Investigation Uncovers Controversial ‘PowerPointing’ Interrogation Technique

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Army interrogators in Afghanistan have used “PowerPointing” 784 times on thirteen Taliban prisoners, according to the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Command.

In a report titled “For the Greater Good”, PowerPointing is defined as “forcing a subject to view a series of PowerPoint slideshow presentations to the point of exhaustion, thereby making it possible  to gain answers or information from the subject.” According to the report, interrogators used the technique to deal with uncooperative or belligerent prisoners.



“PowerPointing is torture, plain and simple,” said lead investigator Hugh Johnson. “Even though we’re dealing with people who are often terrorists plotting against the United States and our allies, we can’t stoop to their level.”

Johnson said Army interrogators collected PowerPoint presentations from their unit’s training officers. Presentation topics included fraternization, sexual harassment, and motorcycle safety.

Not everyone agrees with the criticism. Colonel Jackson Hayes, former commander of the 5th Signal Command, one of the organizations under investigation, said, “PowerPointing is very, very effective. It gets results better than any other technique we use. By the sixth or seventh hour, the subject is catatonic and completely cooperative.”

Johnson said the technique’s effectiveness does not condone its use. “We have to behave better than our enemies. As a civilized society, we cannot match their level of cruelty.”

Ron

Ron is a technical writer and Navy veteran. His background was in intelligence and translation, but now he's paid to write technical manuals that no one reads.