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John Kiriakou has completed his Gee It's Sad That We Have To Torture People Tour, and the media has nodded sagely over his every word.  While a few media stories headlined Kiriakou's regret over using torture, his real message went out loud and clear to the right wing nutosphere.  

Like that old Gary Larson cartoon, in which a dog picks only its name out of a string of words, pro-torture Republicans discarded every other part of the conversation and seized on the real message.  Torture Works Great! as presented here by talk radio suppuration,  Mark Davis.

The debate is over torture. Mr. Kiriakou is a retired CIA agent who has seen a detainee waterboarded.

And it worked. He was part of the undercover team in Faisalabad, Pakistan, that interrogated Abu Zubaydah, the first major al-Qaeda figure captured in the months following 9/11.

Mr. Zubaydah helped plan those attacks, and the CIA had high confidence that he knew of other murderous plans. Early questioning was fruitless. "We knew he was the biggest fish we had caught, we knew he was full of information, and we wanted to get it," Mr. Kiriakou told ABC's Brian Ross.

...

About 35 seconds later, Mr. Zubaydah was ready to talk. "From that day on, he answered every question," Mr. Kiriakou recalls, and they were not the useless, desperate replies that waterboarding opponents insist are the procedure's only result. "The threat information he provided prevented a number of attacks."

In a sensible era, that's it. Case closed. But these days are not so simple. Our war effort is hampered by the finger wagging and hand wringing of people who cannot tolerate winning on those terms.

That's the view fostered on the right by Kiriakou's media blitz.  Torture good, concern over the morality of torture treasonous.  The story as laid out by Kiriakou was like a 220v cable wired straight into the Republican pleasure center.  We caught a major al-Qaeda baddie, a tough old hombre, who wouldn't tell us a thing until we tortured him.  Then he folded like a baby and couldn't stop blabbing.  Best of all, that data was pure gold, directly stopping "dozens" of operations and saving red-blooded American lives.  

We have heard much from the portion of America that grows queasy at the thought of tough treatment for al-Qaeda detainees. But I'll share what makes me queasy: my countrymen in tattered clothes perched at windows a thousand feet high against the Manhattan skyline, their lungs burning with jet fuel, making the decision to jump to their deaths because it was a better fate than what awaited them if they did not.

Against the backdrop of that memory, anyone worked up about the occasional, carefully targeted waterboarding is simply not serious about protecting our nation.

Got it?  Waterboard, or die.

Now that the Torture Works meme has been reinforced to the satisfaction of every right wing blog and Republicans everywhere have had the chance to brag about how they braved harsher treatment in Intro to Swimming, the media has allowed Kiriakou to go count the contracts rolling into his private sercurity firm.  However, the Washington Post has turned up a few questions about his story.

Was Abu Zubaydah a major al-Qaeda operative, vital to the planning of 9/11?  

... some FBI agents and analysts say he is largely a loudmouthed and mentally troubled hotelier whose credibility dropped as the CIA subjected him to a simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding and to other "enhanced interrogation" measures.

But surely this was a man who we just had to freeze, beat, threaten, deprive of sleep, and finally waterboard.  It saved lives, damn it!

Bush has sided publicly with the CIA's version of events. "We knew that Zubaida had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking," Bush said in September 2006. "And so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures," which the president said prompted Abu Zubaida to disclose information leading to the capture of Sept. 11, 2001, plotter Ramzi Binalshibh.

But former FBI officials privy to details of the case continue to dispute the CIA's account of the effectiveness of the harsh measures, making the record of Abu Zubaydah's interrogation hard for outsiders to assess.

I suppose it's easy to see where there could be conflict.  On the one hand, both Bush and the CIA need to demonstrate that this information was vital in order to justify violating dozens of treaties and judicial rulings.  The FBI's view is distorted by their selfish desire to tell the truth and uphold the law.

As it turns out, both the CIA and the FBI agree that Abu Zubaydah provided some important information.  Want to guess when?

There is little dispute, according to officials from both agencies, that Abu Zubaydah provided some valuable intelligence before CIA interrogators began to rough him up, including information that helped identify Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and al-Qaeda operative Jose Padilla.

Far from supporting Kiriakou's pitiful story, the evidence shows that everything we got worth knowing from Abu Zubaydah came before he was tortured.  Afterwards.  

But FBI officials, including agents who questioned him after his capture or reviewed documents seized from his home, have concluded that even though he knew some al-Qaeda players, he provided interrogators with increasingly dubious information as the CIA's harsh treatment intensified in late 2002.

In other words, the results of torture were exactly the sort of "useless, desperate replies that waterboarding opponents insist are the procedure's only result." I'm guessing that the wingnuts won't be issuing a retraction.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:29 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Live by the waterboard, die by the waterboard (17+ / 0-)

    I think waterboarding's strong advocates should be given an opportunity to test-drive their favorite toy.

    No, really.

    I insist.

    Only Americans are having a torture debate.

    by cskendrick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:35:50 AM PST

    •  Oh they would just lie to us (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cskendrick, moosely2006

      as if they needed another reason for that-

      Republicans think Christmas trees in Federal buildings will save them from their sins.

      by LandSurveyor on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:44:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well we'd have to be sure then (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cartoon Peril

        They will get to take longer drives on the board.

        After all, it's not that uncomfortable...they say so themselves.

        Only Americans are having a torture debate.

        by cskendrick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:53:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What Does Torture Work For? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Coherent Viewpoint, fallina7

          Can you see the gross contradiction here? On one hand, we are told by the CIA that those interrogations were so important that they prevented further attacks and led to several arrests. On the other hand, we are told by the CIA that the videos were of no importance and could be destroyed without concern. If they really were THE MOST IMPORTANT CIA INTERROGATIONS SINCE 911, why were the tapes destroyed?

          Can you see the second unavailing set of contradictions here? We are told by the CIA that the interrogation videos were destroyed to protect the identity of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value. But why did agent John Kiriakou, leader of the CIA team that captured and interrogated Zubaydah, appear on ABC News' World News and on NBC's Today show without bothering to conceal his identity? Years from now, advances in digital technology will allow us to decipher the almost inaudible and normally inaccessible sounds made by terrorist suspects when breathing. But why were THE MOST IMPORTANT CIA INTERROGATION TAPES SINCE 911 destroyed?

          And if torture really does work, as Kiriakou suggests, who or what does it work for? When the Catholic Inquisition tortured its enemies, did it work for truth and freedom, or did it work for political ignorance and the denial of scientific facts?

          Like water-boarding, was the "iron-maiden" really an instrument of torture, or did some judges say perhaps it depended on the sharpness of its spikes?

    •  Absolutely. (6+ / 0-)

      A week or so ago, Feinstein held a hearing on Guantanamo.  A Brig. General heavily involved in the Military Commissions would not say that the US would react if a US airman was shot down over Iran and waterboarded.

      •  Since it's no longer torture, by Bush decree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shadan7

        Rest assured it's going to open the gates.

        I see people set to lathes and peeled coming up in the near future.

        But it's not torture. It's not that much worse than waterboarding...

        Only Americans are having a torture debate.

        by cskendrick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:55:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand the need for the analogy (4+ / 0-)

          but you just drove the visions of sugarplums out of my head.

          And George W. Bush says he sleeps well at night

          by moosely2006 on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:56:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Precisely. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cskendrick, Coherent Viewpoint, drmah

          Rest assured it's going to open the gates.

          Exactly so, and anyone who objects will be nuthin' but a treasonous hippie freak.  Just wait and see.  Peeling the skin off?  Yeah, sure!  So long as it makes 'em talk.  Boiling alive?  Well, that's just warm water - like a jacuzzi! Cut off a finger, a limb, so long as you get your info?  You betcha!  Rape and execute a child in front of the parent?  Hey, so long as it saves time and trouble!

          This mindset is nothing more and nothing less than the culmination of "any means, so long as it works".  Why waste time and our soldier's lives with dependable if protracted interrogation - torture!  Why worry about sending in the marine to pacify a town - nuke it!  You object?  You don't think that we should simply slaughter anyone who stands in our way?  Obviously, you are too weak to live in this Righteous country!

          Read my SF novel for free. (-7.13/-7.33)

          by Shadan7 on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:25:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think the mask is coming off (4+ / 0-)

            We are seeing what we have been dealing with all along, and it is monstrous.

            And what's scary is that so many Americans embrace it, an so many more abide it, and so many more have despaired of fighting it.

            I see this, and I see the Enabling Acts coming back, this time written in American Standard English instead of High German.

            Only Americans are having a torture debate.

            by cskendrick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:34:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm listening to Conyers' hearing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Coherent Viewpoint

              on torture and the destruction of the tapes.  A witness made a good point:  None of us nor any Congressperson actually knows what waterboarding is.  What is really done?  The tapes would probably have shown at least some people (those who saw them) what is done.  

              If people knew what was done, they probably would not be so accepting.

            •  normalizing torture (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cskendrick

              yes, the US has been torturing people for a long time, but now it is a subject for nattering nabobs.
              I wrote an indignant email to ABC after seeing Kiriakou on screen giving his opinion on something last week, after his moment of fame. He was identified as a "security consultant. " I think ABC may now be paying him for these appearances.
              As I wrote in my aforesaid indignant message,  this man is a confessed torturer, and I am not interested in seeing his face on screen as though he was a normal guy. People who torture in the pay of the government are still torturers, whether they are in Brazil or Argentina or in the good old USA.

          •  every police agency in USA will be using techniqu (0+ / 0-)
        •  Seven Years of Torture (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Coherent Viewpoint

          During the seven years that the Bush administration has openly pushed for torture, a typical ten-year-old boy has now grown to be a bigoted teenager, taught to accept that "fighting dirty" is noble and heroic. The murder rate has gone up, especially with school shootings. It may take decades of "debriefing" to undo the role-model damage.

          •  It's bad for all of us... (0+ / 0-)

            You just made me realize that I started out the Bush administration as a 23-year-old young man and ended up as a 30-year-old, still young, but with 7 years that should have been much better than they were, taken away from me... taken away from all of us, young and old.

            We can't let ourselves get bummed out, though. The light is at the end of the tunnel and we have a very good chance to help make sure that one of the Democratic candidates who won't abide by America torturing anybody (that would be all of them, I'm pretty sure) gets elected President in 2008, along with an even better batch of Senators and Representatives, and we can start turning this ship of state around.

            "We're all in this together" -- Harry Tuttle

            by Coherent Viewpoint on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 07:56:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Bu$hCo is trashing our army. Repeat after me: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OleHippieChick

        Bu$hCo = traitors.

        What if Beethoven drove a Chevrolet?

        by Cartoon Peril on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:27:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  so Torture is just punishment... (7+ / 0-)

    not enhanced interrogation. It's justified punishment for anyone who is suspected to be tied to 9/11. Okay... but what about all those captives in Gitmo who aren't connected with 9/11? Do they deserve enhanced punishment too?

    This arguement makes as much sense as invading Iraq because of 9/11. Nuff said?

    "What a peaceful world it would be if Barbara had aborted!"

    by DevonTexas on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:36:11 AM PST

  •  Even if it worked it's still illegal (12+ / 0-)

    What about the "against the law" part of torture?  Do right-wing minions simply ignore that phrase anymore?  Is the "law and order" party simply the "order" party now?

    Note to Preznit Pissypants:  you have the power of pardon to free a CIA operative who is forced to Jack Bauer someone to prevent a real and imminent threat.  It was not meant to be used to obstruct justice by silencing former subordinates who might spill the beans on you.

    Just a friendly note from one of your 300 million employers.

    Rudy Giuliani is a small man in search of a balcony. -- Jimmy Breslin

    by Dallasdoc on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:37:21 AM PST

    •  Must uphold the rule of Law and Order (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, moosely2006

      Isn't that what theese goons droned endlessly to justify the Clinton impeachment??

      Guess laws just don't matter anymore.

      Republicans only care about republicans. Democrats care about the Republic.

      by beaukitty on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:50:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Warcrime (5+ / 0-)

      The debate is over torture. Mr. Kiriakou is a retired CIA agent who has seen a detainee waterboarded.

      Exactly what was Kiriakou's role at this waterboarding?  He has admitted to being present during the commission of a US crime and an international war crime.

      So what I want to know is what was his role in the waterboarding?  Was he an active participant in this war crime?  Did he help organize this war crime? Or did he just stumble in uninvited and just happen to watch the event?

