Archive for May, 2011

Now that the fire is over, and Donald Trump has whipped up a storm, it should come as no surprise that he would drop out from seeking to hold the Highest Office in the Land.  First, he told us that he believed that the country was going in the wrong direction.  Next, it was Barack Obama’s birth certificate was fake (which when Obama released it, Trump took all the credit). 

This should come as no surprise.  Now we know why he ran a short-lived campaign all for naught.

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Monday, May 23, 2011

As he prepares to release shocking new evidence and name the people who he claims were behind the forgery of Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate, author Jerome Corsi sensationally accused short-lived Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of “working with Obama” to neutralize the birther controversy.

Appearing on the Alex Jones Show, Corsi said that he now completely discounted the apparent efforts of Donald Trump to force the release of Obama’s birth certificate, stating, “I’m completely convinced at this point Donald Trump was subterfuge, that he…. was working with Obama.”

Corsi explained how he was in contact with Trump and that Trump requested several copies of his book before it was released.

Trump’s role according to Corsi was to “beat the drums big” and craft a false resolution to the controversy in order to make the press “go to sleep” and get his $60 million dollar television contract with NBC, owned by General Electric, which is closely allied with the Obama administration.

Regarding who actually helped the administration create the forgery, Corsi pointed out that “they were stuck with the guys who were close to them,” because putting out a proposal for outside experts to forge the document would have been far too risky.

“I’m pretty well on the trail of linking the characteristics of this document to someone who’s going to have a lot of explaining to do,” said Corsi, adding that he was “hot on the trail” of one individual who “may have had a hand in this,” and that his identity would be released this week.

“The forger is someone who does not work in government, he works in the media and is close to the administration and would have been within the circle of friends that may have been called on to do the forgery or participate in the forgery,” said Corsi.

Corsi said that the information contained in his book, Where’s the Birth Certificate?, and the new revelations he was about to unleash would mean the Obama administration “would not survive,” because the evidence proves the administration has tried to preserve itself using “criminal fraud”.

“I got a call about three weeks before it was released from one of my sources in Hawaii and I was told that the new long form birth certificate had been forged, had been slipped into the log book,” said Corsi, noting that efforts to create the fake began shortly after reporter Mike Evans let slip that Hawaii Governor and close friend Neil Abercrombie had been shocked at his failure to find Obama’s long form birth certificate, and were timed to pre-empt the release of Corsi’s book.

During the interview, Corsi listed numerous examples of where the new birth certificate was clearly forged, including an obvious misspelling on the stamp and a “smiley face” that appears in the signature of the doctor once the document is blown up to 800 per cent, both of which don’t occur in the hundreds of other examples of the signature that Corsi has studied.

The letters in the document also share identical pixelations despite the fact that they are purportedly from a typewriter, which would produce different pixelations if transferred to an electronic document every time. The identical pixelations prove that the document was created on a modern computer.

Another aspect of the birth certificate pointing to forgery is the fact that the electronic PDF document released by the White House clearly shows evidence of ‘kerning’ – where parts of letters overlap each other for a pleasing visual effect – this is produced by modern computers and was not possible on 1960′s typewriters.

“The administration will not show the original, in 1961 there were no computers, where’s the original paper birth certificate if it exists?” asked Corsi, adding that the original document needs to undergo forensic analysis. Corsi visited the Hawaii Department of Health as well as the Kapi’olani Medical Center in an attempt to see the original certificate or patient records for Obama’s mother Ann Dunham, but was told that police would be called if he didn’t vacate the premises.

During an interview with a Denver radio station last week, Corsi said he was about to release bombshell evidence that proved the alleged Obama birth certificate released last month was a composite of three different birth certificates from other individuals born at the same hospital.

“I’m going to be telling the entire world about this scandal over the next few weeks,” Corsi said in a separate interview. “This is going to make Watergate look like a political sideshow by comparison.”

In an effort to derail the success of Corsi’s book, Esquire Magazine then put out a hoax article claiming that publisher Joseph Farah had ordered the book to be pulled from store shelves. Farah is considering whether to launch a lawsuit in response.

Watch Corsi’s full interview with Alex Jones below.

