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No Big Surprise: Torture Yields Bogus Info

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Posted on Jun 16, 2009

New declassified information reveals that the CIA’s torture programs produced false information. September 11th mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed admitted he made up stories under torture, refuting a long-standing and still-used Bush administration argument that harsh interrogation yields highly valuable information. Rachel Maddow provides the details.


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By Marshall, June 18, 2009 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

The contention that torture yields bogus info is patently absurd.

Interrogators can easily employ questioning techniques whereby they also ask questions to which they already have the correct answers.  The detainee’s answers to these questions establish their level of credibility since the detainee doesn’t know which questions the interrogator already has answers for.

Traditional interrogation techniques provide little incentive for truthful answers from those trained or not interested in revealing information because they have little to lose.  Severe discomfort (from, say, water boarding) is far more likely to induce correct answers since interrogators hold the cards with regard to the questioning.

So attacking the effectiveness of torture is ridiculous… attacking its morality makes far more sense, but Rachel Maddow appears to lack the smarts to figure that out.

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By blogdog, June 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment,-KSM-may-be-Dead links back to Asia Times story

Here’s a big list of referenced stories - haven’t the time to look into them just now

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By Russian Paul, June 18, 2009 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

blodog - I’ve seen you posting that link before, saying that KSM is dead. Do you have any other links supporting that theory, perhaps a little more recent?

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By CJ, June 17, 2009 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

Whether or not torture is morally acceptable isn’t dependent on truthfulness of info given over by way of torture. Which is immoral from outset. (But which—worth noting—often does, in fact, result in truthful info given over). Again with a canard. Is this Maddow or Dershowitz? Doesn’t matter as both of same worldview/mind.

Both lost liberal causes forever wrong. Forever missing the point. Tonight she’s on about Ahmadinejad probably having lost election. Not likely, as Ritter notes here.

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By Marshall, June 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Two invalidating flaws in Rachel’s logic:

1) She doesn’t know that KSM isn’t lying in these transcripts - claiming that he lied earlier.  And by her logic if KSM did any lying under torture, why would he have any qualms about lying now?

2) Even if KSM were telling the truth (about lying), this doesn’t invalidate enhanced techniques in general.  That can only be done by considering all the data we have for all the cases of its use.

Rachel is jumping to a simplistic conclusion and she certainly doesn’t know whether these techniques work or not.

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By richard east, June 17, 2009 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

“Why won’t people wake up even when the alarm clock is going off?”

-I’ve been wondering the same thing for years… apparently we live in a country of snooze-setters.

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By blogdog, June 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

RE: <i>Isn’t part of the official “conspiracy” theory based on the confessions of KSM? Doesn’t this throw everything into question? Why won’t people wake up even when the alarm clock is going off?>/i>

Alarm clocks have been going even decades before the 9/11 coup - virtually all the media, however, has its role to play in the rolling psy-op that is the Global War Of Terror - some speculate the whole Air America cadre of Left-lib. talkers are a legion of rich assets serving as pressure relief for citizen anger & fuel the Left/Right distraction - more likely they’re useful tools or in some cases unwitting useful fools (e.g. Al Franken), though most probably know the score and are just toeing the line - Mike Maloy was virtually blackballed off the Left-lib. talk radio for over a year, and for what?  For hosting Webster Tarpley, who expounded for 2 hours on his book: “911 Synthetic Terror, Made in USA” - view a lecture online - 1 hr. - jam-packed -

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By TheTruthWillStoptheTorture, June 17, 2009 at 10:35 am Link to this comment
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Isn’t part of the official “conspiracy” theory based on the confessions of KSM? Doesn’t this throw everything into question? Why won’t people wake up even when the alarm clock is going off?

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By Jim Yell, June 17, 2009 at 6:45 am Link to this comment
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It was Bush’s responsibility to factor in the very real likelyhood that the people he appointed to government, would know what “facts” he was looking for in all of his convoluted law breaking and disrespect for the American People.

Torture can not be changed by the pronouncements of dillusional people such as Bush, nor by the prounouncements of criminal minds such as Cheney. Torture is not legal and what they did was not legal and remains not legal. The only question is are we going to take these people to trial to answer for their crimes. Apparently not.

Remember this that we held for years many people who were just where they were supposed to be at the time we intruded into their countries. They were swept up without any real standard for arresting them and then to keep America thinking that their enemies were legion, the innocent were kept with the few actual guilty, just for political expediency.

Now as we decide what to do with these non terroists we find some have been made radicals by the extreme abuse they have suffered at the hands of Bush/Cheney. We have all been tared with the same brush, the crimes of Bush/Cheney are seen as the crimes of Americans in General. To let these gangster get away with what they did (Bush/Cheney) is to guarantee more abuse and abuse to American Citizens. It is a sad business.

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By bcc, June 16, 2009 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Again this is a bad argument against torture. It implies that development of torture techniques that work would make it legitimate. Bump up the severity and cross reference the information obtained and suddenly its OK to torture? I like Rachael and Keith but I wish they need to put much more focus on the most important issues (e.g. health care reform and the economy) rather than the latest partisan bickering such as the Palin-Letterman waste of airspace or this contrived point.

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By blogdog, June 16, 2009 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Rachel Maddow: get a clue - Since 2002, KSM is dead!

Like many at Gitmo and elsewhere, he is a patsy!

South Asia - Oct 30, 2002
A chilling inheritance of terror
By Syed Saleem Shahzad

Now it has emerged that Kuwaiti national Khalid Shaikh Mohammed did indeed perish in the raid, but his wife and child were taken from the apartment and handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in whose hands they remain. Arab woman and a child were taken to an ISI safe house, where they identified the Shaikh Mohammed’s body as their husband and father. The body was kept in a private NGO mortuary for 20 days before being buried, under the surveillance of the FBI, in a graveyard in the central district of Karachi.

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