You can always count on The Donald. No not The Donald that keeps saying he's presidential timber. The other one. Donald Rumsfeld. Less than a day after he said the Defense Department that he then headed did not gain critical information about Osama bin Laden's whereabout by means of "harsh treatment," as Joan McCarter discussed here, he was singing a different tune Tueday night on Foxaganda's Sean Hannity Show, with Hannity himself cheerleading the role of extraordinary rendition, CIA black sites and torture.
Of course, not being a guy who ever admits he was wrong, Rumsfeld applied his usual tortuous parsing in order to join the deluge of right wingers claiming that the torture they refuse to admit was torture was crucial in locating and killing bin Laden. Here's the former Secretary:
RUMSFELD: I think that anyone who suggests that the enchanced techniques—let's be blunt—waterboarding, did not produce an enormous amount of valuable intelligence just isn't facing the truth. The facts are, Gen. Mike Hayden came in, he had no connection with water-boarding anybody, he looked at all the evidence and concluded that a major fraction of the intelligence in our country on al Qai'da came from individuals, the three, only three people who were waterboarded ...
I’m told there was some confusion today on some programs, even one on Fox, I think, suggesting that I indicated that no one who was waterboarded at Guantánamo provided any information on this. That’s just not true. What I said was no one was waterboarded at Guantánamo by the U.S. military. In fact, no one was waterboarded at Guantánamo period. Three people were waterboarded by the CIA away from Guantánamo and then later brought to Guantánamo. In fact, as you point out, the information that came from those individuals was critically important.“
Rumsfeld also said, "You're exactly right," after Hannity claimed that “if he [Obama] had had his way, and Democrats had their way, we wouldn’t have had this intelligence.”
As pointed out by Marcy Wheeler here, Armando here and here, and Scott Shane and Charlie Savage of The New York Times here, using torture failed to scope out Osama bin Laden. If it had worked, George Bush could have stepped into the East Room late one Sunday night sometime in 2003 or '04 and told the nation "We got him."
But for the men and women who took us down so many wrong paths after 9/11, at a cost of trillions of dollars and the lives of hundreds of times as many human beings as were killed on that dreadful day, gleeful vindication is already being set in stone. After years of being discredited for their reprehensible use of torture that they continue to claim wasn't really torture, they and their media megaphones now lie: See, the United States was right all along to do what it did; and Sunday's raid on Abbottabad proves it.
Thus is the myth crafted right before our eyes. We know what they have in mind. Next time national security is at stake or seems to be, or the time after that, somebody somewhere will choose to torture captives. The immorality of it won't matter because, to their kind, back to the time of the rack and the thumbscrew, the immorality of it never has. All that will matter are their claims that torture works, even though it doesn't.