Many conservatives, including Liz Cheney, who is the daughter of Vice President Cheney, have been defending the Bush administration’s torture regime arguing that many of the techniques authorized were derived from U.S. special forces training called Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Evasion (SERE) and were used on American troops.
While the situations are clearly not analogous (mainly because the circumstances in which techniques are applied are “very different“), former master instructor and chief of training at Navy’s SERE school Malcolm Nance said last night on MSNBC that that argument is “ridiculous on its face” and he called those making it “torture apologists”:
Host Rachel Maddow then asked Nance if he would use SERE techniques in the “faulty” premise of a “ticking time bomb scenario.”
MADDOW: In the case of an actual ticking time bomb scenario, which is a faulty premise because things don’t work out this way in the real world, would you do SERE, these techniques on a prisoner in that scenario? [...]
NANCE: No of course not, because one, it defeats the ticking time bomb scenario, in that all the prisoner has to do is not answer the question or, better yet, the prisoner will lie. And once the prisoner lies, especially with al Qaeda members. Let me tell you something, their ideology — they have a concept within their ideology called “al-warrah el barrah” (sp) and that is absolute devotion to their god, but absolute disavowal and hatred of anything that’s not their god.
Nance added that when these techniques were used, detainees knew they were were giving “gibberish,” thus seeing “that as a victory.” “[W]hat we’ve done is we created al Qaeda SERE school for them,” Nance said. Watch it:
Incidently, “torture apologist” Liz Cheney also made this ticking time bomb argument earlier this week: “We are talking about a situation in which there are imminent threats to the United States so if you say to me, this guy’s got information that’s gonna save my kids’ lives and your kids lives that’s going to keep this country safe but we gotta waterboard them to get it, I got no problem with that.”
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