Monday, April 27, 2009

Torture: Punishment for Imagined Crimes

Former CIA operative, Michael Scheuer had a piece on the Op-Ed of the WaPo yesterday defending USer torture policy by appealing to wildly improbable scenarios, "24" screen-plays, and exaggeration, in which a known terrorist was known to have real information about a known threat--all of which is about as unlikely as hitting the lottery.
Schreuer thinks it is wrong to strike the weapon from "freedom's arsenal."

During the Bushevik Regime, Scheuer used to be regarded a kind of "good guy," mainly because the folks at Powerline, The Corner, and the Freepers detested him, primarily for his oppositiont and criticism of the ICORP*. He's got certain cred as the former head of the CIA's bin Laden section (which notably did NOT capture or even impede bin Laden very much apparently over the 4 years he led the section, and the lack of any such notable successes ought possibly to taint his reputation for expertise, but let that pass). This recent piece places him firmly in the ranks of the "Villagers," however, as if there were ever any doubts (22 years in the CIA? "Villager"!)

What's known about torture, since time immemorial, is that it is NOT good for 'real' intelligence: getting accurate information about the names, locations, and/or future plans of the associates of the person being tortured. It is GREAT for extracting confessions and/or repentances. (Visit the "criminal" museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber to see the fascinating array of instruments and appliances devised and devoted to these two purposes since the early Middle Ages.)

What I do know is this: If I were a captive of the CIA and suspected of being a terrorist/insurgent (and if I actually WERE such a person), and if I were to be subjected to torture--either to elicit information or a confession of some fell deed--I would be certain to seem to be reluctant to talk. Then I'd talk.

But when I did, I would lie and lie and lie and lie.

I'd tell 'em something different every day. Every breath.

I'd tell 'em wrong dates, wrong times, wrong places, wrong weapons, wrong names.

Every single time.

And I'd try like hell never to repeat myself.

Yes, they'd probably kill me/let me die. But if I were the person they thought I was, that'd be okay, too...

*ICORP = Invasion, Conquest, Occupation. Rape & Pillage

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