Mike Baker: Terrorists and Snowflakes”
Interior Cave, Breakfast Nook, Daytime
Bin Laden at the table, somewhat disheveled, occasional spoonfuls of Lucky Charms as he absentmindedly scans the North Waziristan Daily Register.
Ayman…dude…check this out.
Zawahiri shuffles in from next door, hair all akimbo, wearing a mud mask and halfway through eating a Hot Pocket…
What’s up, Sheikster?
Front page… ‘CIA Chief’s Waterboarding Admission Prompts Senate Democrats’ Demand for New Probe’… is that crazy or what?
Ayman leans over to read the headline, dribbling some Hot Pocket on Bin Laden’s shoulder.
(Mumbles as he reads to himself)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called on the Justice Department to open a criminal inquiry into whether past use of waterboarding violated any law… yatta yatta yatta….Human Rights Watch called the CIA director’s testimony an explicit admission of criminal activity… blah blah blah… a Justice Department investigation should explore whether waterboarding was authorized and whether those who authorized it violated the law, said Durbin in a letter to the attorney general…
Huh…crazy…but I like that Durbin guy.
(Scanning the story further)
Look here… they waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed… I would’ve liked to do that one myself. What a tool, giving up all that information… he should be shot.
Boy, you gotta love America.
Bin Laden turns in his seat as he spits out his cereal, glaring at Ayman.
I’m speaking sarcastically, of course… seriously. Who hates America more than I do? Really, don’t take everything so literally.
Six years in a cave, I’m supposed to have a sense of humor?
Relax. You wanna play some ‘Guitar Hero’? I’ll fire up the PS2.
A little vignette from Mike Baker, former CIA station chief Vienna 2/2008 on Fox News.. The rest can be found HERE
*note: I am loathe to quote from Fox, but.. Well they had the article**
With all the revelations surrounding the torture thing, I was interested to locate the above article and snippet from an ancillary search. Mike Baker I know from a BBC show called “SPY” and it turns out he really was a CIA spook of some repute.
Anyway, I see his point and I see the other side of the issue too. Where the law is concerned, it may indeed be considered torture and illegal by some, but really, are these tactics really torture? Of course, I am sure people overstepped their bounds, but, if you go by the “guidelines” strictly, is it indeed torture?
Torture for me has always been something along the lines of the Dentist scene in Marathon Man, or perhaps that lovely scene in Lebanon where George Clooney’s Bob Baer has his finger nails pulled out by a rather angry former asset. That was painful to watch…And I would hazard “is” torture.
Aside from this though, I know for a fact that painful coercion does not work as well as rapport building. Case in point “Abu Zubaiddah” who gave up KSM to the FBI after they had built rapport with him over a long convalescence post his capture in Pakistan. Maybe its more succinct to quote from “Ronin”
[discussing interrogation techniques]
Larry: How did they finally get to you?
Sam: They gave me a grasshopper.
Larry: What’s a grasshopper?
Sam: Lessee, two parts gin, one part brandy, one part Creme de Menthe…
Certainly the carrot works better than the stick with people and I have a firm belief in this. However, if that person who is in my custody is disoriented, tired, cold, and has been in stress positions for hours, they may be a little more amenable to me once I give them that “Grasshopper” eh? Its simple good cop bad cop with some physical stress.
Can it get out of hand? …Yes.
Were the guidelines a little fuzzy? Perhaps on purpose in places?… Yes
Were the interrogators inexperienced and perhaps overzealous? … Yes.
I think in the end, that Dick Cheney, John Yoo, and all the lackeys that listened to herr Goebbels.. uhh Cheney… Were the root of the problem and not so much those in the field. You see, they condoned the behavior if not incited it with their machinations. So, should big O go after the interrogators? No. Should he go after Yoo and the others who “allowed and pulled the strings” all this?
Mike is right, these guys we are fighting are different in many ways.. But.. There is no need to become as bad or worse than them to fight them. In the end, Cheney has nothing to say and the reports that have come out do not definitively at all lend any credence to his assertions that these techniques stopped any major attacks.