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Osama bin Laden

Marcy Wheeler, as usual, hits the key points in the "torture caught bin Laden" trope former Bush administration types, and crazy Rep.P Peter King, continue to push. The argument hinges on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of three detainees waterboarded in a CIA black site. For the story to hold together, he had to have been the key in providing the information. A second detainiee, Abu Faraj al-Libi has also been mentioned as a source. Al-Libi wasn't subject to waterboarding, though he was to other, unspecified "harsh interrogation techniques."
[T]here are two points that seem key in assessing the torture question. First, both KSM and al-Libi had critical intelligence they withheld under torture. KSM knew of Abu Ahmed's trusted role and real name; al-Libi knew Abu Ahmed was OBL’s trusted courier and may have known of what became OBL’s compound.

And neither of them revealed that information to the CIA.

They waterboarded KSM 183 times in a month, and he either never got asked about couriers guarding OBL, or he avoided answering the question honestly. Had KSM revealed that detail, Bush might have gotten OBL 8 years ago.

And just as importantly, the whole time KSM was shielding Abu Ahmed’s true identity while being waterboarded, KSM was also lying to the CIA about where OBL was. When asked what things he lied about under torture at his 2007 CSRT hearing, KSM specifically said he first said he didn’t know of OBL’s whereabouts, and then confirmed false locations for him, in response to the torture.

Scott Shane and Charlie Savage confirm much of this in a NYT article today, pointing another detainee, Hassan Ghul, who provided the key identification.

One detainee who apparently was subjected to some tough treatment provided a crucial description of the courier, according to current and former officials briefed on the interrogations. But two prisoners who underwent some of the harshest treatment—including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times—repeatedly misled their interrogators about the courier’s identity....

Glenn L. Carle, a retired C.I.A. officer who oversaw the interrogation of a high-level detainee in 2002, said in a phone interview Tuesday, that coercive techniques "didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information." He said that while some of his colleagues defended the measures, “everyone was deeply concerned and most felt it was un-American and did not work."


In 2002 and 2003, interrogators first heard about a Qaeda courier who used the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, but his name was just one tidbit in heaps of uncorroborated claims....

According to an American official familiar with his interrogation, Mr. Mohammed was first asked about Mr. Kuwaiti in the fall of 2003, months after the waterboarding. He acknowledged having known him but said the courier was "retired" and of little significance.

In 2004, however, a Qaeda operative named Hassan Ghul, captured in Iraq, gave a different account of Mr. Kuwaiti, according to the American official. Mr. Ghul told interrogators that Mr. Kuwaiti was a trusted courier who was close to Bin Laden, as well as to Mr. Mohammed and to Abu Faraj al-Libi, who had become the operational chief of Al Qaeda after Mr. Mohammed’s capture.

Mr. Kuwaiti, Mr. Ghul added, had not been seen in some time — which analysts thought was a possible indication that the courier was hiding out with Bin Laden.

The details of Mr. Ghul’s treatment are unclear, though the C.I.A. says he was not waterboarded. The C.I.A. asked the Justice Department to authorize other harsh methods for use on him, but it is unclear which were used. One official recalled that Mr. Ghul was “quite cooperative,” saying that rough treatment, if any, would have been brief....

After Mr. Libi was captured in May 2005 and turned over to the C.I.A., he too was asked. He denied knowing Mr. Kuwaiti and gave a different name for Bin Laden’s courier, whom he called Maulawi Jan. C.I.A. analysts would never find such a person and eventually concluded that the name was Mr. Libi’s invention, the official recalled.

Again, the C.I.A. has said Mr. Libi was not waterboarded, and details of his treatment are not known. But anticipating his interrogation, the agency pressured the Justice Department days after his capture for a new set of legal memorandums justifying the most brutal methods.

The story is now being steered toward the idea Armando joked about yesterday: it was the denials of knowledge of al-Kuwaiti by KSM and al-Libi that led the CIA to believe that he was the key to finding bin Laden. But it didn't happen because KSM was waterboarded.

Now consider this: KSM and al-Libi had that information. What if the Jack Bauer wannabes Bush/Cheney/Yoo and down through many of the CIA ranks hadn't let their testosterone fueled revenge fantasies rule? What if lawful and effective interrogation techniques the FBI and other intelligence services have relied up on for decades had been used on these high value detainees? What if, instead of using torture to gain false intelligence to justify an invasion of Iraq the CIA used valid interrogation techniques on KSM?

