No, Torture Doesn’t “Work”

Donald Trump said in a new interview that torture “works”.

But the Guardian notes:

On Wednesday, Steve Kleinman, a retired air force colonel and senior adviser to the FBI-led team that interrogates terrorist suspects warned that weakening US prohibitions against torture was dangerous and ignorant.

A lot of these people who weigh in heavily on interrogation have no idea how little they know, [and do so] because of what they see on television,” said Kleinman, chairman of the research advisory committee to the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG).

“There is, at best, anecdotal evidence to support torture,” said Kleinman, who emphasized that he was not speaking for the HIG.

“There is, on the other hand, a robust body of scientific literature and field testing that demonstrates the efficacy of a relationship-based, rapport-based, cognitive-based approach to interrogation, as well as a robust literature that would suggest torture immediately undermines a source’s ability to be a reliable reporter of information: memory is undermined, judgment is undermined, decision-making is undermined, time-references are undermined. And this is only from a purely operational perspective; we can’t take the morality out of strategy.”


McCain referenced explicit guarantees from Pompeo and Mattis during their Senate confirmation proceedings to follow the interrogations law and the army field manual. “I am confident these leaders will be true to their word,” McCain said.

The former CIA head Leon Panetta, who gave the orders to close the agency’s black sites told the BBC that it would be a “mistake” to reintroduce enhanced interrogation techniques and “damaging” to the reputation of the US. Panetta said torture was violation of the US values and the constitution.

Indeed, all of the top interrogation experts agree that  torture DOESN’T work.

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  • Dave Miller

    Funny how when Bush was in office McCain was for torture. I always wondered if torture worked what secrets did he give up.

  • evader2014

    On “Vikings” Lagertha was roasting a prisoner on a spit so that he would reveal who hired him to attack Kattegat.

    Start roasting me, I’ll spew whatever you want to hear.

  • Tom

    Hearing what Kleinman has to say about how torture doesn’t work and anybody who knows anything on the subject knows this, we should ask: Is permission to torture actually the bait given to attract the exceptionally sick psychopaths to the job, and it is never expected to “work” in the sense of extracting useful information? If the real goal of the torture was to inflame an entire region of the world against the US, giving the US the excuse to militarily remain in their countries, the program has succeeded very well.

  • Paula

    If the guy being tortured is innocent or has no knowledge then what? People seem to think it’s like the movies, bad guy gets caught and smirks because he has the Constitution to protect him but the good guy is able to get the truth by using a hammer on his toes, oh wait that WAS a movie except the good guy was Mel Gibson and he was able to withstand the torture and undo his ropes and kill the torturer. Sometimes, it’s so confusing!!

  • Carl_Herman

    Thank you, GW; I thought you’d be all over that. Here’s a 2-minute clip about this: