Yup, in the right circumstances, ordinary people will waterboard, threaten sexual violence, or use rectal hydration (WTF is that?) to try to extract information from prisoners.
Are those torture techniques reliable? Sure, if by “reliable” you mean do they cause the victim pain. Not at all if you mean does torture yield useful intelligence.
Which brings us to today’s joke:
In the spirit of the evolving peace process, and in an effort to establish which of Ireland’s many security forces would take a leading role in the new cross-border bodies, the two police forces and the two armies were each brought to a secluded forest area in South Armagh, and given the task of catching a rabbit, which had just been released there (courtesy of the FCA‘s Counter Terrrorism Squad)
The Gardaí (Irish Police Force) went into the forest. They placed animal informants throughout their patch. They questioned all plant and mineral witnesses. They did a video reconstruction of the rabbit’s release for Crimeline, and waited for some punter to solve the crime for them. After three months of intensive investigation, they concluded that rabbits do not exist.
Next came the Irish Army. They set up two base camps, and cleared a path through the forest for the Pajero to patrol from one to the other. They placed listening devices in the undergrowth, but were unable to hear any signs of animal life on the tapes. Their investigation is still ongoing, six months later.
The British Army moved into the forest in full combat gear, with fifteen helicopters and three small tanks. After two weeks without a capture, they burned their patch of forest to the ground, killing everything in it, including the rabbit. An investigation found that no blame could be attached to any individual, as the local animal community was clearly harbouring the rabbit.
The RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) moved into the forest. Two hours later, they came out dragging a badly beaten bear. The bear was screaming “Okay! Okay!, I’m a rabbit! I’m a rabbit!”
See Milgram experiment.