From this Sunday's Washington Post, five myths about torture:
5 Myths About Torture, by Darius Rejali, Commentary, Washington Post: So the CIA did indeed torture Abu Zubaida, the first al-Qaeda terrorist suspect to be waterboarded. So says John Kiriakou, the first former CIA employee directly involved in the questioning of "high-value" al-Qaeda detainees to speak publicly. He minced no words last week in calling the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques" what they are.
But did they work? Torture's defenders, including the wannabe tough guys who write Fox's "24," insist that the rough stuff gets results. "It was like flipping a switch," said Kiriakou about Abu Zubaida's response to being waterboarded. But the al-Qaeda operative's confessions -- descriptions of fantastic plots from a man whom journalist Ron Suskind has reported was mentally ill -- probably didn't give the CIA any actionable intelligence. Of course, we may never know the whole truth, since the CIA destroyed the videotapes of Abu Zubaida's interrogation. But here are some other myths that are bound to come up as the debate over torture rages on. ... [...continue...]
Until it actually happened, I never imagined having this debate, I never imagined that the U.S. would be close enough to the line that there would ever be any question whatsoever about whether we torture or not. I still hardly believe that we do, or don't want to believe it. We're supposed to be the good guys.