Thursday, December 01, 2005

Torture doesn't work, and it's unAmerican

A former Army interrogator writes about his experience with abusive interrogation tactics. As part of the SERE program, interrogators would use abusive, Stalinist techniques to prepare soldiers in case they were captured. They also got to practice standard techniques:
Even when working with such elite troops as the US Special Forces and the British SAS, we found that the standard interrogation techniques found in the US Army Field Manual 34-52 were far more effective than such abusive behavior as stress positions, sensory deprivation, and humiliation. We obtained more information – and more reliable information – with our basic skills than we did with even days of harsh treatment.
Write to Senator Ted "fucking moron" Stevens and VIce-President Cheney and point that out. Also that a whole passel of Generals think we shouldn't torture.

You might also point out that we have no credibility in pushing for China to stop torturing if we won't outlaw it ourselves. And never mind trying to explain to the Iraqis why they shouldn't torture. There's no existing culture of not torturing in Iraq's history, so it's important that we instill that spirit while we can, and setting a good example is important.