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August 25, 2009

Cheney's Long-Sought Docs: EITs Worked

Well of course they did. We have had confirmation on this from high-ranking CIA officers for years. Not sure what additional proof is to be found in the documents re-stating that evaluation, but at least one document has been released.

The document is written with an eye to politics -- the authors do not want to stick a thumb in the eye of their Democratic clients. And so they hedge on the fundamental questions... up to a point. While hedging and claiming they can't know with 100% certainty how much intelligence is directly attributable to EITs, there doesn't seem to be much question that EITs loosened the tongues of the three waterboarded terrorists. Here's Hayes quoting from the report:

Let’s review. Abu Zubaydah gave up some information before the use of EITs. But “since the use of the waterboard…Abu Zubaydah has appeared to be cooperative,” and gave up even more intelligence. Al Nashiri provided mostly historical information in the short time before EITs were employed. “However, following the use of EITs, he provided information about his most current operational planning…” And “accomplished resistor” Khalid Shaykh Muhammad provided mostly useless information before the application of EITs. Afterwards, he “provided information that helped lead to the arrests of terrorists” – so much information, in fact, that he was regarded as the “most prolific” intelligence source.

Reasonable people can – and do – disagree about the morality of using EITs. But only the most accomplished resister could continue to claim that they were not effective.

But all liberals are in the "most accomplished resister" category. On FoxNews, Juan Williams, for example, handled this report by simply denying it, by insisting against the expert opinion of the CIA that we still don't know if waterboarding really worked, or if they intelligence they provided us with was "bad intelligence."

As has been pointed out too many times to count, there is a genuine question here, a difficult philosophical one: Do the lives of innocents outweight the moral qualms of engaging in what would in other circumstances be morally objectionable behavior?

Truth-denying members of the "community-based reality" are however determined to avoid that question and simply assert over and over, despite the evidence arrayed against them, that there is no trade-off here whatsoever, because "torture never works."

It's a bitter irony that lefties are the ones forever complimenting themselves that they are nuanced thinkers concerned with substance and asking important questions, and that it's their opponents who can only conceive of the world in simplistic terms and bumper-sticker slogans.

Torture Consists of Getting Cigar Smoke in Your Face: PowerLine discusses the EIT effectiveness report as well as the report on alleged interrogation abuses.

The two incidents deemed most serious were the threatening of Abd Al-Nashiri with a loaded handgun and with a power drill. As noted above, these threats were made (but not carried out) by a debriefer who was not trained or authorized to use enhanced interrogation techniques (the CIA distinguishes between debriefers and interrogators.) This same debriefer also threatened Al-Nashiri by saying that "We could get your mother in here." It is worth noting that he said he wanted Al-Nashiri to infer, based on the debriefer's accent and the threat that he made, that he (the debriefer) was from a Middle Eastern security service that has the reputation of using such tactics. The implication was that Al-Nashiri was well aware that the Americans would do no such thing.

The same debriefer was also involved in a "ruse" where he and others tried to convince a detainee that they had shot another detainee, whose "body" the detainee was led past. This one individual accounts for a significant proportion of the improper interrogation techniques documented in the IG's report.

Some of the misdeeds documented in the report border on the humorous, like the claim that interrogators "smoked cigars and blew smoke in Al-Nashiri's face during an interrogation." The horror!

It's prosecutable torture to even threaten a terrorist.

As Hudson Frost asked in Aliens, "What the hell are we supposed to use, harsh language?"

Apparently not even that.

Eric Holder, pardon-facilitator of Marc Rich and non-prosecutor of the Black Panther vote intimidation thugs, says he's duty-bound to press this inquiry because he was so horrified at reading about these "abuses."

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posted by Ace at 12:02 PM

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