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  • CIA chief: Waterboarding aided bin Laden raid

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/428804..._central_asia/

    WASHINGTON — Intelligence garnered from waterboarded detainees was used to track down al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and kill him, CIA Chief Leon Panetta told NBC News on Tuesday.
    "Enhanced interrogation techniques" were used to extract information that led to the mission's success, Panetta said during an interview with anchor Brian Williams. Those techniques included waterboarding, he acknowledged.

    Panetta, who in a 2009 CIA confirmation hearing declared "waterboarding is torture and it's wrong," said Tuesday that debate about its use will continue.

    "Whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches I think is always gonna be an open question," Panetta said.

    "In the intelligence business you work from a lot of sources of information and that was true here," Panetta said. "We had a multiple source — a multiple series of sources — that provided information with regards to the situation. Clearly some of it came from detainees and the interrogation of detainees but we also had information from other sources as well."

    Panetta's comments hours after Attorney General Eric Holder defended as lawful Tuesday the intelligence gathering and raid that resulted in the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

    The raid was "lawful, legitimate and appropriate in every way. The people who were responsible for that action, both in the decision making and the effecting of that decision, handled themselves I think quite well,'' Holder told the House Judiciary Committee.
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    Bin Laden was killed at a heavily fortified home in an affluent suburb north of Islamabad, Pakistan.
    Story: Bin Laden's death rekindles 'enhanced' interrogation debate

    Holder's comments to the Judiciary Committee marked the first appearance before Congress by an Obama administration Cabinet official since the mission targeting bin Laden was carried out successfully early Monday.

    Under questioning by a committee member, Holder said he did not know whether information helpful to the search for bin Laden was gained through harsh interrogation techniques of al-Qaida suspects.

    Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., asked whether the bin Laden mission might have been illegal if it was aided by legally questionable interrogation tactics of prisoners at CIA sites around the globe.

    The following is an exchange between Holder and Lungren during the hearing.

    Lungren: "Can you tell us for the public record whether we can therefore be assured that any intelligence which led to the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden was not the result of enhanced interrogation techniques?"

    Holder: "Well I think that, as has been indicated by other administration spokesmen, there was a mosaic of sources that led to the identification of the people that led to ..."

    Lungren: "I understand that, but were any pieces of that mosaic the result of enhanced interrogation techniques?"

    Holder: "I do not know."

    Lungren: "If that were the case, would it make the action that we took against Osama bin Laden illegal?"

    Holder: "No. I mean, I think that in terms of the attenuation, to the extent that it was assumed that that were true, the attenuation between those acts that might have been problematic and the action that was taken just two days ago was sufficiently long so that the action would still be considered legal."

    'Controversial interrogation'
    U.S. officials say one of the key clues that led to bin Laden was a thread of information about an al-Qaida courier. That thread, they say, may have come from Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed or from the so-called 20th hijacker, Mohammad al-Qahtani.
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    Authorities acknowledge both Khalid Sheik Mohammad and Mohammad al-Qahtani had been subjected to enhanced interrogation, a policy authorized by former President George W. Bush.

    "We used this technique on three people, captured a lot of people and used it on three. We gained value; information to protect the country. And it was the right thing to do as far as I'm concerned," Bush said in a 2010 interview.

    But was it harsh interrogation that led to the critical information? The identity and whereabouts of the courier came to light only years later, after the enhanced interrogation had stopped.

    "The road to bin Laden began with waterboarding," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., House Homeland Security Chairman, said in an NBC News interview in which he asserted that waterboarding is a "moral imperative" that "saves lives."

    "I use the example of Sept 10th, 2001, if we had captured [9/11 airplane hijacker] Mohammed Atta and we knew he was going to kill thousands of Americans but we didn't know when or where, are we saying now you wouldn't hold his head under water to save 3000 lives?"

    Critics say there's no way to know if enhanced interrogation methods led to that one crucial piece of intelligence.

    "To reduce this to the idea that one piece of fact here or there came from enhanced interrogation techniques and their use is really misleading the American public," said Karen Greenberg, NYU Center On Law And Security.

    Administration officials say it was multiple sources of intelligence and years of patient work that eventually led to bin Laden.

    "Those who believe enhanced interrogation techniques are incredibly successful are going to be out there publicly advocating for why they work and why we should continue to use them. Others are going to say, well, they may have worked on this one occasion, you can't draw a broad sweeping conclusion that they always work," said Roger Cressey, NBC News terrorism analyst.