Call me crazy, but my dream – if any at all – is to someday tell a police office that they “cannot” enter my house or car without a warrant.  But now it seems that all of these hopes are dashed, obliterated into a million pieces.  But I guess any such action now would land my ass in jail.  And it is all thanks to the Indiana Supreme court.

Just like the Patriot Act and other government domestic spying programs, the “right” of police officers to enter a home without a warrant all in the name of “reducing violence” is borne out of fear and, of course, crisis.

So, Indiana, you get Today’s Sorry Excuse Award.

INDIANAPOLIS | Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer’s entry.

“We believe … a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,” David said. “We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest.”

David said a person arrested following an unlawful entry by police still can be released on bail and has plenty of opportunities to protest the illegal entry through the court system.

The court’s decision stems from a Vanderburgh County case in which police were called to investigate a husband and wife arguing outside their apartment.

When the couple went back inside their apartment, the husband told police they were not needed and blocked the doorway so they could not enter. When an officer entered anyway, the husband shoved the officer against a wall. A second officer then used a stun gun on the husband and arrested him.

Professor Ivan Bodensteiner, of Valparaiso University School of Law, said the court’s decision is consistent with the idea of preventing violence.

“It’s not surprising that they would say there’s no right to beat the hell out of the officer,” Bodensteiner said. “(The court is saying) we would rather opt on the side of saying if the police act wrongfully in entering your house your remedy is under law, to bring a civil action against the officer.”

Justice Robert Rucker, a Gary native, and Justice Brent Dickson, a Hobart native, dissented from the ruling, saying the court’s decision runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“In my view the majority sweeps with far too broad a brush by essentially telling Indiana citizens that government agents may now enter their homes illegally – that is, without the necessity of a warrant, consent or exigent circumstances,” Rucker said. “I disagree.”

Rucker and Dickson suggested if the court had limited its permission for police entry to domestic violence situations they would have supported the ruling.

But Dickson said, “The wholesale abrogation of the historic right of a person to reasonably resist unlawful police entry into his dwelling is unwarranted and unnecessarily broad.”

This is the second major Indiana Supreme Court ruling this week involving police entry into a home.

On Tuesday, the court said police serving a warrant may enter a home without knocking if officers decide circumstances justify it. Prior to that ruling, police serving a warrant would have to obtain a judge’s permission to enter without knocking.

In the wake of September 11, 2001 as millions of Americans eyes were glued to our television sets watching as President Bush gave his State of the Union address, we all trusted in a government that we thought was infallible.  Carted before the American people as a means to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and our liberties, Americans would soon learn that it did the exact opposite.  Members of Congress were not even able to read the full text before taking a vote.

Read the following two article and tell me what you think.

The Patriot Act Is at war with the Constitution

STATEMENT OF BRUCE FEINON BEHALF OF CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY

RE: THE USA PATRIOT ACT: DISPELLING THE MYTHS

BEFORE THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

MAY 11, 2011


I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Campaign for Liberty about the USA Patriot Act. Provoked largely by the gruesome abominations of 9/11, the legislation was born of fear and uncertainty from abroad. Fear, however, is the fount of tyranny. James Madison, father of the Constitution, warned centuries ago in opposing the tyrannical Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798: “Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger real or pretended from abroad.” At the constitutional convention of 1787, Madison similarly recognized the inclination of government to wave a banner of foreign danger to excuse the destaruction of domestic liberties: “The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

The 342-page USA Patriot Act passed without inquiry into whether arming the government with muscular investigatory tools justified the corresponding intrusions on the right to be left alone — the right most valued by civilized people. The Patriot Act was portrayed as a necessary defense against foreign agents and international terrorists. Citizen liberties were relegated to extras in a Cecil B. De Mille cinematic extravaganza

Despite the good intentions of its architects, the Patriot Act betrays bedrock constitutional principles. The individual is the center of the Constitution’s universe. Aggrandizing government is the center of the Patriot Act. The Constitution salutes freedom and citizen sovereignty over absolute safety and citizen vassalage. The Patriot Act turns that hierarchy on its head. Where experience and facts are inconclusive as regards the need for government authority, the Constitution’s default position is liberty. Under the Patriot Act, if a threat passes a microscopic threshold of danger, a Big Brother government is exalted, a descendant of the 1% doctrine. The authorization of “lone wolf”surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is exemplary. It has never been employed, yet it is defended as a cornerstone of the nation’s defense against a second edition of 9/11.

