That it was so debilitating that it was only used in extreme cases.
Now this guy is waterboarded 3 times a day for a month, basically at every meal (if you want to think about it in terms of frequency).
It seems clear that it is not rare; and that it doesn't really deliver results.
Again and again, we have been lied to about waterboarding, how often it is done, what level of use we get out of it, etc.
And, this is just 1 example - there could well be other methods of torture and many other cases of incompetence... makes you want to say "you know what? Let's just scrap the whole thing..."
If waterboarding was a piece of software it would be considered too crashy and unreliable and a replacement that worked better would be sought immediately.
We handled interrogations with Nazis better. We showed them respect and they gave us valuable information.
It leads me to believe intelligence wasn't the main motivator for the continued torture of these people, but only an excuse.
Not to mention make them more pliable and potentially willing to give a false testimony just to make it end. Not that false testimonies have ever been tortured out of people by governments before.
At the end of WWII in Europe, Churchill wanted to simply string up the captured leaders. The US pushed for trials -- and the Soviets agreed since they felt it legitimized their own show trial apparatus.
To paraphrase Pogo: we met the enemy and he was us.
Only there is no possible replacement so they just continue using the same horrible thing. If there is one thing people are terrible at it's understanding that not doing something is often a viable option.
This poses a further question. Was the invasion decided apon based on the belief such intelligence was true or was this confession rather something to justify a decision ?
Winston Churchill's criticism of torture is that it was not useful because you were told what you want to hear - under torture the victim will say anything to make it stop.
Enhanced Interrogation is a euphemism. That the actions described in the article are torture is clear.
This straw man illustrates that at some point, it isn't the tool, but the process that's flawed. Even if your tool is accurate, if you don't believe it, you can't get at the truth, and if you work hard enough you can find a broken tool to tell you what you want.
So perhaps there is some truth to the idea that torture can extract true information from people, but if the whole process operates like the above straw man, it totally invalidates the use of the tool.
What you get is what happened during WWII, when the resistances knew they just had to withstand torture for 24 hours, 48 at most. It's amazing what motivated people can do when they have a goal, and that goes for the tortured as well as the torturers.
So it didn't deliver at all.
If waterboarding is not an efficient way to get reliable information, then I'd be very curious to hear about what definition of "work" you're using where waterboarding might satisfy, but fail in this particular instance.
Torture is illegal under the Eight Amendment. The Supreme Court has affirmed this multiple times.
If we're going to go against legal precedent as well as international convention, the burden of proof for torture's effectiveness is on torture advocates. The evidence provided does not stand up to scrutiny.
But if it doesn't work reliably, for whatever "work" means, then it doesn't matter if it's successful sometimes and unsuccessful other times because if you don't have a way to distinguish the success from the failure, it's impossible to measure.
That's why I asked you to clarify what you mean when you say it might "work".
neither option suggests the technique is useful
it's also about as immoral as you can get
I think this case make it obvious that it's impossible to tell if the person you're torturing has the information you're looking for and is withholding it, or simply doesn't have the information. That's a textbook definition of "ineffective".
Also: Why Torture Doesn't Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation