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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:11 AM
Original message
Need help proving that torture DOES NOT work!
Sadly even some Democrats believe that torture techniques is necessary to keep us safe. Are there official reports or statistics that demonstrate why torture does not work? Obviously if you have to torture someone over 200 times, it's not working, but I need official government documents or reports.

Can anyone help?

Thanks,

LS71
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. Zubaydah talked right up to his torture. And then he clammed up.
Legal techniques got good information. Torture got false confessions.

I posted a thread yesterday on this:


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
2. Wash Post: The Torture Myth
...

By contrast, it is easy to find experienced U.S. officers who argue precisely the opposite. Meet, for example, retired Air Force Col. John Rothrock, who, as a young captain, headed a combat interrogation team in Vietnam. More than once he was faced with a ticking time-bomb scenario: a captured Vietcong guerrilla who knew of plans to kill Americans. What was done in such cases was "not nice," he says. "But we did not physically abuse them." Rothrock used psychology, the shock of capture and of the unexpected. Once, he let a prisoner see a wounded comrade die. Yet -- as he remembers saying to the "desperate and honorable officers" who wanted him to move faster -- "if I take a Bunsen burner to the guy's genitals, he's going to tell you just about anything," which would be pointless. Rothrock, who is no squishy liberal, says that he doesn't know "any professional intelligence officers of my generation who would think this is a good idea."

Or listen to Army Col. Stuart Herrington, a military intelligence specialist who conducted interrogations in Vietnam, Panama and Iraq during Desert Storm, and who was sent by the Pentagon in 2003 -- long before Abu Ghraib -- to assess interrogations in Iraq. Aside from its immorality and its illegality, says Herrington, torture is simply "not a good way to get information." In his experience, nine out of 10 people can be persuaded to talk with no "stress methods" at all, let alone cruel and unusual ones. Asked whether that would be true of religiously motivated fanatics, he says that the "batting average" might be lower: "perhaps six out of ten." And if you beat up the remaining four? "They'll just tell you anything to get you to stop."

...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2302-200...
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. A NY Times article - re earlier SERE program

In Adopting Harsh Tactics, No Inquiry Into Their Past Use
By SCOTT SHANE and MARK MAZZETTI
Published: April 21, 2009

-snip

Overwhelmed with reports of potential threats and anguished that the agency had failed to stop the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Tenet and his top aides did not probe deeply into the prescription Dr. Mitchell so confidently presented: using the SERE tactics on Qaeda prisoners.

A little research on the origin of those methods would have given reason for doubt. Government studies in the 1950s found that Chinese Communist interrogators had produced false confessions from captured American pilots not with some kind of sinister brainwashing but with crude tactics: shackling the Americans to force them to stand for hours, keeping them in cold cells, disrupting their sleep and limiting access to food and hygiene.

The Communists do not look upon these assaults as torture, one 1956 study concluded. But all of them produce great discomfort, and lead to serious disturbances of many bodily processes; there is no reason to differentiate them from any other form of torture.

Worse, the study found that under such abusive treatment, a prisoner became malleable and suggestible, and in some instances he may confabulate.

In late 2001, about a half-dozen SERE trainers, according to a report released Tuesday night by the Senate Armed Services Committee, began raising stark warning about plans by both the military and the C.I.A. to use the SERE methods in interrogations.

In December 2001, Lt. Col. Daniel J. Baumgartner of the Air Force, who oversaw SERE training, cautioned in one memo that physical pressure was less reliable than other interrogation methods, could backfire by increasing a prisoners resistance and would have an intolerable public and political backlash when discovered. But his memo went to the Defense Department, not the C.I.A.


You should read the entire article.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/22/us/politics/22detain....

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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
4. Robert Fisk: Torture does not work, as history shows
...

As usual, the podest a city official was the interrogator, who regarded external evidence as providing mere clues of guilt. Europe was then still governed by Roman law which required confessions in order to convict. As Grafton describes horrifyingly, once the prisoner's answers no longer satisfied the podest, the torturer tied the man's or woman's arms behind their back and the prisoner would then be lifted by a pulley, agonisingly, towards the ceiling. "Then, on orders of the podest, the torturer would make the accused 'jump' or 'dance' pulling him or her up, then releasing the rope, dislocating limbs and inflicting stunning pain."

When a member of one of the Trent Jewish families, Samuel, asked the podest where he had heard that Jews needed Christian blood, the interrogator replied and all this while, it should be remembered, Samuel was dangling in the air on the pulley that he had heard it from other Jews. Samuel said that he was being tortured unjustly. "The truth, the truth!" the podest shouted, and Samuel was made to "jump" up to eight feet, telling his interrogator: "God the Helper and truth help me." After 40 minutes, he was returned to prison.

Once broken, the Jewish prisoners, of course, confessed. After another torture session, Samuel named a fellow Jew. Further sessions of torture finally broke him and he invented the Jewish ritual murder plot and named others guilty of this non-existent crime. Two tortured women managed to exonerate children but eventually, in Grafton's words, "they implicated loved ones, friends and members of other Jewish communities". Thus did torture force innocent civilians to confess to fantastical crimes. Oxford historian Lyndal Roper found that the tortured eventually accepted the view that they were guilty.

Grafton's conclusion is unanswerable. Torture does not obtain truth. It will make most ordinary people say anything the torturer wants. Why, who knows if the men under the CIA's "waterboarding" did not confess that they could fly to meet the devil. And who knows if the CIA did not end up believing him.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/...

