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Tuesday, 05 February 2013


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To paraphrase Agatha Christie - "Why didn't they ask JK?"

Afraid I probally ruirn't it for the ol' git yesterday Andra (even tho' it took me half of my night to find an open-sourced, published, boffin-authored analysis from February 2009 which posited OBL's location within 75 kilometers!

(True - a circle of 75k in diameter covers alot of territory - but that study further posited a 98% probability OBL would, ultimately, be located within a city rather than a cave).

I'll drop the study into email toward you Andra - just for your amusement mind...

But let's be "sensitive" to the resident coot, cause just between me'n you, I figure the costs in fuel alone for two stinkers in a single week'll probably render him apoplectic until (at minimum) he can return to mowing the churchyard!

Heh, heh, heh.

"Possible" tsunami Andra. 0520 Zulu (Cairns time).


No, all is well here. Just a little bubble........thanks for thinking of us.

The interesting question is 'do we do torture'. I reckon we obfuscate the issue saying 'torture doesn't work', I should think it bloody well does. But any fool can get most subjects to blab just as any fool can get to Baghdad - but what do you do then? The helicopter? Prison forever? The mineshaft? Release them at some point? Does the blabbing make any sense and was it worth it?

Doing torture on any scale creates a huge problem for the future. The act itself degrades and weakens the doing side and may strengthen the opposition. So before warming up the pincers it is worth remembering 'espionage is such a dirty business it can only be entrusted to gentlemen'.

Today, Roger, the word 'torture' has been, er, tortured out of all meaning. Denying a prisoner his morning newspaper and a soft-boiled egg for breakfast could be, and probably will be, called 'torture' soon. But you are quite right, it works a treat! Not every time and not everyone - the late and exceedingly brave Wing Cdr. Yeo-Thomas(*) is a perfect example - but, just like the terrorists, you only have to get lucky once! And don't worry about the 'torturers'. I did a bit of 'torturing' back in the day and it never did me any harm - I still enjoy pulling the wings off flies! (To be fair, the people I 'tortured' had volunteered so really they deserved everything they got - teach them never to volunteer again, silly buggers!)


"I did a bit of 'torturing' back in the day and it never did me any harm - I still enjoy pulling the wings off flies! (To be fair, the people I 'tortured' had volunteered so really they deserved everything they got - teach them never to volunteer again, silly buggers!)"

Well yes I suppose Herr Duff ...

How well has it worked thus far?

(Superbly DM) "Vee haff vays to make yoo loook consistwently doomedfwookeduffed...

"Ze vay, Vretort?"

"I did a bit of 'torturing' back in the day ..."

Sorry to go on about this, but what exactly did you do in the military? Torture people and then iron their clothes?

Yeeees, well, JK, I zink your German accent could do wiz improfement!

Dom, in my last year of service I was part of the Joint Services Interrogation Unit. Despite my rolling eye-balls, my facial twitch and my itching fingers, I never got my hands on real 'baddies' so I had to make do with various RAF aircrews and blokes trying to join the SAS. The main object was to train them in resistance to interrogation. So, duly frustrated I used to go home and kick the cat! Lest anyone take my jocular style for real let me assure you that there were two golden rules: we only had them for 24 hours, and we were never allowed to touch them physically. Mind you, I couldn't have stood it for more than an hour and I don't doubt that some prat somewhere today would call it 'torture'!!

Way back in the day, I was captured in an escape and evasion exercise in Singapore. We started off stripped down to our knickers, standing on our toes and leaning on our finger tips. It was amazing how quickly it became agonising! The guards were not supposed to hit you, but putting your heel on the ground rather surprisingly meant your calf met a rifle butt. Things were rounded off by a sack over your head. Then you were put in an old metal oven which they hit with their rifle butts. Later still, you ended up in a cell with a hole in the roof thru' which they poured water, cackling madly. In between all this, you were "interviewed". Is this torture? It wasn't very nice, anyway.

