Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, a case where a detainee who was water-boarded gave up information that he would’ve otherwise withheld. In this circumstance, Mr. Thiessen would claim vindication, point to the American lives saved by the information, and assert it as proof that the CIA’s entire “enhanced interrogation” program “works.”
What is myopic about that assumption, and the whole body of Mr. Thiessen’s writerly output, is that overall efficacy, overall impact on American lives, and overall impact in the War on Terrorism is the actual metric that determines whether or not an interrogation program “works.”
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