But really — why do we maintain black sites if “ordinary” methods work just fine?
The answer to your question, of course, is that there are individuals who believe as you do, that torture works, or perhaps that, whether it works or not, it's use creates fear in the minds of our enemies and makes us appear more resolute in their eyes... ...and perhaps in the eyes of some of our own citizens, as well. We maintain (or maintained, I hope) black sites because the people in charge believe(d) that harsh interrogation methods that would not withstand the scrutiny of the US citizenry had some actual or propaganda value, and they also had power to put their theory into practice.
Of course, Hube, there is a correlation to the argument you're offering. If enhanced interrogation was significantly more effective than non-coercive means, it's use would be far more widespread and accepted here in America and throughout the world. However we choose to classify the "water cure" and other such methods, they've been around for a very long time, and countless military and law enforcement theoretical experts and in-the-field practitioners have had plenty of time to evaluate the effectiveness of such treatment on a detainee's willingness to provide truthful, reliable, actionable intelligence. So the question is, if the interrogation methods used at black sites are so effective, why are they not more prevalent in military/law enforcement interrogation rooms throughout the world?
Posted 3 May 2011 at 13:45
Added: Besides, Hube... While the theory that “if it exists, there must be a need for it” may be persuasive to some, one only has to consider the pet rock, or the KFC Double Down sandwich to realize the folly of the idea as a useful or accurate meme.
I’m just sayin’…