak out perhaps we could put a stop to these atrocities. Of course waterboarding is torture. Who believes that almost killing someone is not torture??
It is a shame that your acess to influential people has been closed. We cannot have a democracy if dissent is stiffled. Please keep up the good fight.
Regards. Brenda

Squander N. Blunderbush said...

Just read in the NY Times that India has shut down all access to blogspot.com. Next ...the USA, for matters of National Security? Be aware of the nature of the Beast, folks. If we can't get our message out through MSM, or through blogs or websites, we are effectively muted.

Anonymous said...

You deserved to be fired. It is not your business to poke your nose into the affairs of a company when you are nothing more than a TEMP.

You have no access to the information and were just shooting off your mouth. I have no sympathy for you at all and hope you never get another job in government.

People like you endanger the lives of citizens by your careless and ill-informed remarks. You were not being paid to be a blogger!!

Squander N. Blunderbush said...

Amazing that India has now blocked all access to Blogspot.com (as per NY Times today) Interesting experiment...wonder if It Could Happen Here? And....India's IT is directly associated with US corporations.

Our our days numbered, bloggers?

Anonymous said...

Dear Christine,

As an Episcopal priest who has joined with other people of faith in in condemning the current U.S. government's complicity with torture, I write in gratitude for you. Thank you for your witness and humanity. You will be in my prayer.

The Rev. K. Jeanne Person
Church of the Holy Trinity, Manhattan

Anonymous said...

I can only say thank you, thank you, thank you for having the courage to speak up and tell the world the truth. Torture by anyone's definition - to include Mr. Bush's - is wrong under any and all circumstances. It is quite apparent to me that our government & military are using some of the same "interrogation" techniques (read torture) the Vietnamese used on our captured personnel during that "other war". How very sad we have chosen to adopt something we decried as inhumane not so many years ago.
As a retired Air Force Intelligence Specialist, and a Vietnam Veteran I am disgusted by the actions of this government under the guise of defending its citizens.
It's so easy to shoot the messenger when you don't like the message. Please don't give up the fight.
Regards and best wishes,
MSgt, USAF Retired

Anonymous said...

First of all: Why should the Geneva Convention apply to those who are obviously not uniformed combatants? The Geneva Conventions were not drafted to protect terrorists.

Secondly: Who bloody cares if the likes of Khalid Sheik Mohammad ARE tortured? We are at war with an enemy who decapitates those they capture, and burns them alive. The Geneva Conventions were created to impose a framework for reciprocal treatment of prisoners of war. Exactly why should we exempt captured terrorists from pretty mild "torture" like water boarding - particularly when we subject our own troops to water boarding in SERE training? There is no reciprocity with terrorists, so quite frankly we have no incentive to not do whatever is necessary to get them to provide information.

E-RM: Your Research Resource said...

Often an argument is made that torture is sometimes effective and therefore we need to do it. I submit that the counterargument should be that torture:
A) Is not effective enough, i.e., it has a poor overall record, so why should we embrace it when far more effective methods are known and available?
B) Has deleterious, if not devastating, effects on those committing the torture
C) Can often come back and bite the hand that feeds it: wasn't it a US-captured Iragi detainees who had been tortured (I think via rendition) until he falsely told interrogators what thay wanted to hear, i.e., he made up one of the critical stories about WMD in Iraq that was used as propaganda to justify the invasion. We now know the story (I think it was the aluminum tubes story) was nonsense.

Absent such use of torture, perhaps the false arguments to invade Iraq would never have succeeded. How's that for a reason not to do it?

Anonymous said...

I think that in a free society, posting a blog to other members of the "same clearance or higher" is okay. Placing your personal views at work however could be considered bringing in your personal agenda which may be against policy and procedure.
In reference to using certain tactics in interview and interrogation...unless you have ever needed the information that was given, or have lost a family member because information wasnt given (9/11 WTC), I dont think you can appreciate the use of certain tactics in order to gain information to save others. We were attacked, bottom line. We need to take care of our own to ensure that this doesnt happen again. Next time, when issues of what is being done to get information is bothering you, watch some old videos of victims jumping down 120 floors, pregnant, on fire, holding hands, and then think about how mad, sad, and hurt that made you, and reconsider what these people with these ideals that the US is bad just for being a World Power, our religious beliefs, or economic structure and I'm sure you will understand that the techniques of interrogation are neither here nor there.

Anonymous said...

It seems to be no one should be surprised that speaking out in favor of human rights gets one in trouble with this federal government. The President and his cronies are an embarrassment and in no way reflect American ideals. We all kno it is a complex, often cruel world populated with many bad people who would do us harm. We certainly need protection. I am so thankful for the work most of the brave men and women do to keep us safe. We should not do so while trashing the very ideals for which we fight. Good for you, Econo-Girl. Many stand with you!

Anonymous said...

Econo-Girl said... "However, I will say that since the official policy of the DoD and CIA is to follow the Geneva Convention, I should not have been fired for supporting that view."

It is obvious within actions our Good King George no longer gives a rat's ass of the Geneva Convention. A few years ago a ban on political assassination by the 'alphabets' was quietly lifted, too. That ban had lasted twenty five years.

I apologize as a citizen who does not vote. There is a reason I choose not to vote, it serves no purpose anyway. I'll express no confidence in the system. But, I do owe you an apology as a former soldier.

