Read this, from the NY Times. It concerns the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, caught early on in Afghanistan. The article says that there was a major dispute between the FBI who were using standard interrogation techniques, and the CIA who came later and started using more ‘aggressive’ techniques (that’s a euphemism for ‘torture’, you know, except it’s not actually torture because they don’t leave any marks – if you don’t cause any permanent visible injuries it can’t be torture, right?). It’s all hearsay. Who knows whether what it says is accurate or not. But it’s certainly well within expectations for our present government.

I especially like this:

Sometimes, the interrogator would use simpler techniques, entering his cell to ask him to confess.

“You know what I want,” the interrogator would say to him, according to one official’s account, departing leaving Mr. Zubaydah to brood over his answer.

and:

“He was lying, and things were going nowhere,” one official briefed on the matter said of the early interviews. “It was clear that he had information about an imminent attack and time was of the essence.”

I just love the omniscience of the interrogators. They know he’s got information that they want and that they’re preventing an imminent attack. Apparently they’ve learned how to tell when someone is lying, despite the fact that the best drugs and technologies of modern humanity still can’t do that with any kind of reliability. But the CIA knows. And things were going nowhere anywhere, right?
Of course the FBI says they were making very adequate processes by treating this guy humanely, and that as soon as the techniques became ‘more aggressive’ he clammed up.

Is anyone else reminded of Michael Palin dressed up in a red robe and goatee jabbing John Cleese with a pillow and yelling ‘Confess! Confess!’? It would be hilarious if it wan’t so incredibly misguided and scary.

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