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They Have Ways of Making Al-Qaida Talk
June 10, 2002 3:54 PM   Subscribe

They Have Ways of Making Al-Qaida Talk Interrogations must be pretty damn crucial these days. Given advances in science during the past twenty years, how much more sophisticated can CIA methods have become since the 80's?
posted by Voyageman (3 comments total)

 
I suspect quite a bit, though as much (if not moreso) in getting around the various statues restricting interrogation than in New and Improved Tortures (which are unnecessary in the first place, as I'd sell all of you out to avoid this).

Human rights groups say techniques aimed at inducing breakdowns are contrary to laws banning cruel and unusual punishment.

"You're basically not allowed to use anything to overcome the person's free will," said Jamie Fellner of Human Rights Watch.


(from here)

Depending on how one interprets "free will", this could make the entire endeavor unconstitutional. Certainly (and simplistically) torture == bad, but the question of what level of necessity outweighs the compelling moral interest remains unanswered. Israel has (in theory, at least) a "ticking bomb" threshold for legitimate physical persuasion, while on the other hand the signatories to this (including Israel) reject torture regardless of circumstances (in theory, at least). I personally can think of few things more unpleasant, but am entirely unsure where various lines should be drawn.

A fascinating, if wordy, work on the subject. (And on a more local note, this has been going on for a few years. Torture obviously has staying power.)
posted by apostasy at 4:46 PM on June 10, 2002


Brew It or Chew It? Military Seeks Ways to Caffeinate
The "stay up late with strong coffee technique" sounds relatively humane. Surprising to see that common sense is actually borne out in the scientific literature. I wonder if they've investigated tea also-- it worked for Tolstoy's protagonist in "The Kreutzer Sonata."
posted by sheauga at 5:57 PM on June 10, 2002


With all the boy bands that have been created since the 80's, the CIA should have a lot more material to work with.
posted by ArkIlloid at 11:29 PM on June 10, 2002


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