Torture may not have been stupid

I had thought that it was the height of stupidity that the Bush administration sanctioned torture techniques known to be used to extract false confessions and not so much reliable intelligence (as in, totally unreliable). But now there are indications that it may not have been stupid at all: it may have been much worse than that. It's beginning to sound like false confessions were exactly what they wanted.

With the release of the Senate Armed Services Committee report reviewing torture under the Bush administration, the possibility is raised that the torture was motivated by the Bush administration's desire to link Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein even if it was through false confessions. It's bad enough that torture was considered acceptable, but it is just evil that torture may have been used to support a political agenda. Then again, it would fit right in with the attitude of the Bush administration, which had consistently acted as if wishful thinking is a substitute for reality.

American torture emulates Chinese

In a display of both unbelievable stupidity and malice, it has been revealed that some of the interrogation classes at Guantánamo Bay based their material on techniques used by the Chinese during the Korean War. Not only were these techniques basically torture, they were often used to extract false confessions from American soldiers. While it is well known that torture does not work, it's laughable that the military trainers taught techniques that were expressly designed to extract false confessions. Although it's more like torture of any kind is more likely to result in false information than not.

So much for the Bush administration's claim that they needed "enhanced interrogation techniques" to obtain reliable intelligence on terrorist networks. Their ignorance of where certain interrogation techniques came from and whether they even work, in addition to the malice of those in power who didn't even think that the techniques were cruel and unusual punishment, resulted in another blow to the United States' respect for human decency. And it's quite probable that the torture of terror suspects didn't help much, either, and it just tarnished the country's reputation on the global stage.