Monday, April 27, 2009
The Raw Story
In debating the use of torture on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski expressed a concern that “fear and reality will overtake morality.” However, host Joe Scarborough did not see that as a problem and seemed to believe it was completely appropriate for what he called “rational fear” to far outweigh morality.
“They’re not going to get any intelligence,” Scarborough said of President Obama’s recent declaration that the United States no longer uses torture. “You have FBI agents that have come out — and it’s laughable — them criticizing the CIA. … The CIA has to rely on what the CIA and people have relied on for years, what American interrogators in every war have relied on.”
Despite Scarborough’s scoffing, recent accounts by military and FBI interrogators make it clear that torture is an ineffective method of interrogation which almost never produces actionable intelligence, and there is no evidence that it has prevented any terrorist plots. In addition, the CIA had no formal interrogation capacity prior to 9/11 and created its torture program in 2002 only at the insistence of the Bush administration and without being fully aware of its limitations.
However, both Scarborough and Brzezinski appear to share the fundamental misapprehension that torture works. “Robert Gibbs was saying on Meet the Press yesterday … they don’t know whether other means may be able to get the same information …” Brzezinski began timidly.
Scarborough interrupted her with a laugh, saying,”If you want to take that chance…”...(Click for remainder.)