What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 25, 2009

The JPRA: It's Torture and It's UNRELIABLE

The JPRA is the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency and its job, according to its Mission Statement is to:
Shape Personnel Recovery for the Department of Defense and enable commanders, forces, and individuals to effectively accomplish their Personnel Recovery responsibilities.
And as defined by the US Military:
Personnel recovery is the term for military, civil, and diplomatic efforts to obtain the release or recovery of captured, missing, or isolated personnel from uncertain or hostile environments and denied areas.
So these folks are the experts.

The Washington Post is reporting:
The military agency that provided advice on harsh interrogation techniques for use against terrorism suspects referred to the application of extreme duress as "torture" in a July 2002 document sent to the Pentagon's chief lawyer and warned that it would produce "unreliable information."

"The unintended consequence of a U.S. policy that provides for the torture of prisoners is that it could be used by our adversaries as justification for the torture of captured U.S. personnel," says the document, an unsigned two-page attachment to a memo by the military's Joint Personnel Recovery Agency.
The WaPost goes on to say that:
[T]he document offers the clearest evidence that has come to light so far that technical advisers on the harsh interrogation methods voiced early concerns about the effectiveness of applying severe physical or psychological pressure.
The 2-pager is here.

From the intro:
This discussion is not intended to address the myriad legal, ethical, or moral implications of torture; rather, this document will seeks to describe the key operational considerations relative to the use of physical and psychological pressures.
And the the essense of the memo:
The primary objective of interrogation within the context of intelligence is the collecting of timely, accurate, and reliable information. The question that should immediately come to mind is whether the application of physical and/or psychological duress will enhance the interrogator's ability to achieve this objective. The requirement to obtain information from an uncooperative source as quickly as possible-in time to prevent, for example, an impending terrorist attack that could result in loss of life-has been forwarded as a compelling argument for the use of torture. Conceptually, proponents envision the application of torture as a means to expedite the exploitation process. In essence, physical and/or psychological duress are viewed as an alternative to the more time consuming conventional interrogation process. The error inherent in this line of thinking is the assumption that, through torture, the interrogator can extract reliable and accurate intelligence. History and a consideration of human behavior would appear to refute this assumption. [Emphasis added.]
This would seem to put the kibosh on the old, "If the only way to get the info quickly on a terror plot that's sure to kill your wife is to torture a terrorist, would you allow it?" canard, doesn't it?

But there's another downside to torture:
Another important aspect ofthe debate over the use oftorture is the consideration of its potential impact on the safety ofU.S. personnel captured by current and future adversaries. The unintended consequence ofa U.S. policy that provides for the torture of prisoners is that it could be used by our adversaries as justification for the torture of captured U.S. personnel. While this would have little impact on those regimes or organizations that already employ torture as a standard means of operating, it could serve as the critical impetus for those that are currently weighing the potential gains and risks associated with the torture ofU.S. persons to accept torture as an acceptable option.
This was sent up the chain of command in July of 2002. They knew torture didn't work back then.

Investigate and prosecute the torture.


Laurie Mann said...

But, as many of us have pointed out many times, the facts don't matter to Republicans, particularly to any member of the Bush administration. This is just more confirmation of the complete incompetence of the Bush administration.

Sherry said...

i'm bregining to think that someone high up decided to torture for torture's sake. just because they could.
i fear,
we really haven't come that far from the mindset of the inquisition.

some people just get off on having the power over life and death.

someone/some-ones, are no better than santioned, serial killers.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

the facts don't matter to Republicans, particularly to any member of the Bush administration.Not true. Republicans love facts. Unless the facts are polically inconvenient, they just L-O-V-E facts.

And without naming names, the same could be said for certain Presidents who currently inhabit the White House.