But senior agency officials, still persuaded, as they had told President George W. Bush and his staff, that he was an important Qaeda leader, insisted that he must know more.So, bottom line is that when captured, the game of telephone between the guys in the field and
"You tell him" ... "I'm not gonna tell him, YOU do it"
They just couldn't bring themselves to fess up to their mistake. As a result,
Cheney's festering fingerprints are all over these memos.
“You get a ton of information, but headquarters says, ‘There must be more,’ ” recalled one intelligence officer who was involved in the case. As described in the footnote to the memo, the use of repeated waterboarding against Abu Zubaydah was ordered “at the direction of C.I.A. headquarters,” and officials were dispatched from headquarters “to watch the last waterboard session.”I think I am going to be sick. They watched!
Earlier in the article, we had this:
Abu Zubaydah had provided much valuable information under less severe treatment, and the harsher handling produced no breakthroughs, according to one former intelligence official with direct knowledge of the case. Instead, watching his torment caused great distress to his captors, the official said.The article concludes with:
Even for those who believed that brutal treatment could produce results, the official said, “seeing these depths of human misery and degradation has a traumatic effect.”
Since 2002, the C.I.A. has downgraded its assessment of Abu Zubaydah’s significance, while continuing to call his revelations important.For the record, (and for Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer) Abu Zubaydah gave up what little useful information before he was tortured, and the guys on the ground reported that up the chain of command.
In an interview, an intelligence officer said that the current view was that Abu Zubaydah was “an important terrorist facilitator” who disclosed “essential raw material for successful counterterrorist action.”
His interrogation “made it possible for the United States to chip away at Al Qaeda, link by link, disrupting its operations and saving lives,” the intelligence officer said.
Then, after proving to be demonstrably futile in terms of yielding any useful information beyond that which traditional and legal interrogation means yielded, they instituted a program of torture. This is beyond sick. This is beyond evil. They need to be looking for someone who pulled the wings off of bugs and killed the neighbor's pet as a child.
This is Hannibal Lecter evil, and it must never be tolerated again. Those who authorized and directed these war crimes must be brought before the court of justice and world opinion and held to account.