That Whole Rigamarole

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

The Ethics of Torture

I skimmed this thread at Tacitus about whether or not someone should torture Khalid Mohammed to prosecute the war against al Qaeda. People are exercised in a thoughtful way, as is common at Tacitus's place. It occurred to me this morning that I'm pretty sure the Army has guys whose job is "Interrogator." There is already an Army policy as to what methods are appropriate in various situations, carefully crafted to conform with our official interpretation of the Laws of Land Warfare. I have no idea what the policy is, but I have little doubt that it exists.

Then, on my drive home through the biggest snowstorm of the season, I caught the "Chicago PM" show on WLS. A caller named "Bill" identified himself as a 26-year Special Forces veteran and Army SERE* school graduate. He sounded authentic to me. He described the methods used at that school, mentioning that they are for the most part implemented within the limits of the Geneva Conventions. He said they work just fine, and I believe him about that, too. He also mentioned that we (the US and/or the Army) have been "doing this for years." He said he worked against these same groups in Bosnia, and found that legal methods were effective. As I said, I'll bet he's right. It was an excellent call. I wish WLS/ABC would find out who he was and give him his own show.

*Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape


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