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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
5. WWII interrogators went on record for WPost saying they got better info treating prisoners well:
Edited on Wed Apr-22-09 09:08 AM by KittyWampus
Now, a group of leading World War II interrogators have broken their silence and confirmed that torture is not needed. As quoted in the Washington Post:

"We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture," said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.

Hess was one of the most important people to interrogate, and the U.S. government sent a mild-manner physicist to play chess with him to get information.

"During the many interrogations, I never laid hands on anyone," said George Frenkel, 87, of Kensington. "We extracted information in a battle of the wits. I'm proud to say I never compromised my humanity."

Indeed, successful interrogation is a battle of wits and treating the detainee with humanity is one of the cardinal principals in successful interrogation. Torture actually interferes with that process.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

For an exhaustive list of links to experts quotations on torture not working:

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2008/07/torture-d...
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
6. Depends on the questions you are asking
Do you want a confession? Then any idiot with a pair of channellocks can get a confession to anything. What you want is the real intel. Without torture ask a question to which you already know the answer. Get an answer. If true, keep asking questions. If not true, grab said channellocks. Make sure the prisoner does not know what you know. Use torture when the guy clams up or lies. Eventually, 90% break and give you what you want.

So it is a myth that torture does not work. Ask Andy McNab. Ask John McCain. Remember the information v. confession difference.
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
7. I don't think you're going to get proof...
Depending on the "subject" and the type of information you want, it may be effective. I would think the question would be "Does torture ever work when all other interrogation methods fail?"
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
8. doesn't matter, it's illegal...against the law....punishable
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
9. It works if you want FALSE confessions
That has historically been it's time honored use. That's why it has been used to get witches to confess, get Gallileo to reject a heliocentric universe, etc., etc. It does NOT WORK for the purpose of obtaining usable, reliable information.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
10. Long List of Experts (including Army Manual) Saying Torture Doesn't Work
Let's put aside questions of morality, humanity, and legality . . . Let's just focus on one question: does torture work?

In fact, the professional FBI, CIA and army interrogators all say no.

They say that people will say anything to stop the pain . . . specifically, they'll say what they think the torturer wants to hear. Moreover, they say that the way to actually get useful information about of prisoners -- including information helpful to stopping future terrorist attacks -- is to build trust and rapport with them, or to outsmart them in ongoing conversations.

See for yourself:

* Army Field Manual 34-52 Chapter 1 says:

"Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear."

* A declassified FBI e-mail dated May 10, 2004, regarding interrogation at Guantanamo states " explained to , FBI has been successful for many years obtaining confessions via non-confrontational interviewing techniques." (see also this)

* Brigadier General David R. Irvine, retired Army Reserve strategic intelligence officer who taught prisoner interrogation and military law for 18 years with the Sixth Army Intelligence School, says torture doesn't work

* A former FBI interrogator -- who interrogated Al Qaeda suspects -- says categorically that torture does not help collect intelligence. On the other hand he says that torture actually turns people into terrorists

* A 30-year veteran of CIAs operations directorate who rose to the most senior managerial ranks, says:

The administrations claims of having saved thousands of Americans can be dismissed out of hand because credible evidence has never been offered not even an authoritative leak of any major terrorist operation interdicted based on information gathered from these interrogations in the past seven years. It is irresponsible for any administration not to tell a credible story that would convince critics at home and abroad that this torture has served some useful purpose.

This is not just because the old hands overwhelmingly believe that torture doesnt work it doesnt but also because they know that torture creates more terrorists and fosters more acts of terror than it could possibly neutralize.

* The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously found that torture doesn't work.

Still don't believe it? These people also say torture doesn't produce usable intelligence:

* Former high-level CIA official Bob Baer said "And torture -- I just don't think it really works ... you don't get the truth. What happens when you torture people is, they figure out what you want to hear and they tell you."

* Rear Admiral (ret.) John Hutson, former Judge Advocate General for the Navy, said "Another objection is that torture doesn't work. All the literature and experts say that if we really want usable information, we should go exactly the opposite way and try to gain the trust and confidence of the prisoners."

* Michael Scheuer, formerly a senior CIA official in the Counter-Terrorism Center, said "I personally think that any information gotten through extreme methods of torture would probably be pretty useless because it would be someone telling you what you wanted to hear."

* Dan Coleman, one of the FBI agents assigned to the 9/11 suspects held at Guantanamo said "Brutalization doesn't work. We know that. "

Many other professional interrogators say the same thing (see this, this, and this).

Indeed, top World War 2 interrogators got more information without torture than those who use torture are getting today.

And a high-level Special Ops interrogator said that torture by Americans of innocent Iraqis is the main reason that foreign fighters started fighting against Americans in Iraq in the first place.

Torture is certainly immoral, inhumane, and an illegal war crime. However, until people realize that it doesn't work, it will not stop, and those responsible will not be held accountable.
1 comments:

Michael Tew said...

Well it depends on what you mean by "work". If your intention is to create a false narrative of imaginary international terrorists in order to confuse and terrify the ignorant masses then torture is a pretty good tool.
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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Thanks so much! Is there a link? n/t
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-22-09 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
11. It doesn't matter if it does work once in a blue moon. It is ILLEGAL
To do the illegal as an individual is to live outside the law, i.e. to make yourself an outlaw.
To do the illegal as a nation is to make the nation an unlawful state.

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