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Torture doesn’t work 23, April 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
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Ben Makintyre at The Times of London offers a compelling and persuasive  argument for why torture simply does not work. Here are a few choice excerpts.

The key example is Ibn Shaykh al-Libi, a Libyan al-Qaeda trainer captured in Pakistan in 2002. He denied knowing of any links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, but, under torture, “remembered” that Iraq had trained Islamic terrorists in the use of weapons of mass destruction. His evidence formed the centrepiece of George W. Bush’s pre-invasion speech: “We’ve learnt that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and gases.” Al-Libi’s “confession” was entirely false, but by the time the CIA retracted the claim, the war was under way…

Violence is taboo,” wrote Robin “Tin Eye” Stephens, the fearsome monocled martinet who ran Britain’s wartime interrogation centre in London. “Not only does it produce answers to please, but it lowers the standard of information.” Torture fuels insurgency, as the French discovered in Algeria. The extreme violence of the second intifada has been directly linked to the mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners after the first. Britain discovered from its experience battling the IRA that violent repression could be profoundly counter-productive.

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