Monday, August 31, 2009
# Posted 11:00 AM by Ariel David Adesnik
These [accounts] provide previously unpublicized details about the transformation of the man known to U.S. officials as KSM from an avowed and truculent enemy of the United States into what the CIA called its "preeminent source" on al-Qaeda. This reversal occurred after Mohammed was subjected to simulated drowning and prolonged sleep deprivation, among other harsh interrogation techniques.I am anti-torture and, like John McCain, I think the Bush administration made a lot of bad calls on the subjects of interrogation and detention. But many other critics have assumed there is no real debate to be had because the alleged benefits of harsh interrogation are just a delusion conjured up by Cheney & Co. to defend the indefensible.
That is why this article in the Post is so unusual. It tells us that the tradeoffs between liberty and security are real. Of course, that point is hardly original. Yet few mainstream publications have granted that the actions taken by the Bush administration reflected a serious, evidence-based evaluation of how best to satisfy our needs for both liberty and security.
There is still plenty of room to argue that those actions were wrong. But it is no longer sufficient to dismiss them with contempt and assume that the debate ends there.
Cross-posted at Conventional Folly (1) opinions -- Add your opinion
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