Sunday, December 09, 2007

THIS is how you treat a terrorist

An article today that's well worth reading. Back in 2000-02 the US had a terrorist in custody, a guy called Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl who handled payroll for Osama bin Laden. He actually handed himself in to the US in 1996, although he then began to question his decision. But the FBI interrogators skillfully played on his psyche, assured him of his safety, and over the course of time got a great deal of information related to the workings of Al Qaeda and about the attacks against two American embassies in East Africa in 1998.

Yes, he handed himself in - he wasn't captured. But this demonstrates how skillful interrogators, not just sadists picked for the job of torturing people whose main qualification is that they enjoy the work, can establish a rapport and get information out of people, willing or not. They can often get more information than the subject even realizes, and because nobody is hooking car batteries to the terrorist's testicles, the terrorist has no incentive to make up stuff just to please the interrogators to make the pain stop.

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