"Slow Roll Time At Langley"--The Gutting of US HUMINT

Discussion in 'US' started by Yank_Lurker, Apr 25, 2009.

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  1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/21/AR2009042102969.html

    Sad to say, it's slow roll time at Langley after the release of interrogation memos that, in the words of one veteran officer, "hit the agency like a car bomb in the driveway." President Obama promised CIA officers that they won't be prosecuted for carrying out lawful orders, but the people on the firing line don't believe him. They think the memos have opened a new season of investigation and retribution.
    The lesson for younger officers is obvious: Keep your head down. Duck the assignments that carry political risk. Stay away from a counterterrorism program that has become a career hazard.

    Sure am glad the adults are in charge on Pennsylvania Avenue. Ogabe claims that security of the American people is his #1 concern. My hairy white arrse.
  2. Welcome to the club. Anyway it's time you guys got back to Africccaaaa (as pronounced by Meryl Streep) that'll cheer him up.
  3. What, they're afraid that "ve vere only followink ze orders" won't be a legal defence for illegal actions? I wonder why?
  4. A) Water-boarding isn't illegal; considering we do it to our own military personnel in SERE trainign, it could hardly be considered "torture" Likewise, if sleep deprivation is criminal, I'd like to report a couple of Marine Sergeants I got to know rather intimately on Parris Island.

    B) If a terrorist attack occurs which could have been prevented through knowledge gained by enhanced interrogation, I do hope that you're killed in it.
  5. "Enhanced Interrogation". What a wonderful euphemism.

    Perhaps the world would be a better place if we stopped mincing our words and were confident enough to be accountable for our actions.

    While we're having fun with wordplay, perhaps you could point out which part of my comment explicitly condemns torture?

    I was merely pointing out that following lawful orders was no defence for those German soldiers prosecuted for war crimes post WW2, thus setting a precedent that undermines the President's promise.

    I don't approve of torture, partly because it is conducted in private and as such there is no evidence that it works. It certainly seems to divide the friendly population and anger the potential (note: not actual) opposition. It seems potentially counterproductive. That said, I'm not automatically against it either. I'm concerned that if you do it for a good reason then you'll do it for a bad reason. When it is deliberately hidden then it is no longer accountable.

    If it is controlled by people so paranoid that they wish death on people on the internet for minor reasons then:
    A) I'm really concerned.
    B) Said people are little better than those they oppose.
    C) Call me Wynne-Candy.
  6. AAGF


    Good points - I think it's the stunning hypocrisy that grates.

    Torture? Can't do it on mainland USA per The Constitution - offshore it - "vigorous interrogations".included.(and don't get found out) FFS!
  7. @yank-lurker - didn't the US prosecute Japanese personnel for using waterboarding on US soldiers in the aftermath of WW2?
  8. something tells me when some one sh1ts at his door, he might just have a re think
  9. Goodness, there's been some weak-kneed responses this far from our colonials. Interrogation, in any professional form is a requirement for democratic evolvement.
    If only those lessons on 'hunter force' control had been heeded eh ?
  10. I never heard anything like that, but I doubt it. Considering the Japanese did a whole hell of a lot worse than a little waterboarding, it probably wasn't high on the list. The atrocities that the Japanese carried out against the Chinese made even the Einsatzgruppen look tame in comparison. The US had much bigger fish to fry when it came to prosecuting Japanese war criminals.
  11. @gimme-shelter - in 1947 the Yokohama military tribunal sentenced Yukio Asano to 15 years hard labour for torturing POW's. Principle among the specifications was the use of waterboarding.

    It should also be noted that the founders of the SERE programme, who had been used as the source for torture techniques later used by the CIA, made clear their serious concerns about the efficacy of torture techniques such as waterboarding, given the liklihood of false information.

    I'm no weak-willed liberal, and I acknowledge that the "ticking-bomb" scenario may emerge rarely - but given the moral arguments against, and the experience of Israeli and US interrogators in successfully using "soft" forms of interrogation, I actually think that torture does more damage to us than any temporary good that we may benefit from.
  12. Oh Christ, is this coming up again. Look. People are subjected to *simulated* techniques on SERE or Combat Survival or RtoI or CAC training - call it what you want, depending on what colour suit you wear. This is *training* given to *volunteers* who can withdraw at any time.

    There's a wider issue here to do not just with waterboarding etc but also with conditions of detention and legal obligation.

    Waterboarding or otherwise torturing (yep, torturing, I said the T word) captured combatants may well gratify sexual inadequates who get off on hurting the helpless, but in terms of gaining information, it's inefficient, unreliable - and, if I might just interject a little note of pouffy idealism - it's *wrong*. Morally and ethically wrong. Oh, and it's also outlawed under the Geneva Convention - the US and UK are both signatories to the Third (1949) and the US chose not to ratify the Fourth (1977); notwithstanding that, there is no provision in either for a category of "illegal combatant" - if you're detained by the military forces of a state in conflict, you're either a POW or an alleged criminal, in which case you should be prosecuted under the jurisdiction of the detaining State - in this case probably under US Federal law, given that neither the Taliban nor AQ are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Can we all say "habeas corpus"?

    The last time I looked, we were keen to take the high ground here and win the battle of ideas with what we are assured is a wicked, competent and professional antagonist. Purely pragmatically, allowing ourselves to be smeared as torturers - and provide clear evidence of same - among a billion plus Muslims doesn't strike me as particularly bright, either.

    As usual, I'll declare an interest, here. I was in the UK Regular Army for a full career, during which I was both trained as and operated as an interrogator.
  13. Pretty sure that the Japanese in question were prosecuted for making prisoners drink large quantities of water which caused a lot of internal damage and was often fatal. That is not the same thing as the water boarding used by the US.
  14. If Pres. BHO releases the details of the techniques used, then he must state whether the techniques worked, or not.

    If it was right to describe the method, then it must be equally right to describe the result. Especially if people's lives were saved in cities such as Los Angeles.
    BHO has sown the debate; now he must reap the whirlwind.
  15. i doubt the whirlwind will go the way you hope, hence cheney trying to cover his ass. :wink: