Thursday, April 23, 2009


A simple answer to a simple question:

It has been known for years that torture is useless as a technique for intelligence gathering. Subjects will say anything to make it stop. All it is good for is extracting false confessions. So why would the Bush Administration engage in torture?

Because false confessions were not just an unfortunate side effect of the torture; they were the point of the torture.

Update: Frank Rich goes there:

Five years after the Abu Ghraib revelations, we must acknowledge that our government methodically authorized torture and lied about it. But we also must contemplate the possibility that it did so not just out of a sincere, if criminally misguided, desire to “protect” us but also to promote an unnecessary and catastrophic war. Instead of saving us from “another 9/11,” torture was a tool in the campaign to falsify and exploit 9/11 so that fearful Americans would be bamboozled into a mission that had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. The lying about Iraq remains the original sin from which flows much of the Bush White House’s illegality.


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