From a New York Times editorial about the faulty judicial process in Guantanamo:

PRESIDENT (of the tribunal): Please describe the methods that were used.

DETAINEE: (CENSORED) What else do I want to say? (CENSORED) There were doing so many things. What else did they did? (CENSORED) After that another method of torture began. (CENSORED) They used to ask me questions and the investigator after that used to laugh. And, I used to answer the answer that I knew. And if I didn’t replay what I heard, he used to (CENSORED).

According to the article, Bush policy prohibits allegations of torture by prisoners in transcripts. (Apparently the plea bargain agreement with the Australian prisoner included a provision forbidding him to speak out as well).

I have lots of opinions about the imprisonment, but forbidding the ability to speak out prevents the US political system  from having  information to correct its own abuses. For those who don’t believe abuses take place within the US penal system, consider this case .

Videotape  footage can play a positive role, but according to this  report by Radley Balko, Bush administration has been   punishing federal attorneys who suggested videotaping  interrogations. 

Knowing that people are on tape does change how people behave, but I don’t see the harms. Police interrogators will simply have to learn new methods of behavior to extract confessions. Yes, there is a danger that once these tricks become known, criminals can recognize them (and evade them).  That can be addressed simply by restricting these tapes to courtrooms without cameras.






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