And one of those who inflicted it now says so in public. He also says it was necessary. But what we know of what the mentally challenged Zubaydah told us suggests it was largely garbage. Bart Gellman summarizes Ron Suskind's reporting on the matter:

Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each...target." And so, Suskind writes, "the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."

So if the guy who tortured Zubaydah says it was torture, will the president now admit it? And will the attorney-general initiate the prosecution of all those involved in an illegal war-crime? It's called the rule of law, Mr Mukasey. And you are in office to enforce it.

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