      Then I want to know what he knows about others participating in this warcrime?  Who gave him orders?  Who else participated in the actual waterboarding and who organized it?  And if he doesn't talk....

      Come on!!!  We have this guy bragging about a warcrime!  

      Where is the justice system hiding? Someone take the blindfold off Lady Justice.

      When will we hear from our democratic leadership launching an active investigation???

      Kiriakou is openly bragging about this crime.  Where is justice????????

    •  We are seeing torture become policy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bensdad, Dallasdoc, OleHippieChick

      I seriously doubt that this is the first time the CIA has used torture to obtain information. That was probably the original "don't ask, don't tell" government policy. But now we are starting to see torture justified as a necessary means of interrogation. There is no shame in admitting that we are torturing prisoners. We are starting to see torture advocated as policy and praised for saving lives. Can there be any doubt that we are starting our descent into complete depravity? Once we accept torture as a means of obtaining information can our complete and utter decline as a civilization be far behind? Will we follow the Romans' example and torture our victims in public arenas next? We are entering perhaps the most shameful chapter in our history.

  •  And this is why I believe that Kiriakou..... (7+ / 0-)

    ...has been given free rein by the junta to go out and promote torture. This is also why they are eager to keep this issue alive via the controversy over the destruction of the tapes. They believe they can rally their base, and many so-called independents, by diverting attention from the Iraq fiasco back to the alleged War on Terror -- a brand which they have trademarked and sold successfully to millions of Americans.

    They clearly believe the American people are with them on this.

    "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

    by Bensdad on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:40:06 AM PST

    •  I'll say this, they just lost ALL the Latino vote (7+ / 0-)

      Many of whom come from countries that have tasted what US-sponsored torture and disappearances are like at one point or the other

      Argentina (military dictatorship)
      Chile (military dictatorship)
      Uruguay (military dictatorship)
      Peru (military dictatorship)
      Ecuador (military dictatorship)
      Brazil (military dictatorship)
      Colombia (military dictatorship)
      Venezuela (military dictatorship)
      Panama (military dictatorship)
      Nicaragua (just dictatorship)
      El Salvador (military dictatorship)
      Honduras (military dictatorship)
      Guatemala (military dictatorship)
      Dominican Republic (military dictatorship)
      Cuba (pre-Castro)(just dictatorship)

      oh, yeah. Spain and Portugal themselves  (military dictatorships)

      I suppose, albeit a stretch, the Philippines count too (just dictatorship)

      Two omissions being Costa Rica (virtually always free) and Mexico (strong anti-American bent, and well-justified too), though the latter has had its golden moment of poor treatment of citizens too.

      Only Americans are having a torture debate.

      by cskendrick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:52:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps.......but the Pope has...... (0+ / 0-)

        ...condemned gay marriage in no uncertain terms. Likewise the right to an abortion. And the Republicans have been very successful at creating derision for the very idea that there should be a separation between church and state.

        Latino immigrants have been peeled off very successfully on these social issues. Latinos went for Bush by 40% in the last travesty masking as an election.  

        There is a question in my mind about the degree to which Americans, including latino immigrants, will make our government's torture of Middle Eastern men  a factor in voting. If they aren't the ones being tortured, it requires a high degree of empathy, or a good degree of moral outrage over our gross violations of the laws of war and the Geneva conventions.

        I do not believe Americans will be easily riled on such issues.

        I guess you can say I am faithless.

        "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

        by Bensdad on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:40:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well nobody in the Reich worried overmuch (2+ / 0-)

          About poor treatment of communists, homosexuals, gypsies, Slavs and, oh yeah, Jews.

          Then there was Sophie Scholl

          And the Reich had no compunction about killing her, either.

          I am sure Germany did not lose its soul that day, that decision being made long before. But with the execution of Sophie Scholl the country destroyed that which is most precious in itself - the last traces of its conscience.

          I am amazed with how much one country had changed itself, once awakened from its horrid dream. At the same time, to dive into the Nazi Era is to see not what is alien and monstrous but what is frightfully banal in its villainy.

          Only Americans are having a torture debate.

          by cskendrick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 01:05:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  What would of happen to him here is the USA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moosely2006

    he is largely a loudmouthed and mentally troubled hotelier whose credibility dropped as the CIA subjected him to a simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding and to other "enhanced interrogation" measures.

    Here we would of just added him to the Homeless population...

    "bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." Thomas Jefferson

    by SmileySam on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:41:59 AM PST

  •  Torture is... (7+ / 0-)

    ...an  integral part of the Republicans' system of governance.  They have to have that element of forced pain at their disposal or the very foundation of Bushite Republicanism is bound to crumble.

    Torture is connected to Iraq (of course), as Iraq (and all Iraq entails) is currently the embodiment of the Republicans' system of governance.

    Take away torture & you have suddenly undermined the modern day  Republican system of governance.

    If Republicans are so obsessed with forcing their social agenda on the American populace, it stands to reason they are willing to torture those whom they can get away with torturing once their system of governance is mocked or rejected.

    "President Bush wishes that he could be alongside the troops in Iraq -- except that he's too old."-N.Z. Bear via Dan Froomkin

    by wyvern on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:42:44 AM PST

  •  Let me break it down like Barney for you: (9+ / 0-)

    Brown person crosses the border, breaking the law, in order to find work and provide for his family back in some shitty village in Mexico, doing jobs that Americans wont do in the process because the wages/benefits are too low:

    BAD.

    Brown person gets strapped to a board, law being broken in the process, a rag stuffed in his mouth and water poured on his face until he lies about being privvy to some ridiculous terrorist plot or drowns (and is revived):

    GOOD.

    In winger world, breaking the law is okay if you are white and Republican, bad if you are brown and poor. There. Wasn't that easy?

    I guarantee that once Hillary takes office, the wingers will press for her impeachment because she didn't outlaw torture the minute she took office. Because, you know, the Nazis tortured and Hitlery allowed torture in her administration.

  •  Oh well (4+ / 0-)

    sensible people know that tortured people lie and that Davis is a propagandist for the Republican party.

    They haven't even tried to stay with the accepted notion in intelligence: You torture in critical situations.

    I just can't believe how casual we're talking about torture! I guess in the long run this is a good thing because we all know that right now these Republicans are just trying to stay out of prison by making the public apathetic.

    Republicans think Christmas trees in Federal buildings will save them from their sins.

    by LandSurveyor on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:43:55 AM PST

    •  The reason it's a last resort (0+ / 0-)

      its low success rate and reliability under any combination of circumstances.

      Also, in a world of truth serum there is little or no point to torture...unless it is done to terrorize sympathizers of the person being tortured.

      I think that is the reason it is done. That and, as one of our colleagues is asserting, for kicks.

      Only Americans are having a torture debate.

      by cskendrick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:15:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's Obvious... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Devilstower, Jagger, netguyct

    we need to waterboard the FBI guys to get to the truth!

    You'd be paranoid, too, if everybody was out to get you.

    by Ballard Mutt on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:45:01 AM PST

  •  I love that Gary Larson (3+ / 0-)

    cartoon...but I'd say there's more to it than merely 'picking out' choice words.  I really think there are some (oh, say 26% of the population) who are incapable of hearing other words

    You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.

    by MLDB on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:45:09 AM PST

  •  i would like to see these differing accounts.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...reconsiled, but i haven't seen any reason so far to suppose Kiriakou is acting in bad faith.

    the only other things we know about him - his previous article about how things are slipping in afghanistan and his consulting work on "kite runners" - don't offer any hint that he might have an angle in talking about these torture incidents (other than increasing his media presense to the benefit of his new career as a consultant).

    anyway, isn't it at least possible that Kiriakou's account is 100% accurate?

    i think it we're going to make a moral case against torture our case should be able to withstand not just the theoretical ticking timebomb scenario but a real one as well. we have to be able to make the case that even if lives may be lost as a result of not torturing, it's still worth it to our country in the long run.

    Newsday: Rudy Giuliani missing in action for Iraq panel

    by jethropalerobber on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:46:40 AM PST

  •  We cannot let go of this issue (5+ / 0-)

    We can't stop the wimps in Congress from bowing to Bush's every whim, but we can keep condemning torture.

    Over and over and over, we'll keep saying torture is illegal and un-American, and we'll expect our Presidential candidates to join us in condemning the practice.

    We will not forget this issue, and we will not be silent about it.  

    Torture is not American. It's Republican.

    by Ekaterin on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:47:50 AM PST

  •  Genital electric shocks and hot pokers (3+ / 0-)

    might work, too, but we don't use them (I hope).

    I just wish one of the rational people on TV debating this issue would turn the tables the next time some winger says "We should do anything to save American lives" and say:

    "So, you would torture a suspect's child in front of him to get him to talk?"

    I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. - Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC

    by Marinesquire on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:48:29 AM PST

  •  As a veteran, I feel sorry for our Soldiers... (6+ / 0-)

    Because his man and his allies have just put every future captured American in line for waterboarding.

    Period.

    Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine; State Department, Civiliazn worker, CIA OC and NOC- you WILL be tortured now; because America Tortures.

    Despicable and shameful.

  •  They can't admit the torture was worthless, (4+ / 0-)

    because that would imply that Bush, in insisting on waterboarding Abu Zubaydah, was insisting on a crime for no good reason.  As a matter of fact, isn't that exactly why Bush told Tenet not to show him up by saying that Zubaydah's testimony was worthless?

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:52:38 AM PST

    •  They tortured to send a message (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Coherent Viewpoint

      To feel in control.

      To get even.

      To get back on top.

      They've become addicted to it; it will never end for them.

      I'd be more worried about what these guys intend to do after they are out of office than right now.

      These guys are not going away quietly.

      Only Americans are having a torture debate.

      by cskendrick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:19:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mainstream Media.... (4+ / 0-)

    never asked- if he started talking so quickly after waterboarding, wouldn't a bit of good old fashion tested and proven interrogation have worked over the long run. I guess "waterboarding" is a great timesaver for the CIA and that's why we used it. Never mind they'll give you false info and confess to anything to stop the suffocating feeling.

    "Just imagine a work of such magnitude that it actually mirrors the whole world....In it all of nature finds a voice." Gustav Mahler on his 3rd Symphony

    by Mahler3 on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:53:54 AM PST

    •  What the mainstream media never asked is...... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mahler3, Coherent Viewpoint

      ...if the tapes were destroyed to protect the identity of the interrogators, and if you, Mr. Kiriakou, are announcing to anyone who will listen that you were an interrogator, doesn't the justification for destroying the tapes disappear?

      And why is the CIA letting you advertise your role in this, while they take an Exacto knife to Plame's manuscript?

      "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

      by Bensdad on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 01:15:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How much you wanna' bet that if we waterboarded (6+ / 0-)

    ... this guy, we could get him to say that the use of torture does not yield useful information?

  •  Instead of torturing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moosely2006

    how about simply reading the Damn Daily Briefing report without cracking wise-ass

    Be careful what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

    by JML9999 on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:54:51 AM PST

  •  The shadow of The Hague (6+ / 0-)

    looms large over Bushco.

    You say torture.

    I say trial.

    Scurry, cockroaches, scurry.

    And George W. Bush says he sleeps well at night

    by moosely2006 on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:54:54 AM PST

  •  So to sum up (5+ / 0-)

    If torture works, we should do it. Since I've personally seen a number of the 24%'ers bemoan the scourge of moral relativism (usually while standing on the grounds of my church, BTW), this amuses me for some reason.

  •  The nerve. (7+ / 0-)

    But I'll share what makes me queasy: my countrymen in tattered clothes perched at windows a thousand feet high against the Manhattan skyline, their lungs burning with jet fuel, making the decision to jump to their deaths because it was a better fate than what awaited them if they did not.

    It takes a special kind of political hack to evoke the violence of this event to support torture.  If we sacrifice our Constitution and our national moral compass we become those that attacked us.

    Torture doesn't work.  There are centuries of research to support this conclusion.  The unsupported claims of the man apologizing for torture does little to change that.

    Neutralize your personal 7.5 ton/year CO2 footprint.

    by Five of Diamonds on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:56:47 AM PST

  •  Forgotten who said/wrote it now ... (0+ / 0-)

    "Kiriakou's a plant"

    Avoiding Theocracy at Home and Neo Cons Abroad

    by UniC on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:57:21 AM PST

  •  I worked with a Westpiont Grad (8+ / 0-)

    who was in intel in the Army. As you might suspect, he had VERY little to say about what he learned in spook school, but the one thing that he would say is that you get much better intel by befrinding the subject than by scaring/hurting him.

