BLOWBACK

Torture Produced No Intelligence?

For all of Dick Cheney's grumblings about the importance of "enhanced interrogation techniques," there have been few, if any, indications that it's actually produced any decent intelligence. Many intelligence experts and torture victims claim that harsh interrogations leads to false confessions and, according to a report in The Washington Post, their criticisms were accurate in the case of Abu Zubaida, an Al Qaeda member whom the Bush administration ordered waterboarded. While officials say the detainee produced useful, though mostly already known, intelligence before being tortured, after harsher interrogations he detailed a variety of terrorist plots that investigations failed to corroborate. In one case, his testimony led to the arrest of Jose Padilla, an American citizen held for more than three years by the military, accused plotting to detonate a WMD. He was never charged over the allegations, which proved dubious despite the spectacle surrounding his arrest.