The Intersection

September 25th, 2008at 11:39pm Posted by Eli

The AP tells a depressing-yet-somehow-familiar story:

The Iraqi prisoner had valuable intelligence, U.S. special forces believed, and they desperately wanted it. They demanded that expert American military trainers teach them the same types of abusive interrogation techniques that North Korea and Vietnamese forces once used against U.S. prisoners of war.

The trainers resisted, according to testimony prepared for a Senate hearing Thursday; the methods were intended to elicit confessions for propaganda use, rather than gather intelligence. They were overruled and ordered to demonstrate on the prisoner in September 2003, early in the war.

The interrogation went ahead before a lead trainer stepped in and stopped it. He and his team were sent home shortly thereafter.

(…)

“In far too many cases, we simply erred in pressing interrogation and interrogators beyond the edge of the envelope; as a result, interrogation was no longer an intelligence collection method; rather, it had morphed into a form of punishment for those who wouldn’t cooperate,” Col. Steven Kleinman said in his prepared testimony.

He headed the small team of military trainers from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency sent to Iraq in September 2003 to help special forces get more information from stubborn and resistant detainees.

“When presented with the choice of getting smarter or getting tougher, we chose the latter,” Kleinman stated.

This is the worst-case intersection of amorality and incompetence.  The Bush administration didn’t care about legality, decency, or even effectiveness – only cruelty and power.

Will we ever wash away the stain?

(h/t dakine)

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Constitution,Iraq,Prisoners,Republicans,Terrorism,Torture


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