Friday, April 24, 2009

It’s Stupid Too

Torture is not only wrong, evidently, it’s stupid too. Every American citizen needs to read this letter in The New York Times from ex-F.B.I. supervisory special agent, Ali Soufan.

”One of the most striking parts of the memos is the false premises on which they are based.“

We supposedly decided to use “enhanced techniques” because normal interrogations weren’t working. But normal interrogations were working.

”We discovered, for example, that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Abu Zubaydah also told us about Jose Padilla, the so-called dirty bomber. “

Mr. Soufan then goes to call the memos outright lies.

”Defenders of these techniques have claimed that they got Abu Zubaydah to give up information leading to the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a top aide to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Mr. Padilla. This is false. “

Does anybody remember the fallout from 9/11 ? That the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing ? That if the various agencies in the government had been talking to each other we might have discovered the plot in time to stop it ?

”One of the worst consequences of the use of these harsh techniques was that it reintroduced the so-called Chinese wall between the C.I.A. and F.B.I., similar to the communications obstacles that prevented us from working together to stop the 9/11 attacks. “

The F.B.I. wasn’t going to break the law, so in steps the C.I.A. But even the C.I.A. has its limits.

” (It’s worth noting that when reading between the lines of the newly released memos, it seems clear that it was contractors, not C.I.A. officers, who requested the use of these techniques.)“

I really have to wonder if that hits you the way it hits me. “Contractors” has almost become a dirty word to me. I realize that it isn’t wholly fair, but there you have it. From the merely venal to outright evil, various “contractors” keep showing up on the wrong side of various issues. Remember the janitors at Wal-Mart ? The Flight Service Station fiasco ? Blackwater ? Contractors.

Don Brown
April 24, 2009

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