Is Mass Murder Preferrable to "Torture?"
According to interrogators in Afghanistan and Guantanamo, stress worked. “The harsher methods we used . . . the better information we got and the sooner we got it,” writes Chris Mackey in The Interrogators, an account of his interrogation service in Afghanistan. Mackey testifies to how “ineffective schoolhouse methods were in getting prisoners to talk.” He warns that his team “failed to break prisoners who I have no doubt knew of terrorist plots or at least terrorist cells that may one day do us harm. Perhaps they would have talked if faced with harsher methods.”
The torture narrative has foreclosed any debate on whether marathon questioning, say, is an acceptable means of getting potentially life-saving information. The new rules for interrogation, issued in September 2006, are even stricter than the previous ones interrogators found so useless. If the country is attacked again on a large scale, however, the country will have to reopen these debates and answer some hard questions.