We have responsibility and accountability drilled into us. Perhaps, my lacking vote caused this mess, doubt it, but for the sake of argument we'll say it did. And for that I apologize, but I do not apologize for Good King George and all his bull shit.

Spirit of '76, let us never forget. I honestly think soldiers ought to recall their enlistment oath, especially "protect the nation and her articles of constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic". Appears to me their are rouges in the pantry, as evidenced by your termination of employment for agreeing with policy on the Geneva Convention.

Excuse me now, must return to rolling my own career as a writer / author. "So the guy at the employment office says careers don't exist?" "Sailors don't know what surrender means. I'll make my own damn career!"

Anonymous said...

Just read the story in the NYTimes. Sorry you had this happen to you. We're spriraling out of control at an increasing pace, and unfortunately neither the citizens nor Congress (either party) seems to be concerned.
Best wishes to you.

Anonymous said...

If this action amounts to torture of an individual seeking to murder Americans, then torture is justified. Otherwise do we sit on our hands and politely ask these people to tell us everything they know? This is not the Third Reich where there is torture only for racial purposes, this torture is done to save your life.

nrm said...

Sorry about the firing. Just another negative reaction for actually thinking and engaging in discussion.

Ontario Emperor said...

I've been thinking through the issue in a corporate sense (similar to my musings on Troutgirl's firing). Granted that your work site was different from the typical Fortune 500 company, but there are obvious similarities, and one would think that it would be healthy for people from multiple divisions to discuss generally known information. In fact, I found this in a CIA web page dated 1999:

Major intelligence failures are usually caused by failures of analysis, not failures of collection. Relevant information is discounted, misinterpreted, ignored, rejected, or overlooked because it fails to fit a prevailing mental model or mind-set. The "signals" are lost in the "noise." How can we ensure that analysts remain open to new experience and recognize when long-held views or conventional wisdom need to be revised in response to a changing world?

As long as the information is generally available, such items SHOULD be discussed within the company, whether the company is Microsoft, the CIA, or whoever. Although there are dangers of obstructionists, the organization itself will benefit from healthy discussion.

Anonymous said...

serves you right,go home and shut up.

musicelder said...

Keep the faith, courageous woman!

This group of radical hoodlums have succeeded in scaring us all to our reptilian core. We have never been so doubtful of our own affect on environment and society. This is all by design to maintain the power only accessible by methodical exclusivity. So - you have been excluded, silenced, and cast adrift - the "every man for himself" school of thought.

But please, get quiet and go within, you truth-teller! Find that still voice of intelligence and intuition that spurned your original action. There is a longer, greater, albeit challenging path for you ahead. You have the power you need and support from the soul of people all over the globe.

We're looking out for you in love and support, invisible as we might seem. Your courage will attract the courageous; your passion will attract the passionate. Look to courageous women around you in media and in your community and connect with them.

Exponential growth and transformation of our environment, relationships, and communities can only be done through connections inspired by love and the strength derived from it. We are all a part of this greater good, dear woman!

Thank you for your courage and perseverence on behalf of the elders and children I know and love.

Anonymous said...

To: Christine Axsmith(aka econo-girl): You should have been fired,you idiot! First of all, your knowledge of the Geneva Convention and it's meaning is antiquated! Secondly, how inept of a lawyer are you, especially in light of your misconduct at B. A. E.! And thirdly, self description as " big mouth" is an understatement! A nice big hot dog could be just the cure for that!

Anonymous said...

wow after reading some of your other posting, I would say that you ARE as big a jerk as I thought you were when I first heard about you !

Anonymous said...

This is in response to Chris Franklin's comment above ("torture is wrong." It doesn't matter whether it's effective or not, it's wrong and we must not do it, for our own sakes. Anything said further is pretense.)

Torture in order to save innocent lives is, in my mind, justified. Refusal to allow torture in certain instances based on absolutes is absolutely absurd.

Depending on the technique, torture is VERY effective. If that yields information that will put thugs out of business, so be it.

The "ticking time bomb" scenario mentioned in several posts is not quite how intelligence gathering works. It is exceedingly rare to find the individual who "knows it all" - and in fact, information is compartmentalized in the interest of securtiy (the 9-11 hijackers practiced this very method). Collected information is pieced together so that, once the information reaches critical mass, a plan can be formulated and implemented to capitalize on actionable intelligence.

To say "torture is wrong" is presumptuous. Anything else said is preposterous.

Anonymous said...

You are a person of integrity to voice your concerns.

Anonymous said...

PP will miss CC's well written and thought provoking posts.

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

what will you do next?

George Doole said...

God bless America? Why should He?

No, God bless someone who can see wrong and who can call it wrong, against self-interest.

Anonymous said...

You should have the right to express your opinions. This is supposed to be a fundamental right of all Americans. I'm sorry you lost your job. Good luck in your future endeavors.

An American

ceejay said...

Truth and honesty seem to be 2 ideas in complete opposition to what the CIA and the Bush administration think America is about and stands for.
Good for you for trying to get the subject out and thought about.
Shame, shame on them for firing you.

(my blog address here:
http://godgavemeamiracle.blogspot.com/2006/07/god-gave-me-miracle-my-doctor-calls-it.html#comments )

Anonymous said...

Econo-Girl... you are a traitor.

Anonymous said...

i didn't think you would have the guts to post the fact that you are a traitor... proves the point, huh?

Floyd said...

I just read the article in the NYT about your firing, just keep standing up for what is right and that is what America is,or is supposed to be,,FREEDOM.

