British soldiers told not to shout at jihadis
Forget the terror and torture:
British soldiers have “lost their capability” to interrogate terrorist insurgents because of strict new rules on questioning that even ban shouting in captives’ ears, military chiefs have warned. The rules — detailed in court papers obtained by The Telegraph — also prevent military intelligence officers from banging their fists on tables or walls, or using “insulting words” when interrogating a suspect.
The regulations replaced a previous policy that had to be withdrawn after a series of legal challenges and the death in custody of Baha Mousa, an Iraqi detainee in Basra.
But there is growing disquiet within the ranks that the latest guidelines, officially called Challenge Direct, are so stringent that it makes interrogation pointless….
Col Tim Collins, who made a celebrated eve-of-battle speech during the Iraq war and now runs a private security company with expertise in intelligence gathering, said: “Since I was serving, the rules on interrogations have been tightened up because of the lawyers. We [the military] are no longer able to carry out tactical questioning. The effect of the ambulance-chasing lawyers and the play-it-safe judges is that we have got to the point where we have lost our operational capability to do tactical questioning. That in itself brings risks to the lives of the people we deploy. These insurgents are not nice people. These are criminals. They behead people; they keep sex slaves. They are not normal people.”
Can you interrogate the abnormal by conventional means?
Two days before Mosul fell to the Islamic insurgent group Isis (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), Iraqi commanders stood eyeballing its most trusted messenger. The man, known within the extremist group as Abu Hajjar, had finally cracked after a fortnight of interrogation and given up the head of Isis’s military council.
“He said to us, ‘you don’t realise what you have done’,” an intelligence official recalled. “Then he said: ‘Mosul will be an inferno this week’.’
Several hours later, the man he had served as a courier and been attempting to protect, Abdulrahman al-Bilawi, lay dead in his hideout near Mosul. From the home of the dead man and the captive, Iraqi forces hoovered up more than 160 computer flash sticks which contained the most detailed information yet known about the terror group.
The treasure trove included names and noms de guerre of all foreign fighters, senior leaders and their code words, initials of sources inside ministries and full accounts of the group’s finances.
“We were all amazed and so were the Americans,” a senior intelligence official told the Guardian. “None of us had known most of this information.”
What’s truly encouraging about the report is that it apparently has exhaustive records on every single tortured prisoner, and the intelligence they did or did not provide. It could offer some real finality. And then it will offer this democracy a choice. When war crimes have been committed so brutal and foul, so horrifying and sadistic, so useless and immoral, are we simply going to say: no one will ever be held accountable? No one who ordered this will ever face sanction?
The movies are going to need updating: