Torture - ORC recants

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by OldRedCap, Apr 8, 2009.

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  1. In a past thread, I supported the use of torture as acceptable on the grounds that all avenues had to be explored when there was the risk - not necessarily imminent - of a major incident or infiltration of terrorism into a country or area. I was thinking of a quick couple of sessions with some limit as to when special treatment had to stop.
    However, in the light of this report, I see that the torture could be extended for long periods.I cannot see any benefit from this and do not want people to think I could support such totally inhuman conduct. If a guy cannot be broken in the short term, then that is it. Turning his life into what the report discloses is not at all acceptable.
    As if anyone cares what I think - yeah, I know but I just need to clarify and, maybe, bring this to wider knowledge.
  2. It takes a great deal of integrity to openly admit to this. Well done, mate. I may have to rethink my opinions of monkeys, now.

    Nah, you're still all bastards. :D
  3. Cheers for that. I remember that we disagreed somewhat on the subject in the thread you mentioned.
  4. My Bold.

    Out of interest how do you define short term? Also in refernce to your use of "guy", does your advocation of "short term" torture exclude women?
  5. Funny that. I was taught that 24 hours was the longest that torture was to be administered. After this time, any information "obtained" was either doubtful (what you want to hear) or or outdated. YMMV.
  6. I think one should give it up if a good team at it 24 hours should get things in 2 or 3 days. One should see signs as to whether or not it is working in that time.
    Guys is interchangeable with Dolls. Think back to WW2 or the Palestinian woman who was strong at the time of aircraft hijackings - Leila something. Also, I understood that agents were asked to hold out for just 24 hours of torture so as to give his cell time to get offside and after that he could talk.
  7. A link in the report takes you to this

    Well worth reading in full but there, in section 6, is a summary of how it all went wrong and just got worse and worse.

    "This pervasive and understandable concern, (i.e of setting free somebody who might turn out to be a terrorist) together with a lack of competent linguists and interrogators in the combat zone, led to a general policy of rounding up suspects that flooded Guantánamo with prisoners who simply should not have been there.

    Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired US Army colonel who at the time served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, confirms what other studies have shown: that because of "the utter incompetence of the battlefield vetting in Afghanistan" and "the incredible pressure coming down from Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and others to 'just get the bastards to the interrogators,'" many or even most of those detained "were innocent of any substantial wrongdoing, had little intelligence value, and should be immediately released."

    Colonel Wilkerson goes on:

    "Several in the US leadership became aware of this improper vetting very early on.... But to have admitted this reality would have been a black mark on their leadership from virtually day one of the so-called Global War on Terror and these leaders already had black marks enough: the dead in a field in Pennsylvania, in the ashes of the Pentagon, and in the ruins of the World Trade Towers. They were not about to admit to their further errors at Guantánamo Bay. Better to claim that everyone there was a hardcore terrorist, was of enduring intelligence value, and would return to jihad if released."

    These initial errors, and the adamant refusal to correct or admit them, led to an overwhelmed, inefficient, and fundamentally unjust US detention system, one that displayed for the world, in televised images of orange-suited, shackled, and hooded prisoners at Guantánamo, and later naked, grotesquely contorted, and abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib, a kind of continuing lurid recruitment poster for al-Qaeda—a dramatic visual confirmation and reaffirmation of the very claims of an evil, repressive, imperialistic United States that lay at the heart of its ideology. "

    The initial panicked rush to "round up prisoners," which was replicated in Iraq during the first months of the insurgency in the summer and fall of 2003, led to what Wilkerson calls an "ad hoc intelligence philosophy" developed to "justify keeping many of these people, called the mosaic philosophy."

    "Simply stated, this philosophy held that it did not matter if a detainee were innocent. Indeed, because he lived in Afghanistan and was captured on or near the battle area, he must know something of importance.... All that was necessary was to extract everything possible from him and others like him, assemble it all in a computer program, and then look for cross-connections and serendipitous incidentals—in short, to have sufficient information about a village, a region, or a group of individuals, that dots could be connected and terrorists or their plots could be identified.

    Thus, as many people as possible had to be kept in detention for as long as possible to allow this philosophy of intelligence gathering to work. The detainees' innocence was inconsequential."

    "One soon begins to see a pattern: among officials at the top, panic and fear and incompetence lead to a compensating, self-justifying desire to "do whatever's necessary" to prevent attacks and finally to a consequent injustice inflicted on the innocents at the bottom that is both persistent and politically damaging.

    Thus the movement from Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's call to "just get the bastards to the interrogators" to the overflow of innocent prisoners from Guantánamo to Abu Ghraib, innocents who rendered unworkable the very system that the "get tough" directives were meant to snap into effective action."
  8. Article quoted above includes "Simply stated, this philosophy held that it did not matter if a detainee were innocent. Indeed, because he lived in Afghanistan and was captured on or near the battle area, he must know something of importance....
    Very true. 71'ish 1 Para did a cordon & search in Markets area. On entering one house, they were met by terrified bloke who wasted no time telling them he was in the RAF "please do not hurt me!" He was deemed to be a prize of some value and was taken away in a little piggy that went to Hollywood Bks. He did not reappear for 5 or 6 weeks and was relocated. Never knew what if anything he gave up but Para SB were very active for a few weeks.