John Rizzo On Torture

In a recent interview with Der Spiegel, John Rizzo who worked in the CIA from 1976 to 2009 made clear to the world that he is proud of “enhanced interrogation” procedures. Rizzo claimed that he was part of the group that met with incoming President Barack Obama in order to make clear what they were doing with captured terrorists. “He reviewed the operations and found them to be effective and valuable.” Naturally, this is a view by Rizzo, and we have yet to hear from President Obama whether this interpretation was an accurate rendition of his views in 2009. Rizzo claimed he was somewhat surprised at the reaction of Obama since he was rather critical of Bush procedures during the campaign of 2008.

Rizzo makes clear, “I was certainly an architect of the interrogation program” and continues to be proud of his efforts. After all, “there has been no second attack on American soil.” In other words, we water boarded people, they confessed, and this is the reason why there was no second attack. Of course, there is possibly another interpretation. Perhaps, al-Qaeda never had plans for a second attack. Perhaps, it was a one shot effort by an organization lacking in the capability of making a second assault. Perhaps, the United States over estimated capabilities of this organization from day one after September 11?

The history of al-Qaeda has yet to be written or even understood. There is no question that President George Bush lacked any grasp of the Middle East or of its religious differences. Why did he invade Iraq, a nation ruled by secular, anti-religious brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein? Of course, he could have invaded religious fanatics in Saudi Arabia who were funding terrorist groups, but that would have impacted our oil supplies. Perhaps, we tortured the wrong people?