    Republicans only care about republicans. Democrats care about the Republic.

    by beaukitty on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 11:58:00 AM PST

  •  Just once... (2+ / 0-)

    ..I'd like to see some evidence in support of credible, truthful, useful information derived from torturing detainees, and evidence of the nefarious terrorist plots supposedly thwarted by such means.  Has ANYONE seen any such a thing?

  •  Idiots (5+ / 0-)

    But I'll share what makes me queasy: my countrymen in tattered clothes perched at windows a thousand feet high against the Manhattan skyline, their lungs burning with jet fuel, making the decision to jump to their deaths because it was a better fate than what awaited them if they did not.

    And yet they give a free pass to those who didn't lift a finger to prevent it from happening, despite the fact that the CIA was screaming in their ear all summer.

    Shall I share what makes me queasy?

    Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest... Gibbon

    by Dinclusin on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:00:56 PM PST

    •  Funny how that point... (0+ / 0-)

      And yet they give a free pass to those who didn't lift a finger to prevent it from happening, despite the fact that the CIA was screaming in their ear all summer.

      I so conveniently forgotten by the Rethugs.

      They don't care about America.

      They care about a "permanent majority" so they can stick it to Democrats.

      And George W. Bush says he sleeps well at night

      by moosely2006 on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:06:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  McCain is a traitor if you can trust what someone (8+ / 0-)

    says while being tortured. . .

    While tortured in VietNam, McCain signed a "confession" betraying the United States.

    No one contends that this is accurate information or that McCain is a traitor.  Torture produces unreliable information.  Garbage in, garbage out.

  •  Torture really does work. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moosely2006

    It works just fine.  It does exactly what it's supposed to do.  We keep talking about the reliability of the information extracted by torturing people, but that completely misses the point.

    Torture is not the means to an end, as the "conservatives" would have us believe.  It is both the means and the end.  We torture people so that we can torture them.  On that level the success rate of torture is 100%.

    We aren't talking about human beings anymore -- and here I refer not to our victims, but to the criminals behind this vile policy.  We are talking about pathogens in human shape.  And they have infected our entire society with their sickness.

    "The Romans brought on their own demise, but it took them centuries. Bush has finished America in a mere 7 years." -- Paul Craig Roberts

    by Roddy McCorley on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:03:45 PM PST

    •  Torture is done to terrorize a target audience (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jagger, Coherent Viewpoint, JML9999

      It bothers us, so it works in domestic politics.

      It bothered subject populations in Latin America under any of more than a dozen military dictatorships, so it works.

      It bothers, alternately, Israelis and Palestinians, so it works.

      Torture is not done for the benefit of the afflicted.

      It's done to hurt all those who have affinity for the person being mentally and physically broken.

      Oh - There is almost always a record of some sort. That's part of the reason it's done. As leverage.

      Perhaps some tapes were erased...but not all of them. Not even close.

      Only Americans are having a torture debate.

      by cskendrick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:10:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is a little dated (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milton333

      but read Robert Ruark's novel "Something of Value" on the MauMau rebellion and the effect of quashing the revolt on the settlers.

      I believe it was either Hughes or Angelou who pointed out that slavery warps the slaveowner far more than it ever does the slave because only the slave's body is in thrall.  

      •  Funny you should mention slavery... (0+ / 0-)

        ...as I was jotting down my comment, it occured to me that many of the people justifying and supporting torture are the spiritual, geographical, and perhaps literal heirs of the people who justified and supported slavery.

        "The Romans brought on their own demise, but it took them centuries. Bush has finished America in a mere 7 years." -- Paul Craig Roberts

        by Roddy McCorley on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 01:49:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Torture elicits confessions. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Then There Were These Killjoys (6+ / 0-)

    from the FBI (Courtesy Raw Story:

    FBI interrogators suspected CIA's aim was to 'belittle' detainee with harsh treatment
    Contradicting the assertions of President Bush and waterboarding advocates at the CIA, federal investigators say a suspected al Qaeda operative who was subjected to the simulated drowning technique produced increasingly unreliable information after his interrogators began treating him harshly.

    Abu Zubaida was captured in 2002 and moved through the CIA's secret prison system for much of that year. Although the FBI says Zubaida was a fairly low-level associate of some al Qaeda players, the CIA was convinced that he actually was a high-level terrorist who simply was holding out on them.

    They turned to waterboarding and other unknown harsh interrogation techniques in an attempt to break the suspect, but ended up producing little more than a stream of specious claims delivered under duress from a suspect who was having water forced into his lungs, according to a former investigator who reviewed his case file.

    "I don't have confidence in anything he says, because once you go down that road, everything you say is tainted," retired FBI agent Daniel Coleman told the Washington Post, referring to the harsh measures. "He was talking before they did that to him, but they didn't believe him. The problem is they didn't realize he didn't know all that much."

    Zubaida's interrogation and harsh treatment were recorded by the CIA, but the evidence of what, if any, actionable intelligence he delivered under conditions critics liken to torture disappeared in 2005, when the agency destroyed hundreds of hours of videotapes depicting similar interrogations.

    Captured at a suspected al Qaeda safe house in Pakistan on Mar. 28, 2002, Zubaida was soon identified and whisked off to the CIA's network of secret prisons. He had been named as a fellow plotter in a failed 1999 attempt to bomb the Los Angeles airport, and the 9/11 Commission said he was a "longtime ally of bin Laden" who helped run a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan before the Sept. 11 attacks.

    In his first month of captivity, report the Post's Dan Eggen and Walter Pincus, Zubaida handed over information that led to the capture of Jose Padilla and identified Khalid Sheik Mohammed as a 9/11 plotter.

    That was all before the CIA turned to harsh techniques. Instead of continuing what appeared to be working, though, the CIA was convinced Zubaida was holding out on them, and they decided to begin "not torturing" him by keeping him naked in his cell, subjecting him to extreme cold and playing loud rock music at all hours.

    FBI agents had been pleased with Zubaida's earlier disclosures but were dismayed by the harsh treatment he was then subjected to.

    "They said, 'You've got to be kidding me,'" Coleman told Eggen and Pincus, recalling accounts from FBI employees who were there. "'This guy's a Muslim. That's not going to win his confidence. Are you trying to get information out of him or just belittle him?'" Coleman helped lead the bureau's efforts against Osama bin Laden for a decade, ending in 2004.

