Finding Friendly Interrogation Methods at the Wall Street Journal
In a recent editorial for the Wall Street Journal, author of the Bush-era "torture memos" John Yoo warns against Obama's closing of Guantanamo and effort to stamp out Geneva-unfriendly interrogation methods.
To wit, Yoo argues such moves will seriously impede the flow of intelligence that US officials are extracting from detainees. The second half of the op-ed is based purely on speculation, but it's Yoo's torture talk that has attracted attention, as he was, well, the Torture Guy — though was ambiguously dubbed "an official in the Justice Department" in the article.
Yoo cites questioning tactics the British and Israelis have used that sidestepped Geneva, but he fails to mention that these approaches were found "cruel, inhuman, and degrading" and removed from the toolbox in both nations. Some speculate that Yoo is just covering his ass against rumors of charges being brought against him.
How much torture is acceptable? It's a question that Obama and co. will need to sort out. One intriguing suggestion is for an interrogator to go mano a mano with a detainee. The tactic is called "monstering," and whoever breaks first — from lack of sleep, in a staring contest, by Foxy Brown exposure, etc. — loses. It could at least lend credence to the phrase "this waterboarding hurts me more than it hurts you." Alan Dershowitz sees the debate as less ambiguous.
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The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
They didn't know it, but the rituals of Iron Age Scandinavians turned their iron into steel.
- Iron Age Scandinavians only had access to poor quality iron, which put them at a tactical disadvantage against their neighbors.
- To strengthen their swords, smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals, hoping to transfer the spirit into their blades.
- They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
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