Here’s another possible piece of evidence that the Bush torture program was used to bolster the political case for the Iraq war.
That 2004 intelligence committee report on Iraq intel that we just wrote about also contains a short section, on page 324, on the information provided by Abu Zubaydah:
The CIA provided four reports detailing the debriefings of Abu Zubaydah, a captured senior coordinator for Al Qaida responsible for training and recruiting. Abu Zubaydah said he was not aware of a relationship between Iraq and al Qaida. He also said, however, that any relationship would be highly compartmented and went on to name al Qaida members who he thought had good contacts with Iraqis. For instance, Abu Zubaydah indicated that he had heard that an important al Qaeda associate, Abu Mus’ab al -Zarqawi, and others had good relationships with Iraqi intelligence … REDACTED … During the debrefings, Abu Zubaydah offered his opinion that it would be extremely unlikely for Bin Laden to have agreed to ally with Iraq, due to his desire to keep organization on track with its mission and maintain its operational independence.
Those details have been reported before, of course. But reading this excerpt makes clear that Zubaydah was strongly pressured by his captors to provide information that would show a link between Saddam and al Qaeda.
And of course, Zubaydah was famously waterboarded multiple times during the course of his interrogation, as the recently released OLC memos revealed.
Could those two things, by chance, have been related?