Maybe bin Laden would have been neutralized eight years ago.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Net Net Bottom line all the GOP bomfoggen (14+ / 0-)

    and false equivalencies is to keep The Cheneys et al from the docket of war crimes trials.

    I'm the terror that blogs in the Night,. and the daytime too.

    by JML9999 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:04:43 AM PDT

    •  and the point (6+ / 0-)

      and the point these simpletons miss, and many miss, is whether you get info or not is NOT the point, the point is this. The MINUTE you start torturing  anyone at that point YOU become the BAD GUY.

      Excuses to torture are easy, they dont matter, torture is NEVER right under any circumstances. It doesnt work and even if it did, the price you pay is too great.

      what the fuck is wrong with this country?

      The place is getting scary and pathetic at the same time.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:23:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A hell of a lot less pathetic and scary now. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Remember, we didn't re-elect these bozos.

        So at least, though they're still around, they're not in charge anymore.

        Thank God for that.

        Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

        by Sirenus on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:39:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I started writing a long comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timothy J

      as a military mom but it all boiled down to:

      1.   Why would the corporate rightwingers want to bring up their war crime of torture which caused our serving military much hurt in the ME  (which brings to mind their nearly decade- long war profiteering against the locals and our "real" military for the profit of Cheney's no-bid, no oversight private contractors)

      2   How can they be patriotic when they are diverting our military and nation's win (catch bin Laden) to discussion of their barbaric and harmful methods of the past...the "world" is moving forward and our military grunts don't need to be reminded of the painful memories.

  •  Thanks for pushing back against the meme (20+ / 0-)

    that torture helped find bin Laden. Marcy has written about this six ways from Sunday, with detailed evidence.  It is hard to find anyone who has studied the records (not an easy thing in this age of secrecy and cover up) more than she has, and now she has even more information to make the case.

    This should mark the end of an era, rather than a reinforcement of it.  If we don't look at things honestly, how will we ever make progress and try to make things better?   Panetta did the country a great misdeed in his interview, IMHO.

  •  The point isn't whether we got info from torture (8+ / 0-)

    The point to make to conservatives is that there are are other legal techniques that work at least as effectively and usually better, according to most who study the "art".

    Torture is illegal, and the fact that we used these techniques on anyone harmed our credibility and damaged the American "brand".  

    And for what?

    Feyman once said, "Science is imagination in a straitjacket." It is ironic that...the people without the straitjackets are generally the nuts. - L. M. Krauss

    by Nicolas Fouquet on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:08:25 AM PDT

  •  torture creates false memories (11+ / 0-)

    rb137 explained how Bush was able to get so many false confessions in this diary:

    Let's talk torture, Dick. Myths I

    Many argue that when a prisoner gets tortured, he will say anything just to make the torture stop. Perhaps they are right in cases when the prisoner is willing to speak quickly. Once a prisoner gets questioned under torture, though, recollection becomes dubious. In fact, an interrogatee's responses are affected by the manner of questioning -- and can be molded into bizarre false confessions even in the absence of stress.

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:09:06 AM PDT

  •  This whole issue is meant (7+ / 0-)

    to detract from Obama's success.

    Good rebuttal, Joan.

    WWRHD? What Would Robin Hood Do?

    by TomP on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:09:41 AM PDT

  •  I wish Panetta would keep his mouth shut (3+ / 0-)

    We don't need to hear from him and certainly I thank the editors here at DK from posting any of his comments. We need to defer to renowned experts like Marcy Wheeler who has her finger on the pulse of these matters. We did not need to waterboard, or black sites or GITMO. What we needed to do was listen to experts like Marcy and it is also what we need to continue to do in the future. Joan, once again, hits the nail on the head and provides true expert analysis on this issue.
    I am against Betrayus heading up the CIA, I wish President Obama would have thought outside the box and named Marcy as CIA director so her expertise would make us safer and a better country.

    •  I'm imagine Marcy would get a big laugh from this: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I wish President Obama would have thought outside the box and named Marcy as CIA director

      She's making an honest, modest living doing her work to get the facts together and out to the public. I expect she would find the CIA job stifling.

      Courage is contagious. - Daniel Ellsberg

      by semiot on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:47:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I suppose I could torture my wife... (8+ / 0-)

    To find out where she left the car keys last night.  But I find other methods work better in helping me determine where my wife left the car keys last night.  

    Like asking her.

