Saturday, March 31, 2012

How to Get Ambiguous and False Information

 In an episode from the sixth season of 24, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) does his best to extract information from Abu Fayed (Adoni Maropis), an Islamic terrorist, about a plot to nuke Los Angeles. Assisting him is Mike Doyle (Ricky Schroder). (Kelsey McNeal/FOX photo)
Prime-time torture gets a reality check
Jack Bauer, the hero of 24, is an unalloyed force for truth, justice, and the American way - at least on the tube. The real world is more complicated
| 05 March 2008
The United States, President Bush has declared, "doesn't torture people." The president, presumably, is aware of the vast, often-graphic evidence of inmate abuse at Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, which sparked worldwide outrage and put a handful of U.S. military police behind bars. His own administration recently confessed to the use of waterboarding, an extreme interrogation technique widely considered torture and denounced as a violation of military, civilian, and international law. Vice President Dick Cheney has explicitly defended waterboarding, and Bush himself has endorsed "enhanced" methods of dealing with suspected terrorists.
How, then, to understand such a sweeping denial? If America does it, Bush seems to be saying, it cannot be torture. As demonstrated weekly by Jack Bauer, the torture-happy superpatriot of the Fox TV drama 24, the "ticking time bomb" scenario - in which hundreds of thousands of lives hinge on the prompt extraction of critical information from a captive evil-doer - is its own justification for what might otherwise be viewed as brutal, dehumanizing interrogation techniques: We have no choice. There's no room for legal niceties when you're fighting a "war on terror."
Continues at

Interrogational Torture: Effective or Purely Sadistic?

Los Angeles, CA (March 23, 2012) While government officials have argued that "enhanced interrogation techniques" are necessary to protect American citizens, the effectiveness of such techniques has been debated. According to a recent study, when torture is used to elicit information, it is likely to be unexpectedly harsh yet ineffective. This study was published in a new article in Political Research Quarterly (PRQ) published by SAGE on behalf of the Western Political Science Association.

John W. Schiemann, author of the study and a political scientist at Fairleigh Dickinson University, found that information gleaned from interrogational torture is very likely to be unreliable, and when torture techniques are employed, they are likely to be used too frequently and too harshly. Furthermore, he found that for torture to generate even small amounts of valuable information in practice, the State must make the rational calculation to torture innocent detainees for telling the truth in order to maintain torture as a threat against those who withhold information.

Schiemann found, however, that under realistic circumstances interrogational torture is far more likely to produce ambiguous and false, rather than clear and reliable, information.

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1 comment:

Galt-in-Da-Box said...

The GeOPapists have been looking for an excuse to reintroduce this sacrificial rite of Egyptian spiritualism into the mainstream for decades. I am surprised the "Democrats", and especially 0bama, have not resorted to the same "like everybody else"/follow-the-follower bullshit rationales with which so many Progressives have mezmerized the masses on HITLERY...I mean "0bamacare".
Considering the blatant, vicious and flagrant way they've gone at the rest of the Bill of Rights, it's probably just a matter of time...especially if the authoritarian "left" rolls out an all-wetback "Citizens" National Security Force:
Can we seriously imagine Pedro could be happy as an Enforcer without some knife-play?

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