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#1 I have that feeling of being tortured for the last four years and anticipate it for the next four years--may 16.
Posted by JohnQC 2013-02-01 10:49||
#2 From the Slate (!) article:
"12. If you refuse to exploit prisoners, you'll end up killing your enemies instead. All three panelists trashed the Obama-era conceit that we're a better country because we've scrapped the interrogation program. What we've really done, they argued, is replace interrogations with drone strikes. "We have made it so legally difficult and so politically dangerous to capture," said Hayden, "that it seems, from the outside looking in, that the default option is to take the terrorists off the battlefield in another sort of way." Rizzo agreed, and he paraphrased The Godfather to suggest that the new policy is bloody and stupid: "You can't kill everybody."*
13. Face the dilemma. The panelists welcomed moral debate about EITs but scorned the delusion that these methods hadn't produced vital information. Candor about the cost of your principles, they argued, is a basic rule of moral health. "We need to be honest with ourselves," said Rodriguez."
Interesting article on a panel discussion including Michael Hayden.
Posted by KBK 2013-02-01 11:42||
#3 Setting aside moral arguments - which are important IMO. The main practical argument against torture is that it will just make the enemy smarter and more determined - if they know torture is definitely going to happen in captivity ... then they will be sure to kill themselves during their attack or blow themselves up afterwards. i.e. "save the last bullet for yourself". It's dumb to get captured if you know you're facing painful torture. The main practical argument in favor is that it gives interrogators extra leverage - another tool to use. But it's just one tool.
If you read the old books by SAS commandos - back when they occasionally wrote stories about their experiences in Iraq - they will tell you that pain was not their biggest problem in captivity. Their biggest problem was highly skilled interrogators who really knew how to ask hard questions in a repetitive and grueling way. It's a long-term method of applying psychological pressure on prisoners - but very effective. The Chinese are good at it.
Torture is for yard apes. But there are plenty of apes on the planet.
Posted by Raider 2013-02-01 12:33||