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Cheney v. McCain on Enhanced Interrogation

John McCain led an effort to stop the use of enhanced interrogation techniques during the Bush administration. His opinion carries more weight than most due to the truly exemplary way he handled himself as a prisoner of war during Vietnam where he suffered horrendous torture. But former VP Cheney's new book points out the problem with following his advice.

Despite the invaluable intelligence we were obtaining through the program of enhanced interrogation, in 2005 there was a move on Capitol Hill, led by Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, to end it and require that all U.S. Government interrogations be conducted under the rules of the U.S. Army Field Manual. As one of the CIA interrogators explained to me, the Field Manual is adequate for interrogating run-of-the-mill enemy soldiers. “If one guy doesn’t want to talk to you, you can say, fine and move onto the next, until you get to one who will talk.” But a detainee such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is different. He wasn’t talking, but there was no one comparable to move on to. For the safety of the nation we needed him to talk, and that happened after we put him through the enhanced interrogation program.

When you capture someone as valuable as KSM, you are duty bound to extract every ounce of actionable or useful intelligence out of his carcass before you toss it into a deep dark hole to await any other use we may have for it. You cannot and should not simply hope that you can make friends with someone so deeply committed to a cause. h/t NRO