Michael Kearns: Recommended Book “Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation”

Michael S. Kearns

Michael S. Kearns

Professor Shane O’Mara, Director of the Trinity College – Dublin Neuroscience Lab, is having his new book published. A very powerful message to the Bush OLC Lawyers who looked into SERE technuques… they damage the brain when applied over time.

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Torture is banned because it is cruel and inhumane. But as Shane O’Mara writes in this account of the human brain under stress, another reason torture should never be condoned is because it does not work the way torturers assume it does. …

For ethical reasons, there are no scientific studies of torture. But neuroscientists know a lot about how the brain reacts to fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, and immersion in freezing water, all tools of the torturer’s trade. …

…if we want information that we can depend on to save lives, O’Mara writes, our model should be Napoleon: “It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile.”

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Apr 20

Berto Jongman: Flawed Terrorism Research Driving Flawed Counterterrorism Programs? PBI: Or Just Plain Dishonesty?

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Is Flawed Terrorism Research Driving Flawed Counterterrorism Policies?

More than thirteen years after the U.S. intelligence community named the prevention of terrorism its number one goal, it seems to have little understanding of what drives terrorism, or how to counter it. And, if the recently increasing criticism is correct, the government’s investment in academic terrorism research isn’t helping. It may be because the government is continuing to fund research supporting discredited theories of terrorist radicalization, rather than objective empirical analyses.

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Apr 8

SchwartzReport: USA #1 Threat to Peace

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

As you read this think about what has happened to the United States from the time of the Marshall Plan when people around the world looked to the U.S. as an exemplar of what a modern society should be, until today when we are the most feared nation in the world, the number one threat to peace. This didn’t happen to us, we did it to ourselves, and only we can undo it.   

The #1 threat to peace in the world? World polling suggests it’s the United States

In early 2014, Gallup International/WIN released its annual global survey based on research conducted the previous year. The most striking statistic was that 24 percent of people around the world believe that the U.S. poses the greatest threat to peace. The runners-up were far behind: eight percent of respondents thought Pakistan was the greatest threat, while six percent thought it was China. And only five percent of those surveyed thought Iran was a threat to world peace. The numbers are based on interviews with 1,000 people in 65 different nations. (The survey published this year did not contain the same question.)

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Mar 24

Berto Jongman: FBI Creates US Terrorists

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

The Sting

How the FBI Created a Terrorist

Informant-led sting operations are central to the FBI’s counterterrorism program. Of 508 defendants prosecuted in federal terrorism-related cases in the decade after 9/11, 243 were involved with an FBI informant, while 158 were the targets of sting operations.

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Mar 17