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Thursday, May 5, 2011

New York Times Condemns Torture Apologists, Sets the Record Straight

In a strong editorial today, the New York Times effectively buries the argument that Osama bin Laden's death in some way vindicates the torture apologists of the Bush Administration:
Even if it were true that some tidbit was blurted out by a prisoner while being tormented by C.I.A. interrogators, that does not remotely justify Mr. Bush’s decision to violate the law and any acceptable moral standard.

This was not the “ticking time bomb” scenario that Bush-era officials often invoked to rationalize abusive interrogations. If, as Representative Peter King, the Long Island Republican, said, information from abused prisoners “directly led” to the redoubt, why didn’t the Bush administration follow that trail years ago?
Calling torture "immoral and illegal and counterproductive," the Times repeats the fact that, no matter what the apologists are now claiming, there's no reason to believe that bin Laden was discovered because of information obtained via torture.

The fact is that, as reported yesterday, torture "played a small role at most" in intelligence gathering. And even if effective, time-sensitive, and accurate intelligence had been obtained through torture, it still would do nothing to remove the ethical stain from the act.

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