ISIS – Can They Target American Military Personnel on U. S. Soil ?

ISIS recently issued a global ‘order’ to target American military members, publishing a list of 100 names along with a variety of personal details. Undoubtedly by now, the U.S. Defense Department has provided security assistance for those named in the publication as well as issuing a list of instructions to all military families to effectively keep private and personal information off of social media.

news-report-Aegis-AcademyThis is not the first time this has happened. The self-proclaimed Islamic State made this request about a year ago on Jihadi social media sites asking Muslims to attack military personnel, and determined that their families were acceptable targets as well. This attempt to extol U. S. muslims to do violence against military members and their families has resulted is ZERO attacks. I am not saying there is no risk, nor that all American military families should not start to be more careful with the amount … Read more »

Did America Torture Prisoners – Part 4

At what point does negative reinforcement become torture?

Activists rally for U.S. President Barack Obama to close down Guantanamo Bay prison while in WashingtonWe will start with a review a few concepts from the previous articles. The first is that interrogation is different from an interview where the other person is willingly providing information. Interrogation is systematic process of creating an environment where cooperation (truthful answers) are rewarded, and falsehoods punished. Without a system of incentives, both positive and negative, you don’t have the ability to manipulate a person to achieve the end state of obtaining accurate, timely information from anything but a willing subject.

Second is that terrorists are generally not willing subjects. Committed extremists are as unlikely as U. S. service members to betray their core beliefs. It generally takes coercion at some level. While some are simply willing to tell all, they are the exception and not the rule. The question we are evaluating is; are enhanced interrogation techniques beyond an “acceptable” … Read more »

Did America Torture Prisioners – Part Three

How enhanced Interrogation Techniques were Applied:

Abu Zubaydah

Abu Zubaydah - Aegis Academy - Interrogation Abu Zubaydah was a Saudi born terror suspect captured in a joint raid in Pakistan in 2002. He was shot in the leg during the raid. He was initially interviewed by ISI, CIA and the FBI in what appears to be cooperative means. He was later transferred to a U. S. detention facility where a joint CIA / FBI began interviewing him. That evening his medical condition deteriorated and he was placed into a hospital facility. During his stay he was periodically interviewed by the interrogators from the FBI and CIA. According to the reports, he was cooperative, informative and appeared not be withholding information. At this point the FBI is described as the lead in the interview process in the report. The senate report goes into some detail about the CIA headquarters determining an interrogation plan and effectively cutting the FBI … Read more »

Did America Torture Prisioners – Part Two

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques – How they were developed and why…

Kubark Manual - aegis academy - torture - enhanced interrogation

When we look at how these enhanced techniques were developed, it provides some insight into why and how detainees were ultimately handled. The programmatic approach and the specific techniques were devised by two psychologists who worked at the USAF Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) School. They were not trained as interrogators and had no experience conducting interrogations before being hired to develop the interrogation program. They were, however, experts in interrogation resistance techniques, had extensive expertise in psychology and human manipulation and were very familiar with the programmatic approach to interrogation. To indicate they were not subject matter experts would be a falsehood. We’ll start with a brief review of the relevant background on where and when the techniques came from.

SERE school was established after the Korean War to train service members to avoid capture, and resist (but … Read more »

Did America Torture Prisoners?

What does the report say about American Values..

Aegis Academy Torture - CIA - Interrogation reportI was having dinner with a friend the other night and his response to the media coverage of the report was disgust. He stated “it was the first time in my life that I am ashamed to be an American“. My suspicion is that people simply do not think through the impact of what they are saying when they make a blanket statement like that. I can understand the concern, disgust, and anger over the actions described in the report. I can understand being ashamed of fact that these events occurred. These actions may not be in line with what we as a society value, but America has much to be proud of. I am not ashamed to be associated with our Nation in the least. Having read the report in its entirety has not changed that one bit. It is … Read more »