Roundtable: Should we let a minotaur interrogate detainees?

Everyone hates the minotaur until it’s their mom hanging out the window of the 110th floor. Ah well. Human nature, my friends.

I wonder, which mythical creature best represents our new, more enlightened technique of interrogating terrorists? Read this before answering. Tribbles, maybe?

There are 19 approved techniques in the [Army field] manual, last updated in 2006. The manual, which Obama designated as the standard for interrogations when he took office, prohibits techniques like waterboarding, electric shock, forced nudity, mock executions and other acts. …

Charles Stimson, who as the former deputy assistant defense secretary for detainee affairs worked on the 2006 revision of the field manual, said the administration is expected to consider other techniques…

Stimson is opposed to waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” that were employed under the Bush administration. But he said other methods — for instance, lying — should be at the disposal of interrogators. He said any new methods that are devised or approved should stay classified.

While “lying” might seem like an obvious interrogation method, the Army Field Manual only approves it in very specific circumstances.

Under the “we know all approach,” interrogators are allowed to “subtly” convince the prisoner that they know what he or she knows. This can be complemented by the “file and dossier” approach, in which interrogators present a “file” to a prisoner that appears to be much bigger than it really is, by being “padded with extra paper” and other decorations.

Also endorsed by the field manual: The silent treatment, in case one of our boys has to crack KSM by getting into a staring contest with him or something. Exit quotation: “Some mild criticism aside, the report says the CIA ‘invested immense time and effort to implement the [program] quickly, effectively, and within the law’; that the agency ‘generally provided good guidance and support’; and that agency personnel largely ‘followed guidance and procedures and documented their activities well.’ So where’s the scandal?”


Is Using A Minotaur To Gore Detainees A Form Of Torture?