Over at Think Progress:
#55. What are some other interrogation techniques we could use to get the information we need considering these terrorist(sic) have been trained to lie about what they know as well as how they are treated if captured?
I am assuming no one here is against interrogating terrorists…right?
Comment by Tracy — September 21, 2006 @ 5:33 pm
The simplest answer as to other interrogation techniques is `positive reinforcement,' which means rewards for cooperation, in the way of food, treatment, privileges. And, not surprisingly, just as we know that torture doesn't work, we know that `positive reinforcement' does.
But Tracy's question reveals an acceptance of false premises, perhaps because there is little to contradict Bush-Cheney dogma in the MSM.
False Premise #1:
Let's get some clarification before we label people `terrorists': These are `detainees' who have been charged with nothing, convicted of nothing in any recognized court of law. Only in `the Court of George,' which is a rogue operation with no legal authority. It's being protected by `The Court of the GOP,' (the Republican-controlled Congress), another `Court,' that has no legal authority - at least until they succeed in packing the federal courts with neo-fascists. If left standing (Republican-control), it will bring down and end the United States of America. Two-hundred and thirty years, gone. If everything that Bush-Cheney and the Republican-controlled congresses have done these last six years is left to stand, the `experiment in democracy' is over.
In the U.S., people are innocent until proven guilty. In the U.S., people are held responsible for acts that they commit that are against the law - behavior and not thoughts. Either you believe in the rule of law, or you have no business calling yourself an American.
Many of these detainees are also crime victims: They were kidnapped off of streets in other countries, their own countries, by our CIA and taken to underground prisons and tortured. Completely innocent people, with no ties whatsoever to terrorists. If they weren't terrorists before, I could certainly understand their seeking out the nearest Al Qaeda recruiting station once they got home.
That's why we have to hold to our traditions of American jurisprudence, and why the Bush-Cheney approach to the problem of terrorism is so completely off-the-mark, and guaranteed to worsen the problem, not make it better.
Experts agree that the Bush-Cheney plan for eliminating terrorist attacks will not eliminate terrorist attacks. Even Bush and Cheney admit it. The Bush-Cheney plan will never accomplish what Americans want: A pre-9/11 world, in which the U.S. is an admired, respected, and emulated superpower, not targeted for destruction and violent acts of terror. Bush-Cheney have admitted that they can't deliver that. "An impossible dream."
It's not an impossible dream. What existed pre-9/11/01 is not only doable, what existed pre-1993 (the first WTC attack) is achievable. But not with corporate shills in control of U.S. policies and power.
What they're offering is paradoxical: A chronic state of war, of escalating hostilities and broadening conflict. Of days when only 5 national airports are shut down due to terror threats, or only a few hundred people are killed, are considered the new green/low on the bottom of the Homeland Security color code. Our lives will be like how the Israelis live. Tuning out, shutting down, never knowing if today is the day that a suicide bomber will set himself off in a popular cafe that our kid frequents. Those will be considered "good days."
We have a long list of Conservatives, in both political parties, to blame for this mess. For changing America's credo, going all the way back to the end of WWII. That's how long they've been in control of U.S. government, specifically U.S. foreign policy. These are the same people who insisted that hysteria over `commies' become national policy. Their solution to preventing communism from spreading was not unlike their solution to terrorism: Spend us into oblivion while trying to undermine the economies of communist nations, escalate an arms race, wage `hate-campaigns,' blacklist anybody who disagrees, break them by driving them and their families into poverty, turning Americans against each other. Some promoters of the peaceful brotherhood of man, aren't they?
The same hate- and fear-mongers, just as greedy then as they are today, scheming for unregulated capitalism where very few enjoy extreme wealth at the expense of the many whose labor they've exploited on the cheap.
