Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The guy who gave great info under torture?

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Well, he didn’t. But he did talk a lot, telling the CIA whatever he could think of to make them quit. Here’s the story.

Al-Qaeda captive Abu Zubaida, whose interrogation videotapes were destroyed by the CIA, remains the subject of a dispute between FBI and CIA officials over his significance as a terrorism suspect and whether his most important revelations came from traditional interrogations or from torture.

While CIA officials have described him as an important insider whose disclosures under intense pressure saved lives, some FBI agents and analysts say he is largely a loudmouthed and mentally troubled hotelier whose credibility dropped as the CIA subjected him to a simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding and to other “enhanced interrogation” measures.

The question of whether Abu Zubaida — whose real name is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein — was an unstable source who provided limited intelligence under gentle questioning, or a hardened terrorist who cracked under extremely harsh measures, goes to the heart of the current Washington debate over coercive interrogations and torture.

The House has approved legislation that would require U.S. intelligence agencies to follow Army rules adopted last year that explicitly forbid waterboarding and other harsh measures, but it has stalled in the Senate under a veto threat by President Bush.

A public assessment of Abu Zubaida’s case has been complicated by the newly revealed destruction of the videotaped record of his questioning, according to congressional sources. Intelligence officials say no verbatim transcripts were made, although classified daily summaries were prepared.

Bush has sided publicly with the CIA’s version of events. “We knew that Zubaida had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking,” Bush said in September 2006. “And so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures,” which the president said prompted Abu Zubaida to disclose information leading to the capture of Sept. 11, 2001, plotter Ramzi Binalshibh.

But former FBI officials privy to details of the case continue to dispute the CIA’s account of the effectiveness of the harsh measures, making the record of Abu Zubaida’s interrogation hard for outsiders to assess.

Much more at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

18 December 2007 at 11:03 am

Posted in Bush Administration, GOP, Government

Tagged with ,

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