CIA Refused To Evaluate Efficacy Of Torture

While torture apologists like Stuart Taylor and, sadly, Obama Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, "know" that torture worked, it turns out the CIA never evaluated the efficacy of its torture techniques:

The CIA used an arsenal of severe interrogation techniques on imprisoned Al Qaeda suspects for nearly seven years without seeking a rigorous assessment of whether the methods were effective or necessary, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the matter. The failure to conduct a comprehensive examination occurred despite calls to do so as early as 2003. That year, the agency's inspector general circulated drafts of a report that raised deep concerns about waterboarding and other methods, and recommended a study by outside experts on whether they worked.


Stuart Taylor, along with his Newsweek accomplice Evan Thomas, famously urged President Obama to do what Dick Cheney did on torture. What is it about these people? Are they so afraid that they insist on the United States following them into depravity and war crimes? Of course today they, like much of the Village, excuse a policy of war crimes - but when it came to private conduct of President Clinton, they wanted the President removed from office. There has been no contrast more demonstrative of the utter depravity and banality of the Media than this.

Speaking for me only

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    ITA (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by mugshot on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 11:37:10 AM EST
    I agree so much with the Clinton point. Why isn't anyone bringing this up?

    Clinton almost got impeached for lying about sex and the Republicans and the Village wanted his head on a pike.

     They all drooled at the thought of brining the full force of the state crashing down onto his head and released semi-pornographic accounts of his affair with Lewinsky to the public. Just so they could embarrass and humiliate him and his family.

    But now the Republicans and the Village are concerned about being a 'Banana Republic'!!! Yeah, cause war crimes are nothing and blowjobs are everything.

    The Republicans and the media are a joke.

    Sadists (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by pluege on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 12:15:42 PM EST
    What is it about these people? Are they so afraid that they insist on the United States following them into depravity and war crimes?

    I think it is irrefutable that torture supporters are sadists. There is no other rational explanation. What else would drive these people to risk breaking the law and war crimes for something that professionals evaluate as counter productive to the goal of obtaining information.

    And don't even think about the mental state of the lowly torturer whose daily job it is to day in and day out inflict excruciating pain and near-death trauma on their fellow human beings. Is that someone who should really be walking around without the guidance of a mental health professional.

    Its well known and obvious that America is an excessively violent society. But people are foolish to not think what it means to have the violently insane, people that under another guise of violence would be classified as criminally insane, walking the streets unsupervised.

    At minimum (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 02:06:29 PM EST
    torture apologists have no ability to put themselves in hypothetical situations.

    They equate torture to the training CIA go through.  There is nothing the same about the two, other than the methods used.

    One example of where context means everything.


    i believe this was a point made (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 12:20:08 PM EST
    There has been no contrast more demonstrative of the utter depravity and banality of the Media than this.

    about most of the nuremburg defendents: real monsters tend to look banal, rather than having horns coming out of their heads.

    of course, torture has always been effective, if, by effective, you mean getting the person to say what you want to hear. it worked during the middle ages, when people, under the duress of torture, "admitted" to being witches, casting spells, etc.

    if you mean effective as in getting actual true information, then no, not so much. as we've seen in recent days, truth wasn't merely a casualty of war, it never even participated, as the bush administration demanded that the cia, etc. extract confessions linking (where there were no links) al-queda and saddam.

    surely that must be a worse crime than a blowjob? shouldn't it?

    There are two kinds of people... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by oldpro on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 01:27:19 PM EST
    those who approve of torture and those who don't.

    That's the simplest way to look at it.... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 02:48:02 PM EST
    ... and if you are opposed to waterboarding people even if it is an effective method of interrogation, that's really all you need. But, presumably, if you support waterboarding on any grounds other than desire to inflict pain on the "bad guys", you would think you'd be interested in evaluating whether it actually works or not.

    Would it make more sense (none / 0) (#5)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 01:56:46 PM EST

    Would it make more sense to evaluate the quality of the intel gathered?  Since the interogation methods in question were used only on a very few in dividuals, it would seem that the data set is too small to make judgments about the general applicability or utility of those methods.

    In a word: no. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 04:56:38 PM EST
    Because that's ends-justify-the-means territory, isn't it?

    And since you don't even get to the ends without using the means, what do you do when the "quality of the intel" is terrible?  Say "oops?"

    I don't need a data set to know that torture is wrong, and those who keep trying to find a way to legitimize it are headed down the wrong path, in my opinion.