2. One of the most controversial tactics that the Bush Administration adopted in the war on terror involves abusing a prisoner’s religious feelings to degrade or humiliate. Enforced nudity, the use of military dogs, sexually suggestive conduct, and forms of ritual defilement have all been documented as authorized techniques in Iraq and at Guantánamo, even though these techniques are probably illegal. Do you believe that an interrogator can make headway by trashing his subject’s religion or by using religion to degrade? Did you make use of religion in a different way?
First, there’s no doubt in my mind that these tactics are illegal. Geneva Conventions Common Article 3 specifically bans “humiliating and degrading treatment.” Trashing or degrading a detainee’s religion does not help convince a detainee to cooperate. It does just the opposite, reinforcing the reasons why the detainee decided to pick up arms against us.
Friday, December 19, 2008
An American military officer with firsthand knowledge speaks out about torture. A must-read. (Harper's)