Monday, November 21, 2016

Summary of Findings: Torture (Not Valid)

Note: This post represents the synthesis of the thoughts, procedures and experiences of others as represented in the articles read in advance (see previous posts) and the discussion among the students and instructor during the Advanced Analytic Techniques class at Mercyhurst University in October 2016 regarding Torture as an Analytic Technique specifically. This technique was evaluated based on its overall validity, simplicity, flexibility and its ability to effectively use structured data.


Torture or “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EIT) is a modifier for intelligence collection that utilizes the infliction physical or mental stressors/pain in order to elicit information from a given human subject.


  • Will likely produce information, however the reliability of that information is highly suspect.


  • Not a simple process.
  • May lead to the collection of misinformation, if any is even given.
  • Where do you find an expert (10,000 hours=10 Years Experience) in torturing?
  • Data on torture use is severely limited, and thus makes it difficult to assess.
  • Difficult to replicate and validity is questionable


  • Find someone who you believe has the information you want.
  • Capture them and place them in an environment where you have complete control
  • Inflict pain or threaten its use via a desired method in order to elicit information
  • Application or threat of application of mind-altering substances may be used to enhance the fear within the subject that they will divulge useful information
  • Threats of imminent death of the subject or family, friends, associates, etc. can also be an effective means of encouraging subjects to give up withheld information

Application of Technique:

A group of students in class participated in a socratic discussion after being presented information on the history, uses, current techniques, and events where torture was used in order to determine the logical effectiveness of the modifier.  Macro and micro issues were presented as evidence for and against the use of the modifier in order to weigh costs and potential benefits.
For Further Information:

Perspectives on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques:

CIA Interrogation Manual:

These Are The 13 ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ The CIA Used On Detainees

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program:

FM2-22.3 (FM 34-52) Human Intelligence Collector Operations:

Regarding the Torture of Others:

Torture at Abu Ghraib:

Liberalism, Torture, and the Ticking Bomb:

Torture, Henry Shue:

Interrogation of Abu Zubaydah:

Hard Measures, part 1:

Hard Measures, part 2:

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