Thursday, November 10, 2005


CIA Says Torture Doesn't Work

Yet another installment in the ongoing battle of Reality vs. the Bush League. Today's debate pits former Deputy Attorney General (and torture advocate)John Yoo against people that know what they're talking about:
Yoo, in an appearance this week on C-SPAN, cited the March 2002 arrest of Abu Zubayda, sometimes called al-Qaida's No. 3 leader, who presumably had operational knowledge of terrorist plots under way.

"I wonder whether people would want to give up the ability to interrogate in that way, and the cost of that being those plots and those operations would succeed?" Yoo said.

But intelligence officers said that torture, or tactics just short of it, rarely produced good information, and were more likely to produce bad information.

Vincent Cannistraro, a former chief of operations and analysis in the CIA Counterterrorist Center, said detainees would say virtually anything to end their torment.

Baer agreed, citing intelligence reports from Arab security services that yielded useless information. "The Saudis and Egyptians torture people all the time, but I have yet to see anything that helped us on the jihad movement and (Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman al) Zawahri," he said.

Ibn Sheikh al Libi, an al-Qaida training camp commander who was captured, was a principal source of the Bush administration's prewar claim that Iraq had provided chemical weapons training to bin Laden's network. He was subjected to aggressive interrogation techniques - and the information on Iraq and al-Qaida turned out to have been invented.
(Source: Knight Ridder Washington Bureau Operatives say CIA exemption on torture a mistake, Nov. 10, 2005 [emphasis added].)


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