Former SAS man: Torturing terror suspects is a “moral responsibility”

Well, this will set the cat among the pigeons.  Andy McNab chimes in on the CIA torture debate

A former SAS soldier who survived weeks of torture at the hands of Iraqi interrogators believes it can be used to prevent terrorists attacks.

Andy McNab believes security services have a ‘moral responsibility’ to torture suspects if innocent lives hang in the balance.

A report released earlier this week revealed that brutal techniques used by CIA agents against Al-Qaeda suspects in the wake of the September 11 bombings failed to produce useful intelligence.

But the soldier-turned-author says torture can yield vital information if used properly – and will be used by authorities in the future to prevent terrorist attacks.

The former British Army sergeant told The Times he ‘wouldn’t think twice’ about ‘inflicting pain’ on someone if he thought it could prevent an atrocity such as the 2005 London bombings.

He said: ‘I would deem it a moral responsibility to interrogate, to physically torture him to get the information out.

‘Torture is a really blunt instrument but it is an instrument that if it used right can yield results.

People get waaaay too precious about torture.  There is a time and a place where the need simply makes it the only answer.  

‘There will always be legislation to make sure that we don’t do it, but we will do it… We could moan about tactical interrogation or we could moan about 24-28 people getting blown up on a Tube. It’s a tough call.’

CIA Director, John Brennan, admitted some agents had used ‘unauthorised methods’, but insists they gained some valuable information through techniques such as ‘water-boarding’ – which was used to save lives.

McNab, which is a pseudonym he coined after 20 years of military service, says there are a number of ‘quick, harmful, painful techniques’ which can be used to effectively extract information from a captive.

He conceded that he only supported the use of torture immediately after a suspect was captured rather than months later, when the information they possessed would be ‘out of date’.

Exactly.  Timeliness of intel to prevent some major loss of life would always be justification in my book.  But waterboarding people years later is where the CIA doesn’t have much of a justification they can offer.

The former special forces officer was himself tortured by Iraqi forces, after being captured on covert mission during the first Gulf War in January 1991.

He and three of his colleagues were taken to an interrogation centre in Baghdad where they were stripped of their clothing, beaten and held in isolation for over three weeks.

Each of the men were whipped until they bled – their wounds then sealed with a red-hot metal spoon. At one point, McNab, now 54, says his molars were forcibly removed with pliers.

He was eventually transferred to another prison in Abu Ghraib where he was beaten for another three weeks.

Despite the unimaginable pain he was subjected to, McNab maintains that torture is ‘a weapon misunderstood by those who were not inflicting or being subjected to it.

He said: ‘At the moment there is this moral revulsion at what has gone on.

‘However, if there was real time information that did actually save lives, we would be looking at it in a different way.’

For squeamish people to live in their cocooned little lives where they are allowed the luxury of not having to look a cow in the eye and kill it just so they can have some steak, it is better that they leave the professional to the job of keeping them safe.

There is nothing more irritating than bleeding heart liberals declaring there should be no torture, ever.   They do so from the luxury of ignorance.  If it was their family held up in a bus that’s about to be blown up, I suspect very few would be as principled.

– Mail Online

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