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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wapo Acknowledges Enhanced Interrogation Techniques Worked

I imagine the writers of the front page Washington Post piece are getting their share of complaining emails from people furious at their article, to which the story admits that the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, became an "asset" after enhanced interrogation techniques were used on him, after traditional methods had failed to extract any information that could save lives.

In 2005 and 2006, the bearded, pudgy man who calls himself the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks discussed a wide variety of subjects, including Greek philosophy and al-Qaeda dogma. In one instance, he scolded a listener for poor note-taking and his inability to recall details of an earlier lecture.

Speaking in English, Mohammed "seemed to relish the opportunity, sometimes for hours on end, to discuss the inner workings of al-Qaeda and the group's plans, ideology and operatives," said one of two sources who described the sessions, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much information about detainee confinement remains classified. "He'd even use a chalkboard at times."

These scenes provide previously unpublicized details about the transformation of the man known to U.S. officials as KSM from an avowed and truculent enemy of the United States into what the CIA called its "preeminent source" on al-Qaeda. This reversal occurred after Mohammed was subjected to simulated drowning and prolonged sleep deprivation, among other harsh interrogation techniques.

It is a three page piece, so make sure to read it.

The Weekly Standard brings attention to other pieces which confirm what is in the Wapo piece, so make sure to read that as well.

None of this answers the question of whether EIT's should be used, but it does make it clear that in certain cases, such as the one used as an example, they worked.