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      The issue never was if torture got this specific information -- it was is torture the ONLY way to get this information. Clearly not -- but won't stop the Rightwingers from playing that card.

      The original "justification" for torture was the ticking-time bomb scenario. 8 years is no ticking-time bomb.

  •  I was horrified that Leon Panetta in an (10+ / 0-)

    interview with Bryan Williams refused to denounce waterboarding and instead chose to go with the euphemism "enhanced interrogation".  Come on Mr. President can't we move on from that stain on our society?

    All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take. Mohandas Gandhi

    by glitterscale on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:12:15 AM PDT

    •  It was even worse! (4+ / 0-)

      Panetta suggested that waterboarding was part of the information that lead to OBL's death. That is unacceptable.  Penetta completely ignored Marcy's meme that waterboarding and GITMO and black sites had nothing to do with the operation (i.e. the TRUTH!). Marcy has carefully pieced together from sources she agrees with or people she agrees with that clearly shows that waterboarding, GITMO and black sites had zilch to do with the death. Panetta needs to get on board. Betrayus should not be the head of the CIA. We need people like Marcy making these decisions so that we can be both safer and more importantly, a better country.

    •  That Panetta interview has the torture crowd up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Interpret "up" however you want. I don't care. These pro-torture freaks disgust me.

      Anyway, the problem is, what Panetta actually said was:

      1) detainees were waterboarded
      2) we got information from detainees

      He never actually says that we got information from waterboarding, which meshes with everything else that we are learning/have learned about reality so far. Unfortunately he says it in such a damn verbal tapdance that the "Boner for Bauer" crowd has read what they wanted to into it.

      Idiots. Them and Panetta, really.

      “If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read 'President Can't Swim'" --LBJ

      by Praxxus on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:59:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Complete liars (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glitterscale, Praxxus

        I was braving talk radio last night on my commute home. Former congressman and current douchbag Duncan Hunter was on to whore out a new book. He sat there and blatantly lied telling all those fear-based brains that waterboarding was an integral part in the killing of Bin Laden. He basically said without waterboarding, Bin Laden would be alive today. And of course, the host was all too eager to agree with him.

        These people simply do not live in the same reality as us. To paraphrase everyone including Colbert, reality has a liberal bias - and these cons just cannot handle it so they have to create their own alternate reality based on lies, fear and misdirection.

        So frustrating.

        Where there is no joy there can be no courage; and without courage all other virtues are worthless. -Edward Abbey

        by beefydaddy18 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:15:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Capturing bin Laden meant no Iraq war (7+ / 0-)

    Which means the torture was never NEVER designed to get intelligence on bin Laden. It was just to torture. I bet Dick Cheney waterboarded kittens when he was a kid.

    As soon as you have people telling other people how to live/think/behave because "god gave them authority" you effectively get dictators in funny looking hats.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:14:50 AM PDT

  •  that goes to the heart of it... (5+ / 0-)

    they didn't want bin laden.  He was too useful a pawn in the neocon's desire to promote a security regime and also to invade Iraq (after formulating a link between AQ and saddam hussein).

    It really sounds like torture was never about gaining information ala jack bauer.  It was all about retribution and displaying power.  Showing them ayrabs and muhammedans (bushist verbal constructions) who's boss.  

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:15:02 AM PDT

    •  It was all about the power (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      About flouting international law.  Making their own reality.

      •  Flouting international law (0+ / 0-)

        Is that what happens when you unilaterally mount an operation in a foreign country without their permission? E.g., extraordinary rendition, itching powder for Castro's beard, targeted assassination ... ?

    •  I think there is some chance that the USG (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      has known OBL's whereabouts for some time. Then, Panetta's raking of Pakistan and his holdout on "enhanced interrogation" are nothing more that ass covering for the fact that the Seals were brought in on May 1, 2011 and not before.

      I don't endorse all that is said in this Counterpunch article, but it provides food for thought. Hope Marcy sees it and follows up on the allegations: to wit, the timing of the demise of OBL is connected to the recent release of wiklileaks files on GITMO.

      Courage is contagious. - Daniel Ellsberg

      by semiot on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:00:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, it was like so much they did. Pure politics. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Playing to the base. And the base was pretty big then.

      "Look, we'll do anything it takes to stop the bad guys!"

      "Look at how tough we are! How far we'll go!"

      " Trust us! Give us whatever power we want so we can keep you safe!"

