Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Bush Wields A Necessary Veto

As President Bush vetoes legislation that would ban waterboarding and other "harsh" interrogation techniques -- a veto Congress will have trouble overturning, news reports reveal that the usual suspects are lined up against him:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Bush often warns against ignoring the advice of U.S. commanders on the ground in Iraq. Yet the president has rejected the Army Field Manual, which recognizes that harsh interrogation tactics elicit unreliable information, said Reid, D-Nev.

"Democrats will continue working to reverse the damage President Bush has caused to our standing in the world," Reid said.
Just like al-Qaida is working to damage our standing in the world?

And we can always count on Human Rights Watch for a lucid view of world events and foreign affairs:
Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch [oxymoron, anyone?], said Bush "will go down in history as the torture president" for defying Congress and allowing the CIA to use interrogation techniques "that any reasonable observer would call torture." [There they go, calling me unreasonable again!]

"The Bush administration continues to insist that CIA and other nonmilitary interrogators are not bound by the military rules and has reportedly given CIA interrogators the green light to use a range of so-called 'enhanced' interrogation techniques, including prolonged sleep deprivation, painful stress positions, and exposure to extreme cold," Daskal said. [The horror of it all!] "Although waterboarding is not currently approved for use by the CIA, Attorney General Michael Mukasey has refused to take it off the table for the future."

The Dems and Soros-funded Human Rights Watch would restrict all interrogations to those allowed in the Army Field Manual -- but what does that mean?

It’s easy to find what interrogation techniques are banned by in the new Army Field Manual. Obviously, it bans all the stuff we all used to think of as torture: anything that could cause death or physical injury. Think Jack Bauer.

Then, “based on lessons learned since the United States began taking prisoners in the war on terrorism after the Sept. 11, 2001, (AP, via NPR), the manual banned a bunch of other stuff: forced nakedness, hooding, sexual humiliation, threatening them with dogs, mock executions. Think Abu Ghraib.

Also included in this bunch of banned stuff attributed to the war on terror, according to the AP report: being beaten, shocking prisoners with electricity, burning them, causing other pain, and waterboarding. With the exception of waterboarding – which reportedly has been very limited in its use and very successful in its results – I know of no reports of American forces using any of the other techniques during the war on terror. AP didn't bother to attribute its charge -- so did they just make it up?

Who knows?

So what are the 16 interrogation techniques the Army Field Manual allows? That, my friends, is much harder to find out by reading the general media. My browser has been whirring, and it appears the MSM are much more interested in what's not allowed instead of what is allowed.

Three techniques were added “in response to the war on terror,” and are not unlike what you might experience if you were being interrogated by your local cops:
  • Playing good cop/bad cop
  • The American interrogator not identifying himself as such
  • Separating those being interrogated, so they can’t collaborate on stories. POWs can’t be separated, but enemy combatants can be.
And all the old allowed techniques? Hard to find in the MSM, so let's turn to the Army Manual's section FM2.22.2, Human Intelligence Collection Operations, 384 pages of detailed, comprehensive instructions. The US Army is the best, longest-writing Army in the world!

The section on the human intelligence collection process begins with six pages on screening potential HUMINT sources, then goes into 14 pages on planning and preparing for an interrogation. There then are multiple-page sections on approaching the HUMINT and building rapport -- which does not include the MCs "softening them up," which is not allowed.

While Saddam's guys were innovating with electric chords and raping wives in front of husbands and kids, our guys are reading on "incentive approach" and even "emotional love" approach:
Love in its many forms (friendship, comradeship, patriotism, love of family) is a dominant emotion for most people. The HUMINT collector focuses on the anxiety felt by the source about the circumstances in which he finds himself, his isolation from those he loves, and his feelings of helplessness. The HUMINT collector directs the love the source feels toward the appropriate object: family, homeland, or comrades. If the HUMINT collector can show the source what the source himself can do to alter or improve his situation or the situation of the object of his emotion, the approach has a chance of success.
Attila the Hun this ain't ... although there are sections on emotional fear and emotional hate. Before Human Rights Watch gets all a-tizzy, let's repeat: emotional fear, emotional hate. In short, all of the 16 techniques detailed in the Army Field Manual are verbal techniques, and we all know that sticks and stone can break bones, but words will never hurt us.

Can we conceive of no situation where the nature of the detainee and the timeframe we're working in would require something far short of Jack Bauer but more than Maybury PD?

For our safety's sake, for the sake of the reputation of our country, and out of respect for the intelligence personnel tasked with working with foreign agents, we need more than the law Bush is vetoing. We need clear instructions for the use of limited, enhanced techniques -- and the Dems should be as interested in defining them and their use as anyone else.

Harry Reid image: Hidden Dragon Politics

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