In order to defend the indefensible, conservatives are turning to their old standby: lying.
Right now, some of them are claiming that, because the United States waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a terrorist attack on L.A.’s Library Tower was thwarted.
Well, except for the fact that Bush administration documents claim that particular plot was thwarted in 2002, and KSM wasn’t apprehended by the United States until 2003.
So, we waterboarded KSM 183 times and what did we get? Useless intelligence on a terror plot that we had already thwarted.
Totally worth it, right?
UPDATE: And for those conservatives out there who say waterboarding isn’t torture–Christopher Hitchens had himself waterboarded, and he says it is. Until I see any of you guys strapped down with former Special Forces members pouring water down your throat, I’m going to trust his word over yours.
UPDATE II: Also, this:
One of the worst consequences of the use of these harsh techniques was that it reintroduced the so-called Chinese wall between the C.I.A. and F.B.I., similar to the communications obstacles that prevented us from working together to stop the 9/11 attacks. Because the bureau would not employ these problematic techniques, our agents who knew the most about the terrorists could have no part in the investigation. An F.B.I. colleague of mine who knew more about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed than anyone in the government was not allowed to speak to him.
So, instead of preventing another 9/11, torture may actually be contributing to the next 9/11.
Heckuva job and all that.