      Pure politics. And a great distraction from the other things they were doing, including wiping out the rights of Americans to not be dragged from their homes and disappear, never to be heard of again.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:48:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe if they had given them ice cream they (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gbaked, TooFolkGR

    would have cooperated sooner.  We can all speculate for political purposes. Nancy Pelosi didn't think it made a difference:

    [E]ven if [Osama bin Laden] is caught tomorrow, it is five years too late. He has done more damage the longer he has been out there. But, in fact, the damage that he has done . . . is done. And even to capture him now I don’t think makes us any safer.

    - Nancy Pelosi (9/6/06)

    What should concern everyone is that the Pakistani's were hiding him in plain site.  I know that Bush continues to be a favorite easy target, but I think we really need to be focusing on the Pakistani military and secret service.  

    Those terrorists actually have nukes.  

    That's what keeps me up at night.  It's not a short step from harboring a terrorist to giving his survivors a weapon for revenge.

    If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

    by SpamNunn on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:19:22 AM PDT

    •  And we had our troops in Abbottabad (0+ / 0-)

      in 2008.

      It's just a big house, and the neighbors thought they were gold dealers.

      The Pakistanis have some people we can trust and some we can't. The ones we can trust seem to be in control of the nukes, for now.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:35:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's called hiding in plain sight. (0+ / 0-)

        The only better hiding place would have been the Pakistani Presidential Palace.   Not much you can do, even if you are right there, if the person you are supposed to be partnered with is hiding the guy you are looking for.   That's why dropping in at midnight without advance notice worked for us this time.  

        If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

        by SpamNunn on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:48:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Pakistan is a big populous country (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We can't just go in there and re-arrange things to our liking.

      In any event, as an american, you shouldn't stay up at night worrying about Pakistan. Their main and only target is and was and has been India. If you are living in India then you would be fully justified in worrying about WTF Pakistan is going to try next. There is no pacifying Pakistan and their ISI without first resolving the Pakistan/India conflict.

  •  Restoring America's Honor? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    semiot, annieli

    Restoring 'America's Honor' means living by ours and those international
    Laws we helped write, that means Torture is Illegal and Inhumane, any
    torture not just water boarding, which by the way is Not a fun
    experience, just ask any of us who've gone through CI/SERE training,
    that's why they use it in the training.

    Bin Laden death gives U.S. upper hand against al Qaida
    May 3: Malcolm Nance, former master instructor and chief of training at the Navy`s Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape School (the SERE School), talks with Rachel Maddow about the infrastructure of al-Qaida and the importance of Islamic democracy and the role of human intelligence in finding Osama bin Laden.

    Those who support torture or are now arguing, especially from the previous administration and their propaganda channel FOX, the false meme's that it was the way we got bin Laden have joined the ranks of those we've condemned for decades that do and the previous administration is known to have used in their extremely failed policies. You also have taken away any condemnation if our Soldiers are Captured or citizens grabbed and they are then tortured, you also are a very sick human individual. Those who do the torture tend to start enjoying what they're doing which moves them to the extreme of the human community!

    We've created the next generations of bin Ladens during the past decade!

    And to those trying to cram their extremist constantly changing religious beliefs down our throats, i.e. a 'christian' nation, i.e. especially protestants who claim they follow the teachings of Jesus alone, and praise torture, just think? of the beatings, the crown of thorns, the carrying of the cross and the nailing to that cross to slowly die, All Torture! That worked well for the Romans now didn't it!!!!!

    CCR:"If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

    by jimstaro on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:26:15 AM PDT

  •  On the previous group ... (0+ / 0-)

    Of incompetents and their practices: Look at how many people we now know started the Chicago Fire.

    The Republican brand: "Consequences, schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich"

    by D in Northern Virginia on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:28:10 AM PDT

  •  I feel like there is a distinct difference between (0+ / 0-)

    torture, harsh interrogation tactics, and rough treatment.

    I think few would argue that caught terrorists need to be treated like best friends when captured, and that being forceful can have advantages... I would expect the place they bring detainees and interrogate them to be an unpleasant experience.

    But there is a big difference between that and waterboarding/tourture.

    I feel like that is a fact that is lost on the bush people. They lump it all into one big group of being OK.  

    •  You may feel that if you wish (0+ / 0-)

      Nor do I think terrorists need to be treated like best friends (for example, I rarely prevent my best friends from leaving by force).

      That said, it's pretty much accepted by many experts in the field that treating captured enemies well is the best way to get actual useful information out of them. Treat them well, let them relax their guard, bond with their captors and you get results. Not always, of course, but torture doesn't always work either.

      Torture works well for getting false confessions and for breaking people down. You will get some good info out of it, but not as often.

      Rough treatment is probably the worst of both worlds. The abuse keeps them from letting down their guard and you're not going far enough to force anything out of them. That's just speculation on my part though.

      That's also ignoring the effects on the larger population. Remember a time when enemy soldiers wanted to surrender to the US, because they knew they'd be well treated?

      The Empire never ended.

      by thejeff on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:52:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I consider rough treatment (0+ / 0-)

        to be on par with what would be going on in  maximum security prisons. What is that? I have no idea. I am sure its not pleasant. I am sure I could not handle it very well.

        Just to clarify, I would never be for going against anything in the geneva convention... not at all what I am trying to say.

        •  I consider what goes on in our maximum security (0+ / 0-)

          prisons to be an appalling disgrace.

          Even so, my main argument isn't based on my disgust with such treatment, it's practical.

          Skirting the edge of the Geneva Convention doesn't get us anything.
          Treating them as we safely can does. It's the best way to get information. It earns us goodwill in the world. It makes other enemies more willing to surrender rather than fight to the death.

          Being complete bastards has advantages too. Ruling by fear does work, but you've got to go all the way. Torture does work. Not as well as other approaches, but you do get info and if you cross-check it carefully enough you can actually trust some of it. There are a lot of drawbacks. It's a great recruiting tool. Your enemies will be even more determined not to be captured. Not to mention any moral and political issues.

          Being as cruel as you can legally get away with is the worst of both worlds. You don't win any friends. You still make more enemies. And nobody fears you.

          And that's pretty much been our policy. With significant stretching of the "legally permitted" line, especially early on.

          The Empire never ended.

          by thejeff on Wed May 04, 2011 at 06:51:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  They didn't torture KSM to get information (8+ / 0-)

    They tortured him to justify invading Iraq.

    It was one more lie in a whole series of lies, but I guess KSM never cooperated, or never cooperated in a way they could use.

    Please don't dignify Dick Cheney as really caring about catching ObL when there was oil to be had.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:32:21 AM PDT

    •  Hmmm, this is a really great point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      As torture is a splendid mix of both desire for information and desire for revenge, one would expect it to be used more frequently when those desiring information are desperate.  

      Like, say, when they need some WMDs to justify their reasons for going to war.

      Feyman once said, "Science is imagination in a straitjacket." It is ironic that...the people without the straitjackets are generally the nuts. - L. M. Krauss

      by Nicolas Fouquet on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:22:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If torture fathered success (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nicolas Fouquet

    rapists would give out cigars and say "it's a boy."

  •  I'm going to say this again (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans don't care about the truth they care about power and if they can get the media to push their lie they win

  •  This isn't a discussion worth having (2+ / 0-)

    To even be part of it suggests that there's a utilitarian scenario in which torturing someone might be OK.  We don't torture people because it's always wrong, period.  And I say that as someone who's happy to kill people in certain circumstances, so I recognize that my absolute veto on torture is to some extent arbitrary, but it's no less absolute for that.

    It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

    by Rich in PA on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:39:19 AM PDT

  •  Only if you live my the premise that no (0+ / 0-)

    means yes and yes means no.

  •  Uh... The Wild Speculation At the End (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nicolas Fouquet

    Kind of diminishes the important message of the piece:

    What if, instead of using torture to gain false intelligence to justify an invasion of Iraq the CIA used valid interrogation techniques on KSM?

    Maybe bin Laden would have been neutralized eight years ago.

    And maybe he would have been neutralized eight years ago if we had tortured KSM harder.  I think the full story of this story is the Waterboarding wasn't worth it.

  •  If waterboarding worked Bush didn't have the balls (0+ / 0-)

    to do what Obama did.

  •  The NYT just cracks me up! (0+ / 0-)

    They have this editorial policy of using a full name once, and then referring to men thereafter as "Mr. [lastname]."  Then they slavishly follow this pattern for Arabic names:

    "Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti" -- but then "Mr. Kuwaiti."  Or ...

    Nom de guerre "Abu Faraj al-Libi" -- then, "Mr. Libi."

    I'm not an Arabist (though I did stay in a Holiday Inn more than once), but if I'm not mistaken, this is about as silly as saying of Jon Stewart (assuming he has a son named Samuel):

    "Father-of-Samuel the NewJerseyite," and then referring to him thereafter as "Mr. NewJerseyite."

