Are you surprised by this? I'm not. And that is sad, because it means that I've come to expect this kind of stuff anymore:
It turns out that the part of our justification for the war in Iraq that involved links to al-Qaeda, and in particular the claims that they were involved in chemical weapons and explosives training in joint exercises with the Iraqi military, were not only obtained by coercion, but turn out to have been complete fabrications by an al-Qaeda suspect who was sent to Egypt for interrogation, under a policy (since revised) by which terror suspects were 'outsourced' for questioning to countries where the use of torture is legal or is carried out despite laws against it.
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration based a crucial prewar assertion about ties between Iraq and al-Qaida on statements gathered from the controversial U.S. policy of turning suspects over to foreign authorities for interrogation, according to current and former government officials.
An interrogated prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, provided his most specific and elaborate accounts about ties between Iraq and al-Qaida in a process known as rendition.
Libi, handed over to Egyptian custody in January 2002, later said he had fabricated the accounts to escape harsh treatment, according to those officials....
The Bush administration used Libi's accounts as the basis for its prewar claims, now discredited, that ties between Iraq and al-Qaida included training in explosives and chemical weapons.
There is nothing mysterious about what happened here. Mr. Libi was being interrogated by Egyptians using methods that were illegal for the CIA at the time (hence the use of Egyptian interrogators in Egypt), and he said what they wanted him to say in order to end the interrogation. Then the Bush administration used his 'confession' to help build the case for the war in Iraq (which as we know from former Bush cabinet member Paul O'Neill and others, was pretty much decided on as a policy even from the earliest days of the Bush administration, well before 9/11.)
And the bigger irony is this: Even with this experience of resounding failure, they want to 'reserve the right' to still conduct torture.
I guess they want to make more people 'say what they want them to' in order to justify some future action.