Its value is only to our enemies — in devaluing the American brand worldwide. Even Bush’s FBI director Robert Mueller said no attack had ever been foiled by information gained from torturing a criminal suspect.
Now comes more important testimony on the point, from an FBI agent who carries a great deal more credibility than The Dick Cheney. He’s Ali Soufan, the supervising agent who got important information from a terror suspect by traditional techniques BEFORE the Bush administration insisted on harsher treatment.
There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions — all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process.
Defenders of these techniques have claimed that they got Abu Zubaydah to give up information leading to the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a top aide to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Mr. Padilla. This is false.
It goes on. Rest assured that The Dick and the usual suspects here will reject the eyewitness testimony in favor of their core beliefs — might makes right. It is the thinking of people who batter children in the name of behavior modification; who believe bigger bombs and more guns are the only path to safety; who believe the Constitution may be shredded by the executive; who don’t recognize the power of ideas over brute force.