Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And we have a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in buying

First the accusations, then the denials, now the "cover":

The Bush administration announced yesterday that it intends to bring capital murder charges against half a dozen men allegedly linked to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, based partly on information the men disclosed to FBI and military questioners without the use of coercive interrogation tactics.

The admissions made by the men -- who were given food whenever they were hungry as well as Starbucks coffee at the Defense Department's Guantanamo Bay prison -- played a key role in the government's decision to proceed with the prosecutions, military and law enforcement officials said.

FBI and military interrogators who began work with the suspects in late 2006 called themselves the "Clean Team," and set as their goal collecting of virtually the same information the CIA had obtained from five of the six through duress at secret prisons.
And, of course, it was all voluntarily offered information:

"They went in and said that they'd love to talk to them, that they knew what the men had been through, and that none of that stuff was going to be done to them," said one official familiar with the program who spoke anonymously because of its secrecy. "It was made very clear to them that they were in a very different environment, that they were not with the CIA anymore. There was an extensive period of making sure they understood it had to be voluntary on their part."
Would they have talked without torture? We'll never know, as the article notes. Were they sure to give up the same stories because they didn't trust their interrogators not to turn them over to the torturers again if there was a question which story was true? Funny, the article doesn't ask that question.

After all, they were given Starbucks coffee when they asked for it. Who would lie when you've gone from being waterboarded to being given lattes? Clearly, now, the torture doesn't taint the confessions, right?

No such niceties observed in getting information for the 9/11 Commission, by the way:

The NBC News analysis shows that more than one quarter of all footnotes in the 9/11 Report refer to CIA interrogations of al-Qaida operatives who were subjected to the now-controversial interrogation techniques. In fact, information derived from the interrogations is central to the Report’s most critical chapters, those on the planning and execution of the attacks. The analysis also shows - and agency and commission staffers concur - there was a separate, second round of interrogations in early 2004, done specifically to answer new questions from the Commission.
Yeah, our hands are clean. Washed 'em in premium coffee, we did!

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