Morning Maddow: Did The CIA Really Need To Do All That Torture To Protect America? (Video)
In his press conference on the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on torture, CIA Director John Brennan acknowledged that interrogators did some things that were "abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all,” but also explained that it was a crazy time and everybody was just doing the best they could to Protect America.
Which is a great justification as long as you ignore the fact that, as the torture program went into effect, FBI and military interrogators, using non-coercive techniques, were already getting high-quality "actionable" intelligence from detainees like Abu Zubaydah, who actually stopped producing useful information after he was tortured. Ali Soufan, the FBI agent who interrogated Zubaydah, told a 2009 Senate hearing that the CIA's harsh techniques not only didn't work, they actually set back the investigation of what Zubaydah knew. And we still don't know why the CIA and the Bush team decided to shift from conventional methods of interrogation -- which were working -- to torture, which didn't work.
Maddow interviewed Soufan Thursday night, following a brief introductory segment on the inexplicable CIA decision. You may want to purchase Mr. Soufan's book -- to read, or to hurl at the next person who says that if we didn't torture, we might as well have been giving terrorists a comfy chair and a cookie.