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Thread: Torture isn't just morally sick, it's also ineffective and counter productive

  1. #1
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Oct 2005

    Default Torture isn't just morally sick, it's also ineffective and counter productive

    A man using the pseudonym Matthew Alexander has written a truly remarkable op-ed for the Washington Post discussing effective interrogation of enemy combatants -- which most decidedly does not include torture:

    I refused to participate in such practices, and a month later, I extended that prohibition to the team of interrogators I was assigned to lead. I taught the members of my unit a new methodology -- one based on building rapport with suspects, showing cultural understanding and using good old-fashioned brainpower to tease out information. I personally conducted more than 300 interrogations, and I supervised more than 1,000. The methods my team used are not classified (they're listed in the unclassified Field Manual), but the way we used them was, I like to think, unique. We got to know our enemies, we learned to negotiate with them, and we adapted criminal investigative techniques to our work (something that the Field Manual permits, under the concept of "ruses and trickery"). It worked. Our efforts started a chain of successes that ultimately led to Zarqawi.

    Over the course of this renaissance in interrogation tactics, our attitudes changed. We no longer saw our prisoners as the stereotypical al-Qaeda evildoers we had been repeatedly briefed to expect; we saw them as Sunni Iraqis, often family men protecting themselves from Shiite militias and trying to ensure that their fellow Sunnis would still have some access to wealth and power in the new Iraq. Most surprisingly, they turned out to despise al-Qaeda in Iraq as much as they despised us, but Zarqawi and his thugs were willing to provide them with arms and money. I pointed this out to Gen. George Casey, the former top U.S. commander in Iraq, when he visited my prison in the summer of 2006. He did not respond.

    Perhaps he should have. It turns out that my team was right to think that many disgruntled Sunnis could be peeled away from Zarqawi. A year later, Gen. David Petraeus helped boost the so-called Anbar Awakening, in which tens of thousands of Sunnis turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq and signed up with U.S. forces, cutting violence in the country dramatically.

    Our new interrogation methods led to one of the war's biggest breakthroughs: We convinced one of Zarqawi's associates to give up the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader's location. On June 8, 2006, U.S. warplanes dropped two 500-pound bombs on a house where Zarqawi was meeting with other insurgent leaders.

    If the moral argument cannot persuade the defenders of torture, then perhaps the practical one will. "Alexander" has written a book on the subject that I'm ordering today.Crooks and Liars
    Uh, yeah, thanks George, for visiting this shit on our country. You suck. Huge wads.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

  2. #2
    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    Dec 2005


    I hope they do shift away from these ridiculous outdated ideas about obtaining information and get with the program, even if for nothing else but "our" own safety. TALKING to them is exactly what you what to do, and they can't speak when they are filled with water.

    I would go further and say they should have a psychologist working alongside every interrogator. It would benefit national security and science. Furthermore, it would create jobs and an educated people. And so on down the road. It'd probably save money in the short and/or long term not spending money on weaponry, and preventing terrorism in the future.

    The government should also CAPTURE, NOT KILL each leader and after convicting them by law, psychoanalyze the hell out of them. We can LEARN from them to better protect ourselves in the future. Think of Bin Laden -- He'd have nothing better to do in prison but talk. Besides, every day that he lives is another day without the 40 virgins or whatever.

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