    The FBI team eventually had to drop out of the interrogation because they, unlike the CIA, were prohibited from participating in the harsh treatment.

    "Whether harsh tactics were used on Abu Zubaida prior to official legal authorization by the Justice Department is unclear. Officials at the CIA say all its tactics were lawful. An Aug. 1 Justice document later known as the 'torture memo' narrowly defined what constituted illegal abuse," report Eggen and Pincus. "It was accompanied by another memo that laid out a list of allowable tactics for the CIA, including waterboarding, according to numerous officials."

    For its part, the CIA says the harsh interrogation helped extract information from Abu Zubaida. Retired CIA officer John Kiriakou claimed that waterboarding -- which he now considers torture -- probably saved lives. Kirakou participated in Abu Zubaida's capture and saw classified reports of the agency's harsh interrogation.

    Former CIA director George Tenet wrote in his memoirs that claims Abu Zubaida was over-valued were "baloney" and claimed the captured operative was "at the crossroads of many al Qaeda operations" and shared critical information.

    Coleman told the Post that much of Abu Zubaida's information on pending threats, which he provided under harsh interrogation, "was crap." Coleman and others in the FBI believed Abu Zubaida had mental problems and was little more than a lackey within al Qaeda who claimed to know more than he really did about the terror organization.

    "They all knew he was crazy, and they knew he was always on the damn phone," Coleman said, referring to al-Qaeda operatives. "You think they're going to tell him anything?"

    •  This Guy was No more (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Devilstower, lysias

      "at the crossroads of many al Qaeda operations"

      Than the Pizza Delivery Guy is involved in Pentagon Planning operations.

      Be careful what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

      by JML9999 on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:20:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Spot on! Devilstower ... (6+ / 0-)

    ...I think it's always wise to be wary of allegedly retired CIA agents and their pronouncements. Not that there aren't some who can be trusted. But Kiriakou's efforts have disinformation op written all over them. And great timing, too.

    "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:08:54 PM PST

  •  John McCain (6+ / 0-)

    made an interesting comment in an interview with Tweety Matthews on "Hardball" yesterday -- caught it when I was waiting for "Countdown" to start:

    MATTHEWS:  It‘s hard to keep up with the way people look at things like torture.  You‘ve had firsthand experience.  Are you surprised that you‘re sort of the only one, the only voice in your party that‘s expressed really passionate concern about the misuse of the United States‘ authority when we have someone in our custody?

    MCCAIN:  Well, it concerns me when people think that somehow that it‘s effective.  It gives reliable and unreliable information.  But the thing that concerns me most of all, Chris, is the moral standing of the United States in the world.  By the way, I‘m not the only Republican.  Colin Powell has weighed in heavily on this, as have...

    MATTHEWS:  Another soldier.

    MCCAIN:  It‘s interesting.  Those who have served in uniform are uniformly against such a thing, and those who haven‘t seem to think that it‘s effective.  It‘s not effective.  It‘s not reliable.

    We‘ve tried Japanese for war crimes after World War II who waterboarded American prisoners of war.  Now, how do you then justify—if we tried Japanese for committing war crimes, how can we justify doing that same thing?  So there‘s many arguments I can have, whether it be the moral high ground, whether it be effective or not and whether we think that—well, let me put it this way.  I believe we‘re going to win this war against a radical Islamic extremists on the ideological battleground and that...

    MATTHEWS:  We‘ll be the good guys.

    MCCAIN:  We‘ll have the moral high ground.  You lose the moral high ground when you do something like that.  Let me relate one instance that I had recently.  I was in Iraq.  I met with a former high-ranking member of al Qaeda.  I asked him, what was the reasons for their success?  He said two.  One was the lawlessness and total chaos after our initial victory because we didn‘t have control of the country, and two, Abu Ghraib.  Abu Ghraib, he said, was his greatest recruiting tool.

    MATTHEWS:  Yes.  You have...

    MCCAIN:  I rest my case.

    Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't McCain the only Republican Presidential candidate with a military background?

    Then again, the Democratic candidates have no problem saying "no" to torture, and none of the three leading candidates have a military background either (I'm not sure about the others), so you can't just say it's a military/non-military thing.

    You're only as popular as the last diary/comment you posted. -- Zachpunk

    by Cali Scribe on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:09:56 PM PST

  •  First thing al-Qaeda does when waterboarding... (0+ / 0-)

    is to remove the detainee's head. That's more humane than pouring water up someone's nose when they can breathe. I guess.

    •  And your point is... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milton333, Vagabond57

      ...what?  That the USA should be congratulated for not beheading detainees?

      "Everything's shiny, Captain. Not to fret."

      by rmwarnick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:25:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point is that in terms of ethics, balance and (0+ / 0-)

        logic al-Qaeda has the upper hand because no one is dragging them before a congressional committee to discuss beheadings as not fair. It would appear that we are more concerned about shoving water up someone's nose than cutting their heads off. I think I am living in the wrong dimension.

        •  Ever try being waterboarded? (0+ / 0-)

          Someone sits on your chest so you exhale and collapse your lungs. Then you get the water. The reason water up your nose is just a nuisance is because your lungs are full of air so you can cough and sputter. Expell all the air so it is like having the breath knocked out of you and then try getting water in your respiratory system.

          You might not wish to be waterboarded since it also makes you a candidate for aspiration pneumonia.

        •  So, as long as our methods are not quite... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          milton333

          ...as Al Qaeda's, we occupy the high moral ground?  You set the bar pretty low, it seems to me.  Is there anything we could do to detainees you would deem excessive?

  •  You mean the torure Nancy Pelosi (0+ / 0-)

    and Rockefeller and who knows who else in Congress approved of?  That "torture"?

    Complicity in the Use of Torture

    The Senators who were advised of the CIA's use of torture became complicit in the act of torture upon their failure to intervene in the continuing practice and, even worse, in their encouragement of the CIA's use of torture.

  •  And the beatings will continue until morale (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Cartoon Peril

    improves.  Whether or not morale ever does improve.  Because we like to beat you. So we will.

    There you have it.

    "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." To Kill A Mockingbird

    by DC Scott on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:16:33 PM PST

  •  Of course torture WORKS. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias

    This isn't really in dispute.  It may not work for getting real information, but it certainly works in getting the victim to say exactly what the interrogator wants him to say.  

