Talk:Enhanced interrogation techniques

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"Torture" or "information retrieval"[edit]

An IP has proposed a change to the lede, [1]. Per WP:EUPHEMISM, I think the previous wording is superior. As the lede and body of the article go on to explain, essentially every human rights authority defines these techniques as torture and it is reasonable to identify them such in Wikipedia's voice. VQuakr (talk) 07:18, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Agree. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 08:27, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Agree. Deleted "any objections" as that could be interpreted as asking whether we are agreeing with the IP. The media, political, and academic consensus is it's torture, and anything else is euphemism. --ElijahBosley (talek ☞) 14:25, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Agree. Ratemonth (talk) 19:51, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
  • That change is almost funny. Think about it this way:
    "information retrieval" = Google for info.
    "Torture" = hack Google to get information.
    The former is legal while the latter is not. Guess you get the point; and yes, it's the usual POV vandalism we get here on this article.TMCk (talk) 22:33, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Not vandalism, just contributions by editors not familiar with our policies on neutrality and global perspective. VQuakr (talk) 01:59, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
If the IP is new to Wiki, you're of course right.TMCk (talk) 02:17, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Edit request to remove bias.[edit]

Hello everyone (and you VQuakr), in the first sentence, I would like to change "euphemism for methods used in the U.S. government's program of systematic torture" to "term for methods used in the U.S. government's program of harsh interrogations". It sounds much, MUCH more neutral to me. Look guys, whether or not these techniques amount to torture is a matter of legal/personal opinion, not fact. A good number of detractors don't believe it's torture, and since Wikipedia is supposed to present all sides fairly (unless one side is a fringe or significant tiny minority - which is not the case here), I think this sentence is much better. Wikipedia has a neutrality policy, and the first sentence is a blatant opinion. Regards, Cali11298 (talk) 04:12, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

A suggestion for a similar edit was suggested above and gained zero traction. "Enhanced interrogation techniques" is a euphemism, and the reasoning above re the word "torture" still applies. It is not a personal opinion. VQuakr (talk) 04:26, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
First, thanks to Cali11298 for doing the responsible thing, discussing first here rather than going back and forth with provocative reverts. That sentence is the battle scarred smoldering wreckage of edit wars off and on for years now. On the substance: all five sources call it a "euphamism for torture." Regardless of one's own opinion on what is opinion--Wikipedia goes with what the sources say.ElijahBosley (talk ☞) 21:39, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Seymour Hersh redux[edit]

I repost here a note I left on editor Horatio's page, to explain deleting a good faith footnoted edit citing Hersh. He was once a great reporter, and we all admire him for his work in the 1970's at the New Yorker. But in advanced age he seems to have let imagination run ahead of his reporting. We had to delete an inflammatory Hersh claim from Enhanced Interrogation already, when it turned out Hersh was just making it up-- and admitted he was just making it up. That discussion is here. So now we have another inflammatory Hersh claim printed in the London Review of Book to tout his new book, that nobody--not one other source--has corroborated. In fact everybody denies key elements, like the notion that the Pakistanis knew where Bin Laden was. Everybody agrees the Pakistanis were furious we did not let them in on what we suspected, acted without informing them (we did so because we did not trust them not to tip him off). So. Normally a statement with a footnote would be left in, but a statement from a once great reporter who the evidence suggests may well be losing his self-control, needs corroboration.ElijahBosley (talk ☞) 20:46, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

He made the claims, and had them published in a recognised source, and they have been widely reported on, so I see no reason not to mention it. It would be better to leave it there and perhaps add that the claims had denied by <whoever>. Horatio (talk) 03:09, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. First, the place for Hersh's claim about Bin Laden is on the Bin Laden page, not on enhanced interrogation. It is of minor or no pertinence here. Second, if Wikipedia is going to say the moon is made of green cheese, we need confirming sources. Cheese experts. Or astronauts who landed in 1969 with crackers and a cheese knife, and found it tasty. One guy showing signs of senile dementia is not enough. Like the last inflammatory Hersh claim that proved to be false (cited above), this is an exceptional claim that needs extraordinary substantiation.ElijahBosley (talk ☞) 14:42, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
If it's good enough to be mentioned on the Bin Laden page, I don't see why it's not good enough to be mentioned on this one. It's also relevant in this article where it discusses the finding of Bin Laden, since if Hersh's claims are true then it changes the conclusion significantly. I've read Hersh's article and it doesn't seem to me to be the work of somebody suffering senile dementia. Attacking Hersh alone, without considering the arguments he presents is simply ad hominem. Horatio (talk) 23:01, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks again for your view. Couuld we have a cite to the specific Hersh article mentioned? Surely not this Hersh interview. Which would certainly seem to corroborate what Dr. Wikipedia says about dementia: "[w]hen people with dementia are put in circumstances beyond their abilities, there may be a sudden change to tears or anger (a 'catastrophic reaction')."ElijahBosley (talk ☞) 23:18, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
This one: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n10/seymour-m-hersh/the-killing-of-osama-bin-laden. Horatio (talk) 23:58, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Useful cite, thanks. I agree the article looks cogent in style. In substance however, it fails. Take for instance this statement: ". . . bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI at the Abbottabad compound since 2006." How does Hersh reconcile that with Bin Laden's papers: that he considered leaving the compound months before the raid? A prisoner does not get to decide when he leaves. So--avoiding ad hominem arguments-- Hersh's account contradicts the other reporting and evidence (and calls all conflicting accounts "lies"). Which makes it an exceptional claim requiring corroboration--wherever it may be used.ElijahBosley (talk ☞) 11:49, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
It's quite possible that Hersh is completely wrong, or perhaps right about some things and wrong about others. Who knows. However he made the claims and there has been a lot of publicity about it, and I don't see why they should be eligible to be included on one Wikipedia article (Osama bin Laden, where they have an entire section) but not this one. Horatio (talk) 01:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, half a paragraph at least. The entire section is not actually about Hersh. Horatio (talk) 01:04, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Removal of 'anal rape'[edit]

ElijahBosley (talk ☞), your recent edit is, I think, definitely preferable. HOWEVER, I wonder if that kind of detail would be better in the body of the article. Just a thought, I am too busy already with other areas to get involved myself, but put the suggestion. Pincrete (talk) 12:46, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

The lede is too long, I agree. But reducing this article is like reforming the tax code. Line-by-line, every word has its own lobbyist. You can cope with ideologues one at a time but when they all gang up . . . . ElijahBosley (talk ☞) 16:21, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I'd hate to add to your torment! I know from experience that it is difficult to make 'partisan' subjects readable as well as RS/neutral etc.Pincrete (talk) 10:02, 14 June 2015 (UTC)