I was watching O'Reilly and Rep. Peter King, NY, stated that info obtained from waterboarding led to the killing of Bin Laden. Now what if this is true? How do you on the left react to this if it is true? Would that make our President a war criminal by acting on info obtained through torture?
"I would assume that the enhanced interrogation program that we put in place produced some of the results that led to bin Laden's ultimate capture," Cheney said of the George
appears to have come from al Libi during 2005 and 2006 interrogations. Al Libi was in CIA custody from shortly after his capture until he was transferred with 13 other "high-value detainees" to Guantanamo in September 2006.
Quote:Prisoners in American custody told stories of a trusted courier. When the Americans ran the manâ€™s pseudonym past two top-level detainees â€” the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed; and Al Qaedaâ€™s operational chief, Abu Faraj al-Libi â€” the men claimed never to have heard his name. That raised suspicions among interrogators that the two detainees were lying and that the courier probably was an important figure.
My italics. So in torturing these two men, interrogators got nothing of substance. In fact, it was only by assuming that these men were lying under torture that the investigation continued. It was subsequently, during normal interrogations that KSM gave us a central clue:
Quote:Mohammed did not reveal the names while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He identified them many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.
To repeat: in the one instance we now clearly know about, the CIA is telling us that torture gave them lies. Which they were. Only when traditional inetrrogation was used did we get the actual names of the couriers. Marcy Wheeler looks at the current data set:
Quote:We can conclude that either KSM shielded the courierâ€™s identity entirely until close to 2007, or he told his interrogators that there was a courier who might be protecting bin Laden early in his detention but they were never able to force him to give the courierâ€™s true name or his location, at least not until three or four years after the waterboarding of KSM ended. Thatâ€™s either a sign of the rank incompetence of KSMâ€™s interrogators (that is, that they missed the significance of a courier protecting OBL), or a sign he was able to withstand whatever treatment they used with him.
Follow up here. Jane Mayer's thoughts. Brian Beutler focuses on the flaws in the AP story torture apologists latched onto. Meanwhile, Rumsfeld himself has denied that torture played any role in finding bin Laden:
Quote:â€śIt is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance. But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.â€ť
What really broke the case? From the NYT:
Quote:Operation Cannonball, a  bureaucratic reshuffling ... placed more C.I.A. case officers on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan. With more agents in the field, the C.I.A. finally got the courierâ€™s family name. With that, they turned to one of their greatest investigative tools â€” the National Security Agency began intercepting telephone calls and e-mail messages between the manâ€™s family and anyone inside Pakistan. From there they got his full name. Last July, Pakistani agents working for the C.I.A. spotted him driving his vehicle near Peshawar.
Old-fashioned, painstaking, labor-intensive intelligence work. The American way. We never needed to stoop to bin Laden's standards to get bin Laden. We needed merely to follow our long-tested humane procedures.