Patterico's Pontifications


The Washington Post and Abu Zubaydah

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:42 am

Comments in some recent posts mention a piece in the Washington Post claiming that the harsh interrogation of Abu Zubaida did not foil any significant al Qaeda plots.

Marc Thiessen calls the piece “uninformed or intentionally misleading,” and catalogs the intelligence resulting from the Abu Zubaida interrogations. RTWT.

49 Responses to “The Washington Post and Abu Zubaydah”

  1. It’s getting hard to decide which anonymous government officials and which unrevealed documents to believe when they reach completely opposite conclusions.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  2. It’s getting hard to decide which anonymous government officials and which unrevealed documents to believe when they reach completely opposite conclusions.

    That’s because they’re LIES! ALL LIES!!!1!!!11!!!!eleventy!!11!!

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (5c06a9)

  3. Anonymous Government Officials…no accountability, no corroboration. Yeah, I’m not trusting them.

    Unrevealed documents…whatever.

    Vivian Louise (c0f830)

  4. You mean, Padilla was a “hardened terrorist.” Caught at airport with all that “contraband” on him. I bet that was an easy conviction, eh Marc? Oh, wait, Padilla was never convicted of any terrorist plot, despite “email addresses,” seed money, “and cell phones from KSM”? How is that possible, except that Mrac’s stories only happended in his head?

    As noted in Suskind’s book and the report from the International Red Cross, these people would say anything to stop from getting doused with cold water, thrown repeatedly into walls, and kept in tiny locked boxes and stress positions.

    Torture doesn’t work and never has. As much false information is revealed as real info and, since one doesn’t know which is which, resources are wasted on leads that aren’t leads.

    At some point, the torturee is worthless, since he’s told everything he knows and everything he could make up. In the Soviet Union and Argentina and other torturing places, the offender is just killed. In the gray area where we exist (where the right wing is a supporter of torture as long as it’s called “harsh interrogation” and the left wing wants justice for both torturer and torturee), we can’t convict them and they live in a legal limbo.

    As extra credit, maybe we can figure how much “intelligence” was lost when the CIA in a CYA operation known us “dumb plan, 2008″ destroyed 92 tapes. “National Security” seems to be less of a priority than evading discovery for the CIA. How brave.

    Heckuva job, Georgie.

    timb (8f04c0)

  5. What the MSM lie? No, never, they wouldn’t do that, no never…….ROTFLMAO!!!!!

    God Bless George W. Bush and the interrogators who waterboarded those fascist, psycho-religio fanatic monsters some refuse to call terrorists due to their complete ignorance and stupidity and by doing so saved lives!

    J. Raymond Wright (e8d0ca)

  6. At least Marc puts his name behind his claims.

    according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations.

    The sign of QUALITY.

    Techie (9c008e)

  7. Well timb, it was nice while it lasted.

    The United States does not condone torture, not during the William Clinton administration, not during the George W. Bush administration, and not during the Barack Obama administration. No administration supports torture. No party endorses torture. I wish you would acknowledge that, but apparently that is too much to ask.

    Claims of torture are not proof of torture. Calling interrogations torture are not proof of torture. Putting “harsh interrogation” in sneer quotes does not make harsh interrogation torture. The fact is, the article claimed that there was no valid information obtained and that was proven false. That’s what the post is about, isn’t it?

    Equating us with the Soviet Union and Argentina… really? Why not go full-derangement and Godwin yourself? You really don’t have any idea of what the military is like, do you? We do not torture. We punish those who behave dishonorably or criminally. You can repeat the torture-meme another hundred times and it won’t make it true.

    The ICRC takes claims of torture as proof. The destruction of tapes was more about “protect yourself from grandstanding and partisan politicians” than CYA. I haven’t read Suskind’s book, so I don’t know what claims he makes. If he claims that the United States condones or conducts torture, he’s lying. When you claim the United States condones and conducts torture, you’re lying. When you claim to believe what someone else says about the United States condoning or conducting torture, you’re not lying… just being ignorant and partisan.

    Continue being hateful and dishonest if you like. Everybody will go back to treating you with well-deserved scorn and ridicule. You’ve made up your mind about Republicans/conservatives/the GWB administration/whatever, and that’s sad. It just fosters the same behavior from the far-right. How many times have you seen, “Well, they did it the whole time Bush was in office, so now we should do it to them.”? Well, President Bush is no longer in office, never to return. President Obama has kept nearly every previous policy in place up to now (if not all of them, talking about changes is not the same as making changes). Are you going to contend that President Obama condones torture as official United States policy?

