Posts Tagged ‘harsh interrogations’
WALL STREET JOURNAL: Osama bin Laden was killed by Americans, based on intelligence developed by Americans. That should bring great satisfaction to our citizens and elicit praise for our intelligence community. Seized along with bin Laden’s corpse was a trove of documents and electronic devices that should yield intelligence that could help us capture or kill other terrorists and further degrade the capabilities of those who remain at large.
But policies put in place by the very administration that presided over this splendid success promise fewer such successes in the future. Those policies make it unlikely that we’ll be able to get information from those whose identities are disclosed by the material seized from bin Laden. The administration also hounds our intelligence gatherers in ways that can only demoralize them.
Consider how the intelligence that led to bin Laden came to hand. It began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who broke like a dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included waterboarding. He loosed a torrent of information—including eventually the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden.
Leon Panetta, the CIA director, has confirmed that controversial “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as waterboarding yielded intelligence information that ultimately led to Osama bin Laden.
TOBY HARNDEN-U.K. TELEGRAPH: “In the intelligence business you work from a lot of sources of information and that was true here,” he told NBC News. “It’s a little difficult to say it was due just to one source of information that we got. I think some of the detainees clearly were, you know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees.”
The White House and its Capitol Hill allies had earlier been at pains to state that such techniques, used under the Bush administration but banned by Mr Obama as amounting to torture, had not played a part in yielding significant information.
Mr Panetta’s admission lays Mr Obama open to politically explosive claims that bin Laden would not have been killed had it not been for the use of those techniques by the Bush administration.
MARC THIESSEN-WASHINGTON POST: In normal times, the officials who uncovered the intelligence that led us to Osama bin Laden would get a medal. In the Obama administration, they have been given subpoenas.
On his second day in office, Obama shut down the CIA’s high-value interrogation program. His Justice Department then reopened criminal investigations into the conduct of CIA interrogators — inquiries that had been closed years before by career prosecutors who concluded that there were no crimes to prosecute. In a speech at the National Archives, Obama eviscerated the men and women of the CIA, accusing them of “torture” and declaring that their work “did not advance our war and counterterrorism efforts — they undermined them.”