In his recent speech on the released CIA memos, President Obama states that the techniques used by agents “did not make America safer.”
This is an egregious lie.
Without going into too many details,, let us take the case of 9-11 “mastermind” Khalid Sheik Mohammed. While KSM easily resisted “soft” CIA techniques to extract information from him, stating that the US would soon find out what was in store for it, waterboarding changed his tune. He revealed a plot to smash yet another airliner into the Library Tower in Las Angeles, the tallest building on the West Coast. With the information gained from him during the waterboarding episodes came the discovery of the Guraba Cell which was to carry out the hijacking and plane attack.
Many parts of the memos that discuss much of the information uncovered from the “enhanced techniques” are blacked out. Interesting.
This morning as a I watched an MSNBC pundit go on about the “torture”, no it was torture, I listened to her state again and again that the technique doesn’t work, because as some of the memos state, KSMwas waterboarded 183 times. She was outraged that it took 183 events to ellicit information.
For one thing, she was completely misrepresenting the context of 183 events. You don’t ask a militant jihadist, sworn enemy of the US and Israel and devout pursuer of Paradise: “Hey dude, you like a, ya know–kill folks?”
Interrogators want details, because the Devil’s hiding amongst them. Details require repeated questions. Verifying that previous answers were not lies needs repetition.
I could argue that if waterboarding really does rise to the level of torture, why did it take so many events? If we had been smashing his fingers with a hammers or squeezing his testicles in a vice, how many events do you suppose would have passed before he spilled everything he knew? That’s torture. Waterboarding is just scary.