A leader of the CIA team that captured the first major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary. In the first public comment by any CIA officer involved in handling high-value al Qaeda targets, John Kiriakou, now retired, said the technique broke Zubaydah in less than 35 seconds. "The next day, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate," said Kiriakou in an interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News' "World News With Charles Gibson" and "Nightline." "From that day on, he answered every question," Kiriakou said. "The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks." FULL STORY
DOZENS OF ATTACKS. That should stick with you. Waterboarding one person thwarted dozens of attacks, saving how many lives? Hundreds? Perhaps thousands? And yet there are people out there who say it isn't worth it. Rest assured, if their home town or their building was targeted the attitude on waterboarding would change.
I'm glad to see someone from the CIA come out with statements on how effective this technique is. I'm all for it as an interrogation measure. I don't agree that it is torture, but I do agree that it is absolutely necessary as a last resort, and that it saves lives.