Balkinization  

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Cool, Carefully Considered, Methodical, Prolonged and Repeated Subjection of Captives to Physical Torment, and the Accompanying Psychological Terror"

Marty Lederman

That's the description of the CIA "enhanced interrogation" program by someone who has studied it -- Philip Zelikow, the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission and, until recently, a close advisor to the Secretary of State. In what the New York Times describes as a "blistering lecture" delivered in April, Zelikow called the program "immoral."

The Times piece brings together at least three interesting stories. The first is the Zelikow lecture. Oddly, the Times story does not disclose where the lecture was delivered. Presumably it was this lecture, "Legal Policy in a Twilight War," delivered at the University of Houston Law Center on April 26th, but I have not been able to find the lecture itself online. (If anyone knows of it . . . .) [UPDATE: The lecture is here. I offer a couple of preliminary comments here.)

The second story is that the Bush Administration is "nearing completion" of a long-delayed executive order that will set the new rules for interrogations by the CIA. According to the story, "the order is expected to ban the harshest techniques used in the past, including the simulated drowning tactic known as waterboarding, but to authorize some methods that go beyond those allowed in the military by the Army Field Manual."

The article states that the Executive Order will be "secret." However, to the extent this order comprises or includes the President's interpretation of Common Article 3's prohibition on "cruel treatment and torture," as contemplated by the Military Commissions Act, section 6(a)((3)(B) of that Act requires that the Executive Order be "published in the Federal Register."

The third story is that the Intelligence Science Board Senior Advisory Group on Educing Information, which advises the Director of National Intelligence and secior leaders in the government inteliigence community, issued a 325-page report last December in which it argues that "the harsh techniques used since the 2001 terrorist attacks are outmoded, amateurish and unreliable":
The psychologists and other specialists, commissioned by the Intelligence Science Board, make the case that more than five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has yet to create an elite corps of interrogators trained to glean secrets from terrorism suspects. While billions are spent each year to upgrade satellites and other high-tech spy machinery, the experts say, interrogation methods — possibly the most important source of information on groups like Al Qaeda — are a hodgepodge that date from the 1950s, or are modeled on old Soviet practices.

Some of the study participants argue that interrogation should be restructured using lessons from many fields, including the tricks of veteran homicide detectives, the persuasive techniques of sophisticated marketing and models from American history.

The science board critique comes as ethical concerns about harsh interrogations are being voiced by current and former government officials. The top commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, sent a letter to troops this month warning that “expedient methods” using force violated American values.

In a blistering lecture delivered last month, a former adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called “immoral” some interrogation tactics used by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon.

But in meetings with intelligence officials and in a 325-page initial report completed in December, the researchers have pressed a more practical critique: there is little evidence, they say, that harsh methods produce the best intelligence.
The Report contains a wealth of valuable information, including with respect to the history of U.S. interrogation practices in previous armed conflicts, such as the program used against German captives in World War II.

It is well worth reading.

I should note, however, that it is not really breaking news. The Report was issued more than five months ago, and it was discussed a bit in January, such as in this story by Josh White of the Washington Post, and by the Federation of American Scientists and Andrew Sullivan. The Zelikow lecture and the possible imminence of the Executive Order are the real breaking stories, and yet for some reason the Times has downplayed them in its article.

Comments:

This is how serious it gets -- the "enhanced interrogation techniques" authorized by the Bushit gang are not merely "immoral": they have been, since WW II, expressly described and defined and prohibited in law as war crimes:

"Conservative" Andrew Sullivan, in the current "Atlantic Monthly," compares the torture methods authorized by Bushit with those used by the Nazis. Even the name used by the Nazis for them translates as "enhanced interrogation". And those who were tried (1948) for using such under charges of having committed war crimes were subject under the law to the death penalty.

Doubtless "Brad" will find a lie around those facts -- which will be, in effect, in accordance with his "morality," a defense not only of the war crime of torture, punishable by death, and also of the use of torture by the Bushit gang, but also of those who refined them for use by that gang: the Nazis of WW II Germany. One in particular used by Bushit in Abu Ghraib was used by the Nazis in Dachau.

The link to the Andrew Sullivan article can be found on the current front page of talkingpointsmemo.com.

Sullivan, of course, expressly refuses to identify Bushit as "Hitler" (though Sullivan doubtless also falsely echoed Bushit in comparing Saddam Hussein with Hitler). What does it take for "conservatives" to learn how to tell the truth without flinching? Is their courage limited to falsely smearing their (perceived) opponents, and gratuitously abusing and torturing the powerless?
 

The UK "Independent (via link on "AlterNet") is reporting a growing scandal about the UK's AG approving torture. One reason the scandal has come out is that the highest UK military lawyer in Iraq bucked the system on the issue.

This whole issue is infuriating, disgusting, and saddening: my country arrogantly and joyfully engaging in war crimes identical to those refined by the Nazis, a penalty for which is the death penalty.

In the above, though, we do see that one person can make a difference. Hopefully, this will become a big enough international issue that there will actually be justice applied to the malefactors, up to and including the Bushit gang.

Otherwise, and the precedent is set.
 

This is another illustration of the "evil wrapped inside of incompetence wrapped inside of evil" nature of Bushco. You start with the evil of applying the enhanced interogation techniques to people, proceed to the "incompetence" of the fact that many of the tehniques were designed to produce quick, "directed", Soviet-style confessions (so they are shithouse at providing real intelligence), and then back to the evil of using that "intelligence" (think Curveball) to justify doing whatever the hell you want.
 

Thank you for the link to the Educing Information report.

It is amusing to read that one author claims that "the harsh techniques used since the 2001 terrorist attacks are outmoded, amateurish and unreliable," while another notes in the chart on page 309 that these authors have no data at all on the short term effectiveness of the "harshest" coercive interrogation techniques and the only information on the rest were from very old POW reports and current SERE training.

Thus, all critiques on the effectiveness of the coercive interrogation techniques in this report, not to mention "blistering critiques" delivered by others, are being made in nearly complete ignorance. What this report does usefully provide are suggestions for the adoption of further interrogation practices which have been proven in different venues.
 

JNagarya said...

The UK "Independent (via link on "AlterNet") is reporting a growing scandal about the UK's AG approving torture.

You might want to do some research on the interrogation methods the Brits used on IRA prisoners over the past century.

There is very little that is new under the sun.
 

Bart,

Read the definition and precedents of negationism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negationism It’s like cancer but affecting your moral dignity, instead of the body. Do yourself a favor, stop excusing the inexcusable before your soul is corrupted to a point of no return.
 

"Bart" is off on his usual "torture is good" schtick:

Thank you for the link to the Educing Information report.

