From Senate testimony that occurred today:
A former federal agent who was involved in the interrogation of terrorism suspects said in congressional testimony Wednesday that the harsh techniques used by the Bush administration were ineffective and unreliable.
Ali Soufan told a Senate judicial committee that al-Qaeda operatives were trained to resist the harsh methods, including waterboarding, and argued that conventional interrogations were much more reliable in extracting information.
'I strongly believe that it is a mistake to use what has become known as enhanced interrogation techniques,' said Soufan, who was a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 'A major problem with it is it is ineffective. Al-Qaeda are trained to resist torture.'
Soufan was involved in the questioning of Abu Zubaydah, an alleged top al-Qaeda operative captured in 2002 and still held at the US military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The CIA has acknowledged waterboarding Zubaydah, and memos released last month by the White House said the technique was used on him dozens of times.
Soufan said that he and other agents were able to gain useful information of Zubaydah through conventional interrogations, but when the CIA began waterboarding, Zubaydah stopped talking.
Dick Cheney wanted the effectiveness of torture to be publicized - well - here it is.
Whether it was legal or illegal will continue to be debated. In either case, it wasn't effective.
And Bush and Cheney lied when they said it was effective. Bush said it was effective and cited Zubaydah as an example. The man who was there said no, Bush lied.
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