Obama's intel chief: "Torture" yielded high-value information

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” the Director of National Intelligence, retired Admiral Dennis Blair, told colleagues in the two-page memo April 16.

That sentence was not included in a shorter one-page statement Blair’s office gave to the media last Thursday, the same day Obama released previously top secret Bush administration memos laying out Republican lawyers’ rationale for why they believed the interrogations were legal. Obama officially banned the techniques during his first week in office, with his aides charging it amounted to illegal torture…

“The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means,” Blair said in the prepared statement. “The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security.”