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Hayden Defends Torture But Doesn't Use It Anymore

Waterboarding Still setting up the West Coast office out here and busy as hell prepping for the inauguration next week so post count is down, but I had to weigh in on this nonsense:

CIA Director Michael Hayden strenuously defended the effectiveness of the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques today. He said the techniques--specifically waterboarding--resulted in valuable information but then said the CIA but that the CIA restricted use to only a few detainees and hasn't used the harshest of the options since 2003.

"I am convinced that the program got the maximum amount of information, particularly out of that first generation of detainees. The Abu Zubaydahs, the Khalid Sheik Muhammeds," Hayden said referring to top al-Qaida operatives who were detained and questioned with harsh techniques. "I just can't conceive of any other way, given their character, given their commitment to what it is they do."

Whether waterboarding is torture is "an uninteresting question for the CIA," Hayden told reporters at CIA headquarters Thursday. "We don't do that. We haven't done it since March 2003, and we have no intent to do it."

So, more than five years later we have "high value" detainees held in an offshore detention center and, according to Hayden, we have interrogation techniques that yield valuable information but we no longer use that technique? Am I the only one who smells bullshit?

Regardless of effectiveness (and there are multitude reports and books from interrogators who refute that premise) torture is wrong and illegal. Hayden claims that the US no longer engages in those tactics, which leads me to believe that he knows it's wrong and illegal too, but now the effectiveness has to be questioned since we know that morality goes out the window in the face of results for this gang. So what gives?

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Comments

Not to pick nits, but Hayden said, "maximum amount of information," as opposed to valuable information. Torture, of course, is notorious for forcing prisoners to say virtually anything to make the pain stop - whether or not anything they say is useful is another matter entirely.

Hayden probably just wishes he was Jack Bauer.

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