Anonymous said...

I have absolutely no problem with the use of torture on terrorists.

Using company time to criticize a client is usually grounds for termination, good luck on your futerually

Anonymous said...

You should never have had the opportunity to work in a classifyied position,as you feel
your judgement on a perticurer issue is above your countrys best interest and security.You would be
better suited working for the ACLU ,just my opinion

Anonymous said...

It would seem that the people who make the policy and implement it have no interest in having their work commented upon by someone whose job it is to test software. Surely that should not come as much of a surprise to you? There is a big difference between publishing cafeteria critiques and basically criticizing the work of people who are you organizational superiors or who worked in a different division than yours. In any private company, you probably would have gotten canned for the same thing, no matter what the topic (try working at Nike and writing "12 year olds making shoes is child labor and child labor is wrong.") You were perfectly free to do that in any blog that didn't happen to be running on a CIA server, weren't you? But you chose to do it on your work server with the bizarre idea that you were going to somehow be "educating" people whose entire job is dealing with those issues and who wouldn't be amused to hear opinions from the peanut gallery. Seriously, what did you expect or did you even think about the consequences before you posted? Your judgment is awful. This is such a fundamental and basic management issue that it's absurd that anyone reads it as you taking a stand against torture.

This is not a First Amendment issue, it's not even an anti-torture issue, because if you supposedly felt so strongly about it you either wouldn't have been working there or you would have quit as soon as you figured out that the CIA was participating in acts of torture. This is all about you and your apparent need for attention. Well, I guess you're getting a ton of attention now.

It's too bad you lost your security clearance, because software testing without one doesn't pay a lot. At all.

Koh Tang Marine said...

Having experienced The aforementioned technique I can tell you it is torture and its use should end now! Because of its effectiveness? No, it works on most. But please, please before laughing at what this brave or immature girl has done to herself remember this. Before we all got a chance to see on our TVs the bodies of Americans Burned and hung proudly from a suspension bridge in Iraq or an American soldier being chained and dragged through the streets of Mogadishu behind a truck. The Govt. in an attempt to obviascate and deny an earlier tragedy Covered up through its use of SECRET Classification. The Mayagues Incident. Where Poor planning by Ford, Kissinger & yes Donald Rumsfeld forced a flotilla of American Ships to Abandon three US Marines on the Cambodian Island of Koh Tang. Hall, Hargrove & Marshall. They survived capture for three days but when eventually caught they were TORTURED and EXECUTED. Remember One mans Terrorist is another mans Freedom Fighter. So when you hear its ok if it save lives or protects freedom I say that is a morally bankrupt position. If you want to hurt the other guy you are free to shoot, mame and kill all you want on the field of battle. Or while building a Resistance Movement against him within his own Country. But, once taken Prisoner, soldiers must not be subjected to torture. They must be accounted the highest level of humanity possible or else we will be known for our in-humanity

Anonymous said...


No Blood for Hubris said...

I am so pleased to learn that all the commenters here advocating torture are practicing Christians.

They should practice harder.

Anonymous said...

I am glad they fired your ass...you loud mouthed ____.

Anonymous said...

It surprises me how many people live in a fairy tale world of peace and love.Where everyone hugs,kisses and watches each other grow old with our children of all nationalities and color. We should never offend, we should never ever make any mistakes, its all the governments fault(whether its republican or democrat)blah blah blah. Oh and torture is bad. So if all you self righteous fucks who write above me about human rights and civil rights and sue happy motherF%^&*ers.. if say for instance.. (The bad guy has got your kid locked up somewhere only he knows...time is ticking...that you give him sugar cookies and a nice american piece of shit lawyer until he fesses up?? no you pull his finger nails out one by one. Then start with the really good stuff until he starts talking)...thats the way the REAL WORLD does it...sorry get a helmet if you can't enjoy the ride. I wish it were different, but I can honestly tell you that there REALLY are people who will kill or mame you for no fucking reason...despite all the laws,cameras,rights,lawsuits,fingerpointing,bickering,distrust or religion you practice. Is torture right? no. Necessary? Your goddamn right...you bunch of self righteous pussies

Anonymous said...

To say "torture is wrong" is presumptuous.

Presumptuous, to say that torture is wrong? Good Lord, if torture isn't wrong, what is? I mean, think about what you just said a minute. Somehow you grew up to be an apologist for torture. Is this truly OK with you??? Geeze Louise!

allan said...

Torture has been United States policy for years and years. We've trained the nastiest of thugs (in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina,) in all sorts of ways to humiliate, torture and lie about your enemy.

And now we send bombs to Israel, prolonging the conflict (see todays New York Times). And does anyone truly believe that the Abu Gharib thing was done by "rogue" national guard troops?

God bless econo-girl for being idealistic. And standing up for American values, even though these values aren't policy--and never has been.

Anonymous said...

I think you are a deluded fool to blanketly believe that the use of torture is WRONG. Torture has it's legimate use. I believe it wrong to use torture as punishment, but it's use to extract vital information form reluctant enemies is very legitimate. When these DEDICATED enemies threaten the lives of OUR people (the American people), and we have no other means to "make then talk", then we NEED to use torture. Certainly THEY have no qualms about torturing us, why would you want to give them more courtesy than they give us? When they endanger us, are more concerned for thei welfare than for our own? ARE YOU THAT STUPID? Think about it and re-think about it. Decide who's welfare you are more concerned about...your people...our your people's enemy (by THEIR own designation).

laurathepharmacist said...

