In this sequence from today's torture testimony Sen. Whitehouse asked FBI Agent Ali Soufan to confirm various public statements justifying the use of "Enhanced Interrogation" techniques on Abu Zubaydah.
Soufan: In my opinion, the President was told "half truth"..
Soufan confirms the Bush claim that Zubaydah was initially reluctant to cooperate when he was first captured, but it wasn't harsh tactics that changed his mind - it was Soufan who had worked hard to gain Zubaydah's trust.
Despite the claims of Bush, Cheney and their army of syncophants - the truth is that Abu Zubaydah did cooperate and provide valuable information before harsh techniques were employed. He gave up several members of the Saudi Royal family with connections to Al Qaeda, he even confirmed the ID of KSM.
When they used harsh tactics behind his back, Zubaydah completely shutdown, until Soufan was able to win his trust again - (that's when he gave up Padilla). Then Soufan was pulled from the investigation and the CiA consultants took over and waterboarded him. They got nothing worthwhile after that.
From Jesselyn Radack Live Blog.
11:31 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: Whitehouse asks about interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and learning actionable information, including identification of Kalid S Mohammed as 911 mastermind. Then torture produced nothing. Then another approach of legal intelligent methods produced identity of Jose Padilla. Then again torture produced nothing. And once again Soufan's team was brought back in, but "contractor" insisted on torture and Soufan protested "borderline torture." At that point FBI Director Mueller asked team to cease participating. (This is an exchange between Whitehouse and Soufan, with Soufan affirming and adding to Whitehouse's points.) Soufan also confirms that Bush's public account of the interrogation was not in line with the facts.
Soufan completely blows CHENEY'S claims away, and disproved all this noise from Liz Cheney and Karl Rove.
I'm now watching MSNBC and the GOP shills are calling Soufan a "disgrunted ex-employee" and that even if harsh interrogation didn't work on Zubaydah, it must of have on "someone". They continue to claim "waterboarding saved hundreds of thousands of lives" - just like Lindsey Graham during the hearing. Oy!!
11:37 Senator Lindsay Graham is the lone Republican here, and in fact Whitehouse is the only Democrat still here. But the room is still packed with standing in the back and people STILL waiting in the hallway to get in. Graham claims, based on nothing, that OTHER interrogations using torture DID produce some good information. (Prove it, buddy. And then explain how you know legal methods couldn't have done the same. And then explain how you're justified in violating the law and how you deal with the recruting tool you've produced for terrorists and the ways you've weakend the State Department in now discouraging crimes by other nations.)
11:40 Graham asks Addicott to confirm that intelligence is central to this war, and he agrees and says that a police force could do the non-intelligence part of it. Graham then goes on to point out (admit) that other nations view terrorist acts as crimes rather than war. Graham intends this to avoid the Geneva Conventions, but he's also just delegitimized the invasion of Afghanistan without realizing it.
11:43 Whitehouse recounting contrast of results in Abu Zubaydah interrogations some more, comparing trained experienced FBI agents with amateurish contractors -- Whitehouse says FBI v CIA is not the right comparison, that in fact CIA professionals were with Souffan and agreed with him at the field level as opposed to the private contractors. Souffan agrees and says the chief forensic psychologist for the CIA and their top interrogator agreed with him and opposed the torture, that the psychologist left even before Souffan did.
On the issue of whether Cheney is correct about information coming from other detainees such as KSM - this has already been debunked. The Library Tower plot was foiled a year before KSM was even captured, so waterboarding him saved people who apparently had already been saved
Here's a good nugget: Sen Feingold has seen the "Holy Grail" memos and says there just Pyrite!
Feingold: let me be clear this so-called "enhanced interrogation" program was illegal. Nothing that I have seen, including the two memos referenced this weekend by Vice President Cheney, indicates taht the torture technique authorized by the last administration were neccessary. The former Vice President is misleading the American people when he says otherwise.
As Cenk Uyger likes to say -- Elbow from the SKYYYYYYYY!!! BOOMM!!