December 29, 2005


Al-Qaida operative became fountain of information for U.S. (JOHN CREWDSON, 12/28/05, Chicago Tribune)

Consider Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the 39-year-old former al-Qaida operative who was the Sept. 11 mastermind and bearer of many al-Qaida secrets.

If anyone had a motive for remaining silent it was the man known to terrorism investigators as "KSM." But not long after his capture in Pakistan, in March 2003, KSM began to talk.

He ultimately had so much to say that more than 100 footnoted references to the CIA's interrogations of KSM are contained in the final report of the commission that investigated Sept. 11.

Not that everything KSM said was believable. But much of his information checked out in separate questioning of other captures al-Qaida figures.

What made KSM decide to talk? The answer may be waterboarding, to which KSM was subjected on at least one occasion, according to various accounts.

Note the key element that opponents of torture always seek to avoid discussing--when you torture for intelligence purposes, rather than to extract a useless confession, you can just check the information being given to you and thereby determine its reliability.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 29, 2005 3:25 PM
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