An http://inteldump.powerblogs.com/archives/archive_2005_02_20-2005_02_26.shtml#1109378141 [Broken] of the recently released book Guantánamo: The War on Human Rights by David Rose.
Even when you can effectively separate the dangerous from the innocent, coercive interrogations of detainees are likely to produce misleading information. It's possible to argue in the abstract that the policy of detaining and interrogating battlefield prisoners from Afghanistan was wise and prudent given the need to gather intelligence about Al Qaeda. But Rose musters a stronger counterargument that the mechanics of this policy have produced worthless and probably inaccurate intelligence. Only the most seasoned interrogators, armed with volumes of corroborating data, can sort the good confessions from the bad. According to Rose, the U.S. had neither, and was thus unable to verify much of what it learned at Guantanamo.
The release of people assumed to be innocent hasn't gone well either. Recent reports indicate that up to 25 of the 202 prisoners freed from Guantanamo have rejoined the fight in Afghanistan as Taliban or Al Qaeda insurgents. It's not clear whether these men were combatants when they arrived at Gitmo, and improperly screened, or whether their experiences at Gitmo turned them into enemies of America. Guantanamo makes the case that both are very possible. [As argued in this Slate article.]
Our country has paid millions of dollars to build and staff its prison at Guantanamo Bay, but it has paid far more in moral and political capital. By descending to the same illegitimate level as other nations and groups which flout the rule of law, we have ceded key terrain to our enemies in the moral and legal war on terrorism. America may well need to harvest human intelligence through interrogations, and it may also need to detain captured Al Qaeda members for the duration of the war on terror, or of their natural lives — whichever comes first. However, in choosing methods that are both unlawful and ineffective, we have delegitimized our pursuit of this intelligence. And as Rose persuasively argues in Guantanamo, this loss of legitimacy has done grave harm to our efforts to win the war on terror.
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