Torture didn’t produce the info.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 @ 8:49 am | Politics

There are a lot of memes trying to get started on the right in their efforts to shift more credit to Bush for Obama nabbing bin Laden, and one is that torture at Gitmo worked.

Yet it wasn’t torture that got the info, it was standard interrogation. Which would surprise few expert interrogators…

Mohammed did not reveal the names while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He identified them many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.

Sorry, guys. No “bonus” here justifying illegal and immoral torture. It was always unreliable, and wrong.


UPDATE: Incoming reports offer slightly conflicting stories that suggest torture might have played a small or indirect role. We’re supposed to believe Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was broken by the torture, but at the same time investigators outsmarted him by guessing that he was lying too emphatically about not knowing the courier, so he was never actually telling the truth…so yeah. The point is, torture was implemented first and foremost because Bush and Cheney wanted to torture, good interrogators don’t need it, and the fact that you eventually got something through torture doesn’t mean it was impossible to get otherwise. Not to mention that torture wasn’t just used on KSM, but on scores of prisoners, many or most innocent.

And it’s worth noting that Bush figured out where bin Laden was once at Tora Bora. How did that work out for us? While I wish Bush had caught bin Laden, because it’s freaking bin Laden, I’m glad Obama was there and not Bush when it came time. Competence counts.

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