Thursday, May 14, 2009

Leahy's torture hearings and Obama on Sri Lanka

TPM's Day in 100 seconds which does an overview of Senator Leahy's torture hearings today:

From notable testimony that you'll see referenced in the TPM clip:
Testifying to a Senate panel behind a screen to hide his identity, Soufan said his team's non-threatening interrogation approach elicited crucial information from al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, including intelligence on "dirty bomb" terrorist Jose Padilla.

"We obtained a treasure trove of highly significant actionable intelligence," he said.

But Soufan said his team had to step aside when CIA contractors took over. They began using harsh methods that caused Zubaydah to "shut down," Soufan said.

"These techniques, from an operational perspective, are slow, ineffective, unreliable, and harmful to our efforts to defeat al-Qaeda."
More on the day's hearings, here.

Elsewhere, Obama took the opportunity to single out the conflict in Sri Lanka on Wednesday:

"Now's the time, I believe, to put aside some of the political issues that are involved and to put the lives of the men and women and children who are innocently caught in the crossfire -- to put them first." Our government would do well to listen to that advice.