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The Limitations of Interrogation

#1
The use of brutality and torture in interrogation by democracies in the face of terrorism is contentious, divisive and dangerous. Terrorists seek to undermine the people’s belief in the states’ ability to govern, so if democracies can be forced into using totalitarian measures, terrorists have succeeded in their aim.

More...
 
#2
The use of brutality and torture in interrogation by democracies in the face of terrorism is contentious, divisive and dangerous. Terrorists seek to undermine the people’s belief in the states’ ability to govern, so if democracies can be forced into using totalitarian measures, terrorists have succeeded in their aim.

More...
You are talking rubbish about something you have absolutely no qualifications nor training or experience to back it up with. What is YOUR experience of interrogations / interviews???

You are a journo. Now do one
 
#4
So, ex SBS, ex Falklands Vet, (if it's the same person and I strongly suspect it is) and he getting stressy over pouring water over someones head to cause them distress?? I see a pattern here. Practice it when your serving (coz our SF are total pussy cats aren't they?) and then, when no one wants to publish what you have to write (coz it's old hat) scream 'torture', 'inhumane treatment' and write a load of self serving bollox to justify it.

Hey, it pays a wage.

And yeah, still a ******* journo
 
#7
I see the 'Phil Shiner' effect here. There is a huge wad to be made in the 'Torture' / 'Inhumane Treatment' of DPs in IRQ and AFG. Looks like they are all crawling out the woodwork to get a bite!
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
well it could compete with that current american program to desensitise its troops to interogation from hostile elements. something I think they failed to learn from vietnam where they reprogrammed troops to hate and then found that it wasnt so easy to reset afterwards. ruined a lot of young lives that.

mcnab makes a big thing of being beaten and losing a few teeth, if they really wanted to now something they would have taken him apart with a chainsaw knuckle by knuckle or burnt holes in him like they did with the kurds, marsh arabs and generals too keen on advancement. 10 mins being waterboarded isnt pleasant but you know its going to end so I cant see the value of it.

I'd give the poster the benefit of the doubt as he isnt a bad sort and doesnt push his former rank around like some, shame his tv career died out as he was pretty good.
 
#9
10 mins being waterboarded isnt pleasant but you know its going to end so I cant see the value of it.
If the videos that are around are to be believed, then 10 seconds is too much.
The obvious problem with torture is that the subject may well tell you anything to make it stop. The British found that QCs made the best interrogators during the last war. The Germans found that some incredibly brave people were able to withstand the most appalling physical pain and still not divulge anything; for all that, understandably, many poor people did give way.
The Americans, and possibly the British, may have outsourced for these services. Who knows? Some one does but they're not telling - as yet.
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
I just had a thought, because I was involved in the Internment of all those nice Irish fellers some time ago should I try for compo because of the stress it caused me for inflicting unpleasent things to them,
 
#11
The use of brutality and torture in interrogation by democracies in the face of terrorism is contentious, divisive and dangerous. Terrorists seek to undermine the people’s belief in the states’ ability to govern, so if democracies can be forced into using totalitarian measures, terrorists have succeeded in their aim.

Urmm, Is this not the second thread started by yourself on the same issue... What are you on? A fishing expedition for some juicy quotes to use in your next book/newspaper article. "BRITISH MILITARY COMMUNITY FULLY SUPPORT TORTURE SHOCKER!!"

I for one am with ACAB on this, do one journo
 
#12
I`m with HM on this subject. For those who support torture, just how far do you propose to go? Why should we lower ourselves to the same depths as those of our enemies. For ACABs benefit I have no experience of torture, but that doesn't mean I cannot form an intelligent opinon. However I did know a couple of Germans, one ex Gestapo and one ex SS, who were able to tell me quite a bit about "obtaining information from uncooperative persons". To cut a long story short, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, the real problem is sorting the wheat from the chaff, and that frequently takes tool long.
 
#13
Urmm, Is this not the second thread started by yourself on the same issue... What are you on? A fishing expedition for some juicy quotes to use in your next book/newspaper article. "BRITISH MILITARY COMMUNITY FULLY SUPPORT TORTURE SHOCKER!!"

