The new Army Field Manual for Human Intelligence Collector Operations prohibits the use of specific interrogation techniques including water boarding, electrical shock, burning, beating, mock executions – you know, the usual. The Army’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence Lt. General Jeff Kimmons clarified during a press conference that “interrogation” refers to “getting truthful answers to time-sensitive questions on the battlefield” and that the manual applies “all detainees, regardless of their status under all circumstances.”
A reporter pointed out that “some of the tactics that were used in particular in Guantanamo Bay … are now prohibited” and asked, “does that limit the ability of interrogators to get information that could be very useful?”
GEN. KIMMONS: Let me answer the first question. That’s a good question. I think—I am absolutely convinced the answer to your first question is no. No good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices. I think history tells us that. I think the empirical evidence of the last five years, hard years, tell us that.
And moreover, any piece of intelligence which is obtained under duress, under—through the use of abusive techniques would be of questionable credibility. And additionally, it would do more harm than good when it inevitably became known that abusive practices were used. And we can’t afford to go there.
So just to clarify: we now have empirical evidence from that last five years that “No good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices” including in the “time-sensitive” circumstances of the battlefield.