- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2003

With the capture of top al Qaeda terrorist Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (known as "KSM"), getting him to disgorge the contents of his brain quickly and truthfully is critically necessary before his network has a chance to vanish undercover.
What, then, would the most efficient and effective form of interrogation be? In 1995, the Philippine State Police captured an al Qaeda agent. They knew he was planning some terrorist act, but didn't know what. So they tortured him the old-fashioned way, right out of the movies with putting out cigarettes on his testicles, breaking his ribs, the whole brutal nine yards. It took two weeks and finally he broke, revealing a plot to hijack 11 airliners. By exposing and unraveling the plot, the torture saved hundreds, perhaps thousands of lives, so it was clearly justified.
The ethics of torturing KSM should not be an issue. As a practical matter, the question is: How to torture him in such a way that it takes hours, not days or weeks, for him to break; and when he does, you know for sure he is telling the truth.
To start, you don't want to use a so-called truth serum like thiopental sodium. It acts by confusing your memory so much you forget who is your friend and who is your enemy. So you think the interrogator is your friend and you talk except you can't think or remember clearly. No, you want KSM to be thinking and remembering with crystal clarity.
The best lie detector although it's not used as such would be a medical brain-scanning device called a functional MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). Light years in effectiveness beyond a polygraph, an fMRI scan can distinguish instantly, in real time when someone is lying as opposed to telling the truth, as different regions in the brain would light up.
So here's what to do.
Fly in from the United States and set up an fMRI at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, where KSM is being held, and do three things: Place KSM under the fMRI brain scanner; put him on a mechanical respirator; and give him an injection of a paralytic drug called succinyl choline chloride (SCC).
SCC, used as a veterinarian anesthetic, causes muscle paralysis by blocking neuromuscular junction. It causes immobilization without affecting the central nervous system, such that KSM cannot move, yet he is fully conscious and there is no analgesia (pain relief). Injection by an M.D. anesthesiologist of SCC into the nerve tracts leading to the diaphragm will paralyze the muscles needed for breathing. KSM can think, remember, and talk, but he cannot breathe. The mechanical respirator breathes for him. Without the respirator, he would quickly suffocate and die.
The respirator is a CPAP, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure unit used for treating sleep apnea, with a nasal mask. The unit itself is placed in an adjacent room with a long hose, as no metal can be around the huge magnets of the fMRI. The unit will force air via the nasal passageway into the lungs. His mouth is free and clear to talk.
Now the interrogation begins. KSM is asked a series of questions to which the answers are known (e.g., Are you a Muslim? Would you like a drink of pig grease?). If he lies, the respirator is turned off. Few experiences are more terrifying than that of suffocation. After a sufficiently terrifying period of suffocation, the respirator is turned back on, the question is asked again, and the process repeated until he tells the truth. Once you have the regions in KSM's brain clearly distinguished that light up when he is lying or telling the truth, the serious questioning starts. It will not take long, an hour or two at the most, before KSM is singing like a full chorus of canaries.
After all useful information has been extracted from his brain, KSM should be informed that he will now be killed after his body is smeared with pig fat, that his dead body will be handled by women, and all other actions taken that prevent a Muslim from entering heaven upon death so that he dies believing he will never get the heavenly wine and virgins, but will burn in Hell instead. Upon his execution, there should be no physical remains. The body should be cremated and the ashes scattered to the winds.
Then, the word can be spread. All members of al Qaeda must know that once captured, their terrorist brethren will betray their comrades and that their fate will be ashes and Hell. The only way to win the war against terrorism is to terrorize the terrorists into giving up their evil jihad.

Jack Wheeler is president of the Freedom Research Foundation and editor of ToThePointNews.com.

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