Thursday, May 14, 2009

torturing iraqis

so, the latest meme to burble up to the surface from the torture hearings/memos/debate/debacle is that dick cheney repeatedly urged the torture (i mean waterboarding. no, wait, i mean enhanced interrogation) of iraqi intelligence agents after our invasion in order to prove the saddam/al qaida connection.

so much for the ticking time bomb that supposedly justifies the use of these techniques. unless you think of it metaphorically, in which case one hopes that there is indeed a (metaphorical) ticking time bomb attached to the base of dick cheney's freedom from prosecution.

it does point up something, though, that can't be stressed enough. when you ask the experts, actual professional interrogators and intelligence agents and historians and the like, they'll tell you over and over that torture is mostly useless for garnering actionable intelligence, but that it's awesome for generating false confessions.

what amazes me is that, given the political climate in 2003, cheney apparently failed in his attempt to order torture on prisoners of war. i guess the system did not entirely fail, which is of some small comfort to this american patriot.

not as much as, say, a truth commision followed by war crimes prosecution would be. but i guess i'll take what i can get for now, and keep clapping my hands and believing in fairies.

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