I for one am with ACAB on this, do one journo

It's certainly disappointing hearing all this from ex-military people.. but these aren't views worth quoting if that were my game (which it isn't). Unfortunately however they are the sort of views that the limp-wristed pinko journo types you keep telling me I am imagine some military people might have. Hence my disappointment. But as for what's my game - I'm ex-Army and just as entitled to be here as you. Unless of course you're the keeper of the regimental flame and I'm banned. In which case ram it - my opinions just as relevant as yours.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#14
Meanwhile British officials call Bush's claims bollocks:

British deny George Bush's claims that torture helped foil terror plots


British officials say there is no evidence that waterboarding saved lives of UK citizens, as Bush claimed in his memoirs


George Bush at a booksigning in Dallas, Texas. The British have contradicted the former US president's claims about torture helping to save lives in the UK. Photograph: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

British officials said today there was no evidence to support claims by George Bush, the former US president, that information extracted by "waterboarding" saved British lives by foiling attacks on Heathrow airport and Canary Wharf. In his memoirs, Bush said the practice – condemned by Downing Street as torture – was used in CIA interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the US.

He said Mohammed, below, was one of three al-Qaida suspects subjected to waterboarding. "Their interrogations helped break up plots to attack American diplomatic facilities abroad, Heathrow airport, and Canary Wharf in London, and multiple targets in the United States," he wrote.

It is not the first time information extracted from Mohammed has been claimed as helping to prevent al-Qaida attacks on British targets. Mohammed cited attacks on Heathrow, Big Ben and Canary Wharf in a list of 31 plots he described at Guantánamo Bay after he was subjected to waterboarding 183 times following his capture in Pakistan in March 2003. The Heathrow alert in fact happened a month before his arrest, with army tanks parked around the airport, in what was widely regarded as an overreaction.
British counter-terrorism officials distanced themselves from Bush's claims. They said Mohammed provided "extremely valuable" information which was passed on to security and intelligence agencies, but that it mainly related to al-Qaida's structure and was not known to have been extracted through torture. Eliza Manningham-Buller,head of MI5 at the time, said earlier this year that the government protested to the US over the torture of terror suspects, but that the Americans concealed Mohammed's waterboarding from Britain. Officials said today the US still had not officially told the British government about the conditions in which Mohammed was held.

Kim Howells, former chairman of the Commons intelligence and security committee and Labour foreign minister, told the BBC that, while he did not doubt the existence of plots, he doubted whether waterboarding provided information instrumental in preventing them coming to fruition.

David Davis, the Conservative former shadow home secretary, said: "For [Bush] to demonstrate the use of torture saved British lives he has to demonstrate you can't get information any other way." He added: "We know from Iraq that whenever brains rather than brutality was involved, you get better results." Davis pointed to claims made by one detainee, Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, after he was tortured that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida and that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, both of which have proved not to be true.

Bush also mentioned Abu Zubaydah, waterboarded after his capture in Pakistan in 2002. Zubaydah told his interrogators that al-Qaida had links with Saddam Hussein and that there was a plot to attack Washington with a "dirty bomb". Both claims are now recognised by the CIA to be false.

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC said that, by confessing to ordering torture, Bush risked prosecution. "George W Bush has confessed to ordering waterboarding, which in the view of almost all experts clearly passes the severe pain threshold in the definition of torture in international law."

Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty said: "After the atrocity of 9/11, the American president could have united the world against terrorism and towards the rule of law. Instead, president Bush led a great democracy into the swamp of lies, war and torture in freedom's name. Democracy can do better and, learning from the past, it will."

Syria maintained a discreet silence after Bush's revelation that he had considered a US attack on a suspected nuclear facility at Israel's request in 2007. The 2007 Israeli attack at al-Kibar on the Euphrates was and remains embarrassing for Syria, which is under investigation by the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. Satellite imagery showed that the remains were razed after the Israeli raid.

Diplomats said that Syria's silence was explained by its wish to avoid further deterioration in relations with the US at a time of renewed tensions over Lebanon which have set back hopes for a rapprochement under the Obama administration.

Iranian media reported the story but played down the fact that Bush had asked the Pentagon to study an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, focusing more on Syria and his comments on the war in Iraq. Bush's account is likely to be incorporated into the catalogue of Iranian charges against the US.
Bush wrote that the-then Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, asked him to bomb Syria in 2007, that he discussed the idea with senior officials but did not pursue it because "bombing of a sovereign state without warning or justification would greatly affect the prestige of the United States". But the following year US forces mounted a commando raid on Syria's border with Iraq against a man suspected of smuggling foreign fighters, killing at least eight people.

US intelligence reports have said the al-Kibar site was a nascent North Korean-designed reactor. Syria denies concealing nuclear work from inspectors.

Bush's account of the Syrian reactor affair is likely to confirm Arab views of intimate coordination between the US and Israel, even though he insisted that he had not given a disappointed Olmert a "green light" to carry out its own attack. Olmert called the site an "existential issue" for Israel — the same terminology it uses to describe Iran's nuclear ambitions.
 
#15
Just so there is no misunderstanding, Hugh's blogs are auto posted on here using an RSS feed. This is something we've done with his permission and because I thought they are quite interesting/likely to stimulate a bit of discussion. There is no suggestion that this is fishing for quotes or anything like that although he would probably quite like you to buy his new book on GW1!

Hope that clarifies things





Sent using Tapatalk from my android phone
 
#16
So, ex SBS, ex Falklands Vet, (if it's the same person and I strongly suspect it is) and he getting stressy over pouring water over someones head to cause them distress?? I see a pattern here. Practice it when your serving (coz our SF are total pussy cats aren't they?) and then, when no one wants to publish what you have to write (coz it's old hat) scream 'torture', 'inhumane treatment' and write a load of self serving bollox to justify it.

Hey, it pays a wage.

And yeah, still a ******* journo
**** me ACAB, your CV would need to be seriously impressive with your attitude. Go on......put it out there.

To my mind, the views of somebody with HMcM's history are worth reading........whether you agree with him is another matter, but he sure as **** has earned the right to have them.
 
#17
It's certainly disappointing hearing all this from ex-military people.. but these aren't views worth quoting if that were my game (which it isn't). Unfortunately however they are the sort of views that the limp-wristed pinko journo types you keep telling me I am imagine some military people might have. Hence my disappointment. But as for what's my game - I'm ex-Army and just as entitled to be here as you. Unless of course you're the keeper of the regimental flame and I'm banned. In which case ram it - my opinions just as relevant as yours.
Just out of interest, did you catch Leptospirosis in late 1982?
 
#19
Fortunately , this bloke is no longer around to be asked......
Greatly influenced by the French experience in the use of torture in Indo China and Algeria , he was also one of the "hawks" behind the Falklands invasion.

‘Conspirator, blackmailer, murderer’
By Andrew Graham-Yooll
For the Herald

Emilio Eduardo Massera, former Argentine admiral, was the most complex character of the three commanders who ruled Argentina in the 1970s in the most savage and cruel dictatorship in twentieth century Latin America. He was also the most perverse, a conspirator, blackmailer and murderer of his political captives at clandestine detention centres. He was nobody’s friend, he even sent members of his government to their death.

Marguerite Feitlowitz, a US academic who wrote A Lexicon of Terror (OUP 1998), described Massera as “the grand orator of the dictatorship... master of the majestic rhythm, learned tone, and utterly confounding, but captivating, message.” As a young man he had studied philology, and language was a life-long obsession. In one of his speeches as a member of government on “the infidelity of words to their meanings” in ideological warfare, he announced that, “the only safe words are our words,” which may sound surreal, but appeared to set the tone of his absolute intolerance of opponents.

Massera came from immigrant stock and entered the elite naval academy in 1942 to be catapulted into an upper class of Argentine business and landowners. These had always seen in the navy an ally against Peronism, ever since Juan Perón founded the party in 1945. In 1956, as a young officer, aged 31, a year after the overthrow of Perón, Massera was appointed to a lectureship at the naval college, where he returned to teach in 1971. However, his early anti-Peronism was to suffer some editing.

By the early seventies Massera was a rear-admiral planning his path to power. After the death of Perón in July 1974, in his third term in government, and as Argentina broke up into a series of political phobias, hatreds, obsessions and murders, which would lead to the “dirty war,” Massera ostentatiously supported Perón’s widow, María Estela Martínez Cartas de Perón, who had inherited the presidency. This apparent loyalty was rewarded with promotion to admiral on 23 August 1974, and he became naval commander-in-chief.

While still sympathetic to Mrs Perón, Massera became part of a conspiracy to install a military dictatorship with the aim of wiping out active urban guerrilla groups. From Mrs Perón he secured two laws which were later vital to the future dictatorship, a catch-all security law and another ordering the “annihilation” of the guerrillas. Massera’s duplicity worked in the two worlds of the terror state, one of public order, moral and religious righteousness, another that was clandestine, murderous with no moral restrictions whatsoever on the financial ambitions of its members.

While Massera espoused a hatred of the Peronist guerrillas whom he described as a Cold War threat from Marxism to the nation, he demanded that his union boss chum, metal workers’ leader Lorenzo Miguel, who died on 29 December 2002, should convince Mrs Perón to resign to save the constitutional system and prevent a coup. Miguel, whose life Massera later saved when he was captured by the army after the 1976 coup, refused on the grounds of his admiration for Juan Perón.

Massera played the double deal all the time. While he announced a crackdown on “subversives and speculators” on the black market, he would send a sailor in uniform to the Reuters building press centre to collect the rent for an apartment leased in US dollars to foreign correspondents as the admiral’s own little hedge against devaluation of the peso. He was greedy even for the small change.