Conservatives' solution then (massive military buildup, unchecked nuclear proliferation and arrogant isolationism and bullying) was as wrong as it is now, and leveler heads managed to prevail and keep them from annihilating the world. But they are now back. Whether in their original form or this new-and-improved `Neo- form, there really is no difference. Conservatives aren't stopping Bush-Cheney, Rumsfeld, Hadley, Wolfowitz, Rice and all. McCain, Warner, Graham, Powell, Armitage, Frist, there is no one in their party who is standing up and saying, "No more." The Bush-Cheney answer is more `shock and awe', impose more military might, commit unpardonable atrocities in Iraq, in Lebanon, and surely before the year is out, Iran. Atrocities which only create more terrorists and widen the theater of violence.
Americans have to stop living in a bubble about this: Since Bush has been in the White House, terrorist acts have increased 3-fold worldwide. We are less safe than we were on 9/11/01 because Bush has made incalculable enemies for us without using any of the money he's borrowed in our names to shore up the security of America. Five years after 9/11/01 and 95% of the cargo entering this country still goes uninspected. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent, money that Americans will be paying off for generations, have all gone into the pockets of Bush-Cheney's corporate cronies. There is nothing to show for all of that money.
When Bush boasts that there hasn't been another attack on home soil since 9/11/01 (five years), that's not any record of achievement. The first attack by Al Qaeda on the WTC was in 1993. It took Al Qaeda another eight years to commit 9/11/01. If Al Qaeda just went by "the most bang for their buck" strategy, which they do, they don't have to attack again on U.S. soil for another few decades. Killing Americans isn't Al Qaeda's goal; terrorizing us into ruination is what they're after.
Paradoxically again, Bush-Cheney and Al Qaeda are in a odd dependent partnership where they depend on each other for survival. The best tool that Al Qaeda has for fanning our fears of terrorism is an American election, when Karl Rove makes sure that we are at our most frightened in order for Republicans to retain control of government. If Al Qaeda was wiped out and no longer any threat, Republicans would be toast. There is no incentive for Bush-Cheney to win a war on terrorism.
Is There a Solution?
Yes. But, unfortunately, the solution that works and that is widely known and understood in circles outside of Washington and the traditional `Establishment' culture, doesn't get any play in the mainstream media. Any time that anybody gets close to bringing up any alternatives at all, the GOP-noise machine goes into action. The solution is known inside Washington, inside the State Department (government employees, not the political appointees) and elsewhere. It's even known inside the Pentagon, but until Bush-Cheney and the GOP-controlled Congress are subdued, it stands no chance.
In the last few weeks, with the suppression of alternative solutions, a new meme has been taking hold in the minds of previously reasonable Americans: That all Muslims are the problem. I guess that means that after five years of being frightened out of our minds by Bush-Cheney terrorist rhetoric, Americans are coming around to giving Bush-Cheney a blank check to kill any and all Muslims.
We are a Nation in Deep Need of Help and Healing.
Can you recall the last time you heard or saw any psychiatrists, psychologists or social scientists brought into the media to discuss anything, much less terrorism? When Bush and Republicans took over (and with the help of the DLC) we got leadership that is ignorant of (and phobic about) what drives people to commit acts of violence against others, as well as themselves (suicide bombers).
There's nothing unique to Islam that makes Muslims any more susceptible to commiting an act of violence than a Christian or a Jew or a Buddhist, or a Wiccan or a Hare Krishna or an atheist.
I think that Americans desperately want to understand why somebody would join Al Qaeda. I think that Americans are not assuaged when Bush says, "It's because they hate our freedom." After five long years in a vacuum, with no one in the `Establishment' (including Democrats, and MSM) willing to offer information and alternative solutions to the American people that challenges the Bush administration, let's start the ball rolling in the blogosphere.
Them and Us: Cult Thinking and the Terrorist Threat, by Arthur Deikman, M.D. It's a good place to begin.
Because of False Premise #2:
"There is no `them,' only `us.'"
Filed under: Bush, Cheney, John McCain, John Warner, Lindsay Graham, war on terror, terrorism, media, MSM, cult, Arthur Deikman, Al Qaeda, Islam