Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Torture Doesn't Work - More Data

This is from a July, 11, 2005 interview:
the law enforcement community has been outraged by some of the allegations of coercion and abuse in interrogations, because the F.B.I., in particular, it's not just a moral or ethical issue with them, they feel that you get bad information from suspects when you coerce it or you, you know, abuse them or even torture them. You can get information out of people under those circumstances but not necessarily reliable information, and so they feel that this kind of method is just not worth it...
...(T)here is a top psychologist who works with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service named Michael Gelles. And in the Church report there is material from him in which he talks about this strange dynamic that takes place sometimes in interrogations, where people who are interrogating someone who is resistant become more and more frustrated, and they begin to lose touch with what's legal and what's ethical, because they basically become emotionally invested in getting the information out of someone. And this is called force drift. And Michael Gelles warns in this report that he fears this is what was happening with the SERE techniques that were being used in Guantanamo. People were losing their basic common sense about where to draw the line.
Source: Democracy Now Methods Developed by U.S. Military for Withstanding Torture Being Used Against Detainees at Guantanamo Bay, July 11, 2005 [emphasis added.])
To summarize: torture isn't an efficient method of gaining accurate information, but it helps relieve the interrogator's frustration. This can never be moral, ethical or justifiable.


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