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Pentagon-backed Fox analyst calls waterboarding a ‘very useful tool’

By David Edwards
Friday, May 2, 2008 6:13 EDT
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When Hillary Clinton appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, she stated that she does not support waterboarding because experienced interrogators tell her it doesn’t produce high-quality intelligence.

The hosts of Fox and Friends turned to “former CIA guy” and “terror analyst” Wayne Simmons to ask, “Is she telling the truth?”

“She’s clearly misinformed,” Simmons answered. “As most of the candidates are. In fact, even McCain is misinformed on this. … Waterboarding is not torture, it is a very, very, very useful tool to extract intel from our enemies. Has saved American lives and will continue to do so.”

When asked whether techniques like waterboarding elicit faulty information because “they’ll say anything to make you stop,” Simmons replied, “That’s the old myth. It’s the old myth about interrogation — and we’re not talking about torture because this is not torture.”

“The way you do it,” Simmons continued, “is you extract the intel, you vet the intel, and if it’s not true you come back and you see them and you make it very, very difficult on them.”

According to an online biography, “Simmons has been a Terrorism Analyst for the Fox News Channel since 2002. In 2004, under Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, he became a part of the Pentagon Outreach Program for Military and Intelligence Analysts. Simmons was one of the first outside Intelligence officers to visit GITMO (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) in July, 2005 and again in July, 2006.”

The New York Times recently sparked a firestorm of outrage over the Pentagon Outreach Program when it exposed it as no more than a propaganda outlet for the military. According to the Times, “In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. … The administration’s communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantánamo.”

“To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as ‘military analysts’ whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world. Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.”

This video is from Fox’s Fox & Friends, broadcast May 2, 2008.

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David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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