Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fighting Terrorism Without Torture

Arye Roter, the top legal adviser of the Shin Bet, talks about how the organization gets along without torture. It didn't always, of course, and for a while in the 1970s and 1980s it had precious little to be proud of in that respect, but the organization that stands at the center of Israel's ability to thwart something like 95-99% of the Palestinian attempts to murder Jews manages to do so without torture, except in the extreme and rare cases of "ticking bombs". The Americans and British could learn a bit from them.

Read this one carefully, as it's a rare event when you get this close a view of what goes on in the Shin Bet (which is really called the Shabak).

PS - Those awesome success figures don't relate to shooting out of Gaza.


Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

But should we believe a security service about its own practices? A bit of critical reading will do no harm, no matter how eager we are to be deceived by the Shin Bet.

Just to make the Haaretz-quoting game a bit less selective, let's transcribe from an article published immediately after the one mentioned in this post, under the title Rights group: Shin Bet lied about interrogations:

A human rights group has accused the Shin Bet of giving false information about its method of interrogating suspects, in order to prevent its procedures from being documented.

According to attorney Eliyahu Avram of the Public Committee against Torture, the Shin Bet's alleged prevarication came to light when one of its officials told the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Tuesday that it carried out its interrogations with police.

Prior to this, the security organization had claimed that police were not present during interrogations in order to bypass a law that requires documenting procedures

In other words, the Shin Bet lied in order to prevent its procedures from being documented. Why would they do so, if their record is now so clean?

Another article, this time from Ynet, is titled Shin Bet uses torture regularly, B'Tselem report says:

Almost all detainees (96 percent) said that they were kept bound in painful positions; 73 percent complained of being subjected to verbal abuse and humiliation, and 64 percent said they suffered threats such as the arrest of close family members or the razing of their house.

The report also revealed that 49 percent of the detainees were beaten and 67 percent reported suffering at least one physical injury.

In other words, half of the prisoners are beaten, and fully two-thirds suffer injuries.

It's hard to see how this can be described as "Fighting Terrorism Without Torture." But of course, when people want to believe something nothing will stop them, least of all the truth.

Anonymous said...


First of all, you need information.

And, from Victor Ostrovsky's books, I did learn that the MOSSAD expects captured agents to talk. And, when captured by terrorists, the ordeal that comes, doesn't come "because of a need for information." Savages are savage. Let that be a lesson to ya.

As to the "best ways" to get information? Well, if you can make a suspect feel fear, then there's a possibility ... playing "good cop, bad cop" works.

On the other hand? Any good anesthetologist will tell you, there's a drug out there that wipes out memory ... but leaves people, in the OR, singing like birds.

So, if it's information you're after, you need to call in professionals. Including psychiatrists. And, you need set pieces in your questionning; that goes after the material you seek ... with a repetitive tone ... so it includes information you don't seek.

Most of the terrorists have a very limited fun of knowledge to begin with.

By the way, the MOSSAD always held keys. But didn't share them. That's basically Victor Ostrovsky's "construct."

Yes. Victor Ostrovsky also calls the Shin Bet, "Shabak." And, he claims there are "cut outs" to the powers, so that even the prime minister doesn't know.

Unless you get a fool like Bibi, who orders crazy stuff; and is then left holding the bag. So he blames others. (Like the Amman attack on Mashaal.) Of course, I bet you've already read his books! They qualify as the best "history" you'll get.

And, they put a lot of stuff into perspective.

You can also add that today, with satellites roaming ... and huge data bases collecting ... even conversations ... (To the point that special barriers are placed on the windows,even at the White House), that INFORMATION is key.

Yup. Some people sit on information until they lay eggs. Which is the world of journalism, going kaput.

Lies against Israel always seem to garner large headlines; while the truth, if you're lucky, will get printed on the back pages.

On the other hand? Journalism, as I said, is kaput. That's why you read blogs. Kapish?