In the following I take on her talking points one by one.
Point by Point...
The first act by President Bush in this matter, on recommendation from John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales, was to deny that Geneva protections applied to al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. This temporarily invalidated the War Crimes Act (18 USC 2441), but did not make Torture (18 USC 2340) Legal. This action was later overturned by the SCOTUS in Hamdan v Rumsfeld which found that Geneva absolutely *did* apply, meaning that Bush's original determination was wrongly reached.
Also FBI Agents threatened to Arrest CIA interrogators for their treatment of Abu Zubaydah.
This conflict between FBI and CIA led to Director Mueller's pulling all of his agents out of future CIA directed interrogation efforts. If all of this was so legal, why did the FBI run like scared rabbits away from it?
Several attorney's within DOJ and the State Dept dissented with OLC memos which legitimized the use of SERE-tactics as legal interrogation methods. THESE ATTORNEY'S WERE RETALIATED AGAINST FOR THEIR VIEWS. The Zelikow Memo was ordered to be destroyed. Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith was forced to resign by Cheney's Counsel David Addington after ordering the Yoo memos rescinded. General Counsel to the Navy, Alberto Mora wrote a memo detailing the abuse at GTMO and rebutting the Yoo Memos, he was forced to retire.
False Claim 2: President Obama and AG Holder have ignored evidence of the program effectiveness.
Key information from Zubaydah was gathered by the FBI before harsh methods were used, such as confirming the identity of KSM. Information gathered after these methods were applied remain dubious and have appeared to be false.
The actual capture of KSM came from other sources besides Zubaydah.
The Los Angeles Library Tower attack was thwarted over a year before KSM was captured.
When asked FBI Director Mueller has stated that to his knowledge No Terrorist Plots were thwarted using coerced information.
Lastly "It Worked" is no excuse - under the UN Convention Against Torture which was signed by President Reagan and ratified by a Republican Congress in 1995, which forms the basis for 18 USC 2340...
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.
False Claim 3: These tactics weren't torture because they are used in SERE in the training of our own troops.
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