According to Bart Gellman's review of Ron Suskind's new book the following things are true:(link via Atrios)
- Al-Qaedist Abu Zubaydah was captured in March 2002.
- Zubaydah's captors discovered he was mentally ill and charged with minor logistical matters, such as arranging travel for wives and children.
- The President was informed of that judgment by the CIA.
- Two weeks later, the President described Zubaydah as "one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States."
- Later, Bush told George Tenet, "I said he was important. You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?" and asked Tenet if "some of these harsh methods really work?"
- The methods -- torture -- were applied.
- Then, according to Gellman, "Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty."
- At which point, according to Suskind, "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each . . . target."
Buy the book.