Well, it's official now: John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who affirmed claims that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists, says he didn't know what he was talking about.
Kiriakou, a 15-year veteran of the agency's intelligence analysis and operations directorates, electrified the hand-wringing national debate over torture in December 2007 when he told ABC's Brian Ross and Richard Esposito in a much ballyhooed, exclusive interview that senior al Qaeda commando Abu Zubaydah cracked after only one application of the face cloth and water.
"Based on Kiriakou's statements, it certainly seems that waterboarding Zubaida was the right call. Those who disagree should explain either (a) how they would have gotten Zubaida to talk or (b) why the lives of innocent people (the ones Kiriakou says were probably saved) should have been put at serious risk to spare this terrorist 35 seconds of extreme duress." (Powerline)
"Recent revelations by 14-year CIA veteran John Kiriakou bolster the case for waterboarding. Simply put, it works — even when nothing else does." (Deroy Murdock)
"It’s obvious in retrospect that the waterboarding of animals like Zubaydah was an exercise in restraint, not an orgy of mistreatment. In the wake of 9-11 it might have been easy for officers to justify all kinds of treatment that, thank goodness, they don’t seem to have even contemplated. They used one method that was known not to leave lasting damage and that breaks subjects very quickly." (Hot Air)
"Less than five minutes, three awful men, five years ago." (Jonah Goldberg)
(Via bjkeefe's invaluable wingnuttia search engine)