Former CIA interrogator John Kiriakou has been all over the tube this week talking about waterboarding. What struck me was his ambivalence towards torture. To summarize his position: "torture was necessary but it now I think it was wrong." Fuck that shit. Either it's wrong or not Johnny. No grey area here.
Kiriakou attempts to rationalize torture as the end justifies the means. He specifically cites the waterboard interrogation of Abu Zubaydah claiming it:
probably disrupted "dozens" of planned al-Qaida attacksProbably disrupted? If that is in fact the case, tell us exactly which attacks were "disrupted". There is no possible security issue here (other than securing protection for the Bush Administration against prosecution). It's no secret that Abu Zubaydah has been in US custody since 2002. He can no longer offer any timely actionable intelligence. The despicable "harsh interrogation" techniques employ by the United States are a matter of public record. I can think of no reason why our government will not divulge exactly how torture prevented even one attack.
Like the torture videos, any proof that information gleaned through torture "disrupted al-Qaida attacks" would, for many Americans, justify Bush & Co.'s otherwise unjustifiable actions. No specifics are forthcoming. We are expected to take their word for it.
I for one am not comfortable with that.