Good for you!!! Torture is wrong!!
Now sue the bastard for wrongful discharge, stress, pain, and for being assholes. Also ask Dr BNM to see what Amnesty International says about torture

Anonymous said...

Standing up for what is right takes courage. You did the right thing. Torture is WRONG. All forms of it is unethical and immoral.

Anonymous said...

Isn’t it interesting that it took the rigging of a Presidential election (a federal crime) and the theft and usurpation of the U.S. Presidency by a group of professed “Evangelical Christians” to bring us to this debate about the pros and cons of torture ? It has been my observation throughout life that while there are many truly good and humanitarian people who identify themselves as Christians, their ranks are infected by the likes of George Bush and worse. George Bush is without question too stupid to realize that his simultaneous self identities, one as an “Evangelical Christian” and the other as an advocate, enabler, and prescriber of torture are a grotesque juxtaposition of two stances that cannot be reconciled. But he doesn’t worry me. George Bush is an irrelevant aberration and we will soon be rid of him one way or another.

The ones who worry me are Dick (“Five Deferments”) Cheney and the other felons of that ilk who actually stole the 2000 federal election and installed George as their mouthpiece. And backing them up with money and other resources are the corporate beneficiaries of the diverted tax dollars, coerced from you and me, that are being used to subvert the machinery of what is supposed to be our democracy. These are sick, cynical, and hypocritical little men who suck their generous living from the federal tit. Men like Mike Turner, the CEO of BAE Systems. Yes, that BAE Systems. The BAE Systems that fired Econo-Girl for having the audacity to suggest that torture is wrong.

I have no doubt that Mike Turner, fawning ass-kisser to George Bush, sits in the first row of his church on Sunday mornings. Good to be seen there, right out front, corporate leader and rich benefactor. And then, from Monday through Friday, his other behaviors are forgiven. At least in his own mind.

If you turn your web browser loose on the following link : http://www.baesystems.com/corporateresponsibility/index.htm
you’ll see a page that talks about “Corporate Responsibility” at BAE Systems. On that page you’ll see a red box that gives the e-mail address (crfeedback@baesystems.com) to which you can send your comments regarding BAE Systems’ “Corporate Responsibility”.

Do something good. Give Mike Turner a jingle and let him know what you think of his actual performance with regard to “Corporate Responsibility” at BAE Systems.

Anonymous said...

You have certainly raised the profile of the issue, for me at least.

Its sad that so make people feel that torture is justifiable. Googling "torture is wrong" came up with http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/002/23.32.html in the top five (along with your post).

Its interesting that some Christians reject torture so strongly. Of course, they were, as a group often subject to extreme torture unto death, enshrined in their mythology. It didnt stop the inquistion, but sometimes it seems to take a long time for the ramifications of actions to be fully realized ( hundreds or thousands of years !!!! ).

The number one belief about torture seems to be that it works. So this seems to be the most important belief to challenge... not that its wrong, because people seem to accept that it is morally wrong, but justifiable because it is perceived to work. So how about "torture doesnt work" as a more effective position?

Anonymous said...

Dear Christine Axsmith:
THANK YOU for showing courage and questioning torture while working for B.A.E.

This country is sliding quickly down the slope of doing irreparable harm to itself (and others). We need more brave Americans who are truly patriotic -- and know and appreciate the great principles upon which this nation was founded.

Kind regards,
Seth Steiner
New York, NY

Anonymous said...

It would appear the crux of this issue for these intelligent and conscientious posters -- both empathetic and otherwise -- is the moral and legal righteousness of the US government's torture policy. In fact, no one has yet to ask the more pointed questions pertaining to our heroine's use of government computers, in a federal facility, while on the clock collecting an inordinately large amount of US Taxpayer dollars as a green-badged contractor inside the Agency. While, according to Econo-Girl and The Washington Post, she was fired for speaking out on the torture issue (a subject far out of her line of professional expertise), there is an implied moral and legal violation in her activities: the fraud, waste and abuse she and her fellow management-approved bloggers impose on the honest-working people of this country for whom she once vowed to defend through her work. Additionally, Econo-Girl's colleagues in the field, many facing truly life-threatening professional challenges each day, have been far busier executing their mission as directed, for better or worse, than griping about it from the comfort of a cubicle. To be fair, Econo-Girl is far from the only such federal drone who feels the pangs of conscience that compelled her to pop off with her political views in a place of work that is supposed to be, by charter, guided not by politics but the defense of the republic. These angst-laden employees don't have to bear the yoke of the administration's skewed agenda if they oppose it -- they can simply quit. But to continue to collect a paycheck and disperse their personal sentiments over classified systems while posing as crusaders against tyranny is laughably cynical if not outright reprehensible.

Econo-Girl said...

My, my. Have I mentioned that I received all Outstandings in my performance evaluations? And that I single-handedly set up the whole performance and stress testing program for my office? Believe me, I produced good work for that office, and they agreed enough to give me a bonus.

Tate said...

Thank you for caring about human decency and doing what you can against the abomination of this regime and their nazi torture.

Everyone please visit http://www.Cageprisoners.com for information and to help the victims of this torture, kidnapping - renditions and other horrors of our shadow government.

Tate said...

After Halliburton decimating our Treasury, you have the nerve to talk about fraud and waste.

No wonder you are "Anonomous".

Joe said...

