Good for Him: CIA Chief Won’t Rule Out More Torture



John Brennan, the Director of Central Intelligence, said Thursday in a rare press conference it is “unknowable” if torturing terrorist suspects produced valuable intelligence after 9/11. However, Brennan said torture did produce “useful” information used to hunt Osama bin Laden.

The Senate’s report found torture didn’t work and certainly didn’t help kill bin Laden. Brennan said the CIA after 9/11 was “not prepared” to interrogate suspects, but it used Justice Department-approved methods he called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Brennan said while the methods were legal then and subsequently banned, he would “defer to policymakers” if the CIA is asked to torture again. Not once did Brennan say “torture” and he refused to answer whether EITs were torture. Brennan said some interrogations went out of bounds and they were abhorrent.  Read it at New York Times


  1. I’m sure they would have gained more useful intel if more terrorists were tortured.
    It’s only because they held back that they can’t see clear results.

  2. Obama didn’t learn his lesson. As soon as he became President, he went on an apology tour in the Arab/Muslim world. Now we have them beheading Americans. He is just clueless.

  3. this United States is becoming an Islamic State chas v’Sholom – the way all thiese reports are coming out of this administration.

  4. Matzav…..what do you mean “good for you”?
    Are you justifying torture? Is Torture a Torah procedure to fight enemies? WE are JEWS! defend Judaism, not assimilated barbaric and political attitudes!

  5. “I’m sure they would have gained more useful intel if more terrorists were tortured.”

    Given that almost all the alleged terrorists were tortured, and that the Senate could not find a single instance where torturing anyone produced any useful intelligence, you are calling for doing more of what didn’t work.

    “this United States is becoming an Islamic State chas v’Sholom”

    We are actually looking more like a Christian state, as the Republicans continue to defend the excuse of “I’m Christian” do things that would otherwise be prohibited under the law. And in any case the Muslim population of the US remains small.

    “he went on an apology tour”

    That is a lie.

    “What premise in the Torah allows torture?”

    It is actually discussed in the halachic literature. Rabbi Bleich had an article in *Tradition* a few years back. In fact there are some circumstances where it would be permitted — what he calls the “ticking bomb” situation. But I quote Rabbi Bleich regarding our attitude in general:

    “Today, abhorrence of torture is emblematic of every civilized society. Jews, of all people, have profound historical cause to foster
    renunciation of torture in all its forms. ”

    The article is online at the Rabbinical Council of American web site, it is in volume 39, issue 4. It is worthy of a read. (The Bush Administration should have asked him for advice.)

  6. Good for him!

    If a terrorist is withholding information that could prove fatal or even injurious to others, Halacha would certainly demand that measures be taken to disclose that information by whatever means necessary. The Torah commands us, “Lo Sa’amod Al Dam Reiecha”.

    Of course, only after other effective means are attempted, such as saying “pretty please” and bribing with candy.

  7. Some people that have more assimitationist ideas than Judaism on their heads! NEVER in Jewish history was torture a way to get to enemies! WE are not and should not be like the people we are fighting! Such embarrassment to see Jews so far from human dignity.

  8. …and if it is perfectly halachially permitted for a non-jewish government to act this way? Do you know that it is isn’t? A jew can’t waterboard a terrorist to possibly save jewish lives or deter would-be terrorists? Show me siman and seif where this is prohibited.
    Especially for sofeik pikuach nefesh.
    Me thinks the overly-offended liberal stance might be the result of so called ‘asimitationist’ thinking.

  9. Fodder for the easy lessened hate.

    To encourage and congratulate torture, we just ask Hashem to limit his pardon on our trust.

    Probably not Torah 101.

    Matzav should pray harder.

  10. Commenter No 10 the prove that is permitted to do this thing is on you! Judaism has always protected human dignity and the poor excuse is not even relevant here! these people were subjected to abuse that was more in par with sadistic animalistic people. Never will any G-d fearing Jew will allow torture as a means to get information. That is the reason we are NOT like the nations on the world that even the free and democratic USA fell into the level of nihilism what it was “fashionable” to do so. NOT IN JUDAISM SR!

  11. Yes in Judaism!

    As was noted, Harav JD Bleich has a lengthy Halachic discussion where he proves that torture IS permitted in certain cases of even Safek Pikuach Nefesh. This may offend the sensibilities of certain people such as “Rabbi” Goldstein (who offers liberal-sounding pap instead of Halachic proof) and to them I say, “Go learn”!