Interrogations produced significant info
President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.I don't believe Admiral Blair's spokeswoman. It seems pretty clear the material was cut because it was inconsistent with the message the Obama team was trying to present about the memos. It made it more difficult for the President to do his moral preening on the issue.
“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.
Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.
Admiral Blair’s assessment that the interrogation methods did produce important information was deleted from a condensed version of his memo released to the media last Thursday. Also deleted was a line in which he empathized with his predecessors who originally approved some of the harsh tactics after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“I like to think I would not have approved those methods in the past,” he wrote, “but I do not fault those who made the decisions at that time, and I will absolutely defend those who carried out the interrogations within the orders they were given.”
A spokeswoman for Admiral Blair said the lines were cut in the normal editing process of shortening an internal memo into a media statement.
The thing to do now is to release the information that was discovered through the interrogations and let us all decide whether the effort was productive and saved lives. I somehow doubt that Obama will have the courage to do so. I think the production would also undermine the arguments of those who want to prosecute some lawyers for their legal opinions on the subject.
CNS News also reports that:
The Central Intelligence Agency told CNSNews.com today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) -- including the use of waterboarding -- caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles.Obama's story on releasing the memos is not holding up well at this point. I think this is going to be an issue that will work against the Democrats in future elections.
Doug Ross also has a round up of significant information from the interrogations.