The experts on extracting information from enemy combatants say that torture doesn’t work, and doesn’t do much except create more enemies.
“It’s extremely ineffective, and it’s counter-productive to what we’re trying to accomplish.”
“When we torture somebody, it hardens their resolve,” Alexander explained. “The information that you get is unreliable. … And even if you do get reliable information, you’re able to stop a terrorist attack, al Qaeda’s then going to use the fact that we torture people to recruit new members.”
“How long is it going to take to undo that damage?” Olbermann asked, referring to Alexander’s observation that “I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. “
And yesterday, a group of prominent retired generals and admirals met with President-elect Obama’s transition team to demand that he act immediately to put an end to Bush’s torture policies.
Former Navy Judge Advocate General Admiral John Hutson also said of the Bush torture program:
“Fundamentally, those kinds of techniques are ineffective. If the goal is to gain actionable intelligence, and it is, and if that’s important, and it is, then we have to use the techniques that are most effective. Torture is the technique of choice of the lazy, stupid and pseudo-tough.”
So not only does torture not work, and not only does it create more terrorists, it is for the “psuedo-tough”. In other words, real men don’t torture.
Its Also Illegal
Congressmen Conyers and Nadler pointed out today in a letter to the Attorney General, the torture-facilitating lawyers were well aware they were breaking laws.
Indeed, two prominent experts on the law of war – Professors Jordan Paust of the University of Houston and Tony D’Amato of Northwestern University – wrote in the Chicago Sun Times yesterday that the Obama administration has a duty to go after the Bush torture team for war crimes:
Under the U.S. Constitution, the president is expressly and unavoidably bound to faithfully execute the laws, and the Supreme Court has recognized in many cases since the founding of our government that such laws include U.S. treaty law and customary international law. In fact, every relevant federal judicial opinion over the last 200 years has affirmed that all persons within the executive branch are bound by the laws of war, a point famously recognized by President Lincoln’s attorney general in 1865. Moreover, Obama has assured the American people that he will work to restore the rule of law and integrity in our government, which have been among clear casualties during the Bush Administration’s “war” on terror.
The 1949 Geneva Civilian Convention, which is considered treaty law of the United States, expressly and unavoidably requires that all parties search for perpetrators of grave breaches of the treaty and bring them “before its own courts” for “effective penal sanctions” or “if it prefers . . . hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party.” The obligation is absolute. The United States must either initiate prosecution or extradite to another state.
See also this.