U.S. Army Field Manual 34-52:
"The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults, or exposure to unpleasant and inhumane treatment of any kind is prohibited by law and is neither authorized nor. condoned by the US Government. Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear."
In the following article we see how political appointees of this Republican administration actually circumvented traditional and conventional thinking from military experts to establish the legal framework which violated the Constitution and International Law, embarrassed America in the eyes of the world, and undermined our sense of who we are as a Nation.
This should be an item of profound reflection. Not only did this Republican administration proceed with the matters at hand in an immoral, illegal and unethical way, it demonstrated its typical disregard for practical expertise in the matter of torture. The plain fact is despite the claims of TV programs like "24" and the like, torture never produces reliable information. Torture is a tool for dictatorships and authoritarian regimes (not to mention common criminals) to effect population control through violence, coercion and intimidation. Long a tool to extract false confessions and demonstrate regime or cult dominance over the weak, the use of torture for this Republican administration was all about demonstrating to the American People how "tough" they were on terrorists..... it is a tool of political propaganda. There is no other strategic or tactical utility.
Here's a very fine article on the mechanics of how this happened:
Published on Saturday, April 19, 2008 by The Guardian Top Bush Aides Pushed for Guantanamo Torture
Senior Officials Bypassed Army Chief to Introduce Interrogation Methods
By Richard Norton-Taylor
America’s most senior general was “hoodwinked” by top Bush administration officials determined to push through aggressive interrogation techniques of terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, leading to the US military abandoning its age-old ban on the cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners, the Guardian reveals today....
In his new book, Torture Team, Philippe Sands QC, professor of law at University College London, reveals that: · Senior Bush administration figures pushed through previously outlawed measures with the aid of inexperienced military officials at Guantanamo.
· Myers believes he was a victim of “intrigue” by top lawyers at the department of justice, the office of vice-president Dick Cheney, and at Donald Feldspars defence department.
· The Guantanamo lawyers charged with devising interrogation techniques were inspired by the exploits of Jack Bauer in the American TV series 24.
· Myers wrongly believed interrogation techniques had been taken from the army’s field manual.
The lawyers, all political appointees, who pushed through the interrogation techniques were Alberto Gonzales, David Addington and William Haynes. Also involved were Doug Feith, Rumsfeld’s under-secretary for policy, and Jay Bybee and John Yoo, two assistant attorney generals.....
Myers mistakenly believed that new techniques recommended by Haynes and authorized by Rumsfeld in December 2002 for use by the military at Guantanamo had been taken from the US army field manual. They included hooding, sensory deprivation, and physical and mental abuse.
“As we worked through the list of techniques, Myers became increasingly hesitant and troubled,” writes Sands. “Haynes and Rumsfeld had been able to run rings around him.”
Myers and his closest advisers were cut out of the decision-making process. He did not know that Bush administration officials were changing the rules allowing interrogation techniques, including the use of dogs, amounting to torture.
“We never authorized torture, we just didn’t, not what we would do,” Myers said. Sands comments: “He really had taken his eye off the ball … he didn’t ask too many questions … and kept his distance from the decision-making process.”
Larry Wilkerson, a former army officer and chief of staff to Colin Powell, US secretary of state at the time, told the Guardian: “I do know that Rumsfeld had neutralized the chairman [Myers] in many significant ways.
“The secretary did this by cutting [Myers] out of important communications, meetings, deliberations and plans.
“At the end of the day, however, Dick Myers was not a very powerful chairman in the first place, one reason Rumsfeld recommended him for the job”.
He added: “Haynes, Feith, Yoo, Bybee, Gonzalez and - at the apex - Addington, should never travel outside the US, except perhaps to Saudi Arabia and Israel. They broke the law; they violated their professional ethical code. In future, some government may build the case necessary to prosecute them in a foreign court, or in an international court.”