The Alien Act of 1798 was similar. It answered political or popular fears of French immigrants. The President was empowered to deport unilaterally any immigrant thought “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States.” During its two-year life, the President never once invoked the Act’s deportation authority. Congress sensibly declined to renew it.

The makers of the Constitution venerated man’s spiritual nature, his moods, and his intellect, to borrow from Justice Louis D. Brandeis. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their attitudes, their seclusions, and their challenges to conventional wisdom. They crowned citizens with the right to be left free from government encroachments, the hallmark of every civilized society. To protect that right, Justice Brandeis sermonized, “[E]very unjustifiable intrusion by the Government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment.” The Patriot Act, nevertheless, shrivels the right to be left alone from Government snooping and surveillance. It sneers at Benjamin Franklin’s admonition: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Patriot Act champions boast that only a handful of judicial rulings have cast a cloud over its provisions, for instance, gag orders on National Security Letter recipients. But even the U.S. Supreme Court stumbles. In Olmstead v. United States (1928), the Court held conversations were outside the ambit of the Fourth Amendment because its text protected only “persons, houses, papers, and effects.” In Katz v. United States (1967), thirty-nine years later, the Court overruled Olmstead and held the Amendment protected “reasonable expectations of privacy.” As Saint Paul preached, “the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” 2 Corinthians 3: 6. The Supreme Court sustained the constitutionality of race-based concentration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II. Congress repudiated the Court’s odious decisions in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

No federal court voided the Sedition Act of 1798, despite its flagrant trespass on free speech. Over 150 years later in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964), the Supreme Court denounced the Act as unconstitutional. Many Patriot Act provisions hinge on the decision of the High Court in U.S. v. Miller (1976), that bank records or other information “voluntarily”shared with third parties are outside a suspect’s zone of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. The Miller precedent seems increasingly anachronistic in the Age of the Internet in which a virtual diary of individual activities is in the hands of third party Internet Service Providers.

Moreover, extra-constitutional reasons explain the dearth of court challenges. The lion’s share of information sought under the Patriot Act is aimed at third parties, not the target of surveillance or investigation. The former have little or no incentive to incur the legal costs and public opprobrium inherent in fighting the government. In addition, many recipients of Patriot Act demands, like telecommunications companies or banks, are motivated to cultivate government goodwill to preserve contracts or friendly regulatory relations. The government has also sought to stigmatize any opponent of the USA Patriot Act as semi-traitorous or un-American through its title or otherwise. Then Attorney General John Ashcroft decried its critics as “aiding and abetting terrorists.” But in the true Republic created by our Founding Fathers, the people censure the government; the government does not censure the people. Finally, the vast majority of victims of illegal or unconstitutional surveillance under FISA are never informed of the spying. They do not know the government has compiled a dossier against them.

In light of the hostility toward Patriot Act dissenters generated by the Government and general concealment of violations, the diminutive number of federal court cases is readily understandable. Why bring a lawsuit and risk losing your neighbor, your friends, your job, and your public standing? It might equally be said in defense of Jim Crow that “separate but equal”must have been benign because so few blacks initiated lawsuits seeking its reversal (at the risk of their homes, families, ostracisms, and lives).

At least one Member of Congress has insinuated that a constitutional violation is harmless as long as the Government conceals the violation from the victim, for example, an unconstitutionally seized and retained email or phone call. That assertion seems first cousin to the nonsense that government assassinations are innocuous if the victims are never acknowledged and their bodies are never found.

Every Founding Father — every Member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 — would have been appalled at the Patriot Act. They were electrified by patriot James Otis’ denunciation in 1761 of villainous Writs of Assistance — general search warrants which empowered petty officers to invade privacy and liberty on bare suspicion without oath. Otis elaborated: “It appears to me the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law that ever was found in an English law book…Every one with this writ may be a tyrant; if this commission be legal, a tyrant in a legal manner, also, may control, imprison, and murder any one within the realm.” Patriot John Adams was awed, and remarked, “[T]hen and there was the first scene of the first act of opposition to the arbitrary claims of Great Britain. Then and there the child Independence was born.”

