Thursday, November 02, 2006

Interview with Ron Suskind

'The President Knows More Than He Let's On'

For years, Ron Suskind has been considered one of the best- sourced reporters when it comes to the CIA or the US government. The author and former Wall Street Journal reporter has high- level access to sources in the US administration. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his investigative reporting and his new book, "The One Percent Doctrine," has been the subject of critical praise around the world. In the book, Suskind describes how George W. Bush and his advisors completely reshaped US foreign and security policy after Sept. 11, how they hunted in vain for Osama bin Laden and turned torture into a regular part of CIA interrogations of suspected terrorists. In the exposé, Suskind also reports for the first time about terror attacks that have been successfully foiled and about one al- Qaida turncoat who served for years as an informant against bin Laden and Co. Suskind lives and works in Washington, DC.

One hundred suspected terrorists from all over the world are still being held in secret American prisons. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, CIA expert Ron Suskind accuses Washington of "running like a headless chicken" in its war against al-Qaida. He reserves special criticism for the CIA's torture methods, which he argues are unproductive.


1 comment(s):

  • salaam

    I have not read the entire article - but just a comment on the notion that torture is "unproductive."

    First, it does not matter if torture is productive or not - that is not relevant - because torture is wrong initself, if it were "productive" that would not make it right.

    Second, the definition of "effectiveness"or "productiveness" usually considered is that torture will result in some kind of information. But that is not really the purpose - the aim of torture is to teorrorize the population, and to send a message that this is in store for you. It also aims to break the will of the tortured and this includes the will of the community.

    In this respect, I would say that torture has been quite effective - atleast here in the US we see large segments of Muslims and especially so-called "Muslim leaders" who have gone silent, and/or talk in whispers if they express a dissenting thought. The statements that they come out with are mostly the "condemnation" kind, that appear to have the stamp of approval of the US state department (or, atleast the FBI with whom they have regular meetings.)

    see this article by Naomi Klien on the "true purpose of torture."

    ***But this fear has to be finely calibrated. The people being intimidated need to know enough to be afraid but not so much that they demand justice. This helps explain why the defence department will release certain kinds of seemingly incriminating information about Guantánamo - pictures of men in cages, for instance - at the same time that it acts to suppress photographs on a par with what escaped from Abu Ghraib. And it might also explain why the Pentagon approved a new book by a former military translator, including the passages about prisoners being sexually humiliated, but prevented him from writing about the widespread use of attack dogs. This strategic leaking of information, combined with official denials, induces a state of mind that Argentinians describe as "knowing/not knowing", a vestige of their "dirty war".****

    By Blogger redwood, at 11/02/2006 08:41:00 AM  

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