    Msnbc.com's Carrie Dann, NBC affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis and Reuters contributed to this report.

    © 2011 msnbc.com
    k.
    Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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  • #2
    I really like this whole part of the story. It does seem to be coming out that information gained by water-boarding gave our intel guys some initial info that ultimately led up to this. Funny how little things gleaned from various sources can be used to finally develop a more complete picture.

    When asked if it was true, Holder said he didn't know. Of course, it's the same Holder that said waterboarding is illegal because it was "torture". The same Holder that has JD folks continuing an investigation of CIA folks about using those tactics.

    "The operation in which Osama bin Laden was killed was lawful," Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee. "He was the head of al-Qaida, an organization that had conducted the attacks of September 11th. He admitted his involvement and he indicated that he would not be taken alive. The operation against bin Laden was justified as an act of national self defense."

    Now it seems to me that an attorney should be facing an ethical dilemma if he says the raid was legal when it was based on using information gotten by illegal means. If his 2009 statement is still valid that is. I'd defer that thought to an attorney who may be able to better explain how using the whole "fruit of the poisoned tree" thing to ultimately be the start of a legal investigation can be legal and how the resulting outcome of the investigation can be legal.
    "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
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    • #3
      Well, first of all, to have an adult discussion about this, we need to acknowledge that yes, Watson, we engage in torture. At least from what my definition of torture is. At least from the experiences I had going through training. At least what loads of military and non-military folks going through SERE and prisoner training every year would describe their experiences as. But that’s the wrong question. The question is not whether all torture should be dis-allowed, but at what point does a technique cross the line.

      Waterboarding is not the same as burning cigarettes out in the genitals of innocent people, or cutting off their ears, or beheading them, as the bad guys do. I could give you a list of things all of us endure in our normal lives that could be listed as torture. Heck, I think spending Christmas vacation with my former mother-in-law would qualify. The question is did waterboarding leave permanent physical and psychological damage to the three terrorists subjected to it? If you make the judgment call that it did, than surely you would advocate the extensive use of waterboarding and similar techniques used in training over decades on our own people has been inhumane and morally reprehensible and this training should be stopped pronto, yet in reality, these people would tell you the training was invaluable. (In other words, I’m throwing the head scratching concept out that a “bad” act can have “good” consequences. This is where humans are different from robots. Robots think in binary code, either this or that; humans deal with ambiguities. We make judgment calls.)

      What I think is morally reprehensible is not waterboarding, but the fact this Administration has treated the operatives involved in waterboarding KSM and the other two as criminals when they should be decorating them. Under Obama, the techniques used under Bush are no longer used. Interrogations no longer occur. Risk taking is scaled way back. And now that even liberals like Panetta are forced to acknowledged EIT worked, I wonder how long it’s gonna take folks to realize all this dismantling of the architecture Bush put into place is going to have an impact.

      Comment


      • #4
        Odd..... for some reason, the OP left out this tidbit, which was in the original linked article:

        But was it harsh interrogation that led to the critical information? The identity and whereabouts of the courier came to light only years later, after the enhanced interrogation had stopped.

        years later...after enhanced interrogation stopped.

        So how, exactly, does this prove that enhanced interrogation was helpful ?

        Khalid Sheikh Mohommed was waterboarded over 100 times after his capture, and never gave up intel about Osama....
        and you are going to claim that the "enhanced interrogation" worked?
        delusions
        Last edited by dlo; 05-09-2011, 09:20 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dlo View Post
          Odd..... for some reason, the OP left out this tidbit, which was in the original linked article:

          But was it harsh interrogation that led to the critical information? The identity and whereabouts of the courier came to light only years later, after the enhanced interrogation had stopped.

          years later...after enhanced interrogation stopped.

          So how, exactly, does this prove that enhanced interrogation was helpful ?