Your handle sounds like G-Girl ... sorta like a superhero sort. I think, however, you don't sound quite as mixed up as the Uma Thurman character.

Harrymmm said...


This will give you some " Quality Time " to realize how much better you will feel and function in getting away from that crowd of "Back Stabbers, and Snakes in the Grass".

Dr. BNM, and "Anonymous (outright reprehensible)", both remind me of that master sadist behind political torture (Clement Molloch), in the Charles Bronson classic " The Evil That Men Do ".

We all thought that Civilized America espoused contempt with other countrys' practice of "Man's Inhumanity To Man" !!

With GW at the helm, there is no limit to the absurdity.

Anonymous said...

Tate said...
Thank you for caring about human decency and doing what you can against the abomination of this regime and their nazi torture.

Maybe its all for oil, but at least Bush did something. He eliminated 1 bad guy in the world. Where was Clinton and all the celebs during Rwanda?? 900,000 fucking people slaughtered...no response..nothing. Thats why democrats and tree huggers are all hypocritical pussies. Lots of finger pointing and lots of opinions over wine and cheese, but when it comes to doing something they would rather stick there heads in the sand and pretend it will all go away with litigation and rules...what a bunch of fucking morons

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah.....Bush got rid of one bad guy - and destroyed an entire country in the process - go Bush. Torture is wrong, it's an issue that civilized people should not equivocate on or rationalize. The information obtained as a result of torture is not reliable or even necessarily true. Watch 'The Road to Guantanamo Bay' if you are interested in the way that we treat people who are not charged with any crime.

Econo-Girl, I admire you greatly for what you did, I hope that others are inspired not deterred by your example

Anonymous said...

So, how many hours did you charge U.S. taxpayers for these blogging entries, when you should have been doing your job? If you put these hours down on your timecard, isn't that fraud?

thailandchani said...

I've just spent a few hours reading Christine Axsmith's blog "Econo-Girl" and the comments made by her readers.

Our "national security state" has gone too far. While I have always been a supporter of the CIA, I can't believe any employee, contractor or not, is not free to address important issues of the day, expressing his or her own opinion as long as it doesn't reveal classified sources and methods. The blogs allowed on Intelink are there to provide employees a forum to express opinions, vent and discuss things that are important and may be affecting their work. It's certainly a better option than having people take their concerns to the press. Her blog (Covert Communications) on Intelink did not violate any rules. She expressed her opinion about the use of torture and requested discussion among co-workers. The hollow excuse that she wrote the blog on "company time" is nonsense. If they fired everyone who spent time at work blogging or emailing, we would have a higher unemployment rate than Haiti!

The CIA used to employ the brightest people in the country. The reason these people were employed is because they were thinkers, researchers and scholars who were among the best and brightest. Now (judging by some of the comments left on Econo-Girl's blog by supposed CIA employees), they are employing knuckle-dragging, kool-aid drinking, bitter neanderthals who tolerate no questioning of the status quo and parrot whatever the current administration tells them to say. How can we trust any product of the Directorate of Intelligence when analysts are afraid to disagree with the administration, no matter what the intelligence indicates? How can we trust anything coming out of the Directorate of Operations (I'm not going to call it "National Clandestine Service". The only one who called it that was Goss) when field reports are written to support a political agenda instead of providing an accurate assessment of a situation? How much damage will be done before this current cabal is out of business, once and for all? That agency has been a mess since they forced George Tenet to fall on the sword for the Bush Administration.

It's become dangerous now for all Americans - not just CIA officers and employees of the national security establishment - to take a stand on issues effecting our own country. It's becoming dangerous to express opinions on personal blogs, emails or in the break room, lest one's employer, public or private sector, see it and not like what we have to say. The current corporate standard seems to be "shut up, do what you're told, don't buck the system, drink the corporate Kool-Aid and you MIGHT be able to keep your job and feed your family - at least until we decide to outsource it to some third world country where labor is easily exploitable." What have we become and when will people wake up? How long will it be before - like India and China - Blogspot, MySpace and other such services are blocked entirely?

How much further will we let this go on, all in the name of "national security"? How long will we continue to be bullied and silenced in our own country?

And to those at the CIA who believe no one within those granite walls has the right to a personal opinion, why don't you just shut up and spy? To those of you who still support American ideals, thank you for your service.

Anonymous said...

Lisa Scheuer said:

"The hollow excuse that she wrote the blog on 'company time' is nonsense. If they fired everyone who spent time at work blogging or emailing, we would have a higher unemployment rate than Haiti!"

Justifying bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior or by claiming "everybody does it" is the weakest defense possible.

Put it this way. Let's say she worked as a system admin for a temp agency at Democratic National Convention. While there, she started writing her own little newspaper, on DNC time. This paper discussed the DNC cafeteria, life at the DNC, etc., but very little about system administration. She spent hours writing, copying and distributing this paper internally, all on DNC time. Most of this was done "under the radar" of the DNC big wigs, so it went mostly unnoticed. Then one day, she put in an article on how she thought Howard Dean was horribly wrong in his last speech. How long do you think she would last?

Railing against the Agency is just politically correct these days, so anything they do must be wrong.

thailandchani said...

Thanks for the comment, Anonymous. I am not railing against the Agency in any regard. I am a major supporter of the CIA and have been for years.

