Saloon bar bigot Bruce Anderson came out with a fierce defence of the government’s use of torture. It could have been written by Torquemada, Walsingham or Franco. To get that vital information about the ticking bomb, it would be morally imperative to torture the terrorist’s wife and children, he concluded.
Interesting is it not that to opine that Palestinian suicide bombers are justified is illegal, but to advocate torture of innocent women and children is patriotic?
I took grave exception because I saw the effects of women and children being tortured in front of suspects in Uzbekistan, where it happens pretty often. I wonder if Anderson would like to wield the electrodes on children himself. The man should be shunned from all civilised society.
What he is too thick to understand is that the “ticking bomb” scenario has never happened and almost certainly never will. His idea of the intelligence world is gleaned from Hollywood. I was delighted today to have the oportunity to publish the true situation in the Evening Standard. They gave me 950 words and I think it was the best turned piece I ever penned.
This is the truth of it:
The key point ?” and one I cannot stress too much ?” is that the vast majority of this material was absolute rubbish. The Uzbek government was eager to convince the US it was fighting a massive Islamic militant threat, so that the US government would continue to give large subsidies to this appalling dictatorship, and particularly to its security services.
The Uzbek government therefore rounded up en masse dissidents, the religious and those who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and tortured them into admitting membership of al Qaeda or other allied terror organisations, and into denouncing long lists of other “terrorists”.
The tortured were given the lists to sign up to, exactly as done by Stalin’s secret police, the direct institutional ancestor of the Uzbek security service.
The mundane truth is that torture in the “War on Terror” does not bring Hollywood-style information about ticking bombs in shopping malls.
It brings piles of rubbish that clog up our intelligence analysis. Torture gives not the truth but what the torturer wants to hear to make the torture stop. And given the destinations on the extraordinary rendition circuit ?” like Egypt, Morocco, Afghanistan, Syria and Uzbekistan ?” the relationship between the torturers and the truth was often very distant indeed.
I can swear to you that none of the intelligence I saw from detainees in Uzbekistan was useful. Much of it was palpably untrue, such as referring to terror training camps in places where we knew they physically did not exist.
Please do read the full piece. Not sure if they are going to open comments on this one.