Update on Torture

A second former high-level Bush administration official has confirmed that the neocons implemented a policy of torture. The chief lawyer for Guantanamo litigation – Vijay Padmanabhan – said that torture was widespread.

This confirms what Colin Powell’s chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, has said.

In addition, the Spanish judge who investigated and charged Pinochet for war crimes has his eye on – and may prosecute – Bush Officials for torture (for background information, see this).

And as I – and many others – have written repeatedly, torture doesn’t work. In other words, torture isn’t the way to get any real information.

Now, even the Washington Post seems to be acknowledging this fact:

Nearly all of the leads attained through the harsh measures quickly evaporated [and were proven false], while most of the useful information from Abu Zubaida — chiefly names of al-Qaeda members and associates — was obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said….

“We spent millions of dollars chasing false alarms,” one former intelligence official said.
Despite the poor results, Bush White House officials and CIA leaders continued to insist that the harsh measures applied against Abu Zubaida and others produced useful intelligence that disrupted terrorist plots and saved American lives….

Since 2006, Senate intelligence committee members have pressed the CIA, in classified briefings, to provide examples of specific leads that were obtained from Abu Zubaida through the use of waterboarding and other methods, according to officials familiar with the requests.

The agency provided none, the officials said.

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