My objection is using trumped-up charges, knowing that nearly everyone uses the internet for personal use during work time. I would say that sending those endless forwarded jokes on the email server is far worse than asking a question on a forum intended for employees to ask questions. Yet you never see anyone get fired for forwarding jokes. Given the times we live in, it is evident that the question itself is what caused the problem. It really doesn't take a CIA analyst to figure that one out.


Anonymous said...

By her own admission, her blogging was not "asking a question on a forum intended for employees to ask questions." She was using a system designed for officers to collaborate on work issues. She used it as her own personal issue publishing house and pulpit. Then, after she got called on it, she ran to the press to try to spin herself as a victim.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to stomach how much fantasia is going on here. Do you people really live in the same world???

Some moron wrote:
Watch 'The Road to Guantanamo Bay' if you are interested in the way that we treat people who are not charged with any crime.???

How are you supposed to treat people that want to harm you and your family because of their belief?? I'm sorry to sound jaded but I don't understand the sampling of the mentality going on here.

Bad guys want to hurt me..oh I know lets let him go and give him his self respect back and loan him some money and give him some aid. Then rebuild his country and armed forces ..thats it..

Then later at the loveshack we'll all be friends and laugh and play together and pass out balloons and popsicles and have a merry old time.

Fuck no you don't. You keep him locked up and throw away the key.
You dont need to charge him with anything ( He is the enemy)

The bottom line is..these people will kill you. They pray to their god everyday for the opportunity to do so while most of you
(incl. econo-girl) play with your blackberries and drink the latest flavor from starbucks while your supposed to be working.

Watercooler and blogging up ideas of giving these people from foreign lands.. the freedom and the rights our forefathers died protecting???

That sounds well ...pretty fucking absurd...please allow yourself at least 50 pounds of lead and meet with the amnesty and trial lawyers on the ocean floor summit soon...very soon because you people are fucking up the planet

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, Ms. Axsmith, the 'system' fired you.

The 'system' is the governmental-corporate gulag.

The neo-con system has no use of people with conscience, people who think, people who dare speaking out, speaking up. Bush-Cheney needs slaves who do what they are told with their conscience switched off.

B.A.E. Systems was worried that an employee with a conscience might aggrieve the hand that feeds them. That's why they fired you, signalling to the C.I.A. "trust us".

18 years ago I moved to the U.S. from Germany. Having traveled the country and learned to like Americans, I was thrilled then, enthusiastic. That enthusiasm shrank with every day I spent in this country. Today, my enthusiasm is nil, zero. Entirely unable to pledge allegiance to a system so evil, unjust and violent I see no chance of ever applying for citizenship.

Ms. Axsmith, I share your sad experience. What happened to you happened to me as an employed physician.

There is no freedom of speech in this country. There is no morality in government. There is no morality in the Capitalist system. I'll shed no tears the day it'll go down at the end of affordable energy.

I'll keep you and all other brave Americans in my thoughts.

Günther Rückl, MD
Decatur, Georgia
[not afraid any long to say who I am]

thailandchani said...

She was using a system designed for officers to collaborate on work issues.

Anonymous, provided your information is absolutely correct and I worded that badly: Why didn't they fire her when she wrote a post about cafeteria food? Was that using the system to facilitate officers collaborating on work issues? I do understand your position but this firing smells political.

I hate to see that sort of thing going on at CIA.


thailandchani said...

There is no freedom of speech in this country. There is no morality in government. There is no morality in the Capitalist system. I'll shed no tears the day it'll go down at the end of affordable energy.

Replaced by what, Dr Ruckl?

Capitalism isn't the problem. Capitalism isn't inherently bad, any more than any system is inherently bad. What we have going on in this country is a form of amoral capitalism which even Adam Smith said would never work.

Corporatism is the enemy, not capitalism.


Anonymous said...

Lisa said :

"I do understand your position but this firing smells political.

I hate to see that sort of thing going on at CIA."

As I said, it seems she was "under the radar" while posting about the cafeteria, etc. Posting something derogatory of her client just brought her to the surface.

Do you really think it would be different at any other organization?

Anonymous said...

You're a brave person and I wish you all the success in finding new employment if you haven't done so already. You're one of my personal heroes.

Knitress said...

I'm an economist and a girl and I know torture is wrong. We're prooud of you.

Splinter said...

What a bunch of cowards those of you defending torture are. America is attacked at home and your first reaction is to abandon our principals and lower our standards closer to those of our barbaric enemy.

Truly sad pathetic cowards every one of you.

Unknown said...

This will be interesting. I'm ignorant but look forward to reading the discussion.

cliff michaels said...

First, let me thank you for your service to our country. More importantly, let me thank you for having a conscience and the courage to speak out.

Jon Swift said...

I agree that waterboarding must be torture to watch. I feel terrible for all of the government officials forced to do it.

Koh Tang Marine said...

