While some argue that harsh interrogation techniques helped the U.S. find Osama Bin Laden, expert Benjamin Wittes notes that it’s impossible to say whether the same information could have been extracted using conventional military interrogation methods. Wittes says we cannot duck the question of whether such techniques as water boarding and sleep deprivation produce sound intelligence—but we must also consider the legal and moral aspects of such brutal interrogations. Wittes is co-author of a new report, “The Emerging Law of Detention 2.0: The Guantánamo Habeas Cases as Lawmaking.”
We have made this same mistake at least twice in Iraq. We don't prepare adequately for the political context, and the result, as I warned in 2002, is chaos, warlordism and civil war.