It is amusing to read that one author claims that "the harsh techniques used since the 2001 terrorist attacks are outmoded, amateurish and unreliable," while another notes in the chart on page 309 that these authors have no data at all on the short term effectiveness of the "harshest" coercive interrogation techniques and the only information on the rest were from very old POW reports and current SERE training.


False. In fact, the report states that:

"Taken together, the diversity of reserach venues suggests that researchers have subsiantial opportinities to assess scientifically many, if not all, of the eduction practises that the United States might employ. They can also conduct substantial retrospective scientific inquiries into practises that the United States does not employ."

From the report, p. 309, right after "Bart"'s little chart.

And the 'take-home' lesson for "Bart" from all this? Let's see:

Thus, all critiques on the effectiveness of the coercive interrogation techniques in this report, not to mention "blistering critiques" delivered by others, are being made in nearly complete ignorance....

No. I suspect that "Bart" here is the one making pronouncements based on "blistering ignorance". Perhaps we ought to refresh his memory WRT 'blistering' appropriately, and see if he changes his tune.

... What this report does usefully provide are suggestions for the adoption of further interrogation practices which have been proven in different venues.

Ahhhhhhh, yes, torture works, we just aren't doing it right....

Sickening.

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma:

You might want to do some research on the interrogation methods the Brits used on IRA prisoners over the past century.

Yes, there was a bit of a fluff-up a while back where a bunch of IRA "terrorists" were let go:

"We also have examples such as the Guildford four, who confessed under police torture to being IRA bombers. Actually, their only crime was to be poor, Irish and in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Thanks for the reminder, "Bart". Your point, though, was?!?!? ______

Cheers,
 

Arne Langsetmo said...

BD: Thank you for the link to the Educing Information report.

It is amusing to read that one author claims that "the harsh techniques used since the 2001 terrorist attacks are outmoded, amateurish and unreliable," while another notes in the chart on page 309 that these authors have no data at all on the short term effectiveness of the "harshest" coercive interrogation techniques and the only information on the rest were from very old POW reports and current SERE training.

arne: False. In fact, the report states that:

"Taken together, the diversity of reserach venues suggests that researchers have subsiantial opportinities to assess scientifically many, if not all, of the eduction practises that the United States might employ. They can also conduct substantial retrospective scientific inquiries into practises that the United States does not employ."


I have a little while before meeting with my first client of the day to waste with you.

You obviously have not read either my post or the blurb you posted from the report. My post was on the current coercive interrogation techniques and the blurb was on different techniques the US might want to employ in the future.

The next section from my above post covers your latest efforts:

Thus, all critiques on the effectiveness of the coercive interrogation techniques in this report, not to mention "blistering critiques" delivered by others, are being made in nearly complete ignorance.

BTW, my comment on the Brits and the IRA was to point out that the Brits had been practicing actual torture on the IRA for a century and the latest reports were nothing new.
 

Anyone know anything about this 2005 Harvard report endorsing torture, mentioned offhand in the NYT article?

Also, Prof. Lederman's great post left out the single best bit, IMHO:

Robert F. Coulam, a research professor and attorney at Simmons College and a study participant, said that the government’s most vigorous work on interrogation to date has been in seeking legal justifications for harsh tactics. Even today, he said, “there’s nothing like the mobilization of effort and political energy that was put into relaxing the rules” governing interrogation.
 

From the report(all emphases in the original):

The practice of negotiation can also involve negative strategies, which include the intention to injure the other person. U.S. interests in EI [Educing Information; i.e. interrogation] are to obtain information, rather than to harm the source. However, the real interests of the source may be to harm the United States and its representatives — and in so doing he might even accept injury to himself or even affirmatively wish to be harmed.
Dealing with the possibility that an individual source intends harm to the United States is particularly complicated, in part because we do not know what a specific person intends until we design and implement a plan to find out — or until the person acts. But even where the source is focused on harming the United States, it does not follow that a reciprocal, negative strategy on the part of the United States will be an effective way to acquire useful information from him.

--pp.291-2

Unless, of course, your name is Bart DePalma.

Other problems with Bart's positions:

There has been little research on how to convince an individual B, who wishes to injure A, to become willing to collaborate (especially when B is willing to accept or even seek injury to himself). Convincing a person to relinquish vengeful interests, or to override the desire for revenge, is difficult. This is in part because the wish to injure often derives from intangibles, and especially from perceived humiliation. My people and I have been humiliated. The United States is a sinful state that must be brought to its knees. God wishes me to take revenge on His enemies.)

An attempt to presume “legitimate authority” can be used against the interests of the United States. For example, if sources believe they are being held "unjustly" their beliefs about the "illegality" of their confinement might stiffen their resolve not to talk.

Interrogators around the world have used force, and threats of force, as sources of power, probably achieving occasional short-term and long-term gains. The use of force by the United States may also have caused short and long-term damage to U.S. interests and credibility, some of which may not be known. Negotiation theory would suggest that threats should be planned strategically: threats should be appropriate to the task, appropriately timed, and believable. It would seem that the use of force or threats of force might best be used only as part of careful strategic planning, with careful attention to possible positive and negative consequences — for getting accurate and useful information, and for the long-term interests of the United States. It is hoped that any such use would be evaluated for effectiveness.
EI may be an unusually difficult task to accomplish by physical force. It appears easier to stop someone by force from talking than to compel speech — especially accurate and truthful speech. (The nature of the “negotiation” of forcing someone to talk is inherently problematic, unless the interrogator knows enough facts to know when the source is lying or that his information is inaccurate.)
Using force, with the intent to stop the use of force if and when a source is willing to talk, might present difficulties for both parties in understanding what the other party may do. How would the educer know when to stop? What does the use of force do to the judgment of the person who uses it? On the other side, a source might worry about “How much is enough?” and “Can I trust this interrogator to stop hurting me if I agree to talk?”
In fact, the interrogator who uses physical force may lack believability for any other strategy. The very nature of the use of physical force would seem to undermine the likelihood of useful connection with a source beyond the immediate sessions. It might also increase a source’s hatred of the United States and interest in suicide or willingness to be killed. So- called "restrained forcing" might be worthy of study in EI.

pp. 291-295 in passim

The more I read of the report, the less likely it appears that anything supporting Bart's position can be found. In fact, his chart "proof" is no more than the authors stating that there is NO PROOF that the techniques he is espousing work, and outlining methods to potentially test these theories. They also compare interrogators evaluating the effectiveness of own theories of interrogation with the doctor who first performed lobotomies to stop mental disorders. There is also a cite of a study that trained investigators were no better at detecting signs of truthfulness in interviewees than college students--both performed at the level of random guessing, although the investigators were more certain of their answers. (This sounds a lot like Bart).

So the basic point of this study is that:

1) there is no proof that "enhanced interrogation" methods are more effective than other methods (and vice versa)

2) inflicting physical harm and fear on interrogation subjects can not only damage chances of extracting useful information from subjects, but can also harm US credibility and moral authority.