We need to take back our Democracy. We need to end the WAR. The U.S. is not engaged in a war. Sorry Anonymous. But I didn't drink the Kool-Aid. We have a Major need to get secure from a terror attack on our soil. To do that we need to close our borders. Beef up Intel Agencies budgets and give them a broad hand in rolling up islamo fascists on our soil. Wake up people...as long as they can keep us at war they control the tempo of our mindset (scared shitless) through media alerts and terror levels. We are engaged in a catch up effort to stop invaders from homeland attacks. Give Sadam back his Country we took it illegally with the full force and might of the United States Citizenry who were lied to about the connection to Al Kida and the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction. We were duped my friends because we are honest and would have never believed our President would have lied to us. Well he did. He lied to Congress. And Brave Americans are dying daily in his shithole Impeach Bush write your Senator and Congressman Today. Turn up the heat offer to contribute time or money to an end the war candidate. Tell them to End The War and keep others from drinking the Kool-Aid from Pennsylvania Avenue. George Bush's Single largest contributor to his Presidential Campaign was Kenneth Lay. "Kenny Boy" he held 13 secret meetings in the Whitehouse with Dick Cheney! Do you think they were working out the details for raising the standard of living for the average Iraqi? Ken Lay like Bush purposely lied to pull off the largest corporate swindle of American investors ever. He got what he wanted (screwed Californians out of Billions) Bush got what he wanted a contributor who could get him elected (a deal with the Devil) Now we want what we need. PEACE End this God Dammed War Now before this Buffoon takes us into Iran and North Korea. Those issues can all be handled without a War. Sanctions will do just fine. Perhaps some money toward a resistance movement within their countries by their own dissidents. But.. Quit fucking killing everybody on the planet you think will endanger your vice presidents pipeline he been trying to build for Haliburton in Afghanistan. You no longer have Permission to Kill in my Name you Liar. And take Rumsfeld with you because he still thinks he knows where the WMD's are in Iraq. He said, "There South, North, West and East of Tikrit"! People, he just called you all stupid and you didn't even blink. If your 8 year old son had said that you would have known HE was lying! Clean out this neo-con Arab hating government and tell their friends in Israel “No you cant rebuild the Temple -- so it may be destroyed again-- signaling the Second Coming of the Almighty Savior. You will just have to be content with a Moslem Dome over your temple! Why ? Because I am not authorizing any more killing over which God you prey to in my name, period. I am a Roman Catholic and I believe my faith is strengthened by my not killing those who would oppose my existence because of my religious beliefs. Lastly, the strong can always find ways to fuck over the weak. That is precisely why the strong cannot torture. We lead by example. A Bright Shining example lit by the torch on the statue of liberty which beckons to all peace loving “To bring us your tired your hungry your poor” But Immigrate legally. By the year 2050 Americans will no longer be in the Majority in their own Country. Illegal Mexicans will have surpassed the number of legal Americans in the US. That is an Invasion. That is a War we should be fighting.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you got fired, but as a contractor, you should have known that if the customer doesn't like a single thing you do, then they can complain to your company. If your company feels it was a valid complaint, they won't want people like that representing their name. It's all about politics, money, and who gets awarded the next contract. It may not be right, but that is contracting life within DoD.

I am a regular blogger, but I'll go anon on this to protect my own identity. You never know who is watching.

Anonymous said...

All of You Anti Bush and Anti War people are torturing me with your rhetoric. So your engaging in your own internet board torture on me with all the bullshit being typed.

Give the radical Muhammad-loving motherfuckers the chance and they will use nuclear warheads, poison gas or whatever means necessary to destroy those who do not believe the same.

You can research how men, women and children are put to death in this system for watching a soccer game. Because a soccer match is insulting to God? Read the papers about how many are put to death needlessly.

So for whatever reason or excuse there can be...( oil..pipelines of cash or whatever) ..you have to have a reason to wage war..don't you think these people need to stopped?

Are we the superpower or not. Do we stand by and let one group of people slaughter another without lifting one finger? Well that has been practiced by Dems and Reps for a long time.

The best defense is offense and taking the fight to them lets us continue on our non caring non voting who gives a fuck way of life.

Sorry just the way I see it..I bet over half the people writing on this blog would give Osama amnesty if gas had a fixed price of 1.00 a gallon for 5 years.

Hell half of you sounds like you would wash his feet...fucking traitors

I on the other hand would pay 5.00 a gallon for the chance to give him 2000-3000 lashes he deserves

This guy along with others deserves the best trauma doctors in the world just to keep him alive so he can feel the enormous pain he has inflicted with his radical ways

Torture?? I think its validation

Anonymous said...

I commend you for speaking out against torture.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I was womdering if you knew anything about a form of torture whereby brain wave frequncies were read and manipulated to cause stress and pressure and paranoia causing the person to appear, act, and sometimes beleive that they are crazy?

Anonymous said...

So why are they also using it in our city jails after you get picked up for a misdemeanor, which later gets dropped because the charges are false?

This technique has also been used in (county and state omitted) jail, though there you just get strapped down to the board and left for hours. How do I know? I was there in 2004 when it happened. It was me that it happened to. My offense was asking for a phone call after being picked up for public intoxication, which charges were later dropped after it was revealed that I was on medication from a doctor and under medical treatment. Sound outrageous?

Consider how physically threatening I am - I am a five-foot two white female that weighs about 98 pounds. And people wonder that our government does it to people that *aren't* US citizens? They shouldn't. All that they need to do is offend a police officer in their own country *verbally* and if it happens to be the wrong one they might find themselves in the same circumstance. Miscarriage of justice has become de riguer in our society.

I desire no publicity, and quite truthfully was so upset after this happened that it took me a while to even want to mention it. I just want to move on with my life, and forget it. The problem that I now face is that everywhere I look I am seeing this not as an isolated incident, but apparently a policy.

Anonymous said...

If your getting waterboarded, there is probably a reason. If your not being a fucking idiot, im sure you will not be in that situation. And to you fucking tree hugging, socialists, why dont you move to russia if it works so great. Ill stick to a capitalist republic.

