But If We’re Not Going to Torture Anymore …
This is a … curious argument for CIA Director Leon Panetta to make in a court filing arguing that the CIA shouldn’t have to describe the contents of interrogation videotapes it destroyed. The Washington Post:
The “disclosure of explicit details of specific interrogations” would provide al-Qaeda “with propaganda it could use to recruit and raise funds,” Panetta said, describing the information at issue as “ready-made ammunition.” He also submitted a classified statement to the court that he said explains why detainees could use the contents to evade questions in the future, even though Obama has promised that the United States will not use the harsh interrogation techniques again.
The propaganda-fuel argument is at least straightforward. But — and I freely concede that this is speculative, occurring in the absence of information due to the statement’s classified nature — how can al-Qaeda detainees learn how to evade questioning from descriptions of techniques that the Obama administration has forsworn? This is the sort of move that suggests that remnants of the so-called “enhanced interrogation” program are going to live on, speeches in Cairo promising new beginnings notwithstanding. Another thing to watch closely as the administration’s interrogations and detentions review proceeds.