Monday, May 2, 2011

Key Intel to Find Osama Came From Enhanced Interrogations in Secret Prisons

Does this mean liberals will now support enhanced interrogations and secret prisons for terrorists, or will they condemn the use of this 'ill-gotten-intelligence' while praising the outcome...

"It will be interesting to see how this plays out, via AP:

Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.

The ironies of this story are growing deeper and deeper by the hour. 

1 comment:

  1. Ian Dubrowsky5/03/2011 10:20 AM

    With al-Libi, the connection between whatever torture he experienced and this intelligence is less clear (since he was first detained in 2005), but even with al-Libi, , it seems like al-Libi did give up the name, perhaps earlier than reported. But still not waterboarding.

    Either these men didn’t know the true name of their protégé and assistant (which is highly unlikely), or they managed to withhold that information even under torture.

    In fact, two people who normally would be crowing about the success of torture are not now doing it. Donald Rumsfeld suggests the discovery of OBL came from intelligence gained at Gitmo (therefore, not in Poland or Romania). And while Cheney assumes enhanced interrogation aka torture led to OBL, he admits he doesn’t know where the intelligence came from; given that he was ordering up propaganda reports along the way to justify his torture program, yet can’t claim definitively that the intelligence came from it, is a pretty good tell that he can’t say it did.

    If KSM and al-Libi revealed details about the courier (and al-Libi’s Gitmo file suggests he did; KSM’s, which is dated two years earlier, does not), they shielded the most important information about him for years.

    All of which sort of makes you wonder whether the FBI’s KSM expert could have gotten it out of KSM had he ever interrogated him.
    But what the torture of al Libi "revealed" is even more damning for the pro-torturers's case.

    Having slipped off the radar, the government clearly does not want Libi's case revived, not only because it may have to explain what has happened to him, but also because, as a result of the application of "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques," al-Libi claimed that Saddam Hussein had offered to train two al-Qaeda operatives in the use of chemical and biological weapons.
    Al-Libi's "confession" led to President Bush declaring, in October 2002, "Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and gases," and his claims were, notoriously, included in Colin Powell's speech to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003. The claims were of course, groundless, and were recanted by al-Libi in January 2004, but it took Dan Cloonan, a veteran FBI interrogator, who was resolutely opposed to the use of torture, to explain why they should never have been believed in the first place. Cloonan told Jane Mayer, "It was ridiculous for interrogators to think Libi would have known anything about Iraq... The reason they got bad information is that they beat it out of him. You never get good information from someone that way."

    What torture got us, in practical terms, was the Iraq debacle. And the complete and well-deserved debasement of our international standing. And a hell of a lot more anti-American terrorists that killing one Osama bin Laden cannot take back.


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