Jan. 5th, 2010

It seems the guy who walked into a CIA base in Afghanistan and blew himself up last week, taking seven US intelligence officers and contractors with him, was held prisoner by the Jordanian government for a while. He was working with Al Qaeda then, but after a bit of what some call "aggressive interrogation techniques" he agreed to work with the Jordanian intelligence agency.

So what did our "double agent" do then? After turning over enough information to make himself credible, he told his handler he had something really big that he wanted to share with the Americans. And that's how he was able to resume his work for Al Qaeda and go out with a bang.

I can just picture Dick Cheney wondering now: What kind of people are these? You beat a promise out of them and then they go back on it! Back here in the real world, where people manage to think rationally now and then, one might observe what's wrong with torture:

Not only is it morally repugnant, corrupting those who practice it; not only does it provide a ready excuse for the enemy to mistreat your people when captured; it's ineffective. A tortured subject will tell you the whereabouts of his commander, his wife, the man in the moon, and Santa Claus. He may even agree to work as a double agent--for as long as it takes him to prepare a blow that will more than even the score.

Other than that, of course, there's nothing wrong with it.

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Gan Ainm

September 2010

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