          They used the power of deduction to posit the two terrorists' insistence that the courier was NOT important to know he indeed was, and starting with that deduced information, built the very long thread and mozaic. A good analyst doesn't have to have the actual data, but using other data can use induction, deduction, intuition, and other mathematical reasoning techniques to lead to answers.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by EmmaPeel View Post
            They used the power of deduction to posit the two terrorists' insistence that the courier was NOT important to know he indeed was, and starting with that deduced information, built the very long thread and mozaic. A good analyst doesn't have to have the actual data, but using other data can use induction, deduction, intuition, and other mathematical reasoning techniques to lead to answers.
            there is nothing in that article that states whether KSM and the other said anything (important/not important) about the courier

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by EmmaPeel View Post
              They used the power of deduction to posit the two terrorists' insistence that the courier was NOT important to know he indeed was, and starting with that deduced information, built the very long thread and mozaic. A good analyst doesn't have to have the actual data, but using other data can use induction, deduction, intuition, and other mathematical reasoning techniques to lead to answers.
              http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/us...04torture.html
              But a closer look at prisoner interrogations suggests that the harsh techniques played a small role at most in identifying Bin Laden’s trusted courier and exposing his hide-out. One detainee who apparently was subjected to some tough treatment provided a crucial description of the courier, according to current and former officials briefed on the interrogations. But two prisoners who underwent some of the harshest treatment — including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times — repeatedly misled their interrogators about the courier’s identity.

              so two people who were aggressively interrogated continued to avoid providing information....
              while someone who was not provided key details

              tough to claim that "enhanced interrogation" worked....
              unless you are Rumsfeld trying to protect your legacy

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by dlo View Post
                there is nothing in that article that states whether KSM and the other said anything (important/not important) about the courier
                It's not in the article. But it's pretty well known at this point.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We really don't know, but I would bet that waterboarding (or another technique) played a role...Hardcore terrorist aren't going to spill secrets just b/c we asked them real nice...I can see the CIA official...

                  "Pretty please tell us about UBL"..."Please, pretty pretty please"...I'll be your best friend, I'll get you an Xbox, pleeeeeease!"...."Pretty please with a cherry on top"...
                  Last edited by Southflaguy; 05-09-2011, 09:36 PM.
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Southflaguy View Post
                    We really don't know, but I would bet that waterboarding played a role...Hardcore terrorist aren't going to spill secrets just b/c we asked them real nice...I can see the CIA official...

                    "Pretty please tell us about UBL"..."Please, pretty pretty please"...I'll be your best friend, I'll get you an Xbox, pleeeeeease!"...."Pretty please with a cherry on top"...
                    hardcore terrorists did not spill their secrets after waterboarding either

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dlo View Post
                      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/us...04torture.html
                      But a closer look at prisoner interrogations suggests that the harsh techniques played a small role at most in identifying Bin Laden’s trusted courier and exposing his hide-out. One detainee who apparently was subjected to some tough treatment provided a crucial description of the courier, according to current and former officials briefed on the interrogations. But two prisoners who underwent some of the harshest treatment — including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times — repeatedly misled their interrogators about the courier’s identity.

                      so two people who were aggressively interrogated continued to avoid providing information....
                      while someone who was not provided key details

                      tough to claim that "enhanced interrogation" worked....continued to avoid providing information
                      unless you are Rumsfeld trying to protect your legacy
                      "...continued to avoid providing information...." is exactly how they gave it up. They pretended so hard he wasn't important that it raised the red flags. That's how deduction works.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        “The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003,” said Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council. “It took years of collection and analysis from many different sources to develop the case that enabled us to identify this compound, and reach a judgment that Bin Laden was likely to be living there.”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dlo View Post
                          hardcore terrorists did not spill their secrets after waterboarding either
                          You're right dlo, they didn't spill his name, but when asked about his name, they obviously didn't understand the concept of "smoke screen" and allowed the interrogators to deduce it. In other words, they didn't do a convincing job of protecting his name. Can you imagine all the scared terrorists out there now, lol?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dlo View Post
                            “The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003,” said Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council. “It took years of collection and analysis from many different sources to develop the case that enabled us to identify this compound, and reach a judgment that Bin Laden was likely to be living there.”
                            And Tommy is an idiot. This was a triumph of analysis, painstaking mathematical reasoning and analysis all starting with the pearls received from interrogation.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EmmaPeel View Post
                              And Tommy is an idiot. This was a triumph of analysis, painstaking mathematical reasoning and analysis all starting with the pearls received from interrogation.
                              I see.
                              so the spokesman for the NSC is an idiot... b/c his reasoning is different from yours...

                              I'm sure he achieved his position b/c he was an idiot...

                              Comment

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