As Andy McCarthy puts it, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey fires back:
Senator McCain described as “false” my statement that Khalid Sheik Mohammed broke under harsh interrogation that included waterboarding, and disclosed a torrent of information that included the nickname of Osama bin Laden’s courier. He strongly implied in the remainder of his column in the Washington Post that this harsh interrogation was not only useless but also illegal. He is simply incorrect on all three counts.
KSM disclosed the nickname — al Kuwaiti — along with a wealth of other information, some of which was used to stop terror plots then in progress. He did so after refusing to answer questions and, when asked if further plots were afoot, said that his interrogators would eventually find out. Another detainee, captured in Iraq, disclosed that al Kuwaiti was a trusted operative of KSM’s successor, abu Faraj al-Libbi. When al-Libbi went so far as to deny even knowing the man, his importance became obvious.
Surely it should not be that difficult to get to the truth here. Either waterboarding helped or it didn't. Sen. McCain thinks it's absolutely clear it did not. Mr. Mukasey says it did.
Might help if Republicans in Congress woke up a little. For example, wouldn't it help clarify our debate if Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intel Committee, called Mr. Panetta in to testify, and asked him point blank whether Senator McCain was accurate when he cited the CIA chief as his authority for the statement that enhanced interrogation played no real role in getting Bin Laden.
Also waiting for former CIA chief Michael Hayden to weigh in on this one.