[from VanityFair.com last December] I ask Mueller: So far as he is aware, have any attacks on America been disrupted thanks to intelligence obtained through what the administration still calls “enhanced techniques”?

“I’m really reluctant to answer that,” Mueller says. He pauses, looks at an aide, and then says quietly, declining to elaborate: “I don’t believe that has been the case.”

If not, why not? It seems to me nothing is more important in the current debate than whether or not torture produced important, actionable information. Cheney, Marc A. Thiessen (today in the WP) and dozens of others insist that it did. The director of the FBI says it did not. Isn’t that something that Times readers ought to be aware of?

This was Jehl’s reply:

I agree that the question of whether harsh interrogation methods produced important, actionable information is vital, and that it calls for further reporting. Thanks for calling to my attention the Vanity Fair article [which appeared last December] quoting Mr. Mueller. If those are indeed Mr. Mueller’s views, it’s an important element of a debate we intend to explore.

FCP hopes the Times will get around to that exploration real soon.

Charles Kaiser is the author of The Gay Metropolis and 1968 in America. He has been media editor for Newsweek, a member of the metro staff of The New York Times, and a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where he covered the press and book publishing. To learn more, visit charleskaiser.com.