LinkedIn tracking pixel

Torture: Thoughts by Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz

A recent media story equating CIA interrogation methods to the atrocities of the Nazis and Communists invoked my work as the pivot of its argument. This is abuse of history. Not only morally relativistic, it is also inaccurate historically.

To juxtapose the CIA, which is a democratic institution, to the Gestapo and NKVD, which were totalitarian outfits, is outrageous libel. It is not even like comparing apples and oranges. Rather, it is equating a case of a mild cold with Ebola. Assessing the methods applied against the prisoners, it is obvious that the CIA practically warm-fuzzied the terrorists, while the Nazis and Communists tore their victims to pieces. Pundits will stoop to anything to stick it to the CIA, which, God knows, has many faults, but all of them reflect the perennial problems of America’s democratic system unlike the nefarious nature of the Soviet and Nazi secret police which reflected the very essence of totalitarianism. My research describes this sordid reality in gory details (

Make no mistake. Torture is horrible and dehumanizing both to the victim and the perpetrator. Further, torture tends to yield poisoned fruit. It is possible to obtain tactical and even strategic intelligence from the persons thus interrogated. Almost everyone breaks down under torture. A majority of those who resist successfully simply die under the blows. A few emerge alive and unbroken in spirit but completely shattered physically and unbalanced psychologically by their experience. Of those who break down, only a few spill their guts and even fewer are turned, becoming double agents (always in danger of flipping yet again to morph into a triple agent, as was the case with the CIA’s Jordanian asset who blew himself and his handlers up at Camp Chapman in Afghanistan on December 30, 2009).

Read more