Monday, June 04, 2007

I Stuck Around St. Petersburg, When I Saw It Was a Time for a Change

Via Laura Rozen, quote of the day material from Scott Shane's article discussing how the Bush administration drew inspiration from the military training regimen known as "SERE" (Survival, Evasion, Reconnaissance and Escape):

For decades, SERE trainers had exposed aviators and others at high risk for capture to Soviet-style tactics, including disrupted sleep, exposure to extreme heat and cold, and hours in uncomfortable stress positions. Sometimes the ordeal included waterboarding, in which a prisoner’s face is covered with cloth and water is poured from above to create a feeling of suffocation.

Some of those techniques have been used on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and in Afghanistan and Iraq, and at the C.I.A.’s secret overseas jails for high-level operatives of Al Qaeda.

Many SERE veterans were appalled at the “reverse engineering” of their methods, said Charles A. Morgan III, a Yale psychiatrist who has worked closely with SERE trainers for a decade.

How did something used as an example of what an unethical government would do become something we do?” he asked.

His question is only underscored by a 1956 article, “Communist Interrogation,” in The Annals of Neurology and Psychiatry, recently turned up by the Intelligence Science Board, which advises the spy agencies. Written by doctors working as Defense Department consultants, Lawrence E. Hinkle Jr. and Harold G. Wolff, the article shows that methods embraced after 2001 were once considered torture that would produce false information. [emphasis added]

Well, you know, Bush did look into Putin's eyes, and...

(Think Progress has more details)

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