Jon Stewart interviewed Matthew Alexander, an Air Force vet and interrogator based in Iraq, this week on the Daily Show. Alexander (an alias) has written a book on the interrogation techniques he has developed–mainly, interrogation that eschews torture and instead allows for the extraction of information through relationship-building with detainees. When asked whether he had ever seen torture pay-off in a difficult situation, Alexander said he had never seen “coercive methods pay off.” Jon Stewart’s response was uncharacteristically sober. “Why,” he asked, “couldn’t we do this [get the information that saves lives] without losing our national soul?”

Marissa Colón-Margolies

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