Washington’s Blog 
Friday, April 24, 2009
As the Washington Post writes  of Guantanamo Bay detainee Abu Zubaida:
President George W. Bush had publicly described him as “al-Qaeda’s chief of operations,” and other top officials called him a “trusted associate” of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and a major figure in the planning of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. None of that was accurate, the new evidence showed.
Okay, maybe they got that one wrong.
But certainly Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s confession that he was the mastermind of 9/11 proves his guilt, right?
Well, as the Telegraph notes  today:
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind of 9/11, was waterboarded 183 times in one month, and “confessed” to murdering the journalist Daniel Pearl, which he did not. There could hardly be more compelling evidence that such techniques are neither swift, nor efficient, nor reliable
If one of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s major confessions (Pearl murder) was false, why should we believe his confession about 9/11?
After all, tough-as-nails Navy Seals usually become hysterical  when waterboarded once in training sessions. After 183 waterboarding sessions in a month, I wouldn’t be surprised if KSM also confessed to murdering Lincoln and Kennedy.
Note: I am not saying that KSM did or didn’t have anything to do with 9/11 (I have no idea). I am saying that nothing that the government said about 9/11 should be accepted without independent verification, and that torture does not constitute independent verification. Indeed, given that the government used techniques which were developed especially for producing false confessions , the assumption must be that any confessions were, in fact, false.