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Report: Torture failed on Sept. 11 planner

June 22, 2008 at 11:17 AM

NEW YORK, June 22 (UPI) -- The story of a CIA agent who got the alleged leader of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks to talk sheds new light on interrogation techniques, sources say.

Citing unnamed sources Sunday, The New York Times said suspected Sept. 11 chief planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed didn't reveal much useful information about al-Qaida under torture, until soft-spoken CIA agent Deuce Martinez befriended him and used the relationship to get him to talk.

The newspaper identified Martinez as a second-generation CIA agent who began his career tracking narcotics traffickers by analyzing data records, someone who had no experience in interrogation techniques and spoke no Arabic. But his success with the recalcitrant Mohammed was considered amazing by his colleagues, some of whom said he reached the terrorist on a personal level.

The Times said numerous interviews with unnamed intelligence sources revealed torture is not the most effective way to get information from terror suspects.

The treatment of Mohammed at the hands of U.S. interrogators, as well as that of other suspected al-Qaida operatives, has opened a wide-ranging debate on the use of torture as a tool for dealing with terrorists.

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