G1223, on May 11 2007, 06:59 PM, said:
Note the last thread on this topic had people presenting info where the only way to get these suspects to talk was to befriend them and they apparently would talk
That wasn't "people." That was a guy who was an expert on torture (emphasis is his, in all cases):
During the latter days of the Cold War and the quite warm days of the first Gulf War, I served in the United States Army as an Interrogator (MOS 97E). As a graduate of the Interrogation program at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School, Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, I received comprehensive training on acceptable interrogation techniques, as well as training in adherence to the Geneva Conventions
But it's not that training that produced my firm conviction that torture and "coercive interrogation techniques" are ineffective intelligence gathering techniques. It is my experience using such techniques myself, as an instructor in resistance to interrogation.
Working with US and NATO troops as part of a program called "Survival Evasion Resistance Escape" (SERE), I used these techniques on our own and allied troops. SERE training prepares soldiers, airmen, and commandos most likely to be captured for a worst-case scenario. It helps them learn how to avoid jeopardizing missions (and the lives of their brothers in arms) by resisting abusive treatment and harsh interrogations.
As a quid pro quo for providing this training, the interrogators involved were also allowed to hone their own skills, using doctrinally-approved interrogation techniques as well. Even when working with such elite troops as the US Special Forces and the British SAS, we found that the standard interrogation techniques found in the US Army Field Manual 34-52 were far more effective than such abusive behavior as stress positions, sensory deprivation, and humiliation. We obtained more information and more reliable information with our basic skills than we did with even days of harsh treatment.
As an interrogator, it was also critical to keep in mind the reliability of the information being obtained from a source. When the subject was convinced (or even tricked) into cooperating, the intelligence gathered proved to be reliable. On the other hand, it quickly became evident, even in my early days of resistance training, that when subjected to harsh treatment, the tendency is indeed to say whatever the subject believes will make the abuse stop. And that, I learned, is generally not the truth.
And another, titled "Effective interrogation without torture 101 from retired Army Colonel Stuart Herrington."
SH: I think the first piece of advice for anyone who really wants to understand interrogation is to zero out and ignore virtually everything that they've ever seen on either television or in Hollywood movies, because that's not interrogation as we know it, as professional interrogators, at all.
HH: And Colonel, how many interrogations have you conducted?
SH: I couldn't begin to count, but between my service in Vietnam, my interrogation centers that I ran in Panama, another one in Desert Storm, and my current job where I do a lot of interrogation and debriefing, it's in the thousands.
HH: All right. And you've trained a lot of the current American military interrogators who are deployed around the world as well. From the time you began in this human and counterintelligence business to today, how much of the techniques changed as to effective interrogation?
SH: Well, we thought we had it pretty well on track, and that there was a consensus in the discipline that interrogation is a very professionally demanding discipline that requires an understanding of human nature, and essentially how to outsmart and outfox a source who has information that he really doesn't want to tell you, but it's your job to get it. And I'd thought for some time that we had a good consensus on that until the Iraq thing came along, and something happened, and people took a wrong turn at the intersection, if you will.
This is from the Congressional Record of 12/14/05 (and it's pretty succinct):
We have a legal and moral and ethical obligation to uphold the values of the Geneva Convention and the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
Furthermore, torture, cruelty and abuse are not effective methods of interrogation. Torture may not yield reliable actionable information and can lead to false confessions. And we have an example of that not long ago, prior to the war.
Torture may not yield information quickly. Torture does not advance our goals. It does not help us win the hearts and minds of people it is used against. It did not aid the cause of the Soviets in Afghanistan and the French in Algeria.
Torture has a corrupting effect on the perpetrators. It has rarely been confined to narrow conditions. Once used and condoned, it easily becomes widespread. The same practices found their way from Guantanamo to Afghanistan to Iraq.
Torture is not only used against the guilty; it often leads to unintentional abuse of the innocent. We cannot torture and still retain the moral high ground.
Torture endangers U.S. service members who might be captured by the enemy. Torture brings discredit upon the United States.
There can be no waiver for the use of torture. No torture and no exceptions.
I know you said you weren't going to rehash why torture doesn't work Gode, but since G keeps dropping that strawman into conversations, it seemed appropriate.
Edited by Rhea, 11 May 2007 - 11:13 PM.