James Mitchell is a psychologist, you know, one of those people who sits and talks with you, poses questions to get your mind thinking of new ways to approach old problems, and views himself as a person who is committed to aiding others attain self knowledge. However, he was hired by the CIA to assist with designing the “enhanced interrogation” procedures which supposedly enabled the American government to capture bad people. A recent report by the US Senate Intelligence Committee argued that “enhanced interrogation” never led to arrests or aided in the war against terrorism. Naturally James does not have much faith in those who dwell in the halls of Congress rather than in the dark rooms of some prison. As he noted, “the people on the ground did the best they could with the way they understood the law at the time. You can’t ask someone to put his life on the line and think and make a decision without the benefit of hindsight and then eviscerate them ten years later.”
Fair enough. However, during WWII when the United States fought against the best army in the world, Nazi Germany, or a hard fighting group of soldiers like the Japanese, we did NOT employ enhanced interrogation methods. Our Intelligence drew upon psychological approaches that avoided torture and their results were outstanding. Sorry James, but during Basic Training in 1951 we were informed on at least three occasions that torture was NOT permissible. We were living in the aftermath of the Nuremberg Trials which sent those who employed torture to jail or to their death.
So, exactly what was not known about torture several years ago??