Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Waterboarding Vs. Cookies
Osama bin Laden's bodyguard, Abu Jandal, was a prime candidate for waterboarding, according to Dick Cheney's manual of interrogation techniques. But, according to a Time magazine report, former FBI interrogator Ali Soufan gave him cookies instead. It seems that Abu Jandal is a diabetic, and he gave up valuable information about al Qaeda, including the identities of seven of the 9/11 terrorists, after being given sugar-free cookies. But what about the "ticking time-bomb scenario?" We only have minutes to stop the hypothetical ticking time-bomb, as seen in movies and TV shows like "24". In this case, let's say we don't have access to baked goods. Recent reports indicate that interrogators used bottled water to torture terrorist suspects. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. In other words, the first 182 times were unsuccessful, and the 183rd gave us this information: A water bottle was brought in without the label removed, he told the Red Cross, and it was a brand made in Poland, where he was being held at the time. In other words, interrogators used what was available and easily accessible. Interrogators, if they are in a critical worst-case scenario where every second counts, have to use whatever methods are available, the theory goes, and waterboarding is quick and easy. All they have to do is reach in the refrigerator and grab a cold one. And 2-liter bottles of 7-Up reportedly work just as effectively. An executive order signed by President Obama, however, requires interrogators to follow what's known as the "Army Field Manual," which prohibits waterboarding and other forms of "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" favored by Cheney. The "Army Field Manual" outlines 19 interrogation techniques permitted by law. Those techniques which are allowed include lying, misleading, and manipulating - common police procedure. So Abu Jandal could have been given cookies containing sugar. The interrogator merely had to lie that they contained no sugar. Of course, Abu Jandal would have gone into a diabetic coma, which puts it into a gray area as to whether it would be considered torture. So, just to be safe, the "Army Field Manual" should be amended to include baked goods, including those without sugar. Oh, and how about some ice cream too.