The New York Times is reporting that military trainers who came to Guantanamo Bay in December 2002 based an interrogation class on a chart showing various “coercive” techniques for use on prisoners. What the trainers did not reveal, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied an Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain false confessions from American prisoners.
The 1957 article from which the chart was copied was entitled “Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War” and written by Albert D. Biderman, a sociologist then working for the Air Force, who died in 2003. Mr. Biderman had interviewed American prisoners returning from North Korea, some of whom had been filmed by their Chinese interrogators confessing to germ warfare and other atrocities.
Senator Carl Levin, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee said, “What makes this document doubly stunning is that these were techniques to get false confessions. People say we need intelligence, and we do. But we don’t need false intelligence.” (Duhh)
Of course, when has the Bush administration really cared about getting intelligence. They just make up what they need. But picture this, George, Condi, and Dick sitting around the Oval Office having coffee laughing and having a good ole time coming up with ways that prisoners can be tortured for their fun and amusement. Who wants to bet me that Dick Cheney has watched videos of some of the “interrogations.” (Maybe even alone at home in the dark doing the dirty.)
How sad we have become, but of course the right-wing will insist that, “It’s not torture…it was when the commies did it to our soldiers, but it’s not now when we do it to Arabs, that’s different.”