He was prominent from day one in government after the military coup of 24 March 1976, and will be remembered for his most sinister creation, the torture and extermination centre set up at the NCO’s naval mechanical school (ESMA) in an elegant area of the capital. In that place of detention where hundreds, perhaps thousands of the “disappeared” people went to their deaths, he would lunch with his officers and discuss the list of victims. He took pride in “breaking” captives, and releasing a few of them with orders to tell the world they had been well treated. He also encouraged his officers to take women prisoners out as escorts to service dinners and parties, in a scene of control and betrayal reminiscent of Hitlerian rule. The looting of the homes of guerrilla captives, complete with removal vans, was encouraged, and considered as war booty, and the product of these nightly forays was stored at the mechanical school for resale and distribution of the cash.

One of his early and least-known actions was to order the murder in 1976 of general Omar Actis, then head of Argentina’s 1978 World Cup Committee, for which he blamed the Montoneros guerrillas. To suit Massera’s plans for power, he replaced Actis with a weak general, Antonio Merlo, who was dominated by his deputy, Rear-Admiral Carlos Lacoste, whose career took him to vice-president of FIFA. Admiral Massera then befriended the sinister Licio Gelli, leader of Italy’s P2 lodge, which operated an international network of influence-peddling and financial fraud.

Early in the dictatorship, Massera set up an “information centre” in Paris intended to trap exiled guerrillas and their agents. The centre used former captives who had “turned” under torture to betray their fellow activists. When a diplomat at the Argentine Embassy in Paris, Elena Holmberg, aged 47, the niece of former president Alejandro Lanusse, discovered that the aim of the “information centre” involved a web of corruption and murder, she returned to Buenos Aires to report the anomaly to the junta president, General Jorge Videla, by then involved in a bitter feud with his navy colleague. Massera had Holmberg murdered on 20 December, 1978.

A year before, another diplomat, the Argentine ambassador to Venezuela, Héctor Hidalgo Sol, suspicious of naval visitors in Caracas who were a source of pressure and embarrassment, returned to report this in Buenos Aires and was murdered on orders from Massera on 18 July, 1977.

Two other cases of murder, of businessman Fernando Branca and advertising executive Marcelo Dupont, were attributed to Massera in a case of blackmail and extortion by the naval chief.

Massera always declared himself a true anti-Communist. In 1977 he praised the late Nicaraguan dictator, Anastasio Somoza, as a “custodian of the spirit of the West”, and called Paraguay’s dictator, Alfredo Stroessner, a ‘true democrat‘. And with the dictators of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, Massera was the driving force of the Condor Plan, set up to co-ordinate action against political enemies in the hemisphere.

When the Junta, badly split by service rivalries, made way for a succeeding junta in 1979, Massera used the backing of an unexplained fortune, which included an interesting collection of art at his offices on the city centre Cerrito street, to form his own Party for Social Democracy, and financed a newspaper to represent the navy’s political line, Convicción (which was printed on the presses of Jacobo Timerman’s closed and expropriated La Opinión).

Massera’s come-uppance came in 1985, when a federal court, set up by the constitutional government of Raúl Alfonsín, found him and the junta members guilty of crimes against humanity, sentenced him to life in prison, and stripped him and general Videla of their rank and pension (by the way, that did not affect the late general Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri, he of Falklands invasion fame). Massera was pardoned by former president Carlos Menem in 1990, on the grounds that he could not govern a country with political prisoners inherited from the past.

Although Massera appeared to escape punishment, on 28 March 1996, a federal court put him under house arrest on charges of murder and the theft of the babies of pregnant political captives who were killed after giving birth. The arrest followed a request for his extradition to Spain on charges of murder filed by Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón. From then on Massera was under house arrest, regularly summoned to testify on dozens of cases in local courts, but breaking his detention order and seen out shopping or dining on more than one occasion. On Thursday, 12 December, 2002, he entered hospital after a stroke. Unconscious, he was put on a respirator. In 2005, a federal judge declared him unfit to face trial. His wife took him home, where he remained, allegedly bedridden.

Emilio Eduardo Massera, former dictator and navy admiral in Argentina. Born 19 October 1925, in Buenos Aires. Married Delia E. Vieyra, 1956. Two sons, Eduardo Enrique and Emilio Esteban. Died in Buenos Aires, 8 November 2010.
 
#20
Thanks for the medical enquiry Western. I was quite healthy throughout 1982, despite in September being posted from Poole to the 5th floor of the MoD to work for a chap called Stanier. Although at that time keen for new experiences, I never managed Leptospirosis - or Leishmaniasis.
I was on the Jungle Warfare Course that year and a strange RA Para Commando type, recently ex Falklands went down with it quite theatrically during a Platoon Attack, (never to be seen again) anyone you knew?
 

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