C.I.A. interrogators used waterboarding, the near-drowning technique that top Obama administration officials have described as illegal torture, 266 times on two key prisoners from Al Qaeda, far more than had been previously reported.
The C.I.A. officers used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 against Abu Zubaydah, according to a 2005 Justice Department legal memorandum. Abu Zubaydah has been described as a Qaeda operative.
A former C.I.A. officer, John Kiriakou, told ABC News and other news media organizations in 2007 that Abu Zubaydah had undergone waterboarding for only 35 seconds before agreeing to tell everything he knew.
The 2005 memo also says that the C.I.A. used waterboarding 183 times in March 2003 against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described planner of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Don’t give a flying fuck. Fine by me. Stacy asks:
Who could possibly give a crap about the “rights” of terrorist scumbags like Abu Zubahdah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed?
The America-hating, terrorist-sympathizing liberals at the NYT (and in the Obama junta), that’s who.
Update! If we’d had Cheney as President instead of RINO George, we probably wouldn’t be in the mess we’re currently in:
“One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of Legal Counsel, but they didn’t put out the memos that showed the success of the effort. And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified.”
“I formally asked that they be declassified now. I haven’t announced this up until now, I haven’t talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country.”
“And I’ve now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions.”
Of course, the Treason Times would never print ’em anyway, since they don’t fit Teh Narrative, but it’s nice to see Cheney punching back just the same. Take it to the terrorist-loving baglappers, Dick.
Updated update! Yet more; Jonah quotes Hayden:
Most of the people who opposed these techniques want to be able to say, I don’t want my nation doing this — which is a purely honorable position — and they didn’t work anyway.
That back half of the sentence isn’t true. The facts of the case are that the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer. It really did work.
The president’s speech, President Bush, in September of ’06 outlined how one detainee led to another led to another with the use of these techniques.
The honorable position you have to take, if you want us not to do this — and believe me, if the nation says don’t do it, the CIA won’t do it — the honorable position has to be even though these techniques worked, I don’t want you to do that. That takes courage. The other sentence doesn’t.
…and jumps in himself with:
I’ve always thought the “it doesn’t work” argument was a red herring. No one has ever advocated harsh interrogations methods — whether they rise to the level of torture or not — that don’t work. No one, to my knowledge, has advocated such measures as a punishment or even to extract confessions. Rather, it has been to glean intelligence. And, with the exception of that Washington Post story that thudded a few weeks ago (see Marc Thiessen here and here), it seems the consensus is that these methods, excessive or not, yielded tangible results.
Admittedly, this has sometimes been confused by the atrocity that was Abu Ghraib, which had nothing to do with CIA interrogations.
I think Hayden has it exactly right when he says that opposition to such treatment is entirely honorable. But hiding behind the “it doesn’t work” canard only distracts from the relevant moral question and burnishes the already high gloss of sanctimony coming from certain quarters.
Hayden and Mukasey put paid to the whole sordid thing:
Disclosure of the techniques is likely to be met by faux outrage, and is perfectly packaged for media consumption. It will also incur the utter contempt of our enemies. Somehow, it seems unlikely that the people who beheaded Nicholas Berg and Daniel Pearl, and have tortured and slain other American captives, are likely to be shamed into giving up violence by the news that the U.S. will no longer interrupt the sleep cycle of captured terrorists even to help elicit intelligence that could save the lives of its citizens.
Which brings us to the next of the justifications for disclosing and thus abandoning these measures: that they don’t work anyway, and that those who are subjected to them will simply make up information in order to end their ordeal. This ignorant view of how interrogations are conducted is belied by both experience and common sense. If coercive interrogation had been administered to obtain confessions, one might understand the argument. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who organized the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, among others, and who has boasted of having beheaded Daniel Pearl, could eventually have felt pressed to provide a false confession. But confessions aren’t the point. Intelligence is. Interrogation is conducted by using such obvious approaches as asking questions whose correct answers are already known and only when truthful information is provided proceeding to what may not be known. Moreover, intelligence can be verified, correlated and used to get information from other detainees, and has been; none of this information is used in isolation.
The terrorist Abu Zubaydah (sometimes derided as a low-level operative of questionable reliability, but who was in fact close to KSM and other senior al Qaeda leaders) disclosed some information voluntarily. But he was coerced into disclosing information that led to the capture of Ramzi bin al Shibh, another of the planners of Sept. 11, who in turn disclosed information which — when combined with what was learned from Abu Zubaydah — helped lead to the capture of KSM and other senior terrorists, and the disruption of follow-on plots aimed at both Europe and the U.S. Details of these successes, and the methods used to obtain them, were disclosed repeatedly in more than 30 congressional briefings and hearings beginning in 2002, and open to all members of the Intelligence Committees of both Houses of Congress beginning in September 2006. Any protestation of ignorance of those details, particularly by members of those committees, is pretense.
Certainly is. But sanctimony and pretense — along with dishonesty, distortion, and delusion — are some of the most-used tools in the Lefty rhetorical hamper. Too bad Cheney’s suggestion will never come to anything; it’d likely go a long way towards settling to most Americans’ satisfaction an argument that, while it has been joined in good faith by some, has too often tended to degenerate from being truly about American power and security…to just another demonstration of the Left’s moronically Pavlovian desire to act as an impediment to it.