Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Torture Quandry

The has been a lot of talk about Dick Cheney being the sultan of torture because he has adamantly opposes any ban on the practice. There is already a ban on torture in the U.S. military pursuant to the Geneva convention. But Cheney opposes the CIA being banned from using it.

Here is the deal. If we ever go to war again (which I am sure we will), when one of our fighter pilots gets shot down or a mechanics brigade gets captured. All the enemy has to do is turn over our soldiers over to their secret police, and (according to U.S. doctrine) are free from the Geneva convention. It is plain and simple as that. We have these international to protect our own troops, not vice-versa. Not only is it morally wrong. Not ouly does it hurt our international standing, but publicly opposing a ban on torture is a slap in the face to our own soldiers safety.

CIA agents reveal interrogation tactics

WASHINGTON, (AFP) - CIA agents have revealed details of six interrogation tactics approved by top brass for use at secret CIA jails in Asia and Eastern Europe, ABC News reported.

The techniques have lead to questionable confessions and the death of one man since March 2002, the network said, after interviewing current and former CIA officials.

Former CIA officer Bob Baer told ABC the techniques amounted to "bad interrogation. I mean, you can get anyone to confess to anything if the torture's bad enough."

CIA sources speaking on condition of anonymity described six techniques: "Attention Grab, Attention Slap, Belly Slap, Long Time Standing, Cold Cell, Water Boarding."

The six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques," as sources called them, were used on a dozen top Al-Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe, ABC said.

In "Belly Slap," interrogators deliver "a hard open-handed slap to the stomach" intended to cause pain but not internal injury.

In "Long Time Standing," prisoners are forced to stand handcuffed and shackled for more than 40 hours.

In "The Cold Cell" a prisoner is made to stand naked in a cell kept near 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) and is continually doused with cold water.

Water Boarding brings results within seconds, the sources said. A prisoner is tied onto a board with his feet higher than his head, and his face is wrapped in cellophane. When water is poured over him, he begins to gag and begs to confess, sources told ABC.

"The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law," John Sifton of Human Rights Watch told ABC.

After investigating the claims, the network asked CIA officials for comment, but they "would neither confirm nor deny the accounts. They simply declined to comment," ABC said.

(Full Story)

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