Ah, yes, the guards! Alas, we civilised chaps couldn't always keep an eye on them. They were encouraged to be loud and both mocking and threatening. You should have been hooded *immediately* and stripped bollock naked. Your reactions to all this should have been noted by a trained interrogator sitting quietly at the back taking notes for your file - that's if he wasn't otherwise occupied reading Penthouse or some such! Then you should have been taken outside and chained to a post in the middle of an obviously empty field with one of your mates. Hopefully you would chat. The mic in the post would pick up everything. After a few hours in the heat (if it was Singapore, or the freezing cold if it was Dartmoor) you would be dragged back inside by one of the guards and as you passed an open door to a cell you might well glimpse (because it was intended for that purpose!) your senior officer about to tuck into a good meal. Of course, after you had 'seen' this and been hurriedly moved on, the meal would have been snatched away from the officer concerned and he, starving hungry and having smelled the bacon and eggs, would be told that he could have it back if he talked. Meanwhile his interrogator would idly crunch away at the crispy bacon! You would be taken to a baking hot cell where the interrogator would idly stir the ice cubes in a jug of water whilst inviting you to tell the story of your life. Failure to respond might lead you to a spell in the sound-room where heavy rock would be played at maximised sound levels from at least six speakers until your brains felt like scrambled eggs. Finally, after having been on the run for, say, 48 hours and in the pen for a day but having nobly kept your upper lip stiff - and shut - you would be told it was all over and a QM would offer you your clothes back which, of course, you would have to sign for. As soon as you did so the clothes would be whisked away and you would be back in the slammer and the 'confession' you signed, which was hidden beneath the QM's list and a sheet of carbon paper, would be shown to you. To rub in your mistake you would be invited to read the shaming 'confession' out loud to prove what a mug you were and - bingo - we now have a recording, too! Thereby you will have learned a valuable lesson - it's never over until it's over!

That, and a whole lot more tricks of the trade were available because when men are really knackered, hungry, thirsty and demoralised there is a good chance they will forget training and do something stupid. Not all of them. In fact, *not most* of them - and with the SAS, none of them - but just some of them would, and that was all we needed. Happy days, now I must find a kitten to torture . . .

I'd forgotten about the signing for your kit back.

"and we were never allowed to touch them physically"

Oh my aching sides!!!

I seem to remember 'not being physically touched' quite bit. From the 'gentle restraining' on 'capture' (fcuking Paras), 'accidentally' falling off the back of a 4-tonner, assorted cold, sharp and/or blunt objects ('let us help you disrobe' and then 'bend over') as well as other 'procedures' to elicit vocal expressions 'pour encourager les autres'. The lady laughing and commenting on my naked physique (or lack of one in the cold - the only reason, honest!) was surprisingly the most 'memorable'. (I never had any Rock music - I'm upset as I like a bit of Metal, who do I complain to?)

So 'touch' was really a bit more 'not permanently damage' wasn't it?

(and I was neither a BrylCreem boy or SAS so it wasn't just the masochists either but would still quite like to meet a former interrogator, excepting yourself of course, in a dark alley one night to 'reminisce' as there was entirely too much enjoying going on for my liking)

Ah, you see, BOE, a 'gotcha' moment! 'Sign 'ere, lad, like wot you always do!'

Able - "(fcuking Paras)" - do you mind! Gentlemen soldiers, all of them, but especially the Third Battalion - can't answer for the rest! Anyway, you know where-of I write and well done you for getting through it. The trick of it is easy to explain, harder to do; that is, say **absolutely nothing** other than name, rank, no and religion, and sign nothing. One of the more useful conversational gambits was to chat about football, most blokes having some opinion on the subject. Unfortunately I didn't, so it didn't usually work for me - except with the mouthy ones who, when they were being riled by the guards, answered back. They were the ones we liked to spot early! And that, of course, is why we briefed the guards to give the prisoners plenty of verbals. Ah, happy days and now I think about it, I could do with a bit of sunshine so I wonder if the Yanks would welcome my rusty skills over in Gitmo? Well, a man can dream, can't he?

I didn't fall for the "sign for your kit" bit. The people who had most trouble were the ones who ignored the advice to remove all squadron badges from their flying suits, and their brevets and badges of rank. If you just sat there in your green growbag and said nothing, you were probably alright. Our guards were, I think, RAF Regt and the interrogators were Army. I was only in their hands for one night, but it was interesting in how soon you were in the scenario and how soon you forgot it wasn't for real.

"If you just sat there in your green growbag and said nothing"

That's exactly right!

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