Saturday, May 09, 2009

A "mentality reduced to putty" is the best source of reliable intelligence.

More on that NYT "torture" obituary, this time via Andrew Sullivan:

You will also notice the quality of the intelligence procured through methods milder than the Bush administration's:

“He wanted me to admit that I had been ordered to cross the Manchurian border,” Captain Fischer told Life magazine. “I was grilled day and night, over and over, week in and week out, and in the end, to get Chong and his gang off my back, I confessed to both charges. The charges, of course, were ridiculous. I never participated in germ warfare and neither did anyone else. I was never ordered to cross the Yalu. We had strict Air Force orders not to cross the border.”

“I will regret what I did in that cell the rest of my life,” the captain continued. “But let me say this: it was not really me — not Harold E. Fischer Jr. — who signed that paper. It was a mentality reduced to putty.”

Dick Cheney believes that a "mentality reduced to putty" is the best source of reliable intelligence; that methods designed to give you false confessions should be the basis for national security assessments.

When Americans are tortured and confess to ridiculous claims like "germ warfare" most of us have no difficulty in accepting that Captain Fischer would simply have said anything to make his ordeal stop.

And yet, people like Dick Cheney, to this day, publicly make the argument that "torture works".

And the New York Times can use the word torture, when talking of Chinese mistreatment of prisoners, without placing the word in quotation marks or their usual alternative of describing it as, "harsh tactics some critics decry as torture".

I wonder if Bush, Cheney, Rivkin and the other torture apologists will ever go on the record and state that they do not believe what was done to Captain Fischer and other captured US personnel was torture? Because they have ordered far worse than was ever done to Fischer and yet they claim that they never tortured people.

So, it stands to reason, by their own fractured logic, that Fischer was never actually tortured. Unless torture is something that can only ever be done by other nations.

Click title for Sullivan's article.

3 comments:

madmonq said...

Well said. This is probably why Cheney got along so well with W. "A mentality reduced to putty."

madmonq said...

Well said. This is probably why Cheney got along so well with W. "A mentality reduced to putty."

Kel said...

Though I notice Cheney is making sure that if he goes down he's taking Bush with him.