• The Killing of Bin Laden Proves the Value of Torture Except for the Fact That It Doesn't Really

    There are just so many reasons for people to happy about the news of U.S. military's successful raid on Osama bin Laden's suburban compound, but probably the best reason is that it gives us all a good reason to finally embrace torture as the effective piece of apple pie Americana it actually is

    The head of the House of Representative’s homeland security committee could barely contain himself when asked on Fox News to tell viewers about how the US found Osama bin Laden.

    "You mentioned the fact that we obtained vital information several years ago about the courier for Osama — we obtained that information through waterboarding," said Peter King, a New York Republican. For those who say that waterboarding does not work, Mr King concluded with the answer to end all questions: the practice gave the US "vital information that directly led us to bin Laden."

    Yep! That seems pretty cut and dry. Not only does torturing prisoners feel good, it's also clearly the right thing to do.

    The only problem with this line of reasoning that might mitigate our excitement over adding a waterboarding device to the U.S. Seal is that torture probably didn't have anything to do with the information we received that ultimately led us to bin Laden. I know that's a very minor point, but you know

    More and more evidence suggests a key piece of intelligence — the first link in the chain of information that led U.S. intelligence officials to Osama bin Laden — wasn't tortured out of its source. And, indeed, that torture failed to produce it.

    "To the best of our knowledge, based on a look, none of it came as a result of harsh interrogation practices," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee in a wide-ranging press conference.

    But, hey. Baseball and quickie handjobs in the janitors' closet over by the school gymnasium also didn't lead to the capture of bin Laden. We're not planning on getting rid of those American traditions, too, are we?

    (Photo via Getty Images)

    Tags: Dianne Feinstein, Homeland Security, House of Representatives, Osama bin Laden, Peter King, Senate, Terrorism, Torture


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