In the Arena

Enhanced Baloney

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John Moore / Getty Images

I am sitting here watching Congressman Peter King lie through his teeth on CNN about the role of torture in the capture and death of Osama bin Laden. King is insisting that the initial information about the Bin Laden couriers came from “enhanced” interrogation of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libbi. The New York Times has an entirely different account: KSM and al-Libbi lied about the couriers, saying they didn’t know who they were–and that the information came from another Guantanamo prisoner, who may or may not have been tortured. To Wolf Blitzer’s credit, he’s not letting King get away with it–citing reporting by CNN’s Gloria Borger, similar to that of the New York Times.

Another lie: King says KSM and al-Libbi didn’t talk until they were tortured. This has been disproved by multiple sources–in books by Jane Mayer and Peter Bergen, among others, and numerous press reports. In fact, FBI interrogators, using non-brutal methods, had great success getting information out of KSM, al-Libi and Abu Zubaydah before the CIA took over and waterboarded them.

There are myriad discussions we need to have now, especially about the future of the war in Afghanistan and our relationship with the duplicitous Pakistanis. The revival of a national embarrassment–our brief indulgence in barbaric treatment of prisoner–should be a settled matter. Certainly, the desperate Republican efforts to regurgitate it for their own political benefit is further evidence of the futility not just of their methods, but also of their preferred foreign policy.