Sunday, February 24, 2013

Senate Report Findings: Harsh Interrogations Ineffective

Capture, Abuse, Enhance, or Torture: Take Your Pick — Still Doesn't Work

He is the man who broke Abu Zubaydah, who gave up the name of KSM, which later led to his capture. Mr. Soufan got the information through standard, non-enhanced (torture) interrogation techniques.  

The film "Zero Dark Thirty" (in military lingo that phrase means the time sometime late at night but before dawn) opens with the words “Based on Firsthand Accounts of Actual Events.” But the filmmakers immediately pass fiction off as history, when a character named Ammar is tortured and afterward, it’s implied, gives up information that leads to Osama bin-Laden.

Ammar is a composite character who bears a strong resemblance to a real-life terrorist, Ammar al-Baluchi. In both the film and real life he was a relative of bin-Laden’s lieutenant, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM). But the CIA has repeatedly said that only three detainees were ever water boarded. The real Mr. Baluchi was not among them, and he didn’t give up information that led to bin-Laden. In fact, torture led us away from bin-Laden.

Further, the long-awaited Senate report, a 6,000-page document, still has not been released to the public. In fact is was adopted by Democrats over the objections of most of the committee’s Republican members (most of whom like most other GOPers advocate and condone and support torture).

The outcome about that report reflects the level of partisan friction that continues to surround the CIA’s use of water boarding and other severe interrogation (the so-called 'enhanced' techniques) even some four years after they were banned.

All the while Congress sits on his hands hoping the matter will just go away (that is until the next war and high-value detainees end up on our custody).

This is a key part to keep in mind:

It could be months, if not years, before the public gets even a partial glimpse of the report or its 20 findings and conclusions.

Professional interrogators, those who are loyal to the country, their own training, the nation's values and principles, and their education, training and skills, who know torture does not work, were never asked about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of torture, because people like former President Bush and VP Cheney, and many others in office at the time, plainly did not want to hear the truth about what the pros would say: Torture does not work, it never has, and it never will.

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