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View Diary: Rumsfeld's Revenge: Army Field Manual to Allow Torture (217 comments)

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  •  It's used to break down resistance. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, conchita, Valtin, Tanya, LynneK, cgirard

    Yeah, I get that.

    Eastern State was not about punishment, but about rehabilitation, the first such institution in the nation.  And the aims of breaking a "detainee" (not a "prisoner," in your lexicon) only come about when they achieve the same effect that the Quaker administrators found at ESP: insanity.

    "There is only one caution. Don't let it happen again." -- edscan, 21 Jan 2009

    by ArtSchmart on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 02:30:39 PM PST

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    •  You don't know what you're talking about. In... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Herticalt

      the world of interrogation, "breaking" a subject simply refers to the point where they move from resistance to cooperation.  It's not about insanity or torture, it's about obtaining cooperation and reliable information.

      There's a 24 mentality going on, from both sides.  Plenty of hysteria, whether it's the right's belief in the efficacy of Jack Bauer's nonsense to the left's belief that all non-kid glove treatment is torture.

      To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

      by joesig on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 02:40:16 PM PST

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      •  I can't tell you *how* I know... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LynneK, cgirard

        ...what I'm talking about.  But I do.

        "There is only one caution. Don't let it happen again." -- edscan, 21 Jan 2009

        by ArtSchmart on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 02:45:42 PM PST

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      •  The professional interrogators (6+ / 0-)

        at least within CIA have long favored the "touchless" interrogation techniques advocated by KUBARK. The more coercive techniques are reserved for those who don't respond to regular interrogation rapport-building techniques. But they are definitely to be used, and the potential damage involved is understood.

        I don't believe the CIA or the Pentagon should have access to these "touchless" torture techniques. Why? Well as one interrogator told my colleague Stephen Soldz receently:

        My retired 20-years veteran army interrogator friend agrees that use of isolation as authorized by Appendix M is very problematic. He also states, as have other interrogators I’ve discussed with, that they don’t want to know where The Line (of abuse) is, because they neither want, not need, to get anywhere near that line. If they are close, they are in the danger zone. They are likely also to get bad information. Prolonged isolation is already well over that line.

        War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

        by Valtin on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 03:48:55 PM PST

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        •  I read your link. And was relieved by it. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoenix Woman, Troutnut

          I've been troubled by your allegations of sensory deprivation, but the link made clear that it is only to be used when physical separation is impossible in the very short term.  In other words, goggles and masks are used when detainees have to be together temporarily, and it is required that they not be allowed to communicate.  I don't have a problem with that.  And I don't see why anyone would, to be honest.

          To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

          by joesig on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 04:05:31 PM PST

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          •  But (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Creosote, truong son traveler

            read the diary's quotes from Kimmons. It's clear that the AFM doesn't ban other forms of sensory deprivation as well.

            Twelve hours with goggles and earmuffs... funny... they did a study using the same over thirty years ago, and after only eight hours the subjects, who weren't suffering the "shock of capture" were already freaking out. Reference the Zubek book above.

            If you are reassured by Appendix M, then I can't help you.

            War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

            by Valtin on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 04:34:52 PM PST

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            •  You're an absolutist on this stuff, and I... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Phoenix Woman, Troutnut

              appreciate your position.  The lines between abuse, torture, and legitimate interrogation techniques are pretty clear.   I don't like arguing with you, because our realities are different, and I find myself supporting things I would love to condemn in blanket fashion.  But I can't.  

              If you truly believe that American interrogators regularly use torture, or want to use torture, or have used torture....then I can't help you.  I can imagine scenarios where I would want to "sensory deprive" detainees during movements that last more than 8 hours.  I don't want them seeing, and I don't want them hearing, and I don't want them talking to one another.  If it's torture, then I'm a torturer.  But I'm not.  

              To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

              by joesig on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 04:50:55 PM PST

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              •  Great comments throughout here, joesig. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Phoenix Woman

                You bring expertise and reason to the general viewpoint that I've just been expressing with snark.  I oppose torture, but I see Valtin's diary as too absolutist.

                ---
                "If Obama is the nominee, we are doomed." -Rush Limbaugh
                "Always speak before Barack Obama, not after Barack Obama." -Olbermann

                by Troutnut on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 06:04:08 PM PST

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                •  Thank you. I think Valtin is terrific... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Phoenix Woman

                  but his expertise on torture makes him set impossible standards for real interrogations of real bad actors.  

                  I appreciate your support, and his knowledge as well.  My hands are too dirty to be an absolutist.

                  To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                  by joesig on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 06:34:37 PM PST

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              •  I actually don't believe (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Phoenix Woman, Creosote

                American interrogators "regularly" use torture. Just wanted to make that clear. Why? Because the vast majority of prisoners cooperate with the use of rapport measures and direct questioning. The "shock of capture" is usually more than enough "breakage" for the average prisoner.

                Am I right, joesig?

                But whether I'm an absolutist or not, Geneva, CAN and other protocols are pretty clear about how prisoners should be treated. It's not up to me.

                War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

                by Valtin on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 08:39:02 PM PST

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                •  Valtin... sorry for the delay. And you are .... (0+ / 0-)

                  absolutely right.  Both about interrogation and the Geneva Conventions.  

                  I used to instruct this stuff, to guys who were going to be doing the capturing, and the bagging and tagging, to be honest.  I stressed one thing: this stuff is simple, regarding the treatment of prisoners.  The Conventions are absolutely clear: ALL captured personnel are to be treated as legitimate POW's until they are adjudicated otherwise in an official procedure.  In other words, there is no thinking or judgment required; the guys on the ground have no leeway to decide that a bearded, non-uniformed, non-citizen of the country where captured is an illegal combatant.  It's not in our legal power to decide, even if it seems obvious.  

                  Thanks for your work.

                  To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

                  by joesig on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:10:07 PM PST

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