Interrogators: Torture Undermines U.S. Intelligence

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Brenda Bowser Soder
bowsersoderb@humanrightsfirst.org
O -202/370-3323, C – 301/906-4460

Interrogators: Torture Undermines U.S. Intelligence

WASHINGTON - Twelve of the nation’s top former interrogators today issued a public statement denouncing torture and affirming that lawful interrogation techniques are more effective in producing actionable intelligence. The statement comes just days before the first anniversary of Seal Team Six’s Osama bin Laden operation and as Jose Rodriguez, former Director of the National Clandestine Service of the CIA, plans to issue a book claiming torture led to the former al-Qaeda leader.

“Our collective experience is that a victim of torture will say anything to get the torture to stop, yielding false and inaccurate leads,” notes the statement. “Abuse often only strengthens their resolve and makes it that much harder for an interrogator to find a way to elicit useful information.  Torture is counter-productive to intelligence gathering and makes our nation less safe.”

Jose Rodriquez, as well as other proponents of torture, have falsely claimed that torture led to information that was crucial in finding bin Laden.  However, just two days after the bin Laden operation, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) chair Senator Dianne Feinstein confirmed that in the Committee’s review of over 3 million pieces of information, nothing indicated that torture led to bin Laden.  As the interrogators asserted in their statement, “The torture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and others delayed U.S. efforts to find bin Laden, and may even have prolonged the war in Afghanistan.”

“We know that building rapport and making a connection with the person you are interrogating is the most productive method of interrogation,” note the interrogators. “Interrogation tactics that have kept America safe for generations are sophisticated, humane and lawful, and produce actionable intelligence in any interrogation scenario.”

For more information about today’s statement or to speak with one of the interrogators signing today’s statement, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at bowsersoderb@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3323.

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Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C. Human Rights First believes that building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will stem tyranny, extremism, intolerance, and violence.

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