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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:35 AM
Original message
Someone has to point this out
I keep reading that the tortures were done at the behest of military intelligence, to "soften the prisoners up" for interrogation.

I know for a fact that our interrogators are trained to not use torture as a means of preparing prisoners. It's drummed into their heads. It's in all their manuals. They paint it on the wall of their barracks.

And it's not just because it's immoral. It's not because it's illegal. (Okay, there is that, but even if it was completely allowed we'd still teach our interrogators not to do it.) It's because it doesn't work.

Here's a picture of our old flame Lynndie...



You can probably figure out what's going through the Iraqi's mind right now: Put me on a leash like a dog, will you? I'll get your ass.

Oh, he'll talk all right. He'll give us the kind of information we need either to send a tank battalion screaming across the fucking desert on a wild goose chase, burning up 30 sets of expensive tracks and a shitload of Halliburton fuel to go take out one guy and three goats, or to send an infantry column between two Iraqi Special Republican Guard battalions who will proceed to blow the living shit out of three or four hundred guys.

In the manual on setting up prisoner-of-war camps, MPs run the prisoner confinement area and MI runs the prisoner interrogation group, and MI assumes the MPs know how to do it. This has been proven false time and time again, and hopefully MI will get it through their thick heads that the MPs don't know how to do this.
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. I am so ashamed for women and what this one woman has done for
us all. These pictures of Lyndie, knowing a woman was "in charge" of the whole prison system. It is just almost too much to bear.

I am just so ashamed. How could we possible have raised women that would do this? No matter what social strata you were brought up in, are we not better than this? I would just die if I was this woman's mother, I would just die!
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. If it was drilled into the intelligence people...
... then why did it happen? Orders from above, or failure to obey orders? It can't be denied that it happened, so there must be a reason why.

Drill doesn't instill respect for other human beings. It instills the desire to respond to orders without thinking.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. The torturers were MPs not MI
It is my experience that if the MI unit doesn't own its MP element, the MPs will do any damn thing they feel like, including not showing up at all.

In this case, it looks like the MP unit is full of freepers. You know the freepers are looking at those photos thinking, "how come I never get to do fun stuff like that?"

This aberration is also far, far outside doctrine--MPs are supposed to be security forces, and ONLY security forces, at PW camps because they're not trained to handle prisoners. Find me an MP who speaks Arabic. If you can, his name's probably Muhammad or Tariq or something similar. Interrogators who handle Arabic missions all speak Arabic at some level of comprehension; the Army pays the big bucks to ensure they can.
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Here's Sy Hersh's take on...
... the argument you present:

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040510fa_fact


If what Hersh is saying in this article is true (and if, as he said on O'Reilly last night, it's going to get much worse), then the spooks, CIA, DIA and the contractor interrogators are in charge.
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Devils Advocate NZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:26 AM
Response to Original message
3. Of course torture works! Wherever did you get the idea it didn't?
Edited on Thu May-06-04 05:26 AM by Devils Advocate NZ
If torture didn't work, people wouldn't have been doing it over thousands of years. Why do you think "operational security" is so important in the military? It is because captured soldiers could be tortured and thus reveal everything they know.

There is only one place torture doesn't work, and that is in law enforcement, because the motives behind it are different. In military settings, you are trying to get them to tell you something you don't know, where as in law enforcement settings, you are trying to get them to confirm something you think you DO know.

The difference is subtle, but is still quite profound. In both cases the victim is trying to tell the interrogator what they think the interrogator wants to hear, but in the former, the interrogator DOESN'T implant the desired result.

In other words, if I electrocute you, and tell you to confess, you will confess. If I electrocute you and tell you to tell me where the tanks are, you will tell me where the tanks are.

Of course, if there is any doubt whatsoever about the information gained, you simply confirm it by torturing someone else who should know. If they say the same thing, it is true. If they say something different then one of them is lying.

Torture doesn't happen in a vacuum - it is coordinated and confirmed as each item is revealed - tell a lie, suffering goes up. Tell the truth and the suffering eases.

Torture works alright, it is immoral and illegal, but it works.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Timeliness
Edited on Thu May-06-04 05:59 AM by teryang
After a relatively short amount of time, measured in hours, the tactical value of the information obtained, even if true, is zero. I question the responsiveness and coordination necessary to make torture a viable military technique. Even the most organized and sophisticated enemy has difficulty with that formula. The communications and the responsiveness just isn't assembled and ready to go in such a fortuitous situation. The relationship between time and the value of the information is inverse. There are more effective ways to gain intelligence. Other forms of coercion like extortion are more effective. Threatening or demonstrating torture or murder of others is more effective to extract information.