3) by using such techniques, we may be forgoing chances to persuade cooperation and conversion of interrogation subjects, which could have more long term benefits.

Damn, it has been hard to find a page in the report that does not stress (included by the authors) the damage and problematic nature of enhanced interrogation. And these are the experts.
 

I'm surprised that Mr. DePalma isn't outraged, though. Here we have a credible source familiar with the project who has described the "enhanced interrogation techniques" as "prolonged and repeated subjection of captives to physical torment, and the accompanying psychological terror."

This satisfies the "prolonged" criteria boldfaced in the Citizen's Pamphleteer as a reason that CIA interrogation techniques do NOT constitute severe mental pain--that is, the claim was that CIA practices were too intermittent and/or ephemeral to cause mental trauma.

Bart, the practices are clearly torture as defined under the 18 USC 2340. Who should we be prosecuting first? The interrogators who carried out the torture or the people who approved such practices for the program?
 

If the system was not broken, and the fact B v. G was not somehow compelled suggests it is not fated that it works the way it currently is, this sort of thing would be deemed impeachable.

Rather, something where serious impeachment investigations would be ongoing. And, it would not be somehow 'partisan' or 'Bush hating' (in a childish sense) to consider that.

It is a failure of will ultimately, underlined by the fact that the people who further this sort of thing often claim to be loyal to Christian tenets which last time I checked found this sort of thing evil. To use that language.

The failure of even Dems to demand such things suggest why Cindy Sheehan gave up her activism in disgust/dispair.
 

Fraud Guy said...

From the report(all emphases in the original):

The practice of negotiation can also involve negative strategies, which include the intention to injure the other person. U.S. interests in EI [Educing Information; i.e. interrogation] are to obtain information, rather than to harm the source. However, the real interests of the source may be to harm the United States and its representatives — and in so doing he might even accept injury to himself or even affirmatively wish to be harmed.


After the coordinated suicide attempts and hunger strikes at Gitmo by terrorists who advocate suicide attacks, I would tend to agree that many of the detainees at Gitmo would accept injury to themselves to generate anti-US propaganda.

However, one of the reasons why the coercive interrogation techniques are not torture is because they do not inflict injury to the subjects.

Of course, this would not prevent the same terrorists who would accept injury to create propaganda from also lie about being tortured and suffering physical or mental injury to create propaganda. They know what buttons to push to get a reaction out of you.

There has been little research on how to convince an individual B, who wishes to injure A, to become willing to collaborate (especially when B is willing to accept or even seek injury to himself). Convincing a person to relinquish vengeful interests, or to override the desire for revenge, is difficult.

This is a pretty good argument for coercive interrogation techniques, which are designed to disorient the subject and bypass these points of resistance.

This is in part because the wish to injure often derives from intangibles, and especially from perceived humiliation. My people and I have been humiliated. The United States is a sinful state that must be brought to its knees. God wishes me to take revenge on His enemies.)

This argument assumes as fact the Islamic fascist propaganda point about the US "humiliating" the Muslim world. Rather than "humiliation," fascism generally recruits those who feel personally powerless and offers them membership in a powerful organization. The captured al Qaeda from whom we have statements do not generally cite humiliation as why they joined.

An attempt to presume “legitimate authority” can be used against the interests of the United States. For example, if sources believe they are being held "unjustly" their beliefs about the "illegality" of their confinement might stiffen their resolve not to talk.

On what data is this claim based?

If the capture is al Qaeda, then he would have to be self deluding to believe that he was being held "unjustly." Like us, al Qaeda trains its members how to act in case of capture.

If the capture was a civilian mistakenly taken as al Qaeda, he has nothing to offer an interrogator which he would seek to hide out of grievance.

Interrogators around the world have used force, and threats of force, as sources of power, probably achieving occasional short-term and long-term gains. The use of force by the United States may also have caused short and long-term damage to U.S. interests and credibility, some of which may not be known.

Translation: US interests in my personal view suffer when we use force to gain information about al Qaeda. However, I have no proof that how using force to gain information has harmed US interests.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but this is not science.

Negotiation theory would suggest that threats should be planned strategically: threats should be appropriate to the task, appropriately timed, and believable...In fact, the interrogator who uses physical force may lack believability for any other strategy.

That is the basis of the classic "good cop, bad cop" interrogation technique. The interrogator using the coercive techniques should not be the one using the soft techniques and offering the subject incentives to cooperate.

So the basic point of this study is that:

1) there is no proof that "enhanced interrogation" methods are more effective than other methods (and vice versa)...Damn, it has been hard to find a page in the report that does not stress (included by the authors) the damage and problematic nature of enhanced interrogation. And these are the experts.


No, all this collection of essays stands for is that the authors are unaware of how and why coercive techniques work. The science and reasoning behind the techniques is in the CIA's own interrogation manual and the George Tenet was unequivocal about the success of these techniques:

"Here's what I would say to you, to the Congress, to the American people, to the president of the United States: I know that this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together, have been able to tell us."

I will take the word of the person with first hand knowledge of the CIA's coercive interrogation techniques and what they produced than any of the so called "experts" who do not know anything about these techniques or what they have produced.
 

PMS_Chicago said...

I'm surprised that Mr. DePalma isn't outraged, though. Here we have a credible source familiar with the project who has described the "enhanced interrogation techniques" as "prolonged and repeated subjection of captives to physical torment, and the accompanying psychological terror."

If I was outraged every time someone with an ax to grind spins a topic past reality, I would waste my entire life in anger.

BTW, one person's hyperbole does not constitute facts which can be the basis for the violation of a law. Rather, it is the equivalent of a lawyers argument concerning the facts.
 

It is a failure of will ultimately, underlined by the fact that the people who further this sort of thing often claim to be loyal to Christian tenets which last time I checked found this sort of thing evil.

Henry Adams, writing about the War of 1812, made a similar comment:

"The criticism was not less revolting than remarkable, that many of the men whose want of political morality was most conspicuous in this story were, both in England and in America, models of private respectability and fanatical haters of vice."
 

Mr. DePalma thinks it's obvious we should accept the word of George Tenet, a man who would be among the first to be indicted for multiple felonies (were it not for the immunity provisions of the MCA).
 

Bart said: I will take the word of the person with first hand knowledge of the CIA's coercive interrogation techniques and what they produced than any of the so called "experts" who do not know anything about these techniques or what they have produced. I also wonder if Tenet has first hand experience in interrogation and its effects, or just in receiving the information gathered.

The problem with this claim, Bart, is that these are experts who were given the task to compile these reports by the CIA, and who had access to the history of interrogation. They conclude that the use of coercive techniques needs to be studied to determined whether or not it is more effective than other methods. You are assuming effectiveness, just as the investigators in the cited studied assumed that they were effective in determining truthfulness.

