An Interrogator On Why Torture Doesn’t Work

On May 21, our Amnesty International group co-sponsored a talk by Matthew Alexander, author of A Chair, A Brain, and A Heart: An Interrogators Mission to  Return America to the Rule of Law.

IMG_1805

Matthew Alexander was a senior military interrogator in Iraq and led the interrogation team that gathered the intelligence that led to the successful airstrike against Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

During his talk, Alexander spoke about how rapport building techniques work, and the importance of cultural awareness. He spoke about how torture, in addition to being generally ineffective and immoral, as the torture and abuse by Americans was a major recruitment factor for those who came to Iraq from other countries to fight.

Ironically, the theory that torture works cited even by some of our elected officials seems to come from fictional characters like Jack Bauer on 24, rather than talking to real interrogators. As Alexander noted, “If you’re going to quote Jack Bauer, why not quote Superman?”

Watch the video of the talk, courtesy of Mike McCormick of KEXP and Talking Stick TV:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s