    Abu-[name] means "father of [first-born son's name]."  It's NOT a "nom de guerre" -- it's a tradition in Arab families.  When a husband with his given name becomes a Dad, he is known thereafter as "Father of [son's-name].  Simple as that.

    And in Arabic, names ending in "-iti" typically mean "From [place name]."  Remember Saddam Hussein al-Majid al-Tikriti ?  "Al-Tikriti" just means The Guy from Tikrit."  I suppose the NYT called him "Mr. Tikriti"?

    So Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti is "Father of Ahmed from Kuwait" and Abu Faraj al-Libi is (I'm just guessing) "Father of Faraj from Libya."

    Get a clue, NYT!

    "Equal rights for gays." Yeah, it's just that simple.

    by planmeister on Wed May 04, 2011 at 08:56:12 AM PDT

  •  I would really like to know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the percentage of people in America who are aware that the United States has not only condemned the use of water torture but has severely punished those who applied it.

    And then there's FOX employee Karl Rove bragging about Bush encouraging and allowing torture, taking credit for ridding the world of bin Laden.

    The cognitive disconnects keep coming.

    An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:15:50 AM PDT

  •   I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! (0+ / 0-)
    You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between.

    It's all so clear to me now. I'm the keeper of the cheese. And you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.

    by bernardpliers on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:20:10 AM PDT

  •  People who base their interrogation policy.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....on the actions of a fictional character in a TV series written by Hollywood screenwriters.

    Words fail me.

    Thank God these bozos are no longer in charge....and our intelligence people no longer have to use techniques they both despise and know are ineffective.

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Wed May 04, 2011 at 09:36:57 AM PDT

  •  Yup..joker Joe gave away the game plan (0+ / 0-)

    this morning...

    1.   Waterboarding taught interrogators to tell when KSM was really....he said that.....stop laughing...

    2.  And then he blamed liberals for making whether torture helped such a big deal...

    The price of hypocrites and letting criminals walk.

    "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

    by justmy2 on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:46:18 AM PDT

  •  Why we needed to look back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine, liberaldemdave

    Until some of them are in jail we'll be fighting against these lies.  Thanks to McJoan for getting the facts out there, once again.  But the damage is done.  I'm sure a significant portion of the country is now convinced that waterboarding led to the capture of bin Laden and anyone who says different is a liberal, soft on national security.

    In a world of laws, it would be Rumsfeld and Cheney who would be explaining themselves in a court of law, not us bloggers scrambling to explain ourselves on the internet in the face of the power of the MSM.  Because the Obama administration did not break clearly with the previous regime, torture continues to gain ground in the popular imagination as a useful and proper tool of authority instead of the barbaric, immoral, and illegal practice it actually is.  Not to mention that torture is a tool of tyranny.

    Intelligent manipulation of the masses is the invisible government which is the true ruling power in our country. - U.S. propagandist Edward Bernays

    by geomoo on Wed May 04, 2011 at 10:52:51 AM PDT

  •  Loyal idiots will say anything (0+ / 0-)

    to justify the irrational lawlessness of their hero.

    They should be repudiated with incivility and crippled with lawsuits or they will rise again much as the Reagan cast of Iran-Contra characters arose in the Bush II administration: Cheney, Rumsfeld and the entire cadre of grafting criminals.

  •  Maybe if they emulated Hanns Scharff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Who was perhaps the most effective interrogator in the history of modern warfare.

    He was a German, sometimes referred to as the "Master Interrogator," he was just that effective.  He was a Luftwaffe NCO in World War II, charged with interrogating captured Allied air crews and later, after he proved so effective, even captured senior officers and VIPs.  The USAF asked him to give lectures on his techniques after the the war was over.  He wasn't put on trial for war crimes.  Why?

    He is highly praised for the success of his techniques, especially considering he never used physical means to obtain the required information. . . . Scharff was opposed to physically abusing prisoners with the intent to obtain information.

    Here's the link to his Wikipedia article:

    It is possible to remain a moral person during wartime.  Scharff, a soldier who served under one of the most brutal regimes in human existence, could do it.  The American torturers could have done it, too.  They could have kept their souls intact.  Instead . . . .

    "It was like that when I got here." - Homer Simpson

    by rbird on Wed May 04, 2011 at 12:26:07 PM PDT

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