Matthew Alexander on CBS Evening News with Whit Johnson
Burkle Center Fellow, Matthew Alexander, appears on CBS Evening News to discuss the implications of enhanced interrogation and its role in providing critical intelligence necessary to prevent terrorism at home and abroad.
WHIT JOHNSON: On this Sunday talk shows, former Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld, former Vice President Dick Cheney argued
enhanced-interrogation techniques played a major role in leading up to
the raid on bin Laden's compound.
DICK CHENEY (Fox News Sunday): So, it was a good program. It was a
legal program. It was not torture. And I would strongly recommend that
we continue it.
WHIT JOHNSON: At the heart of the controversy is a process called
waterboarding or simulated drowning, no longer practiced in the Obama
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (April 2009): I do believe that it is torture.
WHIT JOHNSON: Self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
was waterboarded one hundred eighty-three times. Between 2003 and
2004, Mohammed and another detainee, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, who was not
waterboarded, were questioned about a courier the CIA had learned
about from detainees in secret presence. Mohammad and al-Libbi both
lied about the courier, convincing the CIA he was important. After
years of intelligence gathering, from a variety of sources, that
courier ultimately led directly to the al Qaeda leader.
LEON PANETTA (CIA Director; May 3): The question that everybody will
always debate is whether or not those approaches had to be used in
order to get the same information. And that, frankly, is an open
MATTHEW ALEXANDER (Former Senior Military Interrogator Operations Task
Force): I saw people using enhanced-interrogation techniques they
WHIT JOHNSON: Author and former senior military interrogator Matthew
Alexander was involved in more than thirteen hundred interrogations in
Iraq in 2006. He says aggressive techniques are not only wrong, they
can be a waste of valuable time.
MATTHEW ALEXANDER: I watched a soldier, he grabbed a detainee that I
was interrogating and-- and began to choke him. And I had to
physically intervene to stop him and then my detainee quit talking.
Published: Monday, May 09, 2011