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Abu Zubaydah

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"Abu Zubaydah"

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In his book, The One Percent Doctrine, Ron Suskind details how the Bush administration, having falsely claimed that their captive Abu Zubaydah was a key al-Qaeda operative with tons of information, had him tortured until he coughed up some bogus information. John Kiriakou, formerly of the CIA, told a different story to ABC, saying Zubaydah was tortured and gave up useful information but torture is wrong anyway.

Now FBI sources are striking back, sticking with a Suskindish version of events in which the torture didn’t accomplish anything useful. Dan Eggen and Walter Pincus have the story for The Washington Post. It’s hard to know where the truth lies here, and obviously I’m a biased observer at this point, but it’s hard to see what motive FBI people would have for going forward with their story if it’s false. It’s easy, by contrast, to see why administration and CIA sources who’d been torturing this guy might want to exaggerate how useful their torturing had been.

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