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CIA lied over "brutal" interrogations

(44 Posts)
cngodltlbi Tue 09-Dec-14 23:06:52

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-30401100

sourdrawers Wed 10-Dec-14 07:50:19

I'm utterly miffed at the way the media just ignored it while it was all going on.

Territt16 Wed 10-Dec-14 11:23:18

If it saved lives and stopped terrorist attacks im all for it.

prh47bridge Wed 10-Dec-14 13:22:02

If it saved lives and stopped terrorist attacks im all for it

It didn't. The CIA gave the investigators 8 examples where they claimed torture resulted in good intelligence. In every case the information was available elsewhere.

There is plenty of evidence that torture is ineffective. The captive with no knowledge will say what s/he thinks their interrogators want to hear. Others will give false or incomplete information since their goal is to make the torture stop. If you torture people a very high proportion of the information you gather will be false and you will seriously damage your efforts to gather intelligence through other means.

Torture is sadism pretending to be detective work.

The SIC report is clear. The CIA's torture produced negligible amounts of useful intelligence. It damaged the fight against terrorism far more than it helped. I don't suppose it will happen but those involved should be prosecuted. They broke both US and international law and they damaged the interests of the US and its allies.

Isitmebut Wed 10-Dec-14 13:35:16

Apparently we need to 'hug' a terrorist, like the FBI, and build relationships with them - even if the threat is imminent. Hmmm.

I saw a report on AlJazeera this morning where in Kenya the government there, helped by the UK via intelligence, uses government hit squads to take out 'Muslim extremists' shown to pose a threat.

No messing about there then, if they ain't gonna talk.

Maybe they came to that conclusion yonks before the CIA.

prh47bridge Wed 10-Dec-14 13:41:34

I don't think anyone is saying we need to hug a terrorist. But torture is ineffective. It is stupid and wicked. It is completely the wrong thing to do if you want to combat terrorism. It may make you feel better but it won't provide much in the way of useful information and the truly useful information you were getting from other sources is likely to dry up.

Killing Bin Laden was, in my view, the right thing to do. Torturing people is not.

Isitmebut Wed 10-Dec-14 13:54:14

Re "damaging the fight against terrorism", I don't buy that, they are going to do what they are going to do, in their minds, in the name of religion.

If terrorists are happy to die for their religion and the promise of a few dozen virgins etc, even IF they know something, that inner faith will get them through torture, one way or another.

If the CIA hadn't worked that out, and people think the West needs to fight fair against a religious war that is 'stateless', best watch a few episodes of 'Homeland'.. as your starter for ten.lol

Me. I've been around too long, and decades ago too close to too many explosions in London - and don't want my children going to work at threat by some idiot's wrongful interpretation of the Koran - so I have to support our security services, even if they get it wrong sometimes.

Isitmebut Wed 10-Dec-14 13:58:05

P,S. if torture had stopped ANOTHER 9/11 or 7/7 ..... would we be having this one sided conversation of 'what is right' ..... there is no such thing as a fair fight in those bastards vocab.

Isitmebut Wed 10-Dec-14 14:08:48

Having said my piece, I've finished on this thread now, but if someone can point out to me where terrorist's victims get their 'justice', or Human Rights appeals heard, please let the board know.

meditrina Wed 10-Dec-14 14:13:44

If anyone really believed that torture produced good quality intelligence, then the debate would be totally different.

This report is more evidence that it doesn't.

I have difficulties enough with the concept of government sanctioned assassination operations, but I think they are preferable to torture.

I expect that there was no fuss made at the time because no-one knew what was going on. If the then British Government did know, then my opinion of Blair sinks even further.

sourdrawers Wed 10-Dec-14 14:35:39

"If they knew" Clive Stafford Smith director of 'Reprieve' writes regular pieces for the press and the New Statesman, and has been highlighting cases of abuse, abduction and torture for years. He's written about cover-ups over Britain's complicity in the renditions of prisoners from Iraq to abuse in Afghanistan. In the US, the American Civil Liberties Union has consistently campaigned to expose the human rights abuses which have accompanied the "war on terror" and produced a important series of reports on the issue.

The ideals agreed to in the original U.N. charter says - aggressive wars and attacks on civilian populations are illegal. Condoning torture and forcible 'rendition' or coerced removal of civilians from their lands and homes are unconscionable acts.

War crimes are just that, whether committed by Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein's regime or the U.S and us.

There has been some real bollocks written here IMO. This type of thing makes the world far more volatile, not safer for anyone. Yet these things went, (and probably still go) largely unreported.. .

NickiFury Wed 10-Dec-14 14:42:07

Unfortunately, putting it very simplistically "they're" doing it so we have to as well. We can't afford to take the moral high ground on this, there's too much at stake and I am afraid that it's necessary. I agree with every word isitmebut has posted.

