Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Torture Me!

As anyone who follows this business even marginally--and since it reflects on our humanity, everyone should follow it more closely than that--a former CIA operative and interrogator, John Kiriakou, argued in the Washington Post and then on the rounds of talk shows, that the torture of Abu Zubaydah produced information that was used to thwart terrior attacks but that torture was nonetheless wrong. On the face of it, the claim is so contradictory as to be rendered meaningless--in other words, this is not an issue one can split both ways. But as the Post's David Froomkin points, Kiriakou, like every other Bushy who makes this argument fails to offer a bit of evidence in the form who-what-when-where? to prove a thing. The destroyed tapes of Zubaydah's torture probably would have provided information on this count that could have been corroborated. Was destruction of the tapes mandated in part by the utter absence of such information? Rather, the tapes showed torture and brutality carried out for no purpose that accomplished nothing positive.

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