“K.S.M. produced no actionable intelligence.”

Firedoglake offers up succinct refutation of Joe Scarborough’s screed, citing Jane Mayer’s The Dark Side, and David Rose’s article in Vanity Fair late last year:

From Jane Mayer’s book, The Dark Side:
“While Tenet continued to assure the White House that Mohammed’s interrogation in particular had been a gold mine of invaluable intelligence, a few officers began to question the reliability of his coerced confessions. Some also feared that the torturous methods used by the Agency would undermine eventual efforts to convict him in any legitimate court. Mohammed claimed responsibility for so many crimes that his testimony began to seem inherently dubious. In addition to confessing to the [Daniel] Pearl murder, he said that he had hatched plans to assassinate President Clinton, President Carter, and Pope John Paul II. CIA cables carrying Mohammed’s interrogation transcirpts back to Washington with the warning that “the detainee has been known to withhold information or deliberately mislead.”

After Mohammed had been interrogated for some time, a top Agency official asked for a few choice revelations from his confession that he could share with officers from an allied foreign intelligence agency. To his surprise, he was told by top CIA officials that there really was noting “solid” enough to pass on. Although few outside of the CIA knew it, Mohammed had recanted substantial portions of his initial confessions.

Mohammed brazenly boasted later about his ability to mislead the United States. He claimed that false information he fabricated caused the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue urgent terrorist threat alerts on several occasions, for no real reason. He just wanted the interrogators to stop, he said, so he told them whatever they wanted to hear.”

And David Rose wrote in Vanity Fair:
“K.S.M. was certainly knowledgeable. It would be surprising if he gave up nothing of value. But according to a former senior C.I.A. official, who read all the interrogation reports on K.S.M., “90 percent of it was total fucking bullshit.” A former Pentagon analyst adds: “K.S.M. produced no actionable intelligence. He was trying to tell us how stupid we were.”


Published on January 12, 2009


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