Why Torture Is A Failed Policy And Practice

Vince Flynn Thanks Me

Judge Napolitano was the inspiration for doing this post. He wrote an excellent piece in the Daily Wire last week commenting on the apparent collapse of the criminal case against Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9-11 attacks. The Judge wrote:

As the pre-trial hearings in the case of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and others who are charged with masterminding the 9/11 attacks proceed at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, the government continues to stumble with its own witnesses. In hearings last week, government lawyers tried to demonstrate that statements the defendants made to CIA and FBI agents were voluntary.

When the government’s principal torturer, a now-retired psychologist, had difficulty recalling that during a torture session he threatened one of his victims by offering to slit the throat of the victim’s young son and that he had recounted that threat under oath in previous testimony, it became apparent to all in the courtroom and to those of us who monitor these awful proceedings that the government was encountering a strange and unexpected difficulty in defending the behavior of its torturers.

The Judge’s judicial instincts are spot on. But there is much more to this story. The American public, and much of the world, have been bamboozled into believing that torture is an effective interrogation technique. It is not. It is counter productive.

Hollywood and novelists have played a key role in my view of popularizing torture as a necessary evil. The TV show, 24, featuring Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, routinely relied to torture to get info out of terrorists. Hell, even Supreme Court Justice Scalia, when he was alive, believed Jack Bauer had the right to torture:

“Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. … He saved hundreds of thousands of lives,” Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent’s rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand.
“Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?” Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. “Say that criminal law is against him? ‘You have the right to a jury trial?’ Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don’t think so.

“So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes.”

Then there is the late Vince Flynn. As you can see from the image posted at the top of this piece, I was friends with Vince — at least until he because famous — and helped him with his first five books. His views on torture are his own. I suggested otherwise, but he explains his thinking in this interview with Robert Bidinotto:

Flynn: Yes. Here’s where I sit. It’s real simple. If al Qaeda signed the Geneva Convention, put on a uniform, stuck their flag in the ground, and said, “Let’s meet on the battlefield,” I would say: “Absolutely. Torture—you can’t do it. Period. End of discussion.” But we have an enemy that won’t put on a uniform, has not signed the Geneva Convention, hides behind men, women, and children, and then attacks men, women, and children—civilians.

I think it’s a joke that we are even having this debate, as a nation. I think that torture should take place only for high-value targets where we know they are withholding information that could help us bust up cells, financing, organization, and possible operations.

The problem is that because we are a civilized society, and because we’ve lost our mooring—we’ve lost our attachment to our Judeo-Christian beliefs—we’ve gone off on this little safari with PC. We think that we have to say things so that people will think, “He’s smart, he’s compassionate, he cares, he’s got a good heart.” The reality is that if you were to ask the American people, “When Mitch Rapp starts to torture some bad guy who knows where the nuke is, are you sitting there in the privacy of your home crying and saying, ‘Please stop torturing this guy’? Or are you saying, ‘Get him, Mitch! Get the information out of him!’”

Vince violated the Gannon Rule. Dick Gannon was my boss at State CT. He was a retired Marine Colonel and Vietnam Combat vet. He was fond of saying, “If it feels really good it is probably wrong.” What I tried to tell Vince was no matter how emotionally satisfying torturing a bad guy is for the purpose of entertaining an audience, in the real world it is counter productive and fails to produce reliable intelligence.

Unfortunately, most of the world labors under the false belief fostered by the Jack Bauers and Vince Flynns that the CIA is skilled and practiced in the art of torture. That is a lie. The opposite is true. The CIA training program for case officers offered zero instruction in torture or interrogation. The primary mission of a CIA operations officer is to recruit foreigners to spy for us — i.e., to commit treason against their own country. This process is a seduction, not coercion. If you have convinced someone to betray their country or their cause it better not be based on anger at you for inflicting pain or threatening to harm loved ones. That is a recipe for getting screwed over by your recruited source.

The CIA operations training course at its primary facility in the United States focused on identifying and recruiting sources. Interrogation or sweating a suspect for information is not part of that training. That is why the CIA, in the immediate aftermath of 9-11, turned to two contract psychologists — James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen — to come up with an interrogation program to use on suspected terrorists. This turned out to be a lethal clown show because neither Mitchell nor Jessen “had any experience as an interrogator, any knowledge of al Qaeda, or any science to justify their methods.” They apparently were avid fans of Vince Flynn.

I credit people like former FBI Agent Ali Soufan with trying to bring some sanity to the CIA interrogation program. Unfortunately, he was ignored, smeared and became a target of CIA officers eager to discredit him.

I explain the backstory on much of this in the following video. Enjoy.

The post Why Torture Is A Failed Policy And Practice appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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