In addition, with the Gitmo captives, the study would suggest that their recalcitrance could be caused by their having already been subjected to the coercive techniques, thereby reducing their ability to persuaded to willing cooperation with their captors. But you conveniently ignore that logic.

And by the way, Bart, have you ever been in a stress position for long periods of time? People I know have, mainly due to physical injury (muscle pulls and the like), and they have literally begged to be put out of their misery due to the pain. About as scientific as your evidence, but I have also experienced back pain so severe that I had to check whether I was still able to move my extremeties. Putting people in positions that can cause such pain would be equivalent to subjecting them to pain equal to that of major organ failure. Pain that cannot be handled by morphine and demoral qualifies, I think.
 

"Legal Policy in a Twilight War," delivered at the University of Houston Law Center on April 26th, but I have not been able to find the lecture itself online. (If anyone knows of it . . . .)

Here's a link, but not to the 4/26/07 Houston lecture, but to a 3/10/06 one with (nearly) the same title to the ABA:
Legal Policy in the Twilight War
Philip D. Zelikow, Counselor of the State Department

ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security, University Club Washington, DC March 10, 2006
 

"Bart" DePalma:

Thus, all critiques on the effectiveness of the coercive interrogation techniques in this report, not to mention "blistering critiques" delivered by others, are being made in nearly complete ignorance.

No. As pointed out in the post, but which "Bart" chooses to ignore, various methods that have been "reported" (or alleged) fall within the general ambit of the methods considered by the report. If "Bart" wants to dispute the report's applicability, he ought to explain what the maladministration is doing, and why it's "better" than the methods considered by the report.

But, unless the Dubya maladministration has decided to not only "out" WoMD counterproliferation covert agents, but also spill the guts on what the CIA is doing WRT interrogations (you know, like beating to death the people mentioned in the links I've provided previously) to some hick DUI lawyer in Colorado. Thus, "Bart" is just as much in "complete ignorance" as anyone around. But the difference is that he wants to stay that way.

BTW, my comment on the Brits and the IRA was to point out that the Brits had been practicing actual torture on the IRA for a century and the latest reports were nothing new.

The ol' tu quoque again? Can't you come up with some original logicall fallacies, "Bart"?

And my point was that even "actual torture" doesn't work.....

Cheers,
 

It is a failure of will ultimately, underlined by the fact that the people who further this sort of thing often claim to be loyal to Christian tenets which last time I checked found this sort of thing evil.

Coercive interrogation in discussed in the Bible?
 

"Bart" DePalma:

George Tenet was unequivocal about the success of these techniques:

"Here's what I would say to you, to the Congress, to the American people, to the president of the United States: I know that this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together, have been able to tell us."


"They call me 'Slam-Dunk' Tenet...."

You know, good stuff like the al-Libi torture 'info'?

A plea here: Can we please discuss reality here for once, "Bart"?

Cheers,
 

Folks, when it comes to whether torture is un-Christian, don't listen to any Christian theologians, or the Vatican, or anyone like that.

No -- listen to Bart DePalma.
 

Fraud Guy said...

Bart said: I will take the word of the person with first hand knowledge of the CIA's coercive interrogation techniques and what they produced than any of the so called "experts" who do not know anything about these techniques or what they have produced. I also wonder if Tenet has first hand experience in interrogation and its effects, or just in receiving the information gathered.

The problem with this claim, Bart, is that these are experts who were given the task to compile these reports by the CIA, and who had access to the history of interrogation. They conclude that the use of coercive techniques needs to be studied to determined whether or not it is more effective than other methods.


I have no problem at all with honest and objective studies to determine which are the best techniques for obtaining information on short notice and over long periods of time. However, like all hot button ideological issues, I wonder if such a study is even possible given the climate in academia these days. You need a BS detector given all the junk science being generated to advance particular ideological views.

You are assuming effectiveness, just as the investigators in the cited studied assumed that they were effective in determining truthfulness.

I know we have rolled up large swaths of the al Qaeda network and those who know the results of the interrogations of the al Qaeda captures credit coercive interrogations.

I also know that those who claim that coercive techniques do not work have no first or second hand knowledge of the results of these interrogations.

And by the way, Bart, have you ever been in a stress position for long periods of time? People I know have, mainly due to physical injury (muscle pulls and the like), and they have literally begged to be put out of their misery due to the pain.

Yes.

They are not infrequent occurrences in military service as a grunt, especially if you are a paratrooper with a couple hundred pound of gear draped over you jammed in unnatural positions for hours before a jump. You cramp up and are very uncomfortable. However, this is far short of being beaten until your bones break, burned, electro shocked or even ripped open with a power drill as shown in the al Qaeda torture manual to which I have previously linked.

I have also experienced back pain so severe that I had to check whether I was still able to move my extremeties. Putting people in positions that can cause such pain would be equivalent to subjecting them to pain equal to that of major organ failure.

I too have had my lower back go out and that pain was far worse than anything I experienced in stress positions.

The purpose of stress positions in interrogations is to fatigue you and break you down, not to get you to speak to avoid the pain.

The military does similar things to you in basic training / boot camp to break you down and then to build you back up again by teaching you that you can endure far more than you ever would have believed possible as a civilian.

Like Rummy, I have very little sympathy for the idea that we are "torturing" al Qaeda captures by putting them through things our soldiers do as part of their training.
 

BTW, one person's hyperbole does not constitute facts which can be the basis for the violation of a law. Rather, it is the equivalent of a lawyers argument concerning the facts.

Right, so you won't accept the statements of any credible source familiar with the facts on the ground, only the facts themselves. Stating that people were subjected to prolonged physical torment is not the same as people actually being subjected to prolonged physical torment.

As an aside, please let me thank you right now for not manning the 911 phone lines.

But the insistence on "facts" doesn't wash, as the KUBARK and other manuals make quite clear: the nature of pain is subjective.

By your logic, since the statement of another person--regardless of their credentials--is akin to a lawyer's argument, you would have to experience first-hand the practice in question before admitting that it satisfied the definition of torture set by statute and custom.

If not that, what would constitute "facts" for you?
 

Bart said:

You need a BS detector given all the junk science being generated to advance particular ideological views.

Not to mention junk legal opinions.

I know we have rolled up large swaths of the al Qaeda network and those who know the results of the interrogations of the al Qaeda captures credit coercive interrogations.

I also know that those who claim that coercive techniques do not work have no first or second hand knowledge of the results of these interrogations.


1) Whether or not they did, and whether or not other methods would have been as effective, without the fallout such methods generate within the US or around the world.

2) The list of experts on the reports seems to come from those with first and second hand knowledge.

