There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Chilling Effect on U.S. Counterterrorism

Instapundit links to a Stratfor post concerning the recent release of memos detailing CIA "enhanced interrogation techniques".

Over at Knight's Castle Glenn Knight has been posting on the 'torture debate' and I left a comment concerning a Slate article Glenn linked to.

My position: I have no trouble with the techniques the U.S. used to get information from these prisoners and the release of these memos was a terrible and stupid idea. It's in keeping with the current administration's policy of trying to separate itself from just about all of previous American history and it will do us harm in both the short and long term.

1 comment:

Glenn Knight said...

It won't come as a surprise, Agim, that I disagree. I could take a number of positions here. I note that the authors of the Stratfor article say something like "moral and legal issues aside." That's sort of ignoring the elephant in the room, isn't it?

But let's leave moral and philosophical issues aside, and look at one point: Does torture work? The answer is clearly negative. Under torture, prisoners tend to do one of two things. Either they shut down, roll into the fetal position, stop talking altogether, and show symptoms of psychological illness, at which point they are useless as sources, or they lie. They make things up. They say things that cannot be corroborated. They say something one day and recant it the next.

It is also pretty clear that in many of the cases of interrogation using torture in both Afghanistan and Guantanamo, that the subjects had been out of circulation so long that they could not have had any useful information.

That is aside from the fact that over half of the detainees in Guantanamo were not terrorists, knew nothing about terrorism, and were picked up through the incompetence of the U.S. military and the CIA.

Read The Dark Side by Jane Mayer.