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FBI Interrogator Says Cookies Convinced Al-Qaeda Suspect To Talk

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the catch-more-flies-with-sugar dept.

Idle 11

Ali Soufan, a former FBI interrogator, says that Osama Bin Laden's bodyguard, Abu Jandal, talked about the 9/11 attack only after he was given sugar free cookies. Jandal is diabetic and was unable to eat the regular cookies given to him with his tea. Noticing this, Soufan offered the suspect sugar-free cookies at their next meeting. Soufan says it was this act of kindness, not rougher methods, that opened up a dialogue between the two. "We had showed him respect, and we had done this nice thing for him. So he started talking to us instead of giving us lectures," Soufan said.

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And here's the rhetoric: (2, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144315)

What's that old saying, again? "Kill 'em with kindness"?

And I really just have to ask: is there any proof at all that perpetrating the American Inquisition has actually helped the country or the world a single bit?

Re:And here's the rhetoric: (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28150035)

Is there any proof it hasn't?

Not just being pedantic, the problem with preventing "crime" is that it is hard to proof you prevented it. There have been no more attacks on US soil, some would say that is evidence that the tactics worked. Others would say this doesn't proof anything.

We do know the tactics in use BEFORE 9/11 did NOT work.

Remember, this, the best fire marshall is one who is going to find it very hard to convince anyone he has done anything. The best after all makes into law sprinklers and alarms into every building and hence never has to put out a single fire.

A bad one is fighting fires like a hero all day.

Re:And here's the rhetoric: (2, Insightful)

SpecBear (769433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28156123)

If the fire marshal is getting the job done through vigorous inspections to make sure everyone's up to code, then nobody's going to question him. A fire safety inspection isn't something that offends the sensibilities. And, more importantly, it isn't illegal.

But what if this effective fire marshal claimed that the reason the city was so safe from fires was that he was torturing his employees to ensure their compliance? "I beat them regularly to keep them in line, and they get the job done. I could stop beating them, but then they would slack off and that would make the city less safe. Is relieving the suffering of a few civil servants worth putting millions of Americans in danger? I don't think so."

Regardless of how effective he is, we need to ask if this is something that we as a society want to condone. And it's certainly reasonable to ask "Is this really effective? And even if it is, are there methods that are as effective that don't involve physically assaulting the fire inspectors?"

Furthermore, some of us are going to say "Fuck it, I don't care if it works, this is wrong and he shouldn't be doing it! He needs to stop this shit right fucking now! If putting out the occasional fire is the price of living in a civilized society, then so be it."

Re:And here's the rhetoric: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28159465)

There's a phrase you hear bandied around from time to time, which is "The burden of proof". The point of which is that if anyone's going to be going out of their way to argue their point and prove that they were indeed correct, it should be the person who is advocating something evil, such as locking a person away, or killing them, or torturing them, and saying that it is for the greater good. This is, obviously, in order to prevent the attitude that it's alright to do such evils to a person without it being proven that a)the suspect is worthy of such evil being done to them, and b)that the evil being done to them is in fact for the greater good. If ever the burden of proof should be on the people trying to use evil methods, it should be now, when we are locking people away indefinitely, along with torture, with reasonably little proof.

This is the same principle, by the way, that is meant to prevent some smartass cop for locking you in jail because you looked at him funny, or keep someone from murdering you over the internet for being a troll and/or a person-advocating-torturing-of-people-without-actually-knowing-the-facts-of-the-case.

Sugar-free cookies?!? (4, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144703)

Just imagine what kind of information they could have gotten out of him if they had thrown in some soy milk!

It's been said many times, but I'll repeat it here: torture may be effective at getting people to "talk", but it doesn't produce reliable information. What it produces is people who will say anything they think will stop the torture. If you are attacking a country because you feel it is corrupt and is crusading against your ethnic group or religion, being tortured by that country will only reinforce that belief and convince you that your cause is just.

Re:Sugar-free cookies?!? (2, Funny)

friedo (112163) | more than 4 years ago | (#28160253)

Soy milk? I thought you were against torture.

Beat 'em and feed 'em? (1)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28148585)

Okay, I'm all against torture or interrogation or whatever it's called this week, but I have to point out that maybe the suspect responded well to this kind of an act of kindness because the norm is to get locked up, beaten and waterboarded. When, for a change, you are offered cookies, the gesture carries more weight because it's a contrasting act of benevolence after numerous acts of brutality.

Re:Beat 'em and feed 'em? (1)

modelint (684704) | more than 5 years ago | (#28150373)

Okay, I'm all against torture or interrogation or whatever it's called this week, but I have to point out that maybe the suspect responded well to this kind of an act of kindness because the norm is to get locked up, beaten and waterboarded. When, for a change, you are offered cookies, the gesture carries more weight because it's a contrasting act of benevolence after numerous acts of brutality.

My thoughts exactly. Aka "good cop - bad cop"

Re:Beat 'em and feed 'em? (1)

moj0e (812361) | more than 5 years ago | (#28166137)

My thoughts exactly. Aka "good cop - bad cop"

I think in this case it was more like, "good cookie - bad cookie" :)

Forced-to-Eat-Cookies - Torture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28161639)

This might be closer to the truth:

They bought these harmless cookies. Without informing him, they forced him to eat them. To escape the cookie-torture he decided to talk.

And he ate them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28162211)

I'm sorry.. I'm a diabetic, and I know for a fact that sugar-free cookies - aren't.

They are sweetened often times with sugar-alcohol, which is ingested, digested, processed the same as plain sugar once inside the body.

It raises your blood sugar levels the same as plain sugar as well.

Sugar-free candies, cookies, etc should be banned from production, unless they are made from left handed sugars, or something else that doesn't break down inside your body and raises your blood sugar just like sugar.

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