“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.The New York Times reports that Blair's evaluation of interrogation results was "deleted" from a version of his memo released last week. The administration is releasing deceptive information regarding national security for political purposes. What a surprise. Here's Admiral Blair's attempt at damage control,
"The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means,”No, there isn't any way to know. But generally when methods produce success, we tend to continue using them. But now we can't do that, because we can't violate terrorist "rights." We'll just have to take our chances with national security so all the people who don't want the CIA to get its hands dirty can feel morally superior. Blair also argues,
“The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security."
That's quite an assertion. But let's pretend it's true, and Admiral Blair's statement isn't just another deception that leaves out more than it says. How about we just do a better job of keeping our interrogations secret next time, instead of abandoning methods that worked? No one should be at all surprised that these interrogation methods produced some useful intelligence -- despite the ridiculous propaganda spouted by those who pretend torture can't work. Given the political situation, it is quite likely that they generated even more good information than Admiral Blair is willing to admit. Bush did many things wrong, but authorizing waterboarding and other torture of Al Qaeda leaders wasn't one of them. Hopefully Obama will have the leadership to make the same decision if necessary to protect the country, despite his stated positions.