If you were forced to reach a conclusion –or an “estimate,” in intelligence parlance — what would it be? It would be easy to conclude with a “high degree of confidence” that one of the most effective intelligence-gathering tactics in the war on terrorism — the aggressive interrogation of captured terrorists — has been eliminated and, along the way, the agency charged with being on the front lines of the war has been severely degraded in operational effectiveness. In other words, the Obama administration has taken some of the most effective changes implemented by the Bush administration and reversed them in what could be a Carter-style emasculation of American intelligence capabilities.
If you are a foreign intelligence service hostile to the United States, you cannot but rejoice. And if you are friendly, you cannot but weep.