Sunday, November 30, 2008

Torture and Abuse Cost American Lives

In an Op-Ed in today's Washington Post, a former Special Operations interrogator who worked in Iraq in 2006 sharply criticizes American torture techniques as ineffective and dangerous. "Torture and abuse costs American lives" he writes:

"I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq.
… It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me — unless you don’t count American soldiers as Americans."

The writer, who used a pseudonym for the article, adds that when he switched his team’s techniques to a rapport-building method, they found enormous success. One detainee told the author, “I thought you would torture me, and when you didn’t, I decided that everything I was told about Americans was wrong. That’s why I decided to cooperate.”

The writer also goes on to tell in his piece about his experiences writing about his feelings and his opinions. He wrote a book about his opinions and experiences and had to have it vetted by the Defense Department. He was surprised by how extreme the criticism he recieved was and alarmed by the censorship of entire sections of the book.
Evidently, the Pentagon doesn't want us to know how ineffectual it's torture techniques that it claims it doesn't use really are!

But we all knew this all along, now....didn't we?


mud_rake said...

Did you hear the ghastly statement that Bush made: He's leaving office WITH HIS VALUES IN TACT!

Of course it may be true: he was a demented governor who enjoyed electrocuting a record number of convicts.

microdot said...

The eerie thing about George W is that he has lived his life utterly free of consequences.

Never has W had to pick up a tab, clean up a mess, earn a dollar, answer for a mistake. Never has George W. Bush had to own up to his actions.

George W is incapable of admitting to owning any portion of an error. Can't do it.

W botched the simple punch line of the "fool me once" aphorism because he is incapable of uttering the phrase "shame on me."

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

I read that op-ed. He should be at the head of future programs, his experience and story was very compelling.