Tuesday, June 20, 2006


One of my greatest fears is the further we race into the future, the more we will discover the heinous deeds that were done for expediency.

Matt Yglesias sums up one section of Ron Suskind's new book "The One Percent Doctrine" nicely:

Al-Qaedist Abu Zubaydah was captured in March 2002.

Zubaydah's captors discovered he was mentally ill and charged
with minor logistical matters, such as arranging travel for wives and children.

The President was informed of that judgment by the CIA.

Two weeks later, the President described Zubaydah as "one of the top
operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States."

Later, Bush told George Tenet, "I said he was important. You're not going
to let me lose face on this, are you?" and asked Tenet if "some of these harsh
methods really work?"

The methods -- torture -- were applied.

Then, according to Gellman, "Under that duress, he began to speak of plots
of every variety -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems,
nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of

At which point, according to Suskind, "thousands of uniformed men and women
raced in a panic to each . . . target."

People oppose torture for many reasons. From the humane to the practical. In my opinion they are all correct. But for you Rambo-heads out there who still believe if we just go all Jack Bauer on people, we would start winning the war on terror, exactly what would make you believe that torture is not only un-American but also ineffective?

I imagine I will be picking up Mr. Suskind's book soon.

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