Finally, while acknowledging the severe, debilitating pain (by definition, as it caused them to break) that detainees went through, you brought up a point that I find interesting: Such pain is regularly inflicted upon our soldiers in basic training, to allow them (in your words) to endure pain beyond what they felt, as civilians, they ever could (or should?).

Now what happens when we subject actual civilians to such pain, when we accidentally or purposefully conflate them with possible terrorists, punishing the innocent along with the guilty. (Not to mention what such methods do to our service people, above and beyond hardening them to pain).

That contravenes morality that values humanity. Your apparent view is that the pain of the innocent is worth the privilege and protection of the few. We signed on to conventions that prohibit torture and the infliction of pain, and also delimit how we are to treat all captives in a war, including those we accuse of crimes (including terrorists), not just POWs and civilians.
 

FraudGuy (in a forgivable but rookie mistake) asks Bart: And by the way, Bart, have you ever been in a stress position for long periods of time?

Bart replies nonsensically with: Like Rummy, I have very little sympathy for the idea that we are "torturing" al Qaeda captures by putting them through things our soldiers do as part of their training.

See, FG, when you deal with a cowardly, lying cheat you have to expect it to deflect anything and everything it can. Do not expect reasoned or substantive responses to questions. And, for God's sake, don't invite it to wrap itself in the flag and regale us with the glories of its military record...not unless you've got a strong stomach.

Still, give the rascal his due, he's good at this deflection stuff, good with the distraction, especially good at minimizing what torturers do to their victims and likening it to what soldiers go through. It is entirely beyond Bart and his ilk to understand that his (sorry, "Rummy's") reasoning is on a par with saying he has "very little sympathy for the idea that we are sexually abusing al Qaeda captures by putting them through things our wives do as part of their conjugal duties." Which one was your boot-camp fave, Bart? This, or this, or maybe this? Which of these evoke the proud memories of the experiences that made you the fascist apologist you are today?

Oh, by the way, Bart, you ever make your way through the text of the MCA? I know it's an awful lot of big words for a simple grunt like you, but, c'mon, it's been months now. What's the hold up?
 

Robert,

Not a rookie mistake--in my investigative work, I have found that if you let a suspect talk as long as they want, and then point out their inconsistencies, they eventually contradict or directly implicate themselves.

In Bart's case, I agree that his inherent dishonesty and slavish devotion to hypocritical policies always trips him up, so he has to wrap himself in the flag to disguise the nakedness of his position and to cover his wounds.
 

Bart, you seem to be able to argue in circles about any point brought up here, to the point that you don't have any coherent philosophy beyond enabling the status quo.

I get that you support the use of torture on members of Al Qaeda and other terrorists. That's ok, I support putting people like Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy to death. But there is a world of difference between supporting the death penalty in specific instances where the facts are known and the accused are devoid of any shred of humanity, and supporting it as a rule of law where there is a 100% guarantee that it will be used incorrectly on occasion.

In that vein, how do you feel about the use of torture on those unlucky bastards who were mistakenly rounded up with other insurgents/terrorists or who were falsely turned in by others (for a sizable bounty).In a report issued by the Red Cross in February 2004, Coalition Force intelligence estimated that 70%-90% of prisoners detained in Iraq since the war "had been arrested by mistake."

This is not merely a war against al Qaeda and other terrorists. This is a war to 1)improve the lives of Muslims so that they renounce extremism and terrorist tactics; and 2)improve our image in the Muslim world (or diffusing misconceptions) effectively achieving the same ends.

You seem only intent on fighting terrorists, no matter how deep we must drag ourselves into the heart of darkness, and you seem completely oblivious the larger goals I mentioned above. You're doing everything you can to get the water out of the boat, but nothing to stop the leaks.
 

FraudGuy: Not a rookie mistake...

I stand (well, sit and type) corrected. It's certainly true that one does smashingly better against Bart after goading him into trying to ad lib rather than sticking to his talking points. In fact, once one feels the emotional impact of how easy he can be to smack down when he tries to speak for himself rather than parroting then it almost ceases to be sporting.

Almost.

Peace.
 

The purpose of stress positions in interrogations is to fatigue you and break you down, not to get you to speak to avoid the pain.

That explains why the CIA's KUBARK manual specifically mentioned prolonged standing under the subheading "pain" and not "debility."
 

Bart,

The purpose of stress positions in interrogations is to fatigue you and break you down, not to get you to speak to avoid the pain.

The military does similar things to you in basic training / boot camp to break you down and then to build you back up again by teaching you that you can endure far more than you ever would have believed possible as a civilian.

Like Rummy, I have very little sympathy for the idea that we are "torturing" al Qaeda captures by putting them through things our soldiers do as part of their training.


I see a contradiction here. In basic training, the military pushes soldiers to their limits. The assumption is that they will not give out, but will find that they can endure much more than they ever believed possible. It seems reasonable to assume that Al Qaeda does something similar when it trains its own soldiers.

Yet during interrogation the assumption is that detainees will not be able to endure what our soldiers go through during basic training -- and presumably what many terrorists endured during their own training.

Obviously there is some sort of difference here. Would you care to explain.
 

enlightened layperson, to Bart: Obviously there is some sort of difference here. Would you care to explain.

You can't expect a substantive, much less an honest, answer from Bart on this. He'll never admit that there's a difference between frat hazing, boot camp hazing, and what has been done in your name and mine to innocent civilians under cover of the "war" on terror. To be sure, we've got the occasional bit of good data from bona fide enemies, but Bart hasn't the moral compass to truly parse the question, "At what cost?" There's just no point engaging him on the issue.
 

Robert, look back at what Fraud Guy said about pointing out inconsitencies and contradictions. Bart has, IMO, let slip a very important difference between boot camp hazing and what he calls "coercive interrogation" -- one is intended to show recruits how much they can endure and the the other is premised on the assumption that detainees cannot endure. There has to be a difference here; I am very curious to find out what Bart says it is (if only to understand how he thinks).

It may be, however, that Bart has moved on to another thread and will not come back here to answer.
 

"The UK "Independent (via link on "AlterNet") is reporting a growing scandal about the UK's AG approving torture."

"You might want to do some research on the interrogation methods the Brits used on IRA prisoners over the past century."

The issue, "Bart," is not the UK's tortures against the IRA. The issue, "Bart," is the fact that my country, under the Bushit criminal enterprise, with the support of a minority of loud-mouthed anti-Aermican slugs such as you, engages in the morally depraved war crime of torture -- which is prohibited by the Constitution, and which Constitution stipulates the means by which it is to be amended.

That amending process does not include legislative enactments, Bushit Executive _diktats_, or holding by the judiciary. Or approval of that which remains a war crime by such -- as said -- slugs as you.

