Barack Obama made a dangerous mistake in yesterday releasing Justice Department memos about interrogation techniques from 2005, say former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former CIA Director Michael Hayden. By releasing the details of these methods, Obama is eliminating a crucial intelligence tool—not just for his own administration but forever, the two argue in an outraged Wall Street Journal op ed. They'll be ruined for future presidents, as well, because our enemies will know their precise limits.
And those techniques are useful, they say; the argument that detainees will fabricate answers to end their ordeal is “belied by both experience and common sense.” Such interrogations have already yielded much intelligence. The Army Field Manual is “entirely appropriate for young soldiers,” but not for experienced CIA interrogators. Their morale will be crushed by this disclosure. They’ll know “any legal opinion they get … is only as durable as political fashion permits.”