IAMIR said...

hmmmmm...if water-boarding is effective to prevent or perhaps get an individual to confess his/her plans to cause harm to anyone including our brave young men and woman in the military, GO FOR IT! If you dont think usama wouldn't pull your finger nails out and torture someone to death, you are living in a fantasy world. They hate you and I no matter where we stand on this issue, and nothing...I repeat...nothing will or could ever satisfy their hunger for power except the complete destruction of the west and Israel. Get it through your heads.
We have the means to defeat them, I just hope we somehow develop a will before they find the means.

It is very unfortunate that we live in a world so full of hate. However we have to deal with it. Its fueled by a religion of hate...yep I said it, Islam under the laws that 20 million muslims world wide accept is nothing but pure Evil. Even most moderate muslims refuse to speak out against the radical sect. How sad, seems thats how Hitler came to power isnt it? Wake up before its 2 late.

Anonymous said...

As we debate the USA’s loosening stance on torture, legal rights, and due process in the war on terror, consider how Osama Bin Laden and his ilk are gloating and see these developments as “the gift that keeps on giving.” Bin Laden & Co. must see Americans as so quaking in their boots --- so terrified --- of Al Quada that 6 years after 9/11, they lower themselves to abandon the Geneva Convention, the Constitution, and their world allies. Bin Laden doesn’t even have to do a single thing --- fabricate propaganda, rail against the US, or commit another attack --- because we keep giving him this ammunition to damage the longstanding admiration of our friends and fuel the simmering hatred of our enemies.

We need to stop acting like a fearful people cowering in the corner and lashing out desperately against a potent foe. Americans used to project the image of a strong, can-do, brave people with “nothing to fear but fear itself.” Now the message is “We have everything to fear especially Bin Laden himself.

The biggest defeat for Bin Laden would be if Congress refuses to approve an Attorney General who will not disavow waterboarding, a technique the US successfully prosecuted as torture by the Japanese in WWII. This will show the world --- and Bin Laden et al --- that we are still a fearless and virtuous country. And we certainly need to stop giving Bin Laden and the extremists these endless victories by behaving otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I believe that SOME criminals deserve the death penalty, and I believe that SOME terrorists deserve torture. Specifically, terrorists. Al Qaeda is not represented by a government or nation or country. They have declared war on the U.S., but they never agreed to any terms. They are not apart of the Geneva Convention.

If we have a "ticking time bomb" who we suspect is planning an attack on Americans, or knows second hand who is planning an attack, we would be STUPID to not waterboard the guy. He may be committed to keeping his lips sealed, but maybe not - we might break him, and save lives. Torture is not bad in every case. Some frame the debate as though it is a black and white issue, when it is not.

Anonymous said...

"Guess it's not quaint anymore, eh? "
That's what pissed off the "7th floor."

And look for the soldier's oath to remove the bit about constitution and domestic enemies real soon.

Anonymous said...

Quick question, one that I have never heard anyone answer without squirming: if an Al Qaeda type had captured the person you loved the most (insert name here), and you had strong evidence that they were going to torturously kill them and soon, would you use waterboarding on one of them whom you had captured a couple days earlier? Have not met the person who would not do so. My liberal, ACLU/Amnesty Int'l/HRW-leaning sister admitted she would go a lot further than that- to the point of cutting off digits if it involved her son. How is that ANY different than increasing the chances of saving the lives of Americans here and abroad? I don't see a distinction when the hostage of Al Qaeda is not someone I happen to love. And since we are arguing here on principle, please do not use the pragmatic "info is not reliable" argument.

As a SERE graduate, who knew of the technique while at the school, I can assure you no one I knew there thought of it as true torture (not that I would use that as a philosophical justification as it is argumentum ad popularum- more of a snack for thought. Instead I would invoke the "greatest good" argument of hierarchical absolutism).

Bubba with a B

Anonymous said...

Oops- left out a phrase (in CAPS): "...would you use waterboarding on one of them whom you had captured a couple days earlier IF YOU THOUGHT THERE WAS A GOOD PROBABILITY THEY KNEW WHERE YOUR LOVED ONE WAS BEING HELD?"

Sorry about that.

Bubba with a B

Econo-Girl said...


That's a lot of "if's" for engaging in torture.

You cannot deny there is a dynamic whereby the subject of torture is willing to validate almost anything to get the pain to stop. And there are others who will still lie to you. See the link https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol48no1/article06.html

Maybe you just wanted to believe the person knew critical information - more so than the facts justify.

Maybe there is a lot of pressure from your chain of command to get information and you would be willing to squeeze this guy a bit to get something. And you cannot deny something like that is a factor in making interrogation decisions.

The scenario you propose is not realistic. But a person could certainly convince themselves of it out of desperation.

In other places, a person would engage in torture to get information in circumstances similar to what you describe, but then they were willing to take the punishment that went along with it. You would need to be so certain that you would be willing to go to prison to save a life. That's where a lot of this waterboarding support falls short.

But remember, it is a classic failure of intelligence analysis to think that because you did tough things to get your information, that the information is therefore more valid than information that fell into your lap.

And a desperate person will convince themselves that an interrogation shortcut will give them the certainty they want so badly, but doesn't exist.

Kevin said...

Internet broadcasters We Hit & Run (http://wehitandrun.info) used waterboarding as a political satire and on-air stunt...


-ism said...

I think we might have something similar to say - just in different ways.

Apathy doesn't work.

Check this out.


Sacred Cows

Hope you guys get in touch with us.


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