Monday, January 5, 2015

Has Enhanced Interrogation Gotten a Bad Rap?

There are times in the human experience when you have to take things back from the language abusers. Sometimes, good things simply get hijacked. Less frequently bad ideas do not become hijacked for good ideas. It happens all the time, both ways.

Islam for instance as a religion, needs to be taken back from Islamic terrorists.

NOTE January 7, 2015 - The cowardly attack on the French weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and injuring seven, is being reported as an apparent Islamist attack. The only more cowardly attack could have been made on children, which has also been happening in relation to Muslim groups like ISIS\ISIL. Can there be a more cowardly action than to attack people who have no way of protecting themselves? It's like the killing children in a glass bowl. These killers deserve our anger (and not Muslims in general, by the way). Get over yourselves and your agendas already, be that religious or geopolitical. Mohammed certainly does not deserve this kind of help or bad press. If He wants people dead, let Him kill them himself. Or better yet, let Him kill these punks with guns.

Honestly and trust me, Mohammed along with Jesus says, "STOP killing in my name!"
French police released photos of the Kouachi brothers - Cherif (L) and Said (R)
The latest Muslim Murderers of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter. Very sad excuses for human beings, to be sure.

Now, as I was saying....

Many words have been hijacked, it's a natural evolution in language, actually. One however, that at times needs to be struggled against. Here is a video that gives some examples of a few aspects of this concept that is interesting.

The term for instance, "intelligent design" is an example, perhaps in reverse. It started in theological writings around 1920s in an American Christian movement and needs to be used more accurately and scientifically rather than in theistic terms. Whether or not you argue that point, matters little. Because the fact remains that the term could be hijacked and reused to mean the exact opposite of what it was originally intended for.

Hijacking words isn't always a bad thing. But when it is it needs to be addressed, reversed, or at least made to be widely understood. For making knowledge of it commonplace is to dilute its meaning and therefore reverse it's misuse. It just takes longer.

I have a fairly good knowledge of the history of the intelligence community. The Bush Administration took them into a dark place they didn't want to go in the first place. The CIA is situated in a position where it can easily be abused by the Executive Branch of our government and typically, they don't like it very much, as in this case.

The disingenuous term "enhanced interrogation" needs to be reclaimed for actual enhanced interrogation, something that has been used in intelligence agencies for many decades. Probably for hundreds of years. By setting aside that Bush administration term to mean only torture interrogation, is going down an ugly, lazy road. By using it appropriately we can reclaim its actual meaning and at the same time, denounce the abuse that was put into play by way of a misleading phrase.

I wouldn't want anyone to go through it (the actual interrogation not the torture version, you following this?). It is grueling. It involves lying to the person being interrogated (supported by the supreme court), twisting things, using some info to make it look like you know more, it is expanding on knowledge of a small amount of information in such a way that it appears you literally know everything.

It is also other things just like that. These have been shown to be highly effective. However, it takes time. Which apparently doesn't matter as in at least one case, the "enhanced interrogation" time and as there was a forty-five day lapse before any questions were asked at all and then, they eventually found the guy was on our side!

If this doesn't speak to incompetence....

It is also unfortunately, necessary at times.

Actual EI does not involve waterboarding, stress positions, keeping someone up for a week at a time, though some of that can be a part of it. Though I would argue that is excessive and the same can be achieved with less. But it doesn't involve torture.

Actual EI is a dialog at a higher level and it does ferret out information. It's been used for years by intelligence agencies and no I don't mean those in the Middle East or others (or us) who use torture in so these so called "enhanced interrogation".

Actual enhanced interrogation is an interrogation method that is enhanced with a higher level of interrogative skills and really only requires a little information and excellent speaking and debating skills; skills which have been honed through an intensive intelligence field orientation.

That being said, over the years due to cost cutting our intelligence skills have become weakened. We have continued to try to not use HUMINT, human intelligence methods. Rather we've been trying to do it all on the cheap, using ELINT, electronic intelligence.

The fine art of human on human intelligence has lost its edge.

The Bush administration took this method of dealing with spies and disingenuously expanded it beyond the scope of what EI is and always has been. We've known for decades not to use the so called "enhanced interrogation" methods because they simply don't work. That isn't news. In fact it was mandated for us to not use torture and yet, the Bush administration pushed for it.

We need to make the term, "enhanced interrogation" mean just that, an enhanced interrogation, not an interrogation that is skewed into the "Twilight Zone" of information acquisition. Torture can work but it's a one end one means thing. For most uses, it just isn't functional, however.

All I can say is if that isn't clear enough of an explanation to explain what I'm saying, then I mustn't be talking to someone who has a clear understanding of English or linguistics.

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