Click here to read the full text.

Let the Patriot Act Expire

Congress will soon be considering renewal of major portions of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act is generally promoted as the principal legislative tool being used to fight international terrorism, but it played no role whatsoever in the recent killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The Act is, in reality, a devastating and poorly conceived bit of legislation originally approved just after 9/11. It will soon be up for an extension in the US Senate prior to the expiration of some key elements on May 27th. President Barack Obama, who criticized it while he was a candidate but apparently has had a change of heart since that time, favors its renewal and his Attorney General Eric Holder recently endorsed its renewal. Most members of Congress, few of whom have ever read the entire act, want it renewed. The mainstream media likes the Patriot Act, one suspects, because it is difficult to fault legislation that has “Patriot” as part of its name.

There is growing suspicion, even among congressmen, that the Patriot Act just might be too damaging to civil liberties at a time when the terrorism threat appears to be receding. Senator Rand Paul led the charge in the Senate back in February that resulted in a temporary 90 day continuation of the provisions of the act that will expire this month. The Act will again be up for Senatorial approval but, unfortunately, the planned one week long open debate in front of the full Senate and under the scrutiny of the media might well be canceled due to lack of interest by Republicans and Democrats alike. It would have been the first time that has happened since 2001, when the Act first became law.

Broadly speaking, the Patriot Act was designed to make it easier for law enforcement to investigate US citizens and permanent residents by easing legal restraints on records and activities that were hitherto considered private or required a judge’s order to access. The Act has enjoyed bipartisan support since 2001.

Title 2 of the Patriot Act, makes it possible to investigate any foreign suspect as part of a law enforcement effort to obtain foreign intelligence information even if there was no evidence that a crime had been committed. The difference is critical as the police previously had to have actual evidence of a crime while the new procedure permitted investigation of just about anyone who could plausibly be linked to a foreign suspect to obtain information, allowing law enforcement to conduct wide ranging fishing expeditions. The Act also lifted the old requirement that law enforcement demonstrate that the target of an approved investigation was a foreign national and a possible agent of a foreign government. Anyone linked to the inquiry, even a US citizen, could become a person of interest. This was referred to as a “lone wolf” provision and it is one of the areas of the Patriot Act that is up for renewal.

Title 2 also permitted any district court in the United States to issue surveillance orders and search warrants in connection with proposed terrorist investigations and the Act specifically included electronic communications and voicemail records as subject to the warrants. Using the warrants, the FBI is able to access from the internet service provider all records on a user, to include name, address, telephone billing records, session details, and payment information to include bank and credit card records. This feature of the Act is also up for renewal this month.

The third feature of the Act that is up for extension at the end of May is roving wiretaps, permitting law enforcement to obtain warrants that allow them to switch from one communications medium to another if they believe that the target is changing his method of communication to make monitoring him more difficult. This means that the FBI is empowered to tap multiple phones or computer lines simultaneously based on one blanket warrant. Previously law enforcement had to show cause for the tap and it was limited to the telephone or computer line specified in the request. Under Title 2 the FBI was also permitted to obtain whatever tangible public records are available to assist in an investigation. This was the so-called library clause, where library borrowing records could be accessed by the police.

Click here for full text.

Alex Jones & Aaron Dykes
TheAlexJonesChannel
May 12, 2011

Alex Jones debunks the legacy of lies that fill the pages of the phony War on Terror narrative– killing bin Laden, 9/11, Iraq, all of it– in a special video address. This “war” which has consumed our society is nothing more than a dramatized narrative meant to frighten the simple, captive public into accepting greater societal control.

Bin Laden was a strawman-villain concocted by the Western intelligence apparatus to take the blame for the orchestrated terror that is scripted and carried out by the globalist-allied factions. The Phantom Osama bin Laden was a skeleton key opening the door to foreign intervention in the middle east or anywhere al Qaeda might be. The motive is simple– ever-expanding wars for the military industrial complex, and the often more lucrative periods of reconstruction (i.e. you break it, you buy it). The occupation continues here at home with the creation of a police state supposedly meant to combat terrorism.

