Gitmo interrogator speaks

MSNBC reports but leaves out important context.

Interrogators received intelligence from detainees that helped U.S. troops in Afghanistan attack Taliban fighters last summer — and they did it through casual questioning and not torture, the military’s chief interrogator here said.

In a rare interview with The Associated Press, veteran interrogator Paul Rester complained that his profession has gotten a bad reputation because of accounts of waterboarding and other rough interrogation tactics used by the CIA at “black sites.”

Lawyers for Guantanamo detainees, however, allege their clients have been subjected to temperature extremes, sleep deprivation and threats at this U.S. military base in southeast Cuba.

It’s at this point that the MSNBC report ought to sidebar into who these lawyers are and who is paying for them (hint: they’re far far left ACLU and National Lawyers Guild types funded in part by Wahhabi money). MSNBC would also do well to report that some Gitmo lawyers have engaged in extracurricular activities on behalf of their clients. MSNBC would earn a big gold star if it also noted that al Qaeda trains its terrorists to make up allegations of mistreatment and torture if they’re captured so that the press and the left will run with those allegations and crack war morale. MSNBC also leaves out the fact that for all the “mistreatment,” our troops on Gitmo guard duty have been subjected to a whole range of attacks from the detainees, to whom our military gives Korans, prayer rugs, an arrow pointing the way to Mecca and meals that are better than those our own troops are eating in the fields of combat. For some reason, though MSNBC leaves all of that context out. I’ll add the sidebar that their layers of editors and fact checkers never add, since it’s important to evaluating what the terrorists and their lawyers say.

Wearing a blue-striped business shirt without a tie and looking more like a harried executive than a top interrogator, Rester groused that his line of work is “a business that is fundamentally thankless.”

Evil is banal, get it?

He sat hunched over a table in a snack room inside the building where the top commanders keep their offices. In an attempt to keep personnel from blabbing about intelligence-gathering, a poster showed a picture of a hooded gunman and the words: “Keep talking. We’re listening” — today’s version of the World War II-era admonishment that “Loose lips sink ships.”

“Everybody in the world believes that they know how we do what we do, and I have to endure it every time I turn around and somebody is making reference to waterboarding,” Rester said. He insisted that Guantanamo interrogators have had many successes using rapport-building and said that technique was the norm here.

The story goes on to note a couple of rapport-building successes before hearing from a Gitmo lawyer and ending with three-year-old FBI allegations that a couple of inmates were being mistreated. Those inmates are unnamed in the story, and the circumstances of their treatment aren’t detailed, so the story leaves with the impression that interrogator Paul Rester isn’t entirely coming clean about what goes on at Gitmo.

Neither are the Gitmo lawyers. Neither is the press. If I have to pick between Gitmo lawyers who parrot the lines their terrorist clients are trained to make up, the press that knowingly leaves out loads of important context, or an interrogator who is frustrated by the actions of the first two groups and how his work is made more difficult by them, I’ll pick the interrogator. At least his intentions are obvious and up front: He’s trying to stop terrorists by questioning captured terrorists.