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Will

Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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3 Responses

  1. Avatar Zach says:

    That’s an incredibly disingenuous reading of the article by Thiessen. If you accept that nudity and sleep deprivation are on a different order than walling and waterboarding, Soufan’s statements are totally consistent. Soufan said, in April, that he had gotten info from AZ on KSM and Padilla before last August. Padilla was taken into custody in May. Soufan’s clearly distinguishing between the interrogation regime before August and after. The WaPo article makes it clear that he objected to Mitchell’s methods before August, as well, and the timeline of AZ’s torture was well known when Soufan wrote what he did in April. The ICRC report on torture predates Soufan’s piece and discusses the use of nudity and sleep deprivation on AZ immediately after his capture – http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22530Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Zach says:

      Yeah – the WaPo article makes clear that, although the info about Padilla was given after sleep deprivation and nudity, it was given in the context of an FBI interrogation that did not involve these tactics. Moreover, the article also makes clear that this confession occurred before Soufan had left the scene,ie, between March and June, and well before the most severe tactics were introduced.

      At best, there’s an argument to be made here that sleep deprivation and nudity contributed indirectly to the FBI’s success under a “good cop/bad cop” rationale, but that’s a fairly attenuated connection, it would seem.Report

  2. Avatar Zach says:

    Learning about Padilla between March and June isn’t news; he was arrested in May 2002 to much fanfare. Thiessen knows he isn’t trapping Soufan in a lie here and is just hoping that no one remembers how much we actually knew in April 2009. Soufan’s clearly distinguishing between pre-August 1 and post-August 1 interrogation methods and the difference is spelled out in that very article.Report