Saturday, December 10, 2005

Iraq war intelligence linked to coercion

Here is the most frustrating part of the national conversation on torture. Assuming you can get over the ethical/moral problems of torture and don't care about the many international treaties America has signed, you can't get past the truth that TORTURE DOESN'T WORK. When you are pulling someone's fingernails out, threatening to kill their family or waterboarding them, the prisoner/victim will say whatever they think will get the torture to stop.

That appears to the case with Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, who told Egyptian interrogators (because America doesn't torture anyone, we just transport them to be tortured...) there were ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda included training in explosives and chemical weapons. It was those claims that caused much concern in Congress. Unfortunately, they were all made up. Complete lies.

So, let's look at the cycle. America tortured a suspect to get information. That (false) information led us to war in Iraq. In Iraq, we tortured suspects to get information about the insurgency. That insurgency is emboldened when the torture at Abu-Ghraib comes to light. We have another (type of) war on our hands. What is the solution? Torture more individuals to get the dirt on the insurgents....

Where is this all going? Notice the cycle - torture causes a war which causes more torture, which causes a war, which causes more torture.

Can we stop the ride now and get off? We must pass some laws that make it categorically clear that America will not sponsor torture, help other countries to do so, or use information obtained from torture! Even the Isreali's recognize this.