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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, April 18, 2009

And Zubaydah had already talked.....

NYTimes. The whole article is worth a read.
The first use of waterboarding and other rough treatment against a prisoner from Al Qaeda was ordered by senior Central Intelligence Agency officials despite the belief of interrogators that the prisoner had already told them all he knew, according to former intelligence officials and a footnote in a newly released legal memorandum.

The escalation to especially brutal interrogation tactics against the prisoner, Abu Zubaydah, including confining him in boxes and slamming him against the wall, was ordered by officials at C.I.A. headquarters based on a highly inflated assessment of his importance, interviews and a review of newly released documents show.

Abu Zubaydah had provided much valuable information under less severe treatment, and the harsher handling produced no breakthroughs....

And, as always, put this "leak" in context. The Obama people are taking heat from the right and the past administration over the torture memos release, and this, "he was tortured needlessly/he was tortured because they were wrong about who he was" story just drops out of the sky.

It's a warning shot of sorts saying "we control the secrets now."