Did anybody notice the news item that the CIA admitted that "waterboarding"" and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" ( read torture) used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other Al Qaeda suspects in order to elicit information as to OBL's wherabouts was "ineffective"?
I had to laugh- the savviest counter terrorist operatives almost unaminously agree as did former British Army Captain Fred Holroyd that "counter terrorism" id manifestly counter productive. Basic common sense indicates that "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"( an enterprising FBI agent reportedly coaxed more useful intel out of an AQ suspect by finding out that the latter was diabetic and offering him sugar free cookies).
Contrary to what Jack Bauer , the CTU agent in "24" or Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might think, that has been the view of informed professionals all along- ans societies have decisively routed terrorist insurgencies without recourse to such bestial and inhumane mehtods.
After the 1978 murder of Italian politician Aldo Moro by the Red Brigades, a police chief was asked to sanction the torture of terrorist suspects- his response was apt: "Italy will survive the loss of Moro-it will NOT survive the introduction of torture!"
So why , disregarding every civilized or humane instinct dating back as far as the US War Of Independence( in which my presidential namesake George Washington expressly ordered his Continental troops to treat captured Redcoats with humanity), never mind express condmenation of not dissimilar practises by the French in colonial Algeria or us Brits in NI by US commentators or pols has the "Company" chosen to visit territory previously held by the Inquisition, , Stalin's NKVD or the Gestapo?
Dull wittedness, intellectual and moral laziness( it's easier to torture than engage in protracted interrogation techniques), vengefulness (esp in the immediate afermath of 9/11- as we Brits know all too well, vengefulness in the after math of an especially horrific terrorist atrocity- like the Birmingham pub bombings- can be a potent force) and of course the ludicrous "ticking time bomb" scenario all tended to encourage a "fast and loose" approach to AQ interrogations- with results like Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and "extraordianry rendition"- to his internal credit, Barack Obama has reinstated the presidential ban on torture upon taking office in 2009!