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Watch Tim Kennedy Dive Head First Into The Torture Debate With Dubious Backyard Science
The United States is in the middle of a resurgent national conversation about the ethics and legality of torture, thanks primarily to President Donald Trump's choice of Gina Haspel, the current acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who oversaw the torture of detainees at a "black site" prison in Thailand, to head the agency. Among the questions that come up as part of one of America's most enduring post-9/11 debates: Does torture work? What are the long-term consequences? And at what point does torture compromise the country's moral standing?
These are important questions worthy of consideration, especially in light of Haspel's pledge not to restart the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" programs during her May 9 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. And a few days later, an Army Green Beret turned UFC Fighter offered up his little contribution to this moment of reflection:
"This wasn’t an attempt to demonstrate bravado," Kennedy wrote on Twitter. "Just trying to show people what this is."
That's a commendable impulse, sure — except that getting waterboarded in a controlled setting, voluntarily, in a familiar setting, surrounded by buddies who will stop any time, without the terror of extraordinary rendition, solitary confinement, stress positions, and sleep deprivation that define the CIA's broad interrogation program.
I guess? Whatever Kennedy's doing in his backyard with his pals — well, that's objectively not the same as what we're talking about, regardless of the broader ethical context (Speaking of: A 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report characterized CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques broadly as extraordinarily vicious, but fruitless in yielding any “unique” intelligence that could be obtained by other methods. And 109 retired military leaders want the Senate to block Haspel's nomination simply over the torture issues. So there's that).
I am 100% in favor of other forms of waterboarding, though ...
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that U.S. strategic goals could include drawing down troops in Africa despite French pleas that American support is "critical" to countering the growing strength of terror groups in the region with links to the Islamic State and al Qaeda.
"My aim is to adjust our footprint in many places," including Africa, to free up forces for a "great power competition" against China and Russia, he said at a joint Pentagon news conference with French Defense Minister Florence Parly.
The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.
The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.
One person was injured by Sunday's rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Task & Purpose was learned. The injury was described as mild and no one was medically evacuated from the embassy following the attack.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
The US government is letting Marine veteran Austin Tice languish in a Syrian prison, according to his mother
The mother of Marine veteran Austin Tice told reporters on Monday that a top U.S. official is refusing to give permission for a meeting with the Syrian government to negotiate the release of her son, who went missing near Damascus in 2012.
"Apparently, somewhere in the chain, there is a senior U.S. government official who is hesitating or stalling," Debra Tice reportedly said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Debra Tice said she is not certain who this senior official is. She also praised those in government who are working to get her son back.