Strong opinions, weakly held

Did torture lead us to Osama bin Laden?

Andrew Sullivan rounds up what we know about the trail to Osama bin Laden. Despite the fact that torture apologists, as predicted, are crediting waterboarding with leading us to bin Laden, that does not appear to be the case.

Update: You’ll want to read this post at the Inverse Square Blog as well.

I would imagine that none of this is news to people who regularly read my blog, but in the coming days people will be asking whether torture was helpful in capturing Osama bin Laden. I think the facts on the record show it did not, and if my linking can lead other people to those facts, I am happy to assist.

Here’s another exhaustive post from Naked Capitalism on the same topic.

Further Update: This is the nonsense we’re up against.


  1. And yet… add one more zombie myth to their toolkit. One that we’ll never be rid of. “Torture led us to Osama” is going to be the CW for a long long time.

  2. Not only does it not appear to be the case, but it looks more and more like the “traditional” interrogation techniques were the ones that got the prisoners to talk and provide actual, factual information.

    Imagine that.

  3. Apparently John Yoo (from your “Further Update” link) doesn’t really understand the US Constitution very well (or he is being purposefully disingenuous):

    “granted them all the rights provided a U.S. citizen in criminal proceedings”

    The Constitution uses the words “Citizen” in very specific places and uses “Subjects” and “People” in others. The criminal proceedings that it lays out are not subject only to “citizens”, but to “people”.

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