Don’t Yell At Terrorist Suspects: The Missed Warning

It’s incredibly safe to say that we’ve been getting this whole ‘war on terror’ thing just a little bit wrong. We could hardly have missed the mark more if we’d been trying to aim somewhere else. Like at our own feet or into the sky (the war on pigeons is earmarked for the next time we want to distract ourselves from an embarrassing national crisis). In the wake of the nationally humiliating American report on CIA torture techniques (you know, the one where it turns out that torture really isn’t all that effective at extracting vital information from suspected terrorists so agents have been behaving like total dicks lacking in any humanity for absolutely no reason at all), it would seem that we definitely ought to have injected a little more Britishness into proceedings.

Rather than shouting at the prisoners, what should have been done was treating them with kind words and asking if they’d like a nice hot cup of tea. Rather than confirming that the West really is pretty damn terrible, perhaps it would have been a tiny bit kinder to treat those in captivity like they were still human? It might not have yielded any actual results in that essential field of preventing future attacks and saving lives but then again the traditional methods haven’t exactly proved so very wonderful either in the long run.

Because it would appear that not every single person suspected of terrorism really did it. So upon those fleetingly rare occasions when they’ve actually got the wrong man, the intelligence agencies can rest easy in the knowledge that they didn’t freeze an innocent man to death (read the report or listen to the Bugle, that’s one of the few things I didn’t completely make up today. I don’t wish I had because that would make me a terrible person. I’m not sure how to finish that thought without getting arrested…).

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