Nancy66 Wed 10-Dec-14 16:32:39

Looks like the film Zero Dark Thirty was spot on. It showed scenes of all the 'enhanced interrogation' methods mentioned in this report. I remember the director saying she was confident her information was accurate and it being heavily denied at the time.

prh47bridge Wed 10-Dec-14 17:21:58

"they're" doing it so we have to as well.

So if the murder innocent civilians we should do that as well? If they shoot down random aeroplanes so should we? We absolutely don't have to just because they do it. We should be better than that.

I repeat, all the evidence is that torture is completely ineffective. If we want to stop terrorism torturing suspects is just plain stupid, as well as being wicked.

they are going to do what they are going to do

Torture someone innocent (as will happen) and you risk radicalising them, their family and friends. Indeed, torture someone guilty and you risk radicalising their family and friends. You also risk turning people against you who may otherwise be inclined to pass on good quality information. And, of course, you are handing the terrorists an argument to use for recruiting people and giving them an easy justification for their own use of torture.

best watch a few episodes of 'Homeland'

Homeland and similar productions often suggest torture is effective. It isn't. Every single study ever carried out shows that the intelligence gained from torture is very poor quality. Most of it is downright wrong.

I have to support our security services

I support our security services but that doesn't mean I would agree with them doing things that are wrong and counter productive. Thankfully, unlike the CIA our security services do not seem to engage in torture. They do not appear to agree with your views on the subject.

chockbic Wed 10-Dec-14 17:23:22

Is this news? I thought the practice of torture was well known in Guantanamo.

Must say its hard to find sympathy for terrorists.

Nancy66 Wed 10-Dec-14 17:42:50

it's always been widely suspected and detainees have always claimed it but was always previously denied by government agencies.

Did anyone watch Homeland last weekend? Carrie threatened to take a suspect to a 'black site'. He said 'I thought the US didn't do that any more?' and she replied: 'officially we don't.'

I suspect that will always be the case.

MonstrousRatbag Wed 10-Dec-14 18:10:27

I think there are good reasons why torture fell out of favour in this country centuries ago, was never sanctioned in the common law and effectively outlawed in the 1689 Bill of Rights. It is revolting, it is an effective recruiting tool for the enemy and it does not work.

Icimoi Wed 10-Dec-14 21:28:50

This just is not an issue of sympathising with terrorists. The issue is (1) that we're supposed to have progressed beyond this sort of barbarism; and (2) that it just doesn't work. All the points that prh47bridge makes are absolutely correct; additionally, if any terrorist group knows that one of their members has been captured, they're going to change their plans so torture is a waste of time anyway.

ChoochiWoo Wed 10-Dec-14 22:39:32

im surprised its a) just coming out now and b) considered news, I think most people knew this was going on.

Malabrigo Wed 10-Dec-14 22:49:46

So it's OK to torture people because it produces inaccurate information which actually hinders the security services from doing their job?
Hmm yeah ok then.

(deliberately avoiding the human right issue, despite it being a massive one, because many people sadly just don't give a shit about that. Hopefully they do get the idea that torture is actually counterproductive because hey, people lie in desperation )

Malabrigo Wed 10-Dec-14 22:52:52

"Obviously I wouldn't support inefficient torture....."

edamsavestheday Wed 10-Dec-14 22:58:54

An American soldier who was tortured condemned the use of torture by the CIA. That (now former) soldier is John McCain former Republican presidential candidate. He was tortured in Vietnam.

sourdrawers Thu 11-Dec-14 12:10:06

The bottom line is, torture of our official enemies does not make us safer. People under torture will say anything and all you get is a lot of false positives; innocent people who will tell you anything to stop the torture usually just list people they know as having been involved. That wastes time and resources, because those leads have to be followed up. But equally, the guilty are likely to feed you false information to waste your time and resources deliberately. At the same time it bolsters hatred and hostility guaranteeing that a new generation will emerge hating you. The Roman's used to nail christians to the cross FGS!!! That stopped them didn't it?

niceguy2 Thu 11-Dec-14 12:15:06

The problem I have with torture is:

1) It's been proven to be unreliable and as others have said people will say what you want to hear to stop the pain.
2) It brings you down to their level if not worse.
3) If we allow our government to conduct torture because they tell us it's so they can protect us from terrorists, how confident can we be that there won't be any scope creep and in years to come torture prisoners to protect us from 'criminals'.

If we're supposedly fighting a just war then we need to maintain the high moral ground. Torturing prisoners completely flies in the face of that.

Nancy66 Thu 11-Dec-14 12:16:15

I'm grimly fascinated by waterboarding. It looks like it shouldn't be that bad but clearly it is horrendous. when the journalist Christopher Hitchens tried it he could only take about 10 seconds (video on youtube )

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