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Torturous doubts

March 15, 2007

According to his confession, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed beheaded Daniel Pearl “with [his] blessed right hand”.  He masterminded 9-11 “from A to Z” and many other attacks.  Really bad guy, if all this is true.

He spent six months in Guantanamo and allegedly over 3 years in a CIA-run prison before that. So at minimum, this guy has been waterboarded, subjected to heat and cold, loud sounds, various kinds of psychological strain, and who knows what else.

So how trustworthy is his confession?  You do all that stuff to me, I’ll cop to assassinating Abraham Lincoln.

If someone believes torture is OK provided we’re really scared, and yet still somehow self-identifies as a Christian, I’m not going to argue with them about morals.  But the practical problem with torture is that it undermines the credibility of any confession you get with it.  Yeah, he’s probably the right guy… isn’t he?

I mean, this confession is pretty darned convenient for the administration.  It wasn’t that “most-wanted guy” we haven’t been able to catch, no sir!  It was this guy all along!  We got him!  Mission accomplished!  We’re doing a heckuva job!

I want to believe it’s him, I really do. But…

Categories: Law, Politics
  1. Brock
    March 16, 2007 at 11:13 | #1

    I have serious doubts he’s responsible for all that, too.

    It would be nice if they searched for independent corroborators before they released this information to the world. I doubt they did.

  2. March 16, 2007 at 11:39 | #2

    I have my doubts as well, especially when FAUX NEWS refers to him as KSM…

  3. March 16, 2007 at 11:43 | #3

    Confessions are unreliable enough as evidence – a lot of people confessed to the Lindburgh kidnapping for example.  They probably do have partial independent confirmation with this guy but I wonder how much of that was obtained by torture. 

    I do not doubt the good intentions of those “fighting the war on terror” but torture is a bad bargain.  To be fair and balanced to Faux news, they had some hard-nosed retired general on a few months ago who said something very similar.  For purely practical reasons he was completely against torture.

  4. March 16, 2007 at 13:40 | #4

    I question the timing on this.  Could it be the administration is looking for a distraction to inflate public opinion of them?

  5. March 16, 2007 at 21:17 | #5

    hang him.

  6. March 16, 2007 at 21:31 | #6

    You sure about that, GUYK?  One of his crimes is plotting to assassinate President Jimmy Carter.  Though MrsDoF points out that he would have been 17 in the last year of Carter’s administration.  He was 13 when Carter was elected.

  7. March 16, 2007 at 21:58 | #7

    Sounds like this guy doesn’t have anything but bullshit to say… reminds me of someone… hmm… whom could I be thinking of…

  8. March 16, 2007 at 23:04 | #8
  9. March 17, 2007 at 08:02 | #9

    Good commentary by the Freakonomics guy.  And I loved that one commenter’s angle:  “As a veteran of search comittees I can tell when someone is padding their C.V.”

  10. March 17, 2007 at 22:39 | #10

    I thought SEB had a wide diverse crowd, Freakonomics is insanely diverse…

  11. March 31, 2007 at 14:39 | #11

    Whoops – false alarm on the torture thing.  Check out Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confesses to confessing under torture
    Oh, wait…

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