Editor’s note: Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin is an online, subscription intelligence news service from the creator of WorldNetDaily.com – a journalist who has been developing sources around the world for almost 30 years. The subscription price for the premium newsletter has been slashed in half and is now available for only $9.95 per month The following article is adapted from the current issue of G2 Bulletin.
WASHINGTON – Veteran military interrogators say the public release of the Army’s new restrictions on techniques tip the hand to terrorists and enemies worldwide, virtually ruling out the possibility that prisoners will offer up any effective intelligence in the field, reports the latest issue of Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
While interrogation instructors are currently undergoing four-hour classes, and the Army is spending millions dispatching mobile training teams to all corners of the world, those with expertise in battlefield human intelligence say the restrictive policies will mean more combat deaths and injuries and more successful terrorist attacks.
The new policies now require techniques formerly considered routine in the questioning of hostiles to be approved by high-ranking officers.
For instance, the technique known as “Mutt and Jeff,” or “good cop, bad cop” in civilian terminology, now requires approval by a full colonel. Use of the “False Flag” technique, in which interrogators pretend to be from another country, requires approval of a colonel. The technique of “separation,” which can mean up to 30 days of solitary confinement, now requires approval by a general.
Critics who have employed these techniques successfully for years in military situations say those requirements alone would ensure that little meaningful intelligence could be extracted from prisoners. But worse, they say, is the fact that U.S. enemies around the globe now know just how far U.S. interrogators can go – thereby making it easier to withstand the pressures applied on them.
“Do our combat brigade and division commanders have time to review these requests for every single terrorist detainee?” asks one veteran interrogator? “Of course not,” he answers. “What is not stated is that in order for these commanders to approve these techniques, the judge advocate general has to approve it. The military police commander has to approve it. And the medical staff has to approve it, before the commander will authorize the technique. The reality is none of these approaches will ever be run, and in the worst case scenario – you find a terrorist bomb cell leader who’s got 10 guys planting IEDs today, you will not be able to do anything to him before your soldiers and/or Iraqi civilians die.”
One critic said “tactical HUMINT” – meaning human intelligence gathering – is now a dead concept as far as effectiveness is concerned.
“The worst thing is that the new manual has been released, with no secret amendments totally unclassified to the world – not even ‘for official use only,'” said a field interrogator with experience in Iraq. “All the briefers were honest enough to state that every terrorist entity in the world is now fully aware of all of our techniques and all of our limitations and, therefore, is prepared to resist. The rationale is that the Army and the DoD (Department of Defense) want no bad press and doesn’t want anybody in the world to think we are doing anything ‘sneaky.'”
The new guidelines are laid out in Field Manual 2-22.3, “Human Intelligence Collector Operations.”
“FM 2-22.3 is an important part of the Army’s commitment to improve human intelligence operations, including interrogation operations,” explained Lt. Gen. John F. Kimmons, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence. “It broadens the functions and capabilities of our HUMINT soldiers and incorporates lessons learned into our doctrine. This FM represents the result of a very extensive coordination process throughout the Department of Defense involving our most senior leaders and combatant commanders.”
As the Army explains it: “The new manual clarifies military intelligence and military police roles and responsibilities; specifies requirements for non-DoD access to detainees under DoD control; specifies that commanders are responsible and accountable for compliance with provisions of FM 2-22.3 and for ensuring humane detainee treatment; and notes that all military personnel are responsible and accountable for immediately reporting suspected detainee abuse.”
The new manual, in accordance with Geneva Conventions, explicitly prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and is in complete compliance with the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005.
“The new FM builds upon previous doctrine, incorporates lessons learned, and provides clear and specific guidance to commanders and soldiers in the field on the conduct of HUMINT operations,” said Thomas Gandy, director of counterintelligence, human intelligence, foreign disclosure and security.
Effective human intelligence and interrogation operations are more important than ever to meet the intelligence requirements of our forces operating for extended periods in complex, irregular warfare environments, he added.
The new manual was designed to deal with the kinds of abuses revealed by the Abu Ghraib scandal, but even before the manual was released publicly, veteran interrogators said the new procedures would cut down on the amount and quality of information about impending attacks by terrorist enemies.
One source suggested, sarcastically: “Sounds like we’re all going to need good lawyers before we start questioning prisoners.”