A former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency insisted Sunday that harsh interrogation techniques widely condemned as torture had succeeded in battling Al-Qaeda and saving American lives, something he characterized as “an inconvenient truth.”
Michael Hayden, who was replaced as CIA chief earlier this year by President Barack Obama, assailed Obama’s decision last week to release “Top Secret” memos detailing the interrogation techniques as “really dangerous” for US intelligence efforts.
Speaking on the “Fox News Sunday” program, Hayden rejected claims by critics that methods like extreme sleep deprivation, waterboarding and the use of insects to provoke fear had proved ineffective in getting information from top members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.
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“Most of the people who oppose these techniques want to be able to say: ‘I don’t want my nation doing this’ — which is a pure honorable position — and ‘they didn’t work anyway’,” Hayden said.
“The facts of the case are that the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer, it really did,” Hayden said.
“It’s what I’d call, without meaning any irreverence to anybody, ‘a really inconvenient truth.’”