Scarborough: ‘That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard’ that torture doesn’t work.

Today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough waged an ardent, six-minute defense of torture, arguing with the Financial Times’ Krystia Freeland that torture is always effective — and that waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and stress positions aren’t torture anyway. He mocked Freeland’s objections as “sophomoric” and declared that torture has saved American lives:

SCARBOROUGH: Yes I do. Yes I do. And I know for a fact that waterboarding brought our interrogators, brought Americans, probably about 70–75 percent of what they get. What they got from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed opened doors that we are still going through. Waterboarding has produced and given so much evidence to our people in the CIA and in the other intelligence agencies. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed by himself has done more to crush al Qaeda than Dick Cheney or George Bush because of waterboarding.

Watch his entire screed:


Scarborough condescendingly asked Freeland, “Should we just bring them a birthday cake and ask them what soccer match they’d like to see?” In fact, the interrogator who successfully brought down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — and who has written and spoken publicly about how torture doesn’t work — told Laura Ingraham last month he broke one insurgent after he gave him a copy of Harry Potter.