Torture Takeaway: It's Not Effective
As Big Tent Democrat and the New York Times noted, Marcy Wheeler of Empty Wheel broke the story of the number of times the C.I.A. used waterboarding on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah. Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in a month. That's an average of 6 times a day.
Doesn't this show the ineffectiveness of the technique? Particularly when it was only one of a number of coercive techniques that were used in tandem? (Others, according to the May 30, 2005 memo were facial and abdominal slapping,walling, sleep deprivation through shackling, nudity coupled with adult diapers.) Marcy has more on this here. [More...]
Also take a look at the May 10, 2005 memo which Marcy analyzes here to show the CIA exceeded the authorization contained in the memo when conducting waterboarding. More of Marcy's excellent analysis on the torture memos is here.
I particularly like her debunking of the claim by Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former CIA Director Michael Hayden (in Friday's Wall St. Journal) that half of the information the U.S. obtained on al-Qaeda came from coercive techniques. They wrote:
As already disclosed by Director Hayden, as late as 2006, even with the growing success of other intelligence tools, fully half of the government's knowledge about the structure and activities of al Qaeda came from those interrogations.
Bottom line: Bushco officials can spin it however they want but the documents speak for themselves and with excellent analyses like Marcy's, the truth will come out.
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