Monday, January 1, 2007

To torture or not to torture?

While writing the previous post, I found this article by Vladimir Bukovsky:

So, why would democratically elected leaders of the United States ever want to legalize what a succession of Russian monarchs strove to abolish? Why run the risk of unleashing a fury that even Stalin had problems controlling? Why would anyone try to "improve intelligence-gathering capability" by destroying what was left of it? Frustration? Ineptitude? Ignorance? Or, has their friendship with a certain former KGB lieutenant colonel, V. Putin, rubbed off on the American leaders? I have no answer to these questions, but I do know that if Vice President Cheney is right and that some "cruel, inhumane or degrading" (CID) treatment of captives is a necessary tool for winning the war on terrorism, then the war is lost already.

Mr. Bukovsky raises a number of very good points in his article, but he misses one: unlike Stalin's "interrogators", our anti-terrorist operatives are looking for some real information, not false "confessions". I would imagine that they would know how to get the real stuff, as opposed to what their prisoners might think they want to hear. Mind games are necessary for interrogations. I don't think real torture is productive tool for getting information. I also think that our operatives know that too.


Anonymous said...

Then how can you explain extraordinary rendition? Your argument is that we can trust "our" guys to be given free reign in interrogation. The problem is, once we take free reign, so will everyone else, and exonerate themselves with a finger pointed directly at us.

Eric-Odessit said...

My reply is here: