Watching The Detectives
I admit to being something of a police buff. I love shows like "Forensic Files" and "The First 48". I have even spent one whole night in the company of cops as their civilian guest, following them from one call to another, visiting crime scenes, and observing how they work and how they interact with each other and regular citizens. (A tip of the hat to the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department)
I’ve read a good many books on crime and the detectives that solve them. Had I lived a different life, I might have become a detective myself. It isn’t the glamor of the job as portrayed on television that lures me, because I’m not interested in cop dramas. I’m interested in how detectives manage to get from a dead body or bodies to a suspect to the solution of the crimes. It is a study in intelligence, instinct, street savvy, knowledge, and psychology. In particular, it’s fascinating how often investigators manage to get confessions from suspects with very little evidence to back up their interrogations.
The operative word there being "interrogations". I’ve read about and watched enough interrogations to know that good investigators can manipulate and coerce and pry confessions out of folks without any physical intimidation or violence. Good investigators use their wits, smarts, and knowledge of the crime to get confessions. They don’t have to smack someone into a wall. They don’t waterboard them. They often don’t even raise their voices. The thing that is amazing about getting a successful confession out of someone is that they have absolutely no reason to trust a homicide investigator, and that by confessing, they are putting themselves in prison. Yet, time after time, suspects put themselves at the scene of the crime and cough up the gory details to some patient, nodding, seemingly friendly homicide detective who, through a kind of artistry, keeps the conversation flowing his way.
So, my question is: Why were the detainees tortured? What possessed any CIA agent or contractor to abuse, torture, and threaten these people over and over again? We have heard from experts all over the world that torture doesn’t give up reliable information. If I were being tortured, I’d confess to global warming, Lincoln’s assassination, and being Glenn Beck’s mistress. (Pardon me while I vomit.)
If homicide investigators all over our country can get reluctant witnesses to provide clues, and even more reluctant suspects to sing like canaries—why is it that any government official thought it was a good idea to torture alleged terrorist suspects? On the one hand, you have a group of elite cops who solve crimes with their brains. On the other hand, you have agents and government officials who solve nothing by beating, sexually abusing, waterboarding, and killing those from whom they hope to extract useful information in order for our country to battle future terrorism. Any claims I hear that the CIA got some useful data from using these methods are lies. Pure, unadulterated fiction. Imagine—the CIA spreading disinformation. I know. Shocking, isn’t it?
Next time our leaders feel like trying to get to the bottom of a crime, they should consider calling in some homicide investigators, who not only know the law, but work within the law and catch their quarry. If this makes sense, how about a big "10-4"?