The fact that the UK has a more effective media against gov't corruptions and depravities is helpful to the cause of the rule of law and the cause of human rights. And as the UK worked with the Bushit criminal enterprize to impose the war crime of torture on persons not aedjudicated to be anything more than a target for Bushit's imputations, it makes more likely that the war crime of torture as committed by Bushit, et al., will ultimately prosecuted, in _fair_ trial, by the Hague.

In short, "Bart," I want criminals prosecuted for their crimes, without regard for which point on the political spectrum they lock-step march.

I would call you immoral, but that would be to impute to you an impossibility in view of your nihilist's moral bankruptcy.

"There is very little that is new under the sun."

Yes, "Bart": slugs are ancient creatures which, when removed from the swamp, are outside their proper element.
 

It's clear that Philip Zelikow, the President, and the Intelligence Science Board Senior Advisory Group on Educing Information have all been compromised by spineless liberals and their traitorous Al-Qaeda henchman. We should ship these people off to Guantanamo for processing as soon as possible. In doing so, we can prove once and for all that the short-term benefits of enhanced interrogation are so vast as to outweigh any long-term "moral" concerns you limp-wristed elitists can adduce.
 

enlightened layperson,

You question the difference between hazing and coercive interrogation. It's easy:

1. You haze white Americans (i.e., non-terrorists).

2. You coercively interrogate brown foreigners (i.e., terrorists).

It's a sure-fire sign that you have succumbed to liberal group-think that you can't identify this obvious and important difference. And let's not hear about your "moral" or "civil liberties" concerns. Everyone knows that brown foreigners aren't protected by the Constitution.
 