So rotten is the “big lie” of the War on Terror, that the most iconic events of the period are the most contrived. The official story about the killing of bin Laden disintegrated in mere days, as no one could keep the story straight. But it’s just the latest episode of a fairy tale that’s been sold to the public for nearly a decade; this story, told with a straight face, is not simply riddled with lies, but wholly subsists of them.

Everything has been lie– cooked-evidence about WMDs in Iraq, bogus claims about mobile weapons labs & yellow cake, the Hollywood-scripted Jessica Lynch-incident, the shameful murder of Pat Tillman, the false-flag attacks on 9/11, sticking it to the victims’ families & first responders, manufacturing links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, false-flag scenarios in the Downing Street memos, planted flash mobs at the White House & Ground Zero cheering ‘We got him’ to boost appeal for Obama, phony bin Laden videos faked by assets at SITE and the Intel Center, Osama’s CIA identity Tim Osman, secret backing for the Taliban in 1979, fake terror alerts– all of it.

Alex appeals to the facts in the historical record and an instinctual rejection of the pure lies put out by the establishment. You don’t want to miss this video; hopefully you can use it to reach those who felt “renewed” by reports of bin Laden’s death and are accepting the big lies all over again for the thrill of celebrating “the kill.” It’s a shoddy hoax to bolster public support, but even that illusion is falling apart. The L.A. Times reports that Obama’s “bin Laden bump” has already fallen back to Earth with the rate of gravity.

After all, the system has no credibility, and cheap lies about bin Laden have minimal value. Such easily exposed lies can be dumped on Obama as political baggage just as easily as it can boost him in the polls. The persistence of the Left-Right paradigm allows Obama & Bush alike to be dumped on for the failures & frauds of the system, actually giving cover to the continuity of government agenda, which milks power from the perceived need for greater “safety” measures as well as failed leadership.

Washington’s Blog

Virtually all of the top interrogation experts – both conservatives and liberals (except for those trying to escape war crimes prosecution) – say that torture doesn’t work:

  • Army Field Manual 34-52 Chapter 1 says:

    “Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.”

  • The C.I.A.’s 1963 interrogation manual stated:

Intense pain is quite likely to produce false confessions, concocted as a means of escaping from distress. A time-consuming delay results, while investigation is conducted and the admissions are proven untrue. During this respite the interrogatee can pull himself together. He may even use the time to think up new, more complex ‘admissions’ that take still longer to disprove.

  • According to the Washington Post, the CIA’s top spy – Michael Sulick, head of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service – said that the spy agency has seen no fall-off in intelligence since waterboarding was banned by the Obama administration. “I don’t think we’ve suffered at all from an intelligence standpoint.”
  • A 30-year veteran of CIA’s operations directorate who rose to the most senior managerial ranks (Milton Bearden) says (as quoted by senior CIA agent and Presidential briefer Ray McGovern):

    It is irresponsible for any administration not to tell a credible story that would convince critics at home and abroad that this torture has served some useful purpose.

    This is not just because the old hands overwhelmingly believe that torture doesn’t work — it doesn’t — but also because they know that torture creates more terrorists and fosters more acts of terror than it could possibly neutralize.

  • A former high-level CIA officer (Philip Giraldi) states:

Many governments that have routinely tortured to obtain information have abandoned the practice when they discovered that other approaches actually worked better for extracting information. Israel prohibited torturing Palestinian terrorist suspects in 1999. Even the German Gestapo stopped torturing French resistance captives when it determined that treating prisoners well actually produced more and better intelligence.

  • Another former high-level CIA official (Bob Baer) says:

    And torture — I just don’t think it really works … you don’t get the truth. What happens when you torture people is, they figure out what you want to hear and they tell you.

  • Michael Scheuer, formerly a senior CIA official in the Counter-Terrorism Center, says:

    “I personally think that any information gotten through extreme methods of torture would probably be pretty useless because it would be someone telling you what you wanted to hear.”

  • A retired C.I.A. officer who oversaw the interrogation of a high-level detainee in 2002 (Glenn L. Carle) says:

    [Coercive techniques] didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information…Everyone was deeply concerned and most felt it was un-American and did not work.”

