Tuesday, May 26, 2009
One of the Military's Top Interrogators Says Torture Cost Hundreds 'If Not Thousands' Of American Lives
One of the top military interrogators, head of an elite interrogation team in Iraq, who oversaw more than 1,000 interrogations, conducting more than 300 in Iraq personally, says that the use of torture has cost “hundreds if not thousands” of American lives.
“Torture does not save lives . . . And the reason why is that our enemies use it, number one, as a recruiting tool…These same foreign fighters who came to Iraq to fight because of torture and abuse….literally cost us hundreds if not thousands of American lives.”
Moreover, he says that many — as many as 90 percent — of those captured in Iraq said they joined the fight against the United States because of the torture conducted at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.
But perhaps most damning of the policy of torture is his statement that:
“The American principles of freedom and democracy are cherished in the Muslim world and the idea, at least, of America is still a seductive one. But it is the behavior of the Bush administration at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and secret prisons around the globe that undercuts that image, allowing Al Qaeda to make the argument that America isn’t what it stands for.”
“One of Al Qaeda’s goals, it’s not just to attack the United States, it’s to prove that we’re hypocrites, that we don’t live up to American principles,” Alexander said. “So when we use torture and abuse, we’re playing directly into one of their stated goals.”
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