Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Anti-Torture = Pro-Terrorists

That's the only explanation I can imagine for why the Obama Justice Department dismisses the accounts of eyewitnesses to the three Guantanamo murders as presenting "no evidence of wrongdoing."

It's a sad and disgusting fact of American politics, thanks to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, that torturing suspects is acceptable in order to prevent an Islamist from even reaching our shores to cause harm to civilians (oh, wait, didn't that just happen?). So it seems that not even torturing prisoners will prevent attempts at terrorism. In fact, it actually aids recruitment for new bodies to be blown up.

Because torture is acceptable, it's portrayed as pro-terrorism to deny the use of torture to our intelligence and military communities as they try to defend us.

Still, it's not information we're after when we torture them, according to former national security adviser Steven Hadley, being interviewed by pro-torture blogger Marc Thiessen:
"The interrogation techniques were not to elicit information. So the whole argument that people tell you lies under torture misses the point.” Hadley said the purpose of the techniques was to “bring them to the point where they are willing to cooperate, and once they are willing to cooperate, then the techniques stop and you do all the things the FBI agents say you ought to do to build trust and all the rest."
Oh, well, forget everything I've been saying, then! You're just trying to soften them up, break them down, and make it seem like all is lost before you actually sit down over coffee and Korans and "build trust." Beat the holy shit out of them, stuff rags down their throats and put masks over their faces so they can't cry out, deprive them of sleep for weeks, place them naked in freezing cold, douse them repeatedly with freezing cold water, slam their heads against plywood walls, stuff them into boxes no bigger than a large suitcase, suspend them by their wrists in positions so that if they slump over their arms break, and pour water in their mouths and noses so that they feel like they're drowning, and then do it all over again about 183 times ... and then "build trust." I get it now. And if a couple or three of the worst of the worst are killed in the process, no problem. You'll just say they killed themselves and you'll blame some low-level guards for not being at their posts or just goofing off. Slap them on the wrists. Feed Fox News a bunch of lies that the public is only too eager to believe because heaven knows you can't have the world thinking the US was actually violating an international treaty that was ratified and made the law of the land.

"... [we] found no evidence of wrongdoing." This is factually correct, of course.


Matt Osborne said...

Torture is forever and always a political act. It elicits confession, which is not the same thing as information. Just look at John McCain for proof: he gave the Hanoi Hilton absolutely no information, but he eventually gave a ridiculous confession to being an "air pirate" -- at which point they stopped torturing him.

Confession might be good for the soul, but it never, ever provides anything useful for an intelligence agency except propaganda. You'll note the torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad seems to have centered around Cheney's intense need for an Iraq-9/11 link.

Eric Potruch said...

Of course I agree with you. My issue is that the use of torture is now an election issue, and that Republicans -- who control narratives through the FNC/RNC propaganda machine -- will paint as pro-terrorist anyone who opposes torture.