Much of the focus on the now-delayed but upcoming release of the CIA IG Report on torture has been on whether the six page section on "Effectiveness"–the section that most challenges Dick Cheney’s claims–would be released.
What people seem to be oblivious to, however, is that much of this section has already been released–in two of the Bradbury Memos declassified in April. I first reported on the IG Report’s comments about efficacy here and a week later, McClatchy did effectively the same report. I’ve replicated the section describing the page-by-page contents, as revealed by the Bradbury memos, below. But here’s basically what the IG Report appears to have concluded about torture’s inefficacy.
- It could not be conclusively determined whether or not torture had prevented any attacks
- There is limited data on whether torture is effective or not
- Torture leads to an increased number of intelligence reports–it’s not clear whether the IG Report comments on the quality of those reports
- But you can’t learn everything form one detainee–even someone like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; the information from more minor figures is important to challenge High Value Detainees
- The CIA waterboarded Abu Zubaydah and KSM a whole bunch of times
Note that last bullet: the report on the sheer number of times AZ and KSM were waterboarded shows up in the section on efficacy–suggesting that the number itself says something about the inefficacy of the technique.
So that’s it–that’s much what the Effectiveness section will show. And given the stinginess of the CIA of late, I expect we might just get exactly what was revealed in the Bradbury memos, and nothing more, once the IG Report is actually released.
I’m actually more interested in some other sections of the IG Report–which we also know of thanks to Steven Bradbury. But I’ll explain those in a follow-up post.