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Friday, December 09, 2005

Rendition and torture work

W took office (and I mean TOOK) dreaming of and planning a war in Iraq, and the use of extraordinary rendition and torture apparently helped him achieve his goal. From the NY Times:
The Bush administration based a crucial prewar assertion about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda on detailed statements made by a prisoner while in Egyptian custody who later said he had fabricated them to escape harsh treatment, according to current and former government officials.

The officials said the captive, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, provided his most specific and elaborate accounts about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda only after he was secretly handed over to Egypt by the United States in January 2002, in a process known as rendition.

The new disclosure provides the first public evidence that bad intelligence on Iraq may have resulted partly from the administration's heavy reliance on third countries to carry out interrogations of Qaeda members and others detained as part of American counterterrorism efforts. The Bush administration used Mr. Libi's accounts as the basis for its prewar claims, now discredited, that ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda included training in explosives and chemical weapons.
As a method of obtaining accurate information, torture sucks, likely working only in the realms of movies and TV. But as a means of hearing what you want to hear, and especially as a method of spreading terror, it works all too well.

This story also fits in with my post yesterday about the al Qaeda member fingering his former professor because of a bad grade. If there was anyone in the world who had as big a beef with Saddam as aWol did, it was al Qaeda. When it came to Iraq, Bush and Osama were allies. Implicating Saddam likely not only got some of the torture to stop, but served AQ's goals as well. It was win-win! Only Iraq, the US, and the rest of the world outside of al Qaeda and the Bush administration (or do I repeat myself?) suffered because of it.