Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on December 24, 2008



Vanity Fair  has a good story about torture. This is one part of the Bush regime that has brought a lot of criticism.

The focus of the article is not morals, or whether torture is justified. The thrust of the article is whether or not torture gets good information. On this issue, there seems to be a lot of macho posturing, and talk show hosts who think that torturing the bad guys is a great idea. Many in the intelligence community see things differently.

The ticking bomb scenario gets a rundown. You all know this…a terror suspect is arrested, he knows where the nuke is planted, is torture justified to disarm the device. It is a favorite on talk radio. Back in the real world, a
“retired senior officer who was privy to the agency’s internal debate, there was hardly any argument about the value of coercive methods: “Nobody in intelligence believes in the ticking bomb. It’s just a way of framing the debate for public consumption. That is not an intelligence reality.”
There is also the concept that men who are being tortured will say anything to make the suffering stop. What they tell you is not always the truth. Also, when a man is captured, any plans he knows about are going to change.

Several high profile cases are discussed. Many of the men have names which Americans find difficult to pronounce, and have a way of sounding alike. One was a person, who apparently was a greeter at a safe house for Al Queda. Our forces got the idea that he was important, and, after “extraordinary interrogation”, he confessed to a connection between Pre invasion Iraq and Al Queda. This was one of the arguments that was used to promote the invasion.

In one case, a detainee admitting to going to a web site that told how to make a “dirty bomb”. The CIA believed him, and added this to the charges against him. As the story unfolds:
”…his “confession” to reading instructions about building nuclear weapons on the Internet was cited in Mohamed’s Guantánamo charge sheet. Yet it was a joke: such a Web site, with instructions about how to refine bomb-grade uranium with bleach and a bucket, has been doing the rounds on the World Wide Web since at least 1994. In 2005, the conservative columnist Michelle Malkin cited it in her blog as evidence of al-Qaeda’s deadly intentions. She was swiftly disabused by readers, who, unlike the C.I.A. and M.I.5, immediately recognized it as satire”
There is going to be a new man in the white house soon. How he deals with the torture issue ( and the erosion of the rights of American Citizens) remains to be seen. BHO seems to stick his finger in the air before making a decision, and to see what political advantage can be made. The recent episode with Slick Rick Warren is a good example.

America and the world is waiting to see what happens.



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