COOPER: You know, General Marks, you read this letter allegedly written by the British service woman, and it's almost laughable. It's clearly not written by a native English speaker. It's addressed to "British people," as opposed to "the British people."

There's a sentence here that says, "I understand that this has caused even more distress for the people of Iran and the whole area in the British."

I mean, it just, grammatically, doesn't make sense. What is the point of -- of writing these letters, when it's clear these confessions are coerced or made under some form of duress?

BRIGADIER GENERAL JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it makes -- frankly, it makes little sense at all, those -- we have to take what anybody that -- or that the British sailors or marines are saying as being said under duress. They are in extremis.



JURIST Guest Columnist Anthony D'Amato of Northwestern University School of Law says the sweeping Guantanamo "confessions" of al Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed rival the scope of those made in the Stalinist purge trials of the 1930s, and should equally prompt us to question the legal process in which they were made...

Students of the Stalinist purges of the 1930s will recall the astounding confessions made in open court by the accused persons. They had been severely tortured over weeks and months. But they showed up in court without external marks of torture. With all apparent voluntariness, they admitted subverting the Five-Year Plans that would have provided the Soviet people with necessary food items. They sabotaged factories, making sure the production lines were inefficient. They managed to import inferior metals so that Soviet tanks and automobiles would fall apart after a few months’ use. They infiltrated the Soviet Army and through dint of their persuasiveness, convinced the foot soldier that it was absurd to risk his life defending a dictatorial government. In short these accused persons, briefly in court on their way to the firing squad, took responsibility for everything that had gone wrong for the past two decades in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics...


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