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Primetime Torture Suggested Lesson/Discussion Human Rights First 333 Seventh Avenue, 13th Floor New York, NY 10001-5108 (212) 845 5200 Send questions, comments, suggestions, or other feedback to: Bailey-HooverJ@humanrightsfirst.org Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C. To maintain our independence, we accept no government funding.
Primetime Torture Learning Objectives: Correct misconceptions about torture and maltreatment fostered by television shows such as “24,” “LOST,” “Alias” and others. Review Laws of War and their application to U.S. interrogation policy and practices. Review instructions from the Army Field Manual 2-22.3 Human Intelligence Collector Operations
Primetime Torture Torture on TV It used to be that only villains on television tortured. Today, “good guy” and heroic American characters torture — and this torture is depicted as necessary, effective and even patriotic.
Primetime Torture Fiction Vs. Reality Jack Bauer on “24” has beaten, stabbed, electrocuted, shot, and otherwise abused suspects. Seconds after the abuse begins, the suspects almost always talk.
Primetime Torture In Real Life, Torture Creates Strategic and Tactical Problems Algeria Iraq Northern Ireland
Primetime Torture The Laws of War In addition to the Geneva Conventions, the United States Congress has voted to enact laws that prohibit the torture, cruel, and degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody including: The Convention Against Torture (1990) The War Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. (1996) The Detainee Treatment Act (2005) No exceptional circumstances whatsoever…may be invoked as a justification of torture. - Convention Against Torture
Primetime Torture Laws of War (cont.) The UCMJ specifically prohibits members of the Armed Forces from committing acts of “cruelty toward, or oppression or maltreatment of any person subject to his orders.” -UCMJ Art. 93 (810 U.S.C. §893)
Primetime Torture Field Manual 2-22.3 (Human Intelligence Collector Operations) No person in the custody or control of the Department of Defense shall be subject to any interrogation technique or treatment that is not authorized by or listed in the United States Army Field Manual (FM) on intelligence interrogation. ARMY = “Executive Agent” for HUMINT Collections/Doctrine for all services.
Primetime Torture Field Manual 2-22.3: Human Intelligence Collector Operations Use of force, mental torture, threats, insults, or exposure to unpleasant and inhumane treatment of any kind is prohibited by law and not authorized or condoned by U.S. government Use of force not necessary Use of force a poor technique May damage subsequent collection efforts
Primetime Torture Compliance with laws and regulations, including proper treatment of detainees, is a matter of command responsibility. Commanders have an affirmative duty to ensure their subordinates do not mistreat detainees. Field Manual 2-22.3: Command Responsibility
Primetime Torture PROHIBITED INTERROGATION METHODS: physical abuse forcing detainee to be naked, perform sexual acts, or pose in a sexual manner hoods, sacks, duct-tape during interrogation military working dogs inducing cold or heat injury mock executions deprivation food, water, medical care. damaging or destroying religious articles threats to turn over to others to be abused/tortured implying harm to individual or property threats to separate parents from children intentional exposure to dangerous conditions
Primetime Torture SICK, WOUNDED, INJURED DETAINEES: may not delay medical treatment may not delay pain-relieving medication may not delay medical evacuation may not impersonate doctor or medic may not state or imply detainee will receive medical treatment in exchange for cooperation.
Primetime Torture WHY WE DON’T ABUSE DETAINEES: National Values Respect for the Law (Your Oath) Maintain Moral High Ground Conduct Distinguishes Us From Enemy Humane Techniques Work Best Do Not Allow Emotion/Stress to Lead to Illegal Conduct Discipline & Leadership
Primetime Torture Discussion Question Experienced military interrogators pointed out the fallacy of the so-called “ticking time bomb” scenario. If a terrorist knows he only has to keep the location of the bomb secret for a short time until it explodes, what seems more likely? A. The terrorist gives false information until the bomb explodes B. The terrorist reveals the location of the bomb. Is it surprising to you that the experienced professionals have never encountered such a scenario in their entire careers?
Primetime Torture Discussion Question: In the film, Primetime Torture, experienced military interrogators repeated several times that torture or abuse simply doesn’t work and is just as likely to yield false or rehearsed intelligence as useful intelligence. Can you give potential reasons why this may be true?
Primetime Torture Discussion Question Your squad breaches the door of a suspected insurgent safe-house. After securing the building and flex-cuffing all six people found inside, a team member finds some materials typically used in making IEDs hidden under some floor tiles. (Continued on next slide…)
Primetime Torture You have reliable intelligence that even more IEDs are being assembled nearby. Although, the exact address has not yet been specifically identified, one or more of the six detainees in your custody and control may know the exact location of this other “bomb factory.” How should you treat these persons? What are some potential long and short-term repercussions if any of these detainees are mistreated? Discussion Question Continued
Primetime Torture Discussion Questions How does the use of torture or other illegal abuse of detainees by U.S. military personnel bring discredit on America? How does the use of torture or other abuse of detainees by U.S. military personnel have a negative overall impact on a mission? How does the use of torture or other abuse of detainees by U.S. military personnel undermine domestic and international support? Examples?
Primetime Torture Discussion Questions Military personnel in combat face life or death situations everyday, yet America requires us to obey laws and regulations that the enemy often simply ignores. Why isn’t Law of War a “two-way street?” What is the linkage between American legal and moral values and our military objectives on the battlefield?
Primetime Torture Review Law of War/UCMJ/Geneva Conventions FM 2-22.3 (Application to all military services) No Torture (or Cruel/Abusive Interrogation Methods) Specific Prohibitions Sick, Wounded, Injured Detainees Command Responsibility Why We Don’t Abuse Ticking Time Bomb Scenario? Television vs. Reality Arms can effect little if injustice follows in their train. -- Tacitus
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