Enhanced Interrogation: A Non-Thing

Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry claimed they would reinstate illegal programs that have been dismissed by experts as ineffective and illegal. They have sought to foster the ignorance in the Republican party that comes with a belief in a non-thing. This non-thing is called, “enhanced interrogation”.

Each of these people continue an insult against real interrogators and other military and civilian service members who have been clear that they seek a trail to what is so, not what is previously concluded and then supported via confession. Whether it is Malcolm Nance, SERE instructor and counterterrorism and intelligence specialist, Matthew Alexander or Col Steve Kleinman, military interrogators who have clearly rejected the idea of an ‘enhanced interrogation’, Glenn Carle, Ali Soufan, the list goes on. Each of these people have come forward to denounce torture and discredit the idea of ‘enhanced interrogation’. Each of these people has direct experience with interrogation and are adamant that torture does not work, that waterboarding wasn’t the only torture happening and that it was not only ineffective but delayed information, sent agents on white noise chases, and in some cases ended in deaths of both civilians and military service members because of the bad intelligence.

OBAMA ALLOWING ACLU TO RUN CIA
It didn’t take long for right wing nonsense like “Obama is allowing the ACLU to run the CIA” to come from Michele Bachmann. If this were true, Guantanamo would be closed, many detainees would be freed, the cases pending would be underway and Dick Cheney would likely be in prison. But from a dog whistle idiot like Bachmann, this is just another tune. She has no respect for the interrogation specialists in the FBI or US military. Though I’m sure some CIA officers are familiar with interrogation now, all accounts by former CIA officers in the public sphere for the past 6 or so years have been clear that no such wing ever existed in CIA until now. At the request of the White House, contractors were used to do what officers wouldn’t. Ali Soufan was there when the shift took place from conventional and probably legal to clearly illegal and clearly values destructive.

Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul disagree. Ron Paul was determined to state that waterboarding is torture. He is correct. Jon Huntsman was even more clear that as an ambassador, he was able to tell first hand how these events shaped views of the United States and that real clout comes from moral compass not this idiot might that is so lauded by the Blind Candidates, Cain, Bachmann, Perry, Romney and Gingrich.

Now while Romney and Gingrich didn’t weigh in on the waterboarding question, to which we can predict their delightful glee at the idea, we can see that Mitt Romney is into the macho ‘kill them’ talk when it comes to Anwar al-Awlaki and even worse was Newt Gingrich. Gingrich couldn’t distinguish between a jury and a presidential finding.

WATERBOARDING AND THE NEWS MEDIA
This play to the extreme is only part of the problem. When the moderators and news junkies continue the ‘enhanced interrogation’ term, they do their viewers and readers a disservice. There is no further enhancement in harming people, even if they are bad people.

Brains, Not Brutality, to take down the deadliest man in Iraq

How To Break A Terrorist by Matthew Alexander

In his book, How To Break A Terrorist, Matthew Alexander describes in detail the interaction with confessed bomb makers. He is able to get past the bullshit of the front each seems to put on. He is a skilled seeker of what is So. He is looking for accurate information to put in a larger picture that will help end bombings. If he gets the wrong information, military resources will likely strike the wrong house resulting in the deaths of both civilians and service members. He is aware of this at all points. Rick Perry could care less about the truth if it would get him more votes.

Ali Soufan knows that Abu Zubaydah was speaking with them before the torture crew of Jessen and Mitchell arrived to fulfill executive orders that were illegal and were not going to get approval from FBI. Herman Cain has never heard of any of these people and wouldn’t be able to tell you the first thing about EITs or CSRTs. Yet as he disavows ‘torture’ he is clear in finding a way to say he’d endorse ‘enhanced interrogation’…as if it existed. This was dog whistle nonsense. Cain is hedging his right wing bets. As GuestBlogger from ThinkProgress noted Cain said he’d accept the wisdom of the military leaders and they have been clear that torture isn’t condone.

Malcolm Nance has clearly issued the call to each of the previous apologists for waterboarding that he can clear up their views if they’d submit to being waterboarded. He knows and the SERE program knows. Waterboarding isn’t done to our soldiers any where near what was done to KSM, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. This wasn’t the only torture done to these men. And while one can argue how bad they are, how bad is less important when accurate is what you are looking for. A confession is quite easy to illicit. If a confession is all you want, that doesn’t take much. If you are trying to conclude with a previously ordained notion, then you aren’t looking for intelligence, you are looking to fix the narrative. This was the MO of the Cheney administration. No respect for intelligence officers, no respect for interrogators, no respect for the law, or our treaties.

This new batch of candidates seeks to bring back a New American Century as if we forgot what the last Project attempted to bring with its failed war in Iraq. In the end Americans lost, our economy is shot for quite a while, we weren’t greeted as liberators and were asked to leave and don’t let the door hit our ass on the way out. Bill Kristol predicted the war would last a few weeks opposite Daniel Ellsberg on Washington Journal in March 2003. He was cocky and sure of himself. Romney and the rest of Mt Assmore show us that they don’t really care about intelligence but to pandering to the base reactionary elements of the right wing. They don’t care that the government hasn’t been able to make a case against Abu Zubaydah for any actions against the United States. Being a terrorist somewhere in the world isn’t a US crime. Being a terrorist against the United States is no longer being alleged. There isn’t a candidate up on stage that knows any of these cases. They don’t care.

The idea of “enhanced interrogation” needs to be put to rest as a petty coward’s rhetoric about being tough when there are already real tough guys doing a good job at protecting lives on all sides. Seeking to inject further testosterone nonsense serves nothing to protecting American interests and many Pentagon reports indicate that the opposite is true; torture leads to acts of violence against American interests and increased confusion in the intelligence chain.

These candidates aren’t serious. The news centers are irresponsible and it doesn’t take long to find someone who has done this work for a while to tell you that intelligence isn’t about Jack Bauer television dramatics.  Speech writers like Marc Theissen are flat out liars when it comes to lauding their own expertise. Theissen is a tool with Michael Hayden’s hand up his ass. Frank Gaffney and the other cowardly chickenhawks are utterly discredited outside their own thinktank circle jerks.

Major Garrett and Scott Pelley should know that there is no such thing as, Enhanced Interrogation. They should have pressed these candidates to explain where they learned about these “techniques”. As supposed Journalists, they should have asked for sources of their information. Mine are easy to share, Matthew Alexander, interrogator, Malcolm Nance, SERE instructor, counterterrorism, intel, Ali Soufan, FBI interrogator, Col. Steve Kleinman, interrogator, Glenn Carle, CIA officer,  and and the vast documentation released under FOIA that clearly demonstrates torture has an adverse effect upon gaining intelligence.

These candidates represent the absurdist notions of Dick Cheney who spent his prime days with 5 deferments. He’s never been there, they’ve never been there, and yet they are always right and always claim to be the toughest. When it comes to national security, these idiots of the GOP party insult the very values established under General George Washington when he issued orders to do no harm to captured British or Hessian troops. He may have done this for moral purpose, but he clearly did it for tactical purpose. These GOP candidates have no place in the company of the founders.

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