CIA Docs Don't Vindicate Cheney

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2009 8:14 AM CDT
Former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the Gerald R. Ford Foundation Journalism Awards luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, Monday, June 1, 2009.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Dick Cheney has long insisted that two CIA documents from 2004 and 2005 would prove the value of torture. But after obtaining them yesterday, the Washington Independent says they do nothing of the kind. The documents actually suggest, albeit murkily, that non-abusive techniques were more effective. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s interrogators got some of their best intelligence not after the 183 times he was waterboarded, but with an old-fashioned trick: He believed another detainee had already given up the same info he shared.

Abu Zubaydah, meanwhile, identified Mohammed as the mastermind of 9/11 before enhanced interrogation techniques were used. Cheney says the documents vindicate him, because they “clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained,” essentially crediting torture for all the information the detainees provided. The Independent notes the documents do "not remotely make that case."