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“Purpose” of Detainee Torture was Not to Get Information, It was to Inflict Pain

As Spencer pointed out,

the first August 2002 OLC specified that it was acceptable to apply physical pain to a detainee so long as it was less than the sort of pain emerging from "organ failure, impairment of bodily functions, or even death."

and that as long as your "purpose" was to get actionable intelligence, not to cause pain, you were in the clear.

However, the 5/10/05 memo tells us that during an initial phase called "transition to interrogation"

the interrogators take an"open non-threatening approach" but the detainee "would have to provide information on actual threats and location information on high value targets at large –not lower level information–for interrogators to continue with [this] neutral approach." If the detainee does not meet this very high standard

well then they get the crap beat out of them and other icky things like the bugs Spencer posted about.

Here’s the rub, when I was doing the whole prosecution gig, they sent me off to training in interrogation. We learned something called the Reid method, which has been SOP since the 1940’s–because it works so damn well.

The essence of the Reid method, and every other EFFECTIVE interrogation method I have ever heard of, is that you will almost never get the subject to "go for his own lungs" upfront. Nope, you have to coax him bit by bit down the slippery slope until, eventually, he tells you all you want to know.

Predicating not subjecting someone to "enhanced interrogation techniques" on them doing something that goes completely against human nature and decades of successful interrogations, means that the PURPOSE could not have been to gather actionable intel.

The PURPOSE had to be to inflict pain, for some other reason. What, to instill fear? To break down will to live?

I don’t know–and get too upset trying to guess. All I know is 5/10/05 eviscerates the "no liability if your PURPOSE was not the infliction of pain" defense.

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