George Washington’s Blog
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A recent poll showed that 44% of Americans support torture on “terrorist suspects”.
Why so many?
A key architect of America’s torture program, Doug Feith, testified under oath to Congress today that torture is necessary because – otherwise – we couldn’t get any information out of the “bad guys”. Several Congress people agreed.
Why do any Congress people support this argument?
Because many people mistakenly assume that torture works, and is thus a necessary evil.
Let’s put aside questions of morality, humanity, and legality . . . Let’s just focus on one question: does torture work?
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In fact, the professional FBI, CIA and army interrogators all say no.
They say that people will say anything to stop the pain . . . specifically, they’ll say what they think the torturer wants to hear. Moreover, they say that the way to actually get useful information about of prisoners — including information helpful to stopping future terrorist attacks — is to build trust and rapport with them, or to outsmart them in ongoing conversations.
See for yourself:
“Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.”
Still don’t believe it? These people also say torture doesn’t produce usable intelligence:
Torture is certainly immoral, inhumane, and an illegal war crime. However, until people realize that it doesn’t work, it will not stop, and those responsible will not be held accountable.
This article was posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 3:56 am