"I'll put it to you this way: you give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders."
-- Jesse Ventura
As Jed Lewison reported here a while back, we now know that they tortured to justify Iraq war.
We also know that they destroyed dozens of tapes that were made documenting the torture.
We also know, as Jesse Ventura makes crystal clear in his statement above, that torture gives you bogus information.
But something that is quite little-known is that a great deal of the 9/11 Commission's report was based on information obtained through torture.
So just how accurate is the 9/11 Commission report?
Here's the story I just came across on Rawstory.com:
"More than one-quarter of all footnotes in the 9/11 Report refer to CIA interrogations of al Qaeda operatives subjected to the now-controversial interrogation techniques," writes former NBC producer Robert Windrem in The Daily Beast. "In fact, information derived from the interrogations was central to the 9/11 Report’s most critical chapters, those on the planning and execution of the attacks."
Again, this quote from the article itself reveals that -- gosh, what a surprise -- Dick Cheney is behind this:
*Two U.S. intelligence officers confirm that Vice President Cheney’s office suggested waterboarding an Iraqi prisoner, a former intelligence official for Saddam Hussein, who was suspected to have knowledge of a Saddam-al Qaeda connection.
*The former chief of the Iraq Survey Group, Charles Duelfer, in charge of interrogations, tells The Daily Beast that he considered the request reprehensible.
*Much of the information in the report of the 9/11 Commission was provided through more than 30 sessions of torture of detainees.
And what is really surprising is that NBC reported on this over a year ago, in January of 2008:
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.
9/11 Commission staffers say they "guessed" but did not know for certain that harsh techniques had been used, and they were concerned that the techniques had affected the operatives’ credibility. At least four of the operatives whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators critical information as a way to stop being "tortured." The claims came during their hearings last spring at the U.S. military facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
I guess that's what happens when you investigate the worst disaster in U.S. history on a shoe-string budget. Far more money was spent investigating Monica Lewinsky's stained blue dress than was spent on a 9/11 investigation. And Bush resisted having any investigation at all, and in fact personally asked Tom Daschle to limit the investigation.
What's also extremely disturbing is that the CIA never told the Commission of the existence of videotapes made of the torture sessions, tapes which were later destroyed by the CIA:
9/11 Commission members Thomas Kean and Lee H. Hamilton wrote that although US President George W. Bush had ordered all executive branch agencies to cooperate with the probe, "recent revelations that the CIA destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot."
"Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation."
They continued: "There could have been absolutely no doubt in the mind of anyone at the CIA — or the White House — of the commission’s interest in any and all information related to Qaeda detainees involved in the 9/11 plot.
"Yet no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations," Kean and Hamilton wrote.
The CIA has since revealed that in 2005 it destroyed videotapes of prisoners being tortured.
So there you have it, just one more way in which torture by the United States did far more harm than any possible good, in fact there simply IS no "possible good" that can come from it.