GERGEN: At the same time, he [President Obama] made a very, very calibrated decision; we're not going to prosecute those people in the CIA who undertook this. And I think he showed some respect for the argument that Mr. Hayden and Mr. Mukasey made today in The Wall Street Journal.
That, in fact, there may have been some benefit to the United States from these interrogation techniques. And very importantly, when we sort of take this broad brush and sort of paint this as sort of villainous, that, in fact, the number of people who were interrogated with these harsh and, I think, torturous techniques was fairly limited.
It was of the thousands of people who were captured it was about some 30 or 35 whom these techniques were used. And they make the argument -- and I don't know why we should question them -- that about half of what we know about Al Qaeda came out of those interrogation techniques...
GERGEN: And I also think, Anderson, there's a temptation here to sort of lump Abu Ghraib, which was clear violations of the rules by a lot of other people with these more limited CIA techniques.
As Danner jumped on this, Cooper, once again to his credit, didn't impede the flow of information with contrived balance nor did he bail out Gergen, his longtime CNN colleague. Rather, Cooper facilitated and contextualized Danner's response, closing the discussion by disproving Gergen's assertions with just the facts. read on
Danner and Cooper both pointed out that many of these techniques were used at Bagram and Guantanamo as well as Abu Ghraib and there were as many as 35 cases investigated as homicides! (Imagine how many there were that weren't investigated.) Danner rightly said that the torture of these so-called high value interrogations was even worse because it was explicitly authorized in great detail by the leadership in Washington. Gergen, being the good company man that he is, says he has no reason to doubt the Bush administration officials' good intentions or the eficacy of the torture. After all, it's not like they've ever lied before. Who are we to suspect they are now working overtime to keep from going down in history as modern Torquemadas.