  • A former top Air Force interrogator who led the team that tracked down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has conducted hundreds of interrogations of high ranking Al Qaida members and supervising more than one thousand, and wrote a book called How to Break a Terrorist writes:

As the senior interrogator in Iraq for a task force charged with hunting down Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the former Al Qaida leader and mass murderer, I listened time and time again to captured foreign fighters cite the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo as their main reason for coming to Iraq to fight. Consider that 90 percent of the suicide bombers in Iraq are these foreign fighters and you can easily conclude that we have lost hundreds, if not thousands, of American lives because of our policy of torture and abuse. But that’s only the past.
Somewhere in the world there are other young Muslims who have joined Al Qaida because we tortured and abused prisoners. These men will certainly carry out future attacks against Americans, either in Iraq, Afghanistan, or possibly even here. And that’s not to mention numerous other Muslims who support Al Qaida, either financially or in other ways, because they are outraged that the United States tortured and abused Muslim prisoners.

In addition, torture and abuse has made us less safe because detainees are less likely to cooperate during interrogations if they don’t trust us. I know from having conducted hundreds of interrogations of high ranking Al Qaida members and supervising more than one thousand, that when a captured Al Qaida member sees us live up to our stated principles they are more willing to negotiate and cooperate with us. When we torture or abuse them, it hardens their resolve and reaffirms why they picked up arms.

He also says:

[Torture is] extremely ineffective, and it’s counter-productive to what we’re trying to accomplish.

When we torture somebody, it hardens their resolve … The information that you get is unreliable. … And even if you do get reliable information, you’re able to stop a terrorist attack, al Qaeda’s then going to use the fact that we torture people to recruit new members.

And he repeats:

I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

He said last week:

They don’t want to talk about the long term consequences that cost the lives of Americans…. The way the U.S. treated its prisoners “was al-Qaeda’s number-one recruiting tool and brought in thousands of foreign fighters who killed American soldiers.

  • The FBI interrogators who actually interviewed some of the 9/11 suspects say torture didn’t work
  • Another FBI interrogator of 9/11 suspects said:

I was in the middle of this, and it’s not true that these [aggressive] techniques were effective

  • The FBI warned military interrogators in 2003 that enhanced interrogation techniques are “of questionable effectiveness” and cited a “lack of evidence of [enhanced techniques’] success.
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously found that torture doesn’t work, stating:

    The administration’s policies concerning [torture] and the resulting controversies damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.

  • General Petraeus says that torture is unnecessary, hurts our national security and violates our American values
  • Retired 4-star General Barry McCaffrey – who Schwarzkopf called he hero of Desert Storm – agrees
  • Former Navy Judge Advocate General Admiral John Hutson says:

    Fundamentally, those kinds of techniques are ineffective. If the goal is to gain actionable intelligence, and it is, and if that’s important, and it is, then we have to use the techniques that are most effective. Torture is the technique of choice of the lazy, stupid and pseudo-tough.

    He also says:

    Another objection is that torture doesn’t work. All the literature and experts say that if we really want usable information, we should go exactly the opposite way and try to gain the trust and confidence of the prisoners.

  • Army Colonel Stuart Herrington – a military intelligence specialist who interrogated generals under the command of Saddam Hussein and evaluated US detention operations at Guantánamo – notes that the process of obtaining information is hampered, not helped, by practices such as “slapping someone in the face and stripping them naked”.Herrington and other former US military interrogators say:

    We know from experience that it is very difficult to elicit information from a detainee who has been abused. The abuse often only strengthens their resolve and makes it that much harder for an interrogator to find a way to elicit useful information.

  • Major General Thomas Romig, former Army JAG, said:

    If you torture somebody, they’ll tell you anything. I don’t know anybody that is good at interrogation, has done it a lot, that will say that that’s an effective means of getting information. … So I don’t think it’s effective.

  • The head of all U.S. intelligence said:

    The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world … The damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security.