Torture is altogether more effective against a resourceless enemy like impoverished peasants. In cases where it is effective the outcome is commonly death. In this case, it is a political tool rather than a tactical technique. The proponent already knows its objective, to destroy the will of the non-compliant. It is just looking for a reason to discriminate among a virtually limitless list of targets. Its arbitrariness is irrelevant as long as the political label is published.

Most of the assumed value of torture is in the minds of the proponents who have a deep psychological or political need to dominate their victim. Obviously, there are situations in which it works but Americans are not effective practitioners, although they can injure and kill their victims like anyone else. They are most effective politically when they encourage torture by proxy.
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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 03:43 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Thank you for that analysis.
It's purpose does seem more to promote terror than to get information, and as you say, any info would be tactically useless by the time they got it anyway. In this BBC story, this guy was imprisoned for no reason, and then tortured because he got in a fight. This is terror.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/3689371....
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Devils Advocate NZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. That is a different form of torture...
That is the "make an example" form used to gain cooperation from others.

Then there is the "break the will" form like that shown in the photographs from Iraq. No questioning is done, it is used just to soften up the victim so the "good cop" routine can work when the friendly interrogator comes in and offers to relieve all the pain and suffering but he needs "you to help me help you" by sharing a bit of information.

These are all standard torture tactics. Shit, every soldier is taught how to resist such torture, even if only for a little while. They are taught that they WILL eventually succumb to the torture (everyone does) but if they can hold off long enough any tactical information they may have would become stale.

However, it does work, and some information WILL be gained by its use.

The point is, a US soldier may be able to resist, but an untrained, and often poorly educated "insurgent" probably wouldn't. All he has to do is name ONE name, and the process can continue until ALL the names have been found.
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Devils Advocate NZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Tactical - maybe, but how about strategic?
After a relatively short amount of time, measured in hours, the tactical value of the information obtained, even if true, is zero.

By gathering information from enough sources a complete picture of enemy intentions is capable of being pieced together. Where someone was can tell you a lot about where they are going, even if they are not there anymore.

Tell me, if torture can not get anything worthwhile, why question them at all? I mean come on, it is pretty obvious isn't it?

Threatening or demonstrating torture or murder of others is more effective to extract information.

So torture IS effective? Make up your mind :-)

Most of the assumed value of torture is in the minds of the proponents who have a deep psychological or political need to dominate their victim. Obviously, there are situations in which it works but Americans are not effective practitioners, although they can injure and kill their victims like anyone else. They are most effective politically when they encourage torture by proxy.

Bollocks! The US is just as effective at torturing people as anyone - perhaps even more so. That old "torture doesn't work" crap is simply what they tell you to cover up the fact that they do it. "We don't torture people, it doesn't work" Yeah, OK, I believe you :eyes:

Hell, the School of the Americas is basically formed around teaching proxy forces how to torture people - if the US doesn't "do" torture, how can they teach it?

Once again, US propaganda does NOT match up to US reality - too bad even people who should know better fall for it.
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chookie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. Looking back at all those 2002 "Terra Alerts"
Boy -- remember how they were warning us all to get ready for imminent death every couple of weeks during 2002?

And where were all of those warnings coming out of? Interrogations.

NONE of it was reliable.

Many of us were trying to figure out at the time why all these wacky alerts were coming out. I think we can speculate cautiously that some of this wacky intelligence from detainees was obtained under torture.

If not torture at the hands of Americans, then torture at the hands of agents working for America, as, prior to Guantanamo getting a KBR facelift, the US was sending detainees to Morocco, Egypt, etc -- countries that utilize torture in interrogations. Of the practice, an "unnamed top adminstration official) said -- "Let's just say that they can be, uh, pretty persuasive."

Geez -- it may well turn out to be that all of those TERRA! TERRA TERRA! alerts we were subjected to came out of the mouths of people who would say anything to make their tormentors stop. Sure explains all the crazy things they were claiming was going to happen.

I don't know -- maybe in the weeks following Sept 11, people were so angry and horrified that they felt they needed to use torture to get subjects to talk in order to find the perpetrators, but it seems that this justification morphed into the use of torture just because we could get away with it.

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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-07-04 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. same thing occurred to me while listening to rummy today....


OUR Military beating and raping POWs, many of whom were innocents...and every once in a while...in horrible pain, a POW would 'sing a song' about some upcoming terror event...just to make the pain stop....

it's been real clear throughout these congressional hearings that bush* DEMANDED that WMD be found, no matter what it took...that's why rummy and wolfowitz PERSONNALLY supervised the progress at the prison, appearing there regularly to make inspections...

all of it under bush* desparate directions to get those WMD....non-existance WMD....LIES, so many LIES...and now, the BIG BLOWBACK right back onto bush*
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