Monday, September 18, 2006

artifice or artfully said

Here's a short movie clip that captures the whole point of the torture debate.

I find it interesting that the pro-torture arguments tend to avoid acknowledging the power of other interrogation methods, labeled "soft" for their reliance on breaking the individual without torture.

I doubt anyone who ever went through a "soft" interrogation would describe the experience as pleasant.

And in this argument it doesn't matter that "soft" interrogation is more reliable. It is glossed over that to the extent that torture can break someone's will much faster, it is at the expense of reliable information. They tell you what they think you want to hear to end the suffering.

The assertions that "what if" we need immediate information to stop a plot are a bit disingenuous.

They whiff of television-drama.

In the real world, interrogation doesn't break up plots just seconds before they happen.

Surveillance, detective work and strong security break up imminent acts.

But then detective work is hardly a wedge issue that can be wordsmithed and spun to cling to a paper-thin margin of legislative control.

Such bad acts, such bad faith should be exposed and derided to its face.


At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Ed Hurtley said...

Yes, most of the "pro-torture" people come up with an argument that is only valid if we are 100% certain that the person in custody has knowledge. And often, even when the intelligence officer is convinced of this, it's simply not true.

For example, Bin Laden's driver. He almost guaranteed doesn't have any truly useful knowledge, yet he's being held. And what happens when a person doesn't have any useful knowledge, and is tortured? They give up FALSE information.

The U.S. military teaches this very thing! My college ROTC Colonel was taught to not give any information, unless tortured, and then, only give false (but not verifiably false,) info. Also allowed was out of date info. He was a POW, and that is exactly what happened. He was tortured, and he gave up old info (about attacks he knew had already happened,) and false info.

Prisoners who have been released have stated that when they were captured, they believed (from Al Qaeda propaganda) that Americans would do the most cruel and sadistic things to them. When they were treated decently, they were shocked. So much so, that some gave useful information!

Yet if we do torture, then it will just confirm the actual operatives fears, and harden them against us. And since many Al Qaeda operatives (including Bin Laden himself,) were trained by the CIA, they probably have training to give fake info when tortured.)

At 7:56 AM, Blogger Jeremy said...

Thanks for your addition, Ed.

Real stories and reason are all we have to hold on to.


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