    If the interrogator is looking for new information, then torture is pretty unreliable and useless.  But if the interrogator is trying to get "an informant" to say exactly what they want, well, then it's a great tool.

    What might information do they want?  

    Pick a few:  

      Saddam has Weapons of Mass Destruction.
      Osama bin Laden acted alone.
      Oswald acted alone.
      CT theories are bad.
     
    The way I see it, the problem isn't the value of the information gained from torture.  The problem is the basis for your ethical reasoning, which leads to torture (and the gas chamber).

    If you base your standards on utilitarian ethics, you can easily violate human rights and justify things like torture.

    If you base your standards on human dignity, you at least have a chance at maintaining human rights.  But it's getting very difficult to do in this utilitarian culture of ours.    
     

    Speak truth to power, it's a sin to tell a lie.

    by queen on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:18:14 PM PST

  •  Did outting Padilla really stop a major (5+ / 0-)

    terror attack? I thought the final analysis on him was that he was mostly mouth and fantasy and even if he had wanted to, he would not have been able to mount a credible attack. I also thought that he had almost degraded mentally to the point the prosecutors were in a hurry to finish prosecution while he was still competent to stand trial.
    Do we really want the Padilla case to be the shining apex of our intelligence efforts?  

  •  Carefully targeted waterboarding? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, lurks a lot, JML9999

    Today we use "carefully targeted waterboarding" according to the supporters of the torture saves lives meme, implying that some sort of higher standard is applied to the selection of victims of torture. Tomorrow, we will slip again into even murkier depths as the criteria for using torture loosens and the perceived danger becomes greater. Once the line has been crossed it is only a matter of time until we are justifying the most atrocious acts imagineable.

    Kiriakou's reasoning is not sustainable unless his objective is to urge our descent into depravity, for that is where this line of reasoning always leads. Torture will become a norm in any line of questioning and the least suspicious activity will merit arrest and rendering to protect us from potential attacks. Only a few will be entrusted with the power to evaluate the risks and to take action to prevent attacks and they will have little or no oversight.

    Franklin warned us about sacrificing our liberty for security. But we are now talking about sacrificing our honor and humanity for security. The question we have to ask Kiriakou and others like him is just how much innocent blood they are willing to shed in pursuit of the unattainable goal of perfect safety.  

    •  Carrying argument further (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MagisterLudi

      We get "actionable" intel it ends up in a future presidential briefing of a future idiot president who's too busy on Vacation to act on it.

      Be careful what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

      by JML9999 on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:23:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let us reflect for a moment... (4+ / 0-)

    ...we've got a retired ops agent (safe from being fired...and those types saying they are retired means absolutely nothing!) who says he only watched (sure he did) the water boarding (even safer from legal action) and he claims the treatment after about 30 seconds cause the detainee to reveal a flood of valuable life saving information. Ergo, water boarding is a good thing even if brutal as hell.

    Well many of us know how honest and truthful agents from the CIA's dept of operations are...hell most of these guys wont even sign their name the same way twice in a row.

    His testimony is not worth a plug nickel and further I think it is flack to cover more serious problems by deflecting from the reasons some tapes of interrogations were destroyed...and you can bet more than two were destroyed...this whole charade is damage control protecting people in very high places

    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

    by Bobjack23 on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:21:28 PM PST

  •  Kiriakou wasn't there (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vagabond57, JML9999, kimoconnor

    My understanding is that Kiriakou never tortured anybody in his life, and wasn't there when Zubaydah was tortured.  How did this guy even get on TV?

    "Everything's shiny, Captain. Not to fret."

    by rmwarnick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:23:25 PM PST

  •  Despite Mark Davis . . . (6+ / 0-)

    The debate is over torture. Mr. Kiriakou is a retired CIA agent who has seen a detainee waterboarded.

    . . . Kiriakou was quite explicit that he did not see the waterboarding.

  •  Publish *THIS*! (0+ / 0-)

    Publish this, Dallas News:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    I dare you!

  •  He did not see waterboarding (0+ / 0-)

    This right winger and most others are simply MAKING STUFF UP

    In his interviews he said that he was not present when this happened.

    And he said that the prisoner did not open up until the morning after the waterboarding, that Allah told him to save his friends.

    THESE PEOPLE LIE so much it is criminal.

    01-20-09: THE END OF AN ERROR

    by kimoconnor on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 12:51:37 PM PST

  •  The Destroyed Tapes Show Useless Babbling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vagabond57, booboo08

    The real reason the CIA destroyed the tapes was not that it was evidence of criminal torture acts, implicating people all the way up through Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Cheney and Bush in Federal and international war crimes.

    The real reason is what comes after that evidence. Showing these tortured people babbling uselessly. If we could watch those tapes, we'd see that Bush and the CIA are just lying about the utility of their babbling. With them destroyed, we can't just point at the evidence to dispel their lies.

    Of course, in a country based on justice the absence of evidence to back up their extraordinary claims protecting their asses would make everyone reject their lies immediately.

    But we stopped being that country a long time ago. Now we're the "land of the free to torture, home of the cowards".

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 01:02:25 PM PST

  •  SICK... (0+ / 0-)

    ...sick, sick sick...

  •  Wait, I thought the CIA hated America. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick

    It's getting really hard to keep track of who refutes Bush's lies hates America and who gets off on killing and causing pain loves freedom.

  •  There's no excuse in the world for any of it. (0+ / 0-)

    These people are twisted, sadistic perverts.

    They've watched all the tapes.

    Passenger on the long train of abuses.

    by OleHippieChick on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 01:25:39 PM PST

  •  Details. (0+ / 0-)

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 01:32:45 PM PST

  •  Water baording ...missing tapes etc.. (0+ / 0-)

    Did you all notice how at the beginning of the week the N.I.E. was presented to the world by the end of that same week the Reptile owned media had switched the whole topic of discussion to water boarding and missing torture tapes. The admin. had to undermine the credibility of its own top Intell. agency because it had attacked them and their neo-con followers.The CIA among the other 15 agencies had effectively destroyed their plan to bomb Iran with more bogus lies. Their reward was the agency is now being subjected to Water boarding by the WH and its Media allies. The really interesting part though is how the hapless, clueless Demoweaklings are helping the BV$H thugs out in the job of trashing the CIA. Had the CIA not stepped up to the plate a few weeks ago to undercut BV$H/CHENEY we'd still be on the hot and quick march to Iran. Now these same people are forced to fight a rear guard struggle against their own Intell. people and war seems less likely.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 02:10:05 PM PST

  •  Earlier accounts of Zubaydah's questioning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    booboo08

    As I have commented elsewhere, the FBI account is the account that was previously carried in the press, years ago.

