A Must Read Article On Torture

April 17, 2009 at 11:08 pm | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

From the New York Times,

The first use of waterboarding and other rough treatment against a prisoner from Al Qaeda was ordered by senior Central Intelligence Agency officials despite the belief of interrogators that the prisoner had already told them all he knew, according to former intelligence officials and a footnote in a newly released legal memorandum.

The escalation to especially brutal interrogation tactics against the prisoner, Abu Zubaydah, including confining him in boxes and slamming him against the wall, was ordered by officials at C.I.A. headquarters based on a highly inflated assessment of his importance, interviews and a review of newly released documents show.

Abu Zubaydah had provided much valuable information under less severe treatment, and the harsher handling produced no breakthroughs, according to one former intelligence official with direct knowledge of the case. Instead, watching his torment caused great distress to his captors, the official said.

Even for those who believed that brutal treatment could produce results, the official said, “seeing these depths of human misery and degradation has a traumatic effect.”

C.I.A. officers adopted these techniques only after the Justice Department had given its official approval on Aug. 1, 2002, in one of four formerly secret legal memos on interrogation that were released Thursday.

A footnote to another of the memos described a rift between line officers questioning Abu Zubaydah at a secret C.I.A. prison in Thailand and their bosses at headquarters, and asserted that the brutal treatment may have been “unnecessary.”

That about sums it up, why we never should have done it, and why we must prosecute the lawyers who tried to provide legal cover to the CIA operatives who did it.

It’s quite clear, the CIA got all the actionable intelligence from Zubaydah BEFORE they began torturing him. After they began torturing him, they got nothin’. Not only that, but they induced psychological harm upon him for the rest of his life. Not only that, but it has a profound negative effect on the interrogators who oversaw him. Not only that, but it had a profoundly negative effect on America’s moral stance in the world.

Was it worth it? You tell me. Nothing from him with the use of torture. Yet all the negatives that come with it. Was it worth it?

Not in a million years.

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