“Torture didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information”

Today’s quote of the day is my attempt to thwart a wrongheaded meme. It is terror variant of the CRA argument.

Did torture help find OBL? From the CIA:

“Torture [at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp] didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information. Everyone [at the CIA] was deeply concerned and most felt it was un-American and did not work.”

Glenn L. Carle, a retired C.I.A. officer who oversaw the interrogation of a high-level detainee in 2002

What about a torture derived smoking gun? From the NSA:

“The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003. It took years of collection and analysis from many different sources to develop the case that enabled us to identify this compound, and reach a judgment that Bin Laden was likely to be living there.”

Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council.

Are you telling me that waterboarding someone 5 or 10 times is not going to get any good info out of them?

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times — repeatedly misled interrogators about the courier’s identity.

Why does getting this right matter? Why is it so important to deal with reality and not some ideology not based on real information, data, and human behavior?

Creating a false premise as to a cause or major factor in a societal event ultimately leads to the wrong policy decisions being made on the basis of bad information.

Thinking that torture is wrong is not a liberal or conservative value — it is an American value.

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