mesothelioma Mesotheliomais a form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to Asbestos In this disease, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the body's internal organs. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart or tunica vaginalis.
Most people who develop
mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. Washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can also put a person at risk for developing Mesothelioma Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking but smoking greatly increases risk of other asbestos induced cancer.Compensation via
Asbestos funds or lawsuits is an important issue in
mesothelioma The symptoms of
mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall or chest wall pain, and general symptoms such as weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected with chest X-ray and CT scan and is confirmed with a biopsy (tissue sample) and microscopic examination. A thoracoscopy inserting a tube with a camera into the chest) can be used to take biopsies. It allows the introduction of substances such as talc to obliterate the pleural space (called pleurodesis, which prevents more fluid from accumulating and pressing on the lung. Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, the disease carries a poor prognosis. Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing.
Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space are often symptoms of pleural
mesotheliomaSymptoms of peritoneal
mesothelioma include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other symptoms of peritoneal
mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.
These symptoms may be caused by
mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions.
Mesothelioma that affects the pleura can cause these signs and symptoms:
chest wall pain
pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung
shortness of breath
fatigue or anemia
wheezing, hoarseness, or cough
blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up hemoptysis
In severe cases, the person may have many tumor masses. The individual may develop a pneumothorax, or collapse of the lung The disease may metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body.
Tumors that affect the abdominal cavity often do not cause symptoms until they are at a late stage. Symptoms include:
abdominal pain
ascites, or an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen
a mass in the abdomen
problems with bowel function
weight loss
In severe cases of the disease, the following signs and symptoms may be present:
blood clots in the veins, which may cause thrombophlebitis
disseminated intravascular coagulation a disorder causing severe bleeding in many body organs
jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin
low blood sugar level
pleural effusion
pulmonary emboli, or blood clots in the arteries of the lungs
severe ascites
A
mesothelioma does not usually spread to the bone, brain, or adrenal glands. Pleural tumors are usually found only on one side of the lungs
Diagnosing
mesothelioma is often difficult, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's medical history. A history of exposure to asbestos may increase clinical suspicion for
mesothelioma A physical examination is performed, followed by chest X-ray and often lung function tests. The X-ray may reveal pleural thickening commonly seen after asbestos exposure and increases suspicion of
mesothelioma A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI is usually performed. If a large amount of fluid is present, abnormal cells may be detected by cytology if this fluid is aspirated with a syringe. For pleural fluid this is done by a pleural tap or chest drain, in ascites with an paracentesis or ascitic drain and in a pericardial effusion with pericardiocentesis. While absence of malignant cells on cytology does not completely exclude
mesothelioma it makes it much more unlikely, especially if an alternative diagnosis can be made (e.g. tuberculosis, heart failure
If cytology is positive or a plaque is regarded as suspicious, a biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of
mesothelioma A doctor removes a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. A biopsy may be done in different ways, depending on where the abnormal area is located. If the cancer is in the chest, the doctor may perform a thoracoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small cut through the chest wall and puts a thin, lighted tube called a thoracoscope into the chest between two ribs. Thoracoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the chest and obtain tissue samples.
If the cancer is in the abdomen, the doctor may perform a laparoscopy. To obtain tissue for examination, the doctor makes a small incision in the abdomen and inserts a special instrument into the abdominal cavity. If these procedures do not yield enough tissue, more extensive diagnostic surgery may be necessary.
There is no universally agreed protocol for screening people who have been exposed to
asbestosScreening tests might diagnose mesothelioma earlier than conventional methods thus improving the survival prospects for patients. The serum osteopontin level might be useful in screening asbestos-exposed people for
mesotheliomaThe level of soluble mesothelin-related protein is elevated in the serum of about 75% of patients at diagnosis and it has been suggested that it may be useful for screening. Doctors have begun testing the Mesomark assay which measures levels of soluble mesothelin-related proteins (SMRPs) released by diseased mesothelioma cells
Incidence
Although reported incidence rates have increased in the past 20 years, mesothelioma is still a relatively rare cancer. The incidence rate is approximately one per 1,000,000. The highest incidence is found in Britain, Australia and Belgium: 30 per 1,000,000 per year. For comparison, populations with high levels of smoking can have a lung cancer incidence of over 1,000 per 1,000,000. Incidence of malignant mesothelioma currently ranges from about 7 to 40 per 1,000,000 in industrialized Western nations, depending on the amount of asbestos exposure of the populations during the past several decades. It has been estimated that incidence may have peaked at 15 per 1,000,000 in the United States in 2004. Incidence is expected to continue increasing in other parts of the world. Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women and risk increases with age, but this disease can appear in either men or women at any age. Approximately one fifth to one third of all mesotheliomas are peritoneal.
Between 1940 and 1979, approximately 27.5 million people were occupationally exposed to asbestos in the United States.[ Between 1973 and 1984, there has been a threefold increase in the diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma in Caucasian males. From 1980 to the late 1990s, the death rate from mesothelioma in the USA increased from 2,000 per year to 3,000, with men four times more likely to acquire it than women. These rates may not be accurate, since it is possible that many cases of mesothelioma are misdiagnosed as adenocarcinoma of the lung, which is difficult to differentiate from mesothelioma.
Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. A history of asbestos exposure exists in almost all cases. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos. In rare cases, mesothelioma has also been associated with irradiation, intrapleural thorium dioxide (Thorotrast), and inhalation of other fibrous silicates, such as erionite.
asbestos
is the name of a group of minerals that occur naturally as masses of strong, flexible fibers that can be separated into thin threads and woven.
asbestos
has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. If tiny asbestos particles float in the air, especially during the manufacturing process, they may be inhaled or swallowed, and can cause serious health problems. In addition to mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, asbestosis (a noncancerous, chronic lung ailment), and other cancers, such as those of the larynx and kidney.
The combination of smoking and
asbestos exposure significantly increases a person's risk of developing cancer of the airways (lung cancer bronchial carcinoma). The Kent brand of cigarettes used
mesothelioma in its filters for the first few years of production in the 1950s and some cases of
mesothelioma have resulted. Smoking modern cigarettes does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma.
Some studies suggest that simian virus 40 may act as a cofactor in the development of mesothelioma.
Asbestos was known in antiquity, but it wasn't mined and widely used commercially until the late 1800s. Its use greatly increased during World War II Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos dust. Initially, the risks associated with
asbestos exposure were not publicly known. However, an increased risk of developing mesothelioma was later found among shipyard workers, people who work in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the heating and construction industries, and other tradespeople. Today, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets limits for acceptable levels of
asbestos exposure in the workplace, and created guidelines for engineering controls and respirators, protective clothing, exposure monitoring, hygiene facilities and practices, warning signs, labeling, recordkeeping, and medical exams. By contrast, the British Government's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states formally that any threshold for
mesothelioma must be at a very low level and it is widely agreed that if any such threshold does exist at all, then it cannot currently be quantified. For practical purposes, therefore, HSE does not assume that any such threshold exists. People who work with
asbestos wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure. Recent findings have shown that a mineral called erionite has been known to cause genetically pre-dispositioned individuals to have malignant mesothelioma rates much higher than those not pre-dispositioned genetically. A study in Cappadocia, Turkey has shown that 3 villiages in Turkey have death rates of 51% attributed to erionite related
mesotheliomaExposure to
asbestos fibres has been recognised as an occupational health hazard since the early 1900s. Several epidemiological studies have associated exposure to asbestos with the development of lesions such as asbestos bodies in the sputum, pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening, asbestosis, carcinoma of the lung and larynx, gastrointestinal tumours, and diffuse mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum.
The documented presence of
asbestos fibres in water supplies and food products has fostered concerns about the possible impact of long-term and, as yet, unknown exposure of the general population to these fibres. Although many authorities consider brief or transient exposure to
asbestos fibres as inconsequential and an unlikely risk factor, some epidemiologists claim that there is no risk threshold. Cases of mesothelioma have been found in people whose only exposure was breathing the air through ventilation systems. Other cases had very minimal (3 months or less) direct exposure.
Commercial
asbestos mining at Wittenoom, Western Australia, occurred between 1945 and 1966. A cohort study of miners employed at the mine reported that while no deaths occurred within the first 10 years after crocidolite exposure, 85 deaths attributable to mesothelioma had occurred by 1985. By 1994, 539 reported deaths due to mesothelioma had been reported in Western Australia.
Family members and others living with
asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing
mesothelioma and possibly other asbestos related diseases. This risk may be the result of exposure to
asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of
asbestos workers. To reduce the chance of exposing family members to asbestosMany building materials used in both public and domestic premises prior to the banning of
asbestos may contain
asbestos Those performing renovation works or activities may expose themselves to asbestos dust. In the UK use of Chrysotile asbestos was banned at the end of 1999. Brown and blue
asbestos was banned in the UK around 1985. Buildings built or renovated prior to these dates may contain asbestos materials.
For patients with localized disease, and who can tolerate a radical surgery, radiation is often given post-operatively as a consolidative treatment. The entire hemi-thorax is treated with radiation therapy, often given simultaneously with chemotherapy. Delivering radiation and chemotherapy after a radical surgery has led to extended life expectancy in selected patient populations with some patients surviving more than 5 years. As part of a curative approach to
mesothelioma radiotherapy is also commonly applied to the sites of chest drain insertion, in order to prevent growth of the tumor along the track in the chest wall.
Although
mesothelioma is generally resistant to curative treatment with radiotherapy alone, palliative treatment regimens are sometimes used to relieve symptoms arising from tumor growth, such as obstruction of a major blood vessel.
Radiation Therapy when given alone with curative intent has never been shown to improve survival from
mesothelioma The necessary radiation dose to treat mesothelioma that has not been surgically removed would be very toxic.
Chemotherapy is the only treatment for
mesothelioma that has been proven to improve survival in randomised and controlled trials. The landmark study published in 2003 by Vogelzang and colleagues compared cisplatin chemotherapy alone with a combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed (brand name Alimta) chemotherapy) in patients who had not received chemotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma previously and were not candidates for more aggressive "curative" surgery. This trial was the first to report a survival advantage from chemotherapy in malignant pleural
mesothelioma showing a statistically significant improvement in median survival from 10 months in the patients treated with cisplatin alone to 13.3 months in the combination pemetrexed group in patients who received supplementation with folate and vitamin B12. Vitamin supplementation was given to most patients in the trial and pemetrexed related side effects were significantly less in patients receiving pemetrexed when they also received daily oral folate 500mcg and intramuscular vitamin B12 1000mcg every 9 weeks compared with patients receiving pemetrexed without vitamin supplementation. The objective response rate increased from 20% in the cisplatin group to 46% in the combination pemetrexed group. Some side effects such as nausea and vomiting, stomatitis, and diarrhoea were more common in the combination pemetrexed group but only affected a minority of patients and overall the combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin was well tolerated when patients received vitamin supplementation; both quality of life and lung function tests improved in the combination pemetrexed group. In February 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved pemetrexed for treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. However, there are still unanswered questions about the optimal use of chemotherapy, including when to start treatment, and the optimal number of cycles to give.
Cisplatin in combination with raltitrexed has shown an improvement in survival similar to that reported for pemetrexed in combination with cisplatin, but raltitrexed is no longer commercially available for this indication. For patients unable to tolerate pemetrexed, cisplatin in combination with gemcitabine or vinorelbine is an alternative, although a survival benefit has not been shown for these drugs. For patients in whom cisplatin cannot be used, carboplatin can be substituted but non-randomised data have shown lower response rates and high rates of haematological toxicity for carboplatin-based combinations, albeit with similar survival figures to patients receiving cisplatin.
In January 2009, the United States FDA approved using conventional therapies such as surgery in combination with radiation and or chemotherapy on stage I or II Mesothelioma after research conducted by a nationwide study by Duke University concluded an almost 50 point increase in remission rates.
Treatment regimens involving immunotherapy have yielded variable results. For example, intrapleural inoculation of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in an attempt to boost the immune response, was found to be of no benefit to the patient (while it may benefit patients with bladder cancer.
mesothelioma cells proved susceptible to in vitro lysis by LAK cells following activation by interleukin-2 (IL-2), but patients undergoing this particular therapy experienced major side effects. Indeed, this trial was suspended in view of the unacceptably high levels of IL-2 toxicity and the severity of side effects such as fever and cachexia. Nonetheless, other trials involving interferon alpha have proved more encouraging with 20% of patients experiencing a greater than 50% reduction in tumor mass combined with minimal side effects.
A procedure known as heated intraoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy was developed by at the Washington Cancer Institute. The surgeon removes as much of the tumor as possible followed by the direct administration of a chemotherapy agent, heated to between 40 and 48°C, in the abdomen. The fluid is perfused for 60 to 120 minutes and then drained.
This technique permits the administration of high concentrations of selected drugs into the abdominal and pelvic surfaces. Heating the chemotherapy treatment increases the penetration of the drugs into tissues. Also, heating itself damages the malignant cells more than the normal cells.

