Aug 25, 2009

Power drills to the head: pros and cons

Publius summarises the IG report:—
The highlights include: (1) mock executions; (2) threatened rape of family members; (3) threatened murder of children; (4) kicking and beating a detainee with a metal flashlight to death; (5) threatening naked hooded detainees with power drills; (6) blowing cigar smoke in detainees' faces until they got sick; (7) waterboarding with massive volumes of water far beyond what OLC authorized (to make it "poignant"); (8) stress positions that nearly caused shoulder dislocations; (9) scraping detainees with stiff brushes; (10) choking a detainee with one's bare hands until they nearly pass out; (11) subjecting detainees to extremely cold temperatures and water dousing; (12) "hard takedowns" (sometimes in diapers); and (13) beating detainees with butts of rifles (followed by kicking them).
Cheney, needless to say, claims vindication. The power-drills worked. But remember, these methods were used on suspects, not members of Al Qaeda, but people the administration suspected of being members of Al Qaeda. Many of the detainees were tortured due to "assessments that were unsupported by credible intelligence". Translation: they were innocent. I'm tried of keeping track of this stuff, tired of rehearsing arguments about why power drills to the head of innocent people is not an efficacious idea; tired of hearing news anchors weighing the pros and cons of torturing people; tired of people talk about "enhanced" interrogations and "poignant" waterboarding; when all I really want to say is: stop it. Stop defending the people who did it. Stop protecting the people who ordered it. Just stop.

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