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July 02, 2008

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These tactics came from the Communist Chinese. Read that again. Communist Chinese. Who identifies ideologically with Communism more than the Republicans? Why, the Democrats.

Ergo, under a President Al Gore or John Kerry, we'd be conducting more interrogation of a more brutal nature in a more authoritarian and lawless fashion.

Democrats would be worse. QED.

Besides, John McCain already stated on numerous occasions that he was against torture as an interrogation technique. I don't know why this is such a big deal. The terrorists in Gitmo would be doing worse things to you if they had half the chance.

Heh, beat me to it.

What's new in the NYT story is not that these techniques come from the Chinese and North Koreans, or that they were, and were (originally) known to be, techniques designed to elicit false confessions, not information. What's new is the chart.

That said, we cannot be reminded of this too often.

Moreover, this is just a particularly vivid illustration of the costs of the Bush administration's policy of cutting people who might disagree with their preferred outcome out of decision-making. There were plenty of people in, say, the FBI who knew the history of interrogation generally, and the SERE program in particular, and who protested the government's decision to use SERE as a template for interrogation.

But they were excluded from decisions, and as a result we get this.

Over at Pharyngula, PZ Myers has a link to a short video of Mr Conyers asking Mr. Yoo "Is there anything that the President could not legally have done to a suspect?" And Mr. Yoo evades the question. Pretty scary stuff:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wBkKT7aTpQ

Hilzoy,

This revelation just stuck in the craw a bit more. Reverse engineering SERE was bad, but actually using these types of charts and just changing the title seemed more...I don't know, blatant.

As for the value of reminders: Since this issue is still relevant in terms of the Presidential race (I can't believe one candidate is actually pro-torture!), as well as current government torture policy, it sadly merits ongoing discussion.

Can we throw some people in fncking jail now?

A good place to repost my comment here, which in turn points to an article and video by Christopher Hitchens in which he volunteers to undergo SERE-style waterboard training, lasts about five seconds, and concludes, "Hell yes, it's torture, and we shouldn't be doing it."

And a good moment to link to Scott Eric Kaufman on "Reverse Torture Porn".

John McCain already stated on numerous occasions that he was against torture as an interrogation technique except when used by the CIA

Can we throw some people in fncking jail now?

“I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table”
-- N. Pelosi

Over at Pharyngula, PZ Myers has a link to a short video of Mr Conyers asking Mr. Yoo "Is there anything that the President could not legally have done to a suspect?" And Mr. Yoo evades the question. Pretty scary stuff:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wBkKT7aTpQ

If I might gently point out, PZ's post is a link to me. Lots more at my post, including the child-testicle-crushing video/audio, which comes back to our discussion of it here a year ago.

Digressively, David Addington.

I figured Zifnab's comment was parody, that's why I didn't correct the McCain misinformation.

But thanks for getting that on record rea.

Thanks to the folks at PubMedCentral, you can find online not only the chart that's being referred to, but the entire 1957 journal issue discussing Communist interrogration and indoctrination. It's at

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/tocrender.fcgi?iid=142539

The chart appears in the Biderman article, "Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions from Air Force Prisoners of War".

Can we throw some people in fncking jail now?

Only if you're objectively-pro-anti-Communist-torture-charts, motherfncker!

...the sad thing is, I can't even tell who I've just condemned.

I figured Zifnab's comment was parody

Like parodic news stories from the Onion a couple of years ago, you always have to read carefully and think twice to be sure these days.

Irony is not dead: it was only in a secret prison being waterboarded to elicit confessions which could be used as evidence against irony when it was tried, convicted, and executed by the United States.

And then there were those text passages that read like word-for-word translations of the "Verschärfte Vernehmung" statutes of a certain era of German history (I think* we discussed that here once and I think they occured somewhere in the vicinity of a certain Yoo).
---
[snark]Maybe impaling would be more appropriate than impeaching[/snark]

*too lazy to search the archives for that at the moment

Stated without further comment:

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Gosh, Sebastian, you sound like the victim of some fraternity hijinks, there . . .

Seb: *hugs*

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