The Gist

When the CIA’s “Dark Side” Works

Post-9/11, harsh interrogation techniques may have proved effective, says one insider. But that shouldn’t be part of any argument to use them again.

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  • Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.

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Episode Notes

On The Gist, if Peter Navarro wants to criticize the Wall Street Journal, he really ought to read it once in a while.

In the interview, it’s easy to condemn the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation techniques in retrospect. But as agency alumnus Philip Mudd puts it, “boy, back then, people said ‘take out the stops, make sure it doesn’t happen again.’” He talks about the relative effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques, and why that shouldn’t be a factor if ever American forces countenance them again (answer: the issue is a moral one). Mudd is a former deputy director at the Counterterrorism Center and the author of Black Site: The CIA in the Post-9/11 World.

In the Spiel, there isn’t all that much conservative hand-wringing over the New York Times’ special coverage of historical slavery in America… but what’s there is pretty uninspired.

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Podcast production by Pierre Bienaimé and Daniel Schroeder.

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