posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 02:56 PM
Okay, first time poster here.
Part of the perpetual cycle of national security is intelligence gathering. The object in the most basic form is to find out what said enemy is
planning to do before it happens, and avert such action. Much of this intelligence is gathered by means of international assets & foreign contacts
throughout the world (I'm speaking from a United States perspective), while other information is gathered via the technological route, be it via NSA
systems, etc. There is in fact, another method of information gathering: Interrogation.
Lets get a few definitions out of the way here:
in-ter-ro-gate tr.v. - to question formally and systematically
tor-ture n. - the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure
mo-ti-vate tr.v. – to provide with a motive
Interrogation is a very heavily studied art form that has been perfected throughout the years by EVERY nation in the world in one way or another.
Interrogation itself is not really harmful to the person being questioned, being that torture is not always involved (e.g. police questioning a
citizen regarding a crime). What interrogation really does is motivates one into telling a possibly concealed truth by certain means. Looking back
at the example, a police detective may be able to just ask the right questions to get the information he or she was looking for.
Interrogation on the Battlefield
Interrogation in a battlefield setting is very much like anything else, except that you are limited by a few factors. The first limiting factor is
that of time. With war (or combat) being as fluid as it is, the information a particular captured soldier may be aware of may change if too much time
is taken to extract said information. The second factor is location. If you are not in an established safe location to conduct a structured
interrogation of a prisoner, then you are limited by the methods that you can use. Third, and more importantly (especially in a war-like setting) is
the Geneva Convention. This agreement, adopted on 12 August 1949, allows certain rights to prisoners that fall into particular categories. In a
nutshell, you can almost consider them part of the ‘rules of war’. Lets face it: Nobody follows them. Anyone who ever got into a fight in high
school will tell you that you will never win a fight by fighting fair.
Interrogation of Religious Extremists
I mentioned the definition of motivation a few paragraphs up. Speaking on the subject of religious extremists/radicals, this word holds a whole new
meaning. Combined with the word ‘dedication’ (meaning, among other things: self-sacrificing devotion), this creates an individual that is not
susceptible to the same types of methods of interrogation that may work on a conventional prisoner. Asking questions in a mere verbal fashion offers
no motivation for this prisoner to talk, due to his dedication to his religion. With the belief that the particular conflict and/or information he is
involved with is being used for a religious purpose, be it Jihad or other objectives, the prisoner is likely to stay silent for fear of punishment far
greater than anything on this earth (as per his beliefs).
Legislation Issues of Today
With regards to this particular conflict that the United States is involved in, the legislation being passed is to bind the US Military forces to
certain regulations regarding the use of interrogation. Personally, it’s a great idea. Soldiers should not be involved in any sort of
interrogation past verbal questioning. They’re not trained for it.
Now, the reason everyone is all excited and complaining about this news, is that they are making considerations for the organizations that do in fact
have professional interrogation specialists. Scientists of human mind, chemistry, psychology, as well as more conventionally trained operatives. The
CIA is the United States international intelligence service. What do you think they do when they have a potential intelligence source that is
Look back at my section on religious extremists.
In order to overwhelm this motivation & dedication of said prisoner’s religious beliefs, an interrogation specialist uses many methods; yes,
including methods that may be considered ‘torture’ by definition. Pain & agony combined with psychological manipulation may, over time, tip the
scales of the prisoner’s devotion to his religion, causing his own desire for self-preservation—once masked by religious beliefs—to spill out,
causing information to amazingly begin flowing.
The average American, or citizen of any civilized country, wants to wake up in the morning, go to work, come home, see his family, and be glad that
their safe. They don’t stay up at night wondering if one person may be feeling a bit of discomfort in order for their government to prevent actions
that may result in massive loss of life. If you still feel it necessary to question the government’s methods of intelligence gathering, and
criticize it, fine. But do not complain when the next terrorist attack happens in your back yard, because the government was not allowed to use all
of its assets to prevent its occurrence.
Oh, and one more thing. You can blame the Bush Administration all you want…but these things have been going on for longer than most of you have