  • Former counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke says that America’s indefinite detention without trial and abuse of prisoners is a leading Al Qaeda recruiting tool.
  • The first head of the Department of Homeland Security – Tom Ridge – says we were wrong to torture.The former British intelligence chairman says that waterboarding didn’t stop terror plots.
  • A spokesman for the National Security Council (Tommy Vietor) says:

    The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003.

In researching this article, I spoke to numerous counterterrorist officials from agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Their conclusion is unanimous: not only have coercive methods failed to generate significant and actionable intelligence, they have also caused the squandering of resources on a massive scale through false leads, chimerical plots, and unnecessary safety alerts…Here, they say, far from exposing a deadly plot, all torture did was lead to more torture of his supposed accomplices while also providing some misleading “information” that boosted the administration’s argument for invading Iraq.

  • Neuroscientists have found that torture physically and chemically interferes with the prisoner’s ability to tell the truth
  • An Army psychologist – Major Paul Burney, Army’s Behavior Science Consulting Team psychologist – said (page 78 & 83):

It was stressed to me time and time again that psychological investigations have proven that harsh interrogations do not work. At best it will get you information that a prisoner thinks you want to hear to make the interrogation stop, but that information is strongly likely to be false.

***

Interrogation techniques that rely on physical or adverse consequences are likely to garner inaccurate information and create an increased level of resistance…There is no evidence that the level of fear or discomfort evoked by a given technique has any consistent correlation to the volume or quality of information obtained.

  • An expert on resisting torture – Terrence Russell, JPRA’s manager for research and development and a SERE specialist – said (page 209):

History has shown us that physical pressures are not effective for compelling an individual to give information or to do something’ and are not effective for gaining accurate, actionable intelligence.

 

And – according to the experts – torture is unnecessary even to prevent “ticking time bombs” from exploding (see this, this and this). Indeed, a top expert says that torture would fail in a real ‘ticking time-bomb’ situation

Indeed, it has been known for hundreds of years that torture doesn’t work:

  • As a former CIA analyst notes:

During the Inquisition there were many confessed witches, and many others were named by those tortured as other witches. Unsurprisingly, when these new claimed witches were tortured, they also confessed. Confirmation of some statement made under torture, when that confirmation is extracted by another case of torture, is invalid information and cannot be trusted.

  • The head of Britain’s wartime interrogation center in London said:

“Violence is taboo. Not only does it produce answers to please, but it lowers the standard of information.”

  • The national security adviser to Vice President George H.W. Bush (Donald P. Gregg) wrote:

During wartime service with the CIA in Vietnam from 1970 to 1972, I was in charge of intelligence operations in the 10 provinces surrounding Saigon. One of my tasks was to prevent rocket attacks on Saigon’s port.Keeping Saigon safe required human intelligence, most often from captured prisoners. I had a running debate about how North Vietnamese prisoners should be treated with the South Vietnamese colonel who conducted interrogations. This colonel routinely tortured prisoners, producing a flood of information, much of it totally false. I argued for better treatment and pressed for key prisoners to be turned over to the CIA, where humane interrogation methods were the rule – and more accurate intelligence was the result.

The colonel finally relented and turned over a battered prisoner to me, saying, “This man knows a lot, but he will not talk to me.”

We treated the prisoner’s wounds, reunited him with his family, and allowed him to make his first visit to Saigon. Surprised by the city’s affluence, he said he would tell us anything we asked. The result was a flood of actionable intelligence that allowed us to disrupt planned operations, including rocket attacks against Saigon.

Admittedly, it would be hard to make a story from nearly 40 years ago into a definitive case study. But there is a useful reminder here. The key to successful interrogation is for the interrogator – even as he controls the situation – to recognize a prisoner’s humanity, to understand his culture, background and language. Torture makes this impossible.

There’s a sad twist here. Cheney forgets that the Bush administration followed this approach with some success. A high-value prisoner subjected to patient interrogation by an Arabic-speaking FBI agent yielded highly useful information, including the final word on Iraq’s weapons programs.

His name was Saddam Hussein.

  • Top interrogators got information from a high-level Al Qaeda suspects through building rapport, even if they hated the person they were interrogating by treating them as human

Postscript: Even if – despite the above – you still believe that torture produces helpful information, you should note that the U.S. government used Communist torture techniques specifically designed to produce FALSE Confessions.