The Corner

The Koran-flushing Especially Bothered Him

In a Washington Post story this morning, Petula Dvorak writes about World War II interrogators who

lamented the chasm between the way they conducted interrogations during the war and the harsh measures used today in questioning terrorism suspects [and] denounced the controversial techniques. And when the time came for them to accept honors from the Army’s Freedom Team Salute, one veteran refused, citing his opposition to the war in Iraq and procedures that have been used at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Can someone tell me what controversial procedures have been used at Guantanamo Bay? As far as I’m aware there is not a shred of hard evidence — and certainly no proof — that torture or even enhanced interrogation methods have been employed there. You can argue that it’s unfair to hold unlawful enemy combatants indefinitely (but then you really need to suggest what else should be done with them) but I don’t see how you can simply say: “Well, bad things happened at Abu Ghraib therefore let’s assume that bad things have been happening at Guantanamo, too.”

Not only is this idea of odious “procedures” being used at Guantanamo unsupported, almost every reproter who has visited the place (myself included) have found conditions there — medical care, quality of food, access to the ICRC and to lawyers — to be of the highest standard.

At Gitmo, the interrogation rooms are fitted out with televisions and easy chairs. The idea is for detainees to view interrogations as pleasant diversions, engage in conversation with their interrogators and, over time, reveal useful tidbits of information. Detainees can — and do – decline to be interrogated. This approach doesn’t work in a “ticking time-bomb” scenario but it makes sense with the kinds of combatants being held at Guantanamo.

I suppose retired interrogators such as thosed profiled above believe the worst about Gitmo because that’s the narrative the Washington Post and other mainstream media outlets continue to drive — including in this story.

Clifford D. May — Clifford D. May is an American journalist and editor. He is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative policy institute created shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More