WASHINGTON, August 5 (RIA Novosti) - In a Tuesday Human Rights First teleconference on the leaked Senate Intelligence Committee report that the CIA used torture and enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) to gather intelligence in the War on Terror, former military interrogators, Michael J. Quigley and Steven Kleinman, declared that such practices were not only ineffective, but undermine US security over the long-term.
“I have to say that efficacy argument just isn’t there. That these techniques did not lead to significant intelligence that led to any authoritative gains,” said Quigley of EITs.
Quigley served for 24 years in the US armed services and was the Interrogation Section Chief and senior interrogator at Guantanamo Bay detention center. He noted that during his interrogations, one of the key elements of a suspect’s recruitment and radicalization story “is the ideas of America as taking relatives to a secret prison, like Guantanamo, and torturing and so forth.”
“This has a very, very real effect on the radicalization stories of almost every detainee I spoke with. It led to their eventual recruitment,” Quigley said.
Late last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a controversial report on the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques and torture on terror suspects. There is still ongoing debate over deletions in the leaked report, but it ultimately points to the fact that the United States engaged in torturing captives following the September 11, 2001 attacks. In a Sunday press conference, President Barack Obama even stated that the US had “crossed the line” and engaged in “techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture.”
Colonel Steven Kleinman, a veteran military interrogator stated that the United States will experience severe consequences as a result of the adoption of torture policies under the George W. Bush administration.
“The strategic costs to the United States national interests in the future...have been undermined by the awareness, by the ground truth that the United States is willing to torture people,” said Kleinman.
Despite assertions by some members of the intelligence community that EITs have yielded important intelligence from suspects, Kleinman strongly disagrees based on his own experience.
“Beyond the morality of it, beyond the legality of it, is the operation importance of access to somebody’s memory.” Kleinman said. “Use of force, whether it be physical, emotional, or psychological, does nothing more than to undermines one’s objectives. It undermines the ability to recall, it undermines what’s called executive cognitive functions.”