Expert Interrogator Testifies About Abuse of Iraqis

Here’s a write-up of yesterday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Air Force Col. Steven Kleinman, an interrogation expert, testified that he witnessed illegal treatment of Iraqi detainees. Kleinman and 14 other expert interrogators issued a statement in June declaring torture ineffective in intelligence gathering. The group agreed to the following 5 principles:

We believe:

1. Non-coercive, traditional, rapport-based interviewing approaches provide the best possibility for obtaining accurate and complete intelligence.

2. Torture and other inhumane and abusive interview techniques are unlawful, ineffective and counterproductive. We reject them
unconditionally.

3. The use of torture and other inhumane and abusive treatment results in false and misleading information, loss of critical intelligence, and has caused serious damage to the reputation and standing of the United States. The use of such techniques also facilitates enemy recruitment, misdirects or wastes scarce resources, and deprives the United States of the standing to demand humane treatment of captured Americans.

4. There must be a single well-defined standard of conduct across all U.S. agencies to govern the detention and interrogation of people anywhere in U.S. custody, consistent with our values as a nation.

5. There is no conflict between adhering to our nation’s essential values, including respect for inherent human dignity, and our ability to obtain the information we need to protect the nation.

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Published on September 26, 2008

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