What is the mesothelium?
The mesothelium is a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. It is composed of two layers of cells: One layer immediately surrounds the organ; the other forms a sac around it. The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that is released between these layers, allowing moving organs (such as the beating heart and the expanding and contracting lungs to glide easily against adjacent structures.
The mesothelium has different names, depending on its location in the body. The peritoneum is the mesothelial tissue that covers most of the organs in the abdominal cavity. The pleura is the membrane that surrounds the lungs and lines the wall of the chest cavity. The pericardium covers and protects the heart. The
mesothelioma tissue surrounding the male internal reproductive organs is called the tunica vaginalis testis. The tunica serosa uteri covers the internal reproductive organs in women.
What is mesothelioma?
mesothelioma (cancer of the mesothelium) is a disease in which cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control or order. They can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs.
cancer cells can also metastasize (spread) from their original site to other parts of the body. Most cases of mesothelioma begin in the pleura or peritoneum.
How common is mesothelioma?
Although reported incidence rates have increased in the past 20 years, mesothelioma is still a relatively rare cancer. About 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women and risk increases with age, but this disease can appear in either men or women at any age.
What are the risk factors for mesothelioma?
Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. A history of asbestos exposure at work is reported in about 70 percent to 80 percent of all cases. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to
Asbestos is the name of a group of minerals that occur naturally as masses of strong, flexible fibers that can be separated into thin threads and woven. asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. If tiny asbestos particles float in the air, especially during the manufacturing process, they may be inhaled or swallowed, and can cause serious health problems. In addition to mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, asbestosis (a noncancerous, chronic lung ailment), and other cancers, such as those of the larynx and kidney.
Smoking does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma. However, the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure significantly increases a person's risk of developing cancer of the air passageways in the lung.
Who is at increased risk for developing mesothelioma?
asbestos has been mined and used commercially since the late 1800s. Its use greatly increased during World War II. Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos dust. Initially, the risks associated with asbestos exposure were not known. However, an increased risk of developing mesothelioma was later found among shipyard workers, people who work in asbestos. Today, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets limits for acceptable levels of asbestos exposure in the workplace. People who work with asbestos wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure.
The risk o f asbestosrelated disease increases with heavier exposure to asbestos and longer exposure time. However, some individuals with only brief exposures have developed mesothelioma On the other hand, not all workers who are heavily exposed develop asbestos-related diseases.
There is some evidence that family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos-related diseases. This risk may be the result of exposure to
asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of
asbestos workers. To reduce the chance of exposing family members to
asbestos fibers, asbestos workers are usually required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure to
asbestos Shortness of breath and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleura are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.
These symptoms may be caused by
mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions. It is important to see a doctor about any of these symptoms. Only a doctor can make a diagnosis
How is
mesotheliomadiagnosed?
Diagnosing mesothelioma is often difficult, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's medical history, including any history of asbestos exposure. A complete physical examination may be performed, including x-rays of the chest or abdomen and lung function tests. A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI may also be useful. A CT scan is a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. In an MRI, a powerful magnet linked to a computer is used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures are viewed on a monitor and can also be printed.
A biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma. In a biopsy, a surgeon or a medical oncologist (a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer) removes a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. A biopsy may be done in different ways, depending on where the abnormal area is located. If the
cancer is in the chest, the doctor may perform a thoracoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small cut through the chest wall and puts a thin, lighted tube called a thoracoscope into the chest between two ribs. Thoracoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the chest and obtain tissue samples. If the
cancer is in the abdomen, the doctor may perform a peritoneoscopy. To obtain tissue for examination, the doctor makes a small opening in the abdomen and inserts a special instrument called a peritoneoscope into the abdominal cavity. If these procedures do not yield enough tissue, more extensive diagnostic surgery may be necessary.
If the diagnosis is mesothelioma, the doctor will want to learn the stage (or extent) of the disease. Staging involves more tests in a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to which parts of the body. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the doctor plan treatment.
Mesothelioma is described as localized if the cancer is found only on the membrane surface where it originated. It is classified as advanced if it has spread beyond the original membrane surface to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, or abdominal organs.
How is
mesotheliomatreated?
Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the location of the
cancerthe stage of the disease, and the patient's age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined.
Surgery is a common treatment for
mesotheliomaThe doctor may remove part of the lining of the chest or abdomen and some of the tissue around it. For cancer of the pleura (pleural
mesotheliomaa lung may be removed in an operation called a pneumonectomy. Sometimes part of the diaphragm, the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing, is also removed.
Stereo Tactic Radiation Therapy also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy rays to kill
cancercells and shrink tumors Radiation therapy affects the
cancercells only in the treated area. The radiation may come from a machine (external radiation) or from putting materials that produce radiation through thin plastic tubes into the area where the
cancercells are found (internal radiation therapy).
Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Most drugs used to treat
mesotheliomaare given by injection into a vein (intravenous, or IV). Doctors are also studying the effectiveness of putting chemotherapy directly into the chest or abdomen (intracavitary chemotherapy).
To relieve symptoms and control pain, the doctor may use a needle or a thin tube to drain fluid that has built up in the chest or abdomen. The procedure for removing fluid from the chest is called thoracentesis. Removal of fluid from the abdomen is called paracentesis. Drugs may be given through a tube in the chest to prevent more fluid from accumulating. Radiation Therapy and surgery may also be helpful in relieving symptoms.
 

Marty --

I was at the Zelikow lecture (which was actually at the Magnolia Hotel in Houston, sponsored by the UH Law Center's Houston Journal of International Law)

It seems the link you provided to what I was hoping would be a transcript is now dead; any idea if it's still around anyplace?

JFF
 

Folks, when it comes to whether torture is un-Christian, don't listen to any Christian theologians, or the Vatican, or anyone like that.

No -- listen to Bart DePalma.
 

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