I think there is a simple solution to the “What is torture?” Debate going on.
I agree we need to use strong techniques to get information from terrorists. We also need it to be codified somehow what should and should not be done. No one on either side condones killing or maiming a detainee during an interrogation.
For that, I propose a simple solution:
The US, will not use any techniques on terrorists that we do not use in the training of our own troops.
It is so simple.
There are definitely rules and regulations regarding the training of our troops. Drill Sergeants may seem totally nuts, but they are following a a defined training method, and can’t cross some well defined boundaries, yet that doesn’t stop them from being highly effective. No one in their right mind would claim that we are torturing Marines (or any other soldiers) during Basic training.
Navy Seal training is far far more “torturous” than what ANY of the Gitmo prisoners have had to undergo.
If we aren’t willing to do it to our own troops, we probably shouldn’t do it to someone we’re interrogating. Of course, that leaves our interrogators a lot of leeway…
ME: Max Boot makes a similar point today.