Saturday, May 07, 2011

Finding bin Laden

One of the memes going around is that "every credible source" says waterboarding didn't help find bin Laden, and probably slowed down the hunt.

Among non-credible sources must be CIA chief Leon Panetta:

Today reported:
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.

(Gateway Pundit)

For Pittsburg Steelers fans from Rio Linda, "open question" means anyone who says he absolutely knows the answer one way or the other is wrong.

Gateway also links to Don Rumsfeld:

Bill O'Reilley: number 1: how do you feel aobut Alan Colmss