    Kiriakou's tour of the media is nothing more than a brazen disinformation campaign, which, when it is carried out against the American public, IS A CRIME.

    What we need are the facts, and for that, we need the names and the accounts of the FBI interrogators who got the reliable info out of Zubaydah without torture, and we need to compare the facts to Kiriakou's statements.

    Then Kiriakou needs to be arrested and held without bond for carrying out an illegal disinformation campaign. He, of course, needs to be questioned about who prompted him to carry it out, and why. I suggest we start with the FBI's method of interrogation, and then ask Mr Kiriakou if he would like to prove, first hand, that his former assertions about torture gaining reliable information are true.

    If the government is conducting propaganda efforts to "normalize" war crimes that carry the death penalty, that is a serious threat to national security.

    It's no "small potatoes" crime. I wonder if Mr Kiriakou understands the gravity of his position. Apparently, he has a great deal of confidence in the Bush Administration's ability to escape accountability for war crimes and illegal propaganda campaigns in the service of "normalizing" war crimes.

    If his attitude is that "they are all in it together," then that should be noted for future reference.

  •  A possible scenario (0+ / 0-)

    First, CIA officers come forward and tell the Bush Administration that they must release the NIE. Failing that, it will be leaked to the press and said officers will resign, going public.

    So, despite the fact that releasing the NIE will make Bush out to be a major league idiot since he was fomenting war just weeks prior with another version of the "mushroom cloud" argument, Bush relents and releases the NIE, which Cheney had successfully bottled up for a year, trying to get his war on.

    So, Cheney flips his lid. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the CIA is in the spotlight (next day after NIE release) for destroying torture tapes that were under subpoena. Wonder who could have put that story in circulation? Hmmmmm.

    With lightening response, the Justice Dept is all over it. We get a name. We get a timeline. Investigations with pending prosecutions are launched.

    And then, the CIA reacts by adding the chain of command to the story, and whaddaya know? Goes back to Bush, Gonzales & co. "Hey," CIA officers say, "if we are being investigated, then everyone involved is going down!"

    Then out pops Kiriakou, who looks a little young to be an "ex-" CIA agent, no? "Torture works!" he says. "Bush, Cheney, Gonzales: they got it right! We're just saving lives!"

    And now, their asses, I guess! Or so they think!

    Kiriakou represents those Cheney-loyal elements in the CIA who are just fine with the program as it is. They don't want to go down for what they did, and they don't like the faction in the CIA who are ready to resign over suppression of the truth (NIE).

    Problem is, Kiriakou and company are trying to help, but instead they've roused the elements of the FBI who never liked these spooks and their dirty, unnecessary, messy tactics in the first place. More questions have been raised then put to bed.

    So what does Cheney do? Light a match.

  •  If Torture Really Works (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vagabond57

    Can you see the gross contradiction here? On one hand, we are told by the CIA that those interrogations were so important that they prevented further attacks and led to several arrests. On the other hand, we are told by the CIA that the videos were of no importance and could be destroyed without concern. If they really were THE MOST IMPORTANT CIA INTERROGATIONS SINCE 911, why were the tapes destroyed?

    Can you see the second unavailing set of contradictions here? We are told by the CIA that the interrogation videos were destroyed to protect the identity of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value. But why did agent John Kiriakou, leader of the CIA team that captured and interrogated Zubaydah, appear on ABC News' World News and on NBC's Today show without bothering to conceal his identity? Years from now, advances in digital technology will allow us to decipher the almost inaudible and normally inaccessible sounds made by terrorist suspects when breathing. But why were THE MOST IMPORTANT CIA INTERROGATION TAPES SINCE 911 destroyed?

    And if torture really does work, as Kiriakou suggests, who or what does it work for? When the Catholic Inquisition tortured its enemies, did it work for truth and freedom, or did it work for political ignorance and the denial of scientific facts?

    Like water-boarding, was the "iron-maiden" really an instrument of torture, or did some judges say perhaps it depended on the sharpness of its spikes?

  •  These sick bastards... (0+ / 0-)

    I am so sick of morons spreading lies and masking truth as unpatriotic or treasonous.  These sick fucks are sadistic bastards who can't get their little cocks up without subjecting someone to mortal agony.

    •  sick fucks (0+ / 0-)

      actually, they are not. At least not those actually employed as torturers. As a book on torturers in Latin America pointed out, they are "any mother's son," and your next door neighbor.
      Did you see the guy on TV who was the executioner for some southern state or other and killed 67 people without telling his wife? He was just some guy, an old man now, a prison guard who just kinda got the job, and did it regularly.

      But I guess you must mean the Bushies and Cheneys and who knows who else (ooh did I forget the Young Repugs and Jonah Goldbergs??)

      Death squad members (mostly soldiers and cops out of uniform) and torturers in Latin America were often schooled in anti-Communist ideology and zeal at the US-run school of the Americas. CIA members (think Dan Mitrione) were regularly reported to be present at torture sessions (far worse than waterboarding) in Latin and Central America in the 70s and 80s.

      The use of torture in Algeria was specifically designed to bring the Arab population to its knees by humiliation, and the French military in charge of this policy helped train the torturers in Latin America's Southern cone.

      The US reportedly prosecuted members of its own military in the early part of the 20th c for torturing (waterboarding) FIlipino rebels in our own colony, the Philippines.

      ARGUING the efficacy or lack thereof of torture is allowing the bad guys to frame the debate. It is a grave error.

  •  Torture works. It's still a crime (0+ / 0-)

    Depending on what you want to accomplish, I suspect that torture can be highly effective.

    It makes people want the torture to stop and coerces them to do things they wouldn't otherwise do.  I don't know if it's an effective interrogation technique.  Maybe it is, when used by someone who knows how.

    So what?

    Torture is inhumane.  It is wrong.  Good people don't do it.  Powerful people, with other means of protecting themselves, don't do it.

    This country faces no threat so grave that it is worth sacrificing our humanity.

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