Testifying at today’s Senate Judiciary hearing on coercive interrogation techniques, former FBI special agent Jack Cloonan deplored coercive interrogations for being “not effective” and said the perception that the U.S. tortures detainees has “helped to recruit a new generation of jihadist martyrs”:
Based on my experience in talking to Al Qaida members, I am persuaded that revenge in the form of a catastrophic attack on the homeland is coming; that a new generation of jihadist martyrs, motivated in part by the images from Abu Ghraib, is, as we speak, planning to kill Americans; and that nothing gleaned from the use of coercive interrogation techniques will be of any significant use in forestalling this calamitous eventuality. [...]
If I were the director of marketing of Al Qaida and intent on replenishing the ranks of jihadists, I know where my first piece of marketing collateral would be. It would be a blast e-mail with an attachment. The attachment would contain a picture of Private England pointing at the stacked naked bodies of the detainees at Abu Ghraib. This picture screams out for revenge and a day of reckoning will come.
Cloonan also repeatedly emphasized that the “rapport-building” method of interrogation is “more effective, efficient, and reliable” than coercive techniques — regardless of some conservatives’ determination to mock this method.