Weighing in on Waterboarding - Page 2
The debate is filled with anecdotal evidence, too. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, one of the terrorists involved in the September 11th attacks, gave false information about Osama bin Laden’s courier, after being waterboarded a reported 183 times. After the 100th time in one month, it is clear that the technique was not being used to garner intelligence, but rather to punish and inflict pain. In another case, an FBI agent, Ali Soufan, claims that once enhanced interrogation methods were used on an Al Qaeda operative, the suspect stopped talking. In testimony to the Senate, Soufan explained how treating a suspect with respect actually confuses him, so that he is more likely to divulge valuable information.
Many times, breaking suspect through physical force is damaging to the operation, versus coaxing and prodding in a more benevolent manner. Army Staff Sergeant Eric Maddox agrees, the man responsible for obtaining knowledge that led to the capture of Saddam Hussein. Maddox has publicly spoken about the disadvantages of waterboarding and professes he has never utilized it. He contends that there are more “powerful motivators” than physical force, such as mental manipulation in regards to loved ones.
Being tied down, masked, and asphyxiated with water on a tilted slab will make even the heartiest soul say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear. That could be the truth or it could be fabricated story to end the waterboarding. In a situation where many lives are at stake, when waterboarding is often most justified, operatives cannot count on this dicey intelligence.