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  8. The US tortures thousands of its own citizens on a daily basis. Have you ever had to put your feet in the yellow footprints? That is definitely the alarm that means “here comes the torture.” I mean, forcing people to heft telephone poles while the sand fleas are swarming out of their homes in those telephone poles and devouring the people hefting them is absolutely torture. It should be stopped. And throwing GI cans down the middle of the squadbay at 0500 needs to be stopped, too. That sleep deprivation is torture.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  9. Fortunately, we have Tim, a well known expert on interrogation, to educate us about interrogation techniques and the results.

    Tim, have you ever taken the Limbaugh challenge?

    If you are reading this newspaper, the likelihood is that you agree with the Obama administration’s recent attacks on conservative radio talker Rush Limbaugh. That’s the likelihood; here’s the certainty: You’ve never listened to Rush Limbaugh.

    Hilarious, considering the source. And this:

    You’re not a moderate or you wouldn’t be reading this newspaper. You’re not tolerant of a wide range of views; you are tolerant of a narrow spectrum of variations on your views. And, whatever you claim, you still haven’t listened to Rush Limbaugh.

    Sounds a lot like you, Tim.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  10. Don’t forget push-ups John. And the front-leaning rest is torture (stress-position you know).

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  11. “Don’t forget push-ups John. And the front-leaning rest is torture (stress-position you know).”

    Stashiu3 – No. The allegation is that the techniques “constitute torture,” whatever that means. To me it means they individually don’t fit the definition of torture in international treaties and conventions the U.S. has signed but in some sort of liberal pretzel logic fashion, sort of like reconstituted food, whatever we did to an individual detainee in question, CONSTITUTED torture. I’m not the one picking the word usage so you would have to ask the authors. I’m sure timb and the Washington Post writers have no firm answers.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  12. Heh, I strongly suggest all those leftist pansies spend 13 weeks at Paradise Island down in South Carolina. If they survive those 13 weeks, they’ll have a whole new definition of torture.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  13. Constituted? Reconstituted? The standing joke my unit had was the military had dehydrated water pills. Just add water. I ate so many dehydrated pork patties, dehydrated beef patties, dehydrated fruit salad, dehydrated this, dehydrated that, I thought I was going to become a dehydrated marine, just add water.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  14. Absolutely right daleyrocks. I think you said it perfectly on the other thread. I was riffing on John’s allusion to military training, which is not much different than what they are lumping together as torture. Waterboarding is an accepted training technique and protesters frequently engage in it themselves to “prove” it’s torture (while never sustaining permanent harm… go figure). Yet they pretend these things are the same as drilling into joints, amputating digits and limbs, decapitations, beatings until unconscious, etc…

    IOW, I’m right there with ya. Adding up a bunch of stuff that is not torture to say it “constitutes” torture is BS. Sadly, it’s also typical.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  15. Timmah thinks a much better alternative is giving the poor dears tea and crumpets, while pleading that “we’ll be your bestest friends evah” if they just give us one piece of relevant information in order for our citizens to escape mass annihilation.

    You can’t argue with a person who discusses this subject within the mindset of the typical reader of “Highlights for Children.”

    Dmac (49b16c)

  16. Stash, we just went through a few trolls who were talking out their backsides for political theatre. They didn’t know you at all, yet worked themselves into a fury of personal insult that got at least one of them banned.

    Again, without knowing you at all.

    This is no different. This is all partisan nonsense. I very much doubt that the Obama administration will fully “outlaw” the enhanced interrogation techniques that the Left likes to call “torture” (even though, again as you and others point out, those techniques are often used by the military on their special forces style soldiers as part of their training).

    And when those techniques are retained, and the information comes out, the Left will simple say it is “a nuanced and muscular response to a difficult global problem threatening the lives of many innocents.”

    Nuance is a wonderful thing. It covers hypocrisy quite nicely. Feelings are more important than facts, and the Left hated all things from the Bush administration.

    So we will see. Thus far, the Obama administration hasn’t been carrying out most of its campaign promises. But that is okay…due to nuance.

    Ah, nuance.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  17. Again, Dmac, it will be different if the “torturer” follows instructions from someone with a “D” after their names.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  18. What I would deem torture is the suffering inflicted on Christians around and after the death of Christ. Ex. Simon the Zealot (one of the 12 disciples) was hung upside down in Mesopotamia and sawed in half longitudinally.
    Another Apostle, Saint Bartolomew, was flayed alive (removing the skin from the body while keeping it as intact as possible) and then cruicified upside down on a cross.

    St Agatha was chained, whipped, stretched on a rack and then burnt. During these tortures her breasts were cut off. She was then rolled on hot coals and glass until she expired.

    Of course to liberals we must now protect the sad abused prisoners of Guantanamo and even set them into American communities with taxpayer support.

    aoibhneas (0c6cfc)

  19. EB, I agree that little will change because the policies were reasonable to begin with, just distorted because they hated President Bush. The only controversial one (waterboarding, which I personally don’t believe constitutes torture) has still not been banned by President Obama (as far as I could find out), although AG Holder has said it won’t be used by his department.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  20. aoibhneas – I think I saw some pictures of that kind of stuff from the Folsom Street Fair last year. People seem to be paying good coin for that type of trearment these days. Where’s the beef?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  21. I think a better option would be to force the interrogatees to listen to a continuous playback of a Barney Frank super – expectorant speech in Congress.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  22. Dmac: So long as your type quits claiming my preferred music is torture, I’m good.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  23. 20 has all that sick street fair crap. And lots of really ugly women also on other links. Good to see when you want to be content sans sex.
    One would think Randy Andy Sullivan would deign to display his own power glutes there, pumping away.

    Seriously, the left amuses me. Joos voted en masse for Obamessiah as leftists praise Arafat, Palis in general, the UN and even “martyred” twatcrapweasel Rachel Corrie.

    aoibhneas (0c6cfc)

  24. We are working so hard to eliminate common sense (which is hardly common these days) so that people vote according to their whim. Hence people voting in favor of things that just don’t make sense.

    Feelings, again.

    I don’t have a solution. The Democrats post Civil War made sure that we could never have a test to prove readiness to vote with their racist nonsense. But it troubles me that people can vote in elections who literally cannot identify their two Senators, their Representative, or even their Governor.

    And I’m not wrong about those specific examples. I’m not talking rocket science; I’m talking “Schoolhouse Rocks” level knowledge.

    But BOTH the RNC and DNC like the electorate to ignorant, and vote straight party lines. Bumper sticker thinking.

    To get back to the point of this thread, in a way, just ask your average person to describe what constitutes waterboarding.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  25. aoibhneas, it’s telling that St. Peter wanted to be crucified upside down as he felt he was not worthy to die in the same way Christ did.

    Dana (137151)

  26. Crucifixion upside down is much more merciful than crucifixion upright. The victim dies quickly from asphyxiation and not slowly over days or even weeks from thirst and exposure.

    In any case, it is good that we are not like our ancestors, anymore, in that regard.

    nk (c90ef8)

  27. “Constitutes torture” reminds me of the old saying that many bits of poor evidence does not add up to one bit of good evidence.

    Many unsubstantiated claims of torture is not the same thing as torture, any more than many unsubstantiated bigfoot sightings means there’s a bigfoot.

    Pious Agnostic (b2c3ab)

  28. It’s the seriousness of the accusation, not the veracity, which matters.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  29. So long as your type quits claiming my preferred music is torture, I’m good.

    Eh? Do you prefer Barry Manilow or something along those lines? Or maybe a selection of John Tesch classics? Do tell.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  30. Can’t go wrong with some Manilow or Diamond or Air Supply. Kenny G is pretty good, too, as is Mannheim Steamroller and Blue Man Group.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  31. Mainstream media got you down? Mad as hell and want to let them know? Here’s your chance. This website provides a petition that you can sign and send to your least favorite media outlets and talking heads. It itemizes the problems we see, and it lists the solutions we demand. Feel free to add this link to your own website.

    Be sure to share this petition with family and friends.

    Fight back!

    John (cd5955)

  32. Ahh, traveling around the blogosphere. If your PR man isn’t in jail, sign me up for a slap-chop and a couple shamwows.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  33. John Hitchcock #30 – so have you been into geriatric rock for long ?

    (innocent grin)

    Alasdair (6b086e)

  34. msnbc has a current poll asking people to grade Obama. 48% give him an A and 31% an F, last I looked. So I suppose that means 48% drank the kool-aid and would give him an A evn if we were attacked by wmd or had martial law and our own Politboro?

    aoibhneas (0c6cfc)

  35. You are all just torture loving racist homophobes.

    JD (870a39)

  36. Tickle your ass with a feather?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  37. Eric sent me the link to this story. I think everyone should read that and think twice before engaging trolls on this site. I used to post comments on Washington Monthly when Kevin Drum was running it. Since he left, actually his last few months there, it became impossible to have any sort of debate. Either the comment is deleted or it brings a storm of obscene abuse. On Mother Jones, his new blog, I tried posting comments a couple of times and they never appeared.

    The trolls come here to disrupt the threads and engaging them fits their agenda, not ours. I noticed a concerted attack on Hugh Hewitt’s blog and apparently he has now ended comments. It never worked well with Macs anyway so I hadn’t noticed.

    Feeding trolls is following their game plan.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  38. JD, I denounce your statement.

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (5c06a9)

  39. Eric Blair said:

    We are working so hard to eliminate common sense (which is hardly common these days) so that people vote according to their whim. Hence people voting in favor of things that just don’t make sense.

    Feelings, again.

    Eric: Thank you.

    I’ve posted here on occasion to point out dishonesty, disinformation and other misinformation.

    But, really, what it comes down to is that too many have given up common sense.

    I don’t know how else to put it except say: “Jesus wept.”

    Ag80 (d205da)

  40. Dammit, I wish I had not made that mistake.

    I don’t know how else to put it except to say: “Jesus wept.”

    Ag80 (d205da)

  41. MIke K – I don’t show any link under looks like hypertext in #37. I don’t know whether any others have the same problem. I’ve noticed a few times recently when you’ve embedded links. Nithing was there according to my browser, IE7, just bold blue text. I could just be me, like I said. Anybody else?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  42. daley,

    I use Firefox 3.0.8 and did not find a link at #37 either. However, I was able to follow MikeK’s link at #9.

    Stu707 (7fb2e7)

  43. #27:

    “Crucifixion upside down is much more merciful than crucifixion upright. The victim dies quickly from asphyxiation and not slowly over days or even weeks from thirst and exposure.”

    That’s not how crucifixion kills. The strain on the arms interferes with breathing, the victim can only relieve this by using their legs to take the strain of off the arms. But they can’t lock their legs, so they can’t keep it up, legs relax, stain back on arms. Repeat until the victim is exhausted, then they asphyxiate.

    When the executioners want to speed up the execution, they break the victims legs.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  44. And on that note, top ‘o the day to ya!

    Dmac (49b16c)

  45. Here is the link that Mike K. was discussing:

    It gave me a lot to think about….

    Eric Blair (55f2d9)

  46. Mike K seems to have that problem from time to time. But he’s not the only one.

    If it’s bold blue type that is underlined, it’s a valid link to ‘somewhere.’ If it’s bold blue type that is not underlined, it’s either a broken link or a link I’ve been to already.

    But I always hover over a link I provide, just to make sure it shows the addy I want it to. Those broken links appear to not have any connectivity at all.

    Using Firefox myself.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  47. timb writes: “Torture doesn’t work and never has. As much false information is revealed as real info and, since one doesn’t know which is which, resources are wasted on leads that aren’t leads.

    This is a repetitive theme with timb. And it is completely and utterly false.

    And timb knows it. History is rife with examples of situations where torture “worked”. All timb has to do to maintain his conviction to the contrary is to remain intentionally ignorant.

    As he has.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  48. Feeeellllings. Nothing more than feeeeeeeelllingggggss.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  49. The priceless piece of information that Abu boo gave US Intelligence was that KSM’s codename was, I believe, Mukbar. US Intelligence had been receiving alot of information in the prior four months about the terrorist with that code name but didn’t know who it belonged to. But, Abu, under ‘harsh interrogation’ and not knowing that the US didn’t know who ‘Mukbar’ was, told us it was Khaled Sheikh Mohammad. Thus, by providing this priceless piece of information, Coalition forces were able to capture KSM and to learn dozens more plots and information about AQ operations. The rag may not believe that Abu was important, but many of us sleep better at night because of the information provided by Abu boo, and those whom we captured thanks to him.
    As for Padilla, again the leftards say he was a nothing and a pipe dreamer. However, he met Abu boo after leaving Afghanistan AQ training camps and was escorted to meet KSM in Pakistan and given false documents by KSM/AQ to travel back to the USA. On the night before Padilla left for the USA, KSM and other AQ High Command gave Padilla an honorary dinner. During their meetings, Padilla was supposed to be working on more airline kamikazi operations once back in the USA, and was given $10,000 as a bridge loan for further operations in the USA. So it wasn’t just a dirty bomb that Padilla was involved in, it was also potential airplane plots to destroy more US targets. As for why he hasn’t been tried, try calling up Judge Kennedy on SCOTUS, and his four libtard colleagues for their bungling and micromanaging of national security matters that are way beyond their expertise and authority.

    eaglewingz08 (e40a12)

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