Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dropping the F-Bomb to stop torture.

Sheppard Smith just became my favorite Fox News reporter (my apologies to the lovely Patti Ann Browne). There's been a lot of debate whether waterboarding and torture are OK if they saved American lives. Shep sums it up here:

Damn right. Look, go look at my previous posts regarding my firm, and you will see I have been a professional inquisitor for a long time. I know the ins and outs of this stuff. The former Vice President and his lawyers can argue all they want that these techniques got info- the point is irrelevant for two reasons. One, Shep makes quite eloquently above; two, its is a fact, not opinion, fact that in the majority of detainees, harsh techniques will either harden their resolve (particularly in the ideologically motivated like... oh, I don't know, fundamentalist Islamists?), or make them give false info. Which means even if we got info while drowning people, we will NEVER KNOW how much more we would have gotten if we had done it right. Would we have ended the insurgency in Iraq already? Captured 'Usama bin Ladin? Stopped the Taliban's inroads into Pakistan? We don't know.

And we should. Professional interrogation would likely have provided information for all those things. Instead, we had a bunch of people who used techniques from SERE (Survive, Evade, Resist, Escape) training. I've been an interrogator at a SERE school. We were there to be the BAD GUYS. We were there to elicit FALSE CONFESSIONS. What genius was sitting around saying "hey- here's the most important detainees the US has had to question since the Nuremburg Trials; lets act like the bad guys and get them to confess to things they didn't do!"? What kind of person thinks that's a good idea?

Oh. Yikes.

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