Wednesday, July 2, 2008

One more Chinese import

The New York Times reports that the interrogation techniques that were taught to the personnel at Guantanamo Bay were taken directly from Korean War POWs experiences at the hands of the communist Chinese (compare page 51 of the "interrogation techniques" PDF link to to page 4 of the "experiences" PDF link).

Not only were the Chinese techniques, such as compelling a POW to stand or sit for prolonged periods, previously described as "torture," but the results obtained from these techniques were recognized as "false confessions" and "brain-washing." form of torture was experienced by a considerable number of Air Force prisoners of war during efforts to coerce false confessions from them. The prisoners were required to stand, or sit, at attention for exceedingly long periods of time-in one extreme case, day and night for a week at a time with only brief respites. In a few cases, the standing was aggravated by extreme cold. This form of torture had several distinct advantages for extorting confessions.
It just goes to show that some styles do come back into fashion and that what's old can become new again.

More seriously, what does adopting the most despicable tools of totalitarians say about us, especially when we know that the intelligence value of those tools has been discredited?