The Torturous Torture Meme

This morning, the counterattack began against the idea that Bush-era “enhanced interrogation techniques”—extended wakefulness, use of animals to frighten, belly slaps, and most especially the simulated drowning known as “waterboarding”—played a key role in gathering the intelligence that eventually led to bin Laden’s killing. Jane Mayer, the New Yorker writer whose book The Dark Side is essentially the prosecution brief against the Bush administration, wrote: “Funny. You would think that if the C.I.A.’s interrogation of high-value detainees was all it took, the U.S. government would have succeeded in locating bin Laden before 2006, which is when the C.I.A.’s custody of so-called ‘high-value detainees’ ended.” And on Talking Points Memo, Brian Beutler uses an updated piece of information from an AP story yesterday to demonstrate that “the rationale for giving the Bush [sic] credit for bin Laden’s death falls apart.” Here’s the detail he quotes: “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.”

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The Torturous Torture Meme

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