Anything’s possible, Part Two

On Saturday, the Washington Post wrote a revealing piece about the CIA Inspector General’s 2004 report on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorist detainees. The IG had this to say about Khalid Sheik Mohammad:

KSM, an accomplished resistor, provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard, and analysis of that information revealed that much of it was outdated, inaccurate or incomplete.

After waterboarding broke his resistance, however, KSM became the CIA’s pre-eminent source of good information about al Qaeda, according to the IG’s report.
The Post paid lip service to the standard liberal “anything’s possible” rejoinder, stating: “The debate over the effectiveness of subjecting detainees to psychological and physical pressure is in some ways irresolvable, because it is impossible to know whether less coercive methods would have achieved the same result.” But the Post added:

[F]or defenders of waterboarding, the evidence is clear: Mohammed cooperated, and to an extraordinary extent, only when his spirit was broken in the month after his capture March 1, 2003, as the inspector general’s report and other documents released this week indicate.

The Post did not dispute this evidence.
The Post also cited a CIA official with knowledge of the KSM interrogation and others who said:

Once the harsher techniques were used on [detainees], they could be viewed as having done their duty to Islam or their cause, and their religious principles would ask no more of them; after that point, they became compliant.

If this is true, then the Obama administration policies virtually guarantee that devout and committed Muslim terrorists will never tell us anything useful. For it’s difficult to imagine that enduring the techniques approved by the White House would cause such Muslims to believe they had done their duty. The use of these kinds of techniques certainly didn’t cause KSM to hold this transformative belief.


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