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Is torture effective?

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Is torture effective at extracting info?

Yes, very
7
17%
Yes, pretty good
10
24%
Only slightly better than alternatives
0
No votes
Same as alternatives
2
5%
Worse than alternatives, tortured person will say anything to make it stop
19
45%
Other
4
10%
 
Total votes : 42
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Post Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:27 am
Dr House wrote:
So, other: I've no bloody clue. And I will not state a preference driven by ideology until I do.

I've actually been starting to lean towards this answer lately.
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Post Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:56 pm
Quote:
as we all know, individuals totally never lie under a normal interrogation, right? Removing their ability to think straight through torture techniques would seem to logically have at least a marginal positive effect in enabling them to blurt out the truth.
You don't get it, do you? In Interrogation they ask innocuous, and seemingly innocent questions, to get around at the truth. They get the person talking, and this is the person's undoing.

In torture, the person can focus on the single thing they do not want to tell the person.

Also, if you use torture, the enemy(i.e. terrorists) soon finds out and can employ methods like the SEALs use to make intelligence useless. In short, torture can be countered far easily than skilled interrogation. In fact, torture can cause a person to cease giving ANY information, let alone tidbits that might give clues and insight into real useful(and even timely) intelligence.

Interrogation is NOT the same as torture(even a close look at the definition tells you that it's about asking questions).


Check out the video on the link below, at around 10 minutes on. It's pretty interesting and demonstrates what you can do with interrogation, and what torture would absolutely prevent you from doing.

Effective Interrogation Techniques
Eliciting Information, Deradicalization and Counterinsurgency From Indonesia to Iraq

Alexander stressed that torture is not an “enhanced method of interrogation,” as it is frequently referred to. In fact, Alexander argued, torture is a largely ineffective enterprise, often failing to elicit information where law enforcement-style interrogation has succeeded. The torture of detainees is also highly detrimental to the long-term counterterrorism effort. After all, Alexander explained, torture has long been a major recruiting point for militants. Although coercive methods may prevent some immediate attacks, the backlash will include an increase in the number of militant fighters. As new recruits are the lifeblood of terrorist organizations, said Alexander, it is important that torture be avoided.

Alexander then outlined three ways to improve U.S. military interrogations. First, he stated, interrogation training must thoroughly educate interrogators on the customs and traditions of their future prisoners. These lessons should be taught by natives who can share the complex nuances of their culture. Second, greater resources must be allocated for interrogation. Often, interrogators attempting to provide incentives for their captive can only offer a meager pillow or a blanket. Finally, the US military must research alternative methods of cross-examination. Alexander reported that Indonesia currently uses a highly successful system that treats each suspect as an individual, rather than a group member. Prior to the interrogation, interrogators assess the prisoner’s dominant motives, level of radicalism, role in the network, and personal problems. Many militants leave Indonesian interrogations to become ex-militants and advocates against violence. This analytic and individualist approach, Alexander concluded, is something the United States military should quickly adopt.


Featured Speaker
Matthew Alexander

Former Senior Military Interrogator
http://newamerica.net/events/2010/effec ... techniques
“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Post Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:59 am
I have been planning to do a Master's Thesis on this topic. A lot of surveillants in Miami where I spend half of the year admitted they get the shivers when they see the tooth extractor. Imagine extracting your tooth or teeth without the benefit of anaesthesia. If that image conjures on me when I sleep, I always feel like either telling everything I know or signing the confession. But who knows, patriotic fervour and soldier's courage might change my mind and keep my mouth shut. I had my tooth extracted deliberately with 1/10th of the potent effect of anaesthesia. It worked. I just got accustomed to pain because I had it done by my dentist 4 times. Well, at least, I won't cry mama anymore. I think when your body is numbed with too much pain, you can succeed in evading telling on your peers.
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Post Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:21 pm
Depends.

If your subject actually has the sought after information, then torture can be very effective. Eventually, he will tell you everything he knows, and even a few things he did not know that he knew.

On the other hand, if your subject does not have such information, then he may very well lead you astray with volumes of misinformation. The human mind can be convincingly creative under the duress of torture.
"It's like you're dreaming of Gorgonzola when it's clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office."
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Post Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:50 pm
Someone expecting torture can be convincingly creative, too.
“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Post Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:49 pm
Godstud wrote:
Someone expecting torture can be convincingly creative, too.


Yeah, but they all get around to telling you the truth as soon as you show them the pruning shears.
"It's like you're dreaming of Gorgonzola when it's clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office."
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Post Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:56 pm
Why would they? If they knew you were going to use them(pruning shears) regardless of what you tell them they'd actually be more inclined to lie to you. I know I would, since I'd know that whatever I told you, you'd still torture me. Even so I could hold out long enough for my compatriots to get away or for my bomb to explode, etc. I mean, if I were a terrorist...

Also, how do you really tell when a person is telling the truth, when you torture them? An innocent person could be tortured, and under duress(which torture most certainly is) admit to anything.
“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Post Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:01 pm
Of course it's effective

People who say it doesn't work have never done bad things to other people
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Post Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:06 pm
Right. Deny facts and accounts from Interrogation professionals. Live in your own world of delusional tranquility where doing bad things to people makes good things happen.
“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Post Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:12 pm
I like you Godstud and respect your opinions. I always read your posts and genuinely enjoy what you have to say. Unfortunately, I simply feel you're out cycling on this one. Interrogation professionals sounds tempting, but I have no idea who they are. Have these professionals personally tortured people, more than once, or seriously observed torture? I doubt it.

I had my own encounter with an interrogation professional. I think I've told this story before, but he was former Spetsnaz and served in Afghanistan. He told me they'd take two friends, ask them some questions, and if they didn't get what they wanted to hear they'd tie one guy up and start grinding down his teeth with a metal file. It wasn't long before his friend gave them the answer they were looking for. Sure they got some bullshit, but plenty of times they got actionable intelligence.

Most people aren't James Bond. Most people are very timid. When confronted with raw, terrifying, and painful power their natural instinct is to submit. When you beat a dog or a woman the usual outcome is that they submit to your will. They don't execute clever strategies to get you to stop and then weasel out later.

Hell, you don't even need to be violent. Just being angry causes most people to walk on eggshells around you.
Everything you believe is wrong. Yes, you!
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Post Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:20 pm
Other

The goal of torture is not to get people to tell the truth. It is to get them to say what you want them to say, or in some cases just to punish them. So if we dispose ourselves of this false notion of what torture is supposed to do, then it is indeed effective at accomplishing its intended purpose.
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Post Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:36 am
Godstud wrote:

Why would they? If they knew you were going to use them(pruning shears) regardless of what you tell them they'd actually be more inclined to lie to you. I know I would, since I'd know that whatever I told you, you'd still torture me. Even so I could hold out long enough for my compatriots to get away or for my bomb to explode, etc. I mean, if I were a terrorist...

Yeah, but first I'm gonna waterboard you.

Then I'm gonna give you a few rounds of ECT.

Then I'm gonna beat the hell out of you and act like I'm frustrated.

Then I"m gonna show you the pruning shears, at which point you're gonna literally shate in your pants just before you tell me everything you know or even think that you know.

There's a procedure, see.

Quote:
Also, how do you really tell when a person is telling the truth, when you torture them? An innocent person could be tortured, and under duress(which torture most certainly is) admit to anything.


Eventually, they all tell the truth.
"It's like you're dreaming of Gorgonzola when it's clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office."
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