Thursday, July 03, 2008

Recycled Interrogation Methods

The New York Times revealed in a July 2 article entitled "China Inspired Interrogations at Guantánamo," that interrogation methods used by the Chinese on American prisoners of war during the Korean War were imitated by our military trainers in Guantanamo Bay. Congressional hearings have expressed concerns about using such methods. On July 26, 2007, for example, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s S. HRG. 110-257 entitled Extraordinary Rendition, Extraterritorial Detention and Treatment of Detainees: Restoring Our Moral Credibility and Strengthening Our Diplomatic Standing contains statements from Senators Biden and Feingold denouncing such techniques. Likewise Senator Leahy in the Judiciary Committee’s S.HRG. 110-299 entitled Preserving the Rule of Law in the Fight Against Terrorism, Oct. 2, 2007 denounced similar methods used in Abu Ghraib: “. . . the terrible abuses of Abu Ghraib, which stained us as a country and which were the direct results of a lack of clarity and restraint in the rules of interrogation.”

How do we as a country find an effective yet moral way to gain necessary intelligence, a method showing clarity and restraint? The Intelligence Science Board of the National Defense Intelligence College has been grappling with better ways to solicit information. Its Dec. 2006 Phase 1 report entitled Educing Information, Interrogation: Science and Art, Foundations for the Future, covers a wide variety of subjects such as evaluating intelligence detection devices, the costs and benefits of interrogation, behavior science lessons learned from educing information, and challenges in developing a new educing information paradigm.