An MSNBC investigation into the 9/11 Commission Report details how pieces of data were obtained through the use of “harsh interrogations.” From the report:
The 9/11 Commission suspected that critical information it used in its landmark report was the product of harsh interrogations of al-Qaida operatives – interrogations that many critics have labeled torture. Yet, commission staffers never questioned the agency about the interrogation techniques and in fact ordered a second round of interrogations specifically to ask additional questions of the same operatives, NBC News has learned.
Majid Khan was one of those sources subjected to harsh interrogation techniques in order to obtain information. As the report states:
“The Americans tortured him for eight hours at a time, tying him tightly in stressful positions in a small chair until his hands feet and mind went numb. They retied him in a chair every hour, tightening the bonds on his hands and feet each time so that it was more painful. He was often hooded and had difficulty breathing. They also beat him repeatedly, slapping him in the face, and deprived him of sleep.
“When he was not being interrogated, the Americans put Majid in a small cell that was totally dark and too small for him to lie down in or sit in with legs stretched out. He had to crouch. The room was also infested with mosquitoes. This torture only stopped when Majid agreed to sign a statement that he wasn’t even allowed to read.
Ultimately, Khan’s testimony was taken out of the final report, but this shows just how unreliable information obtained through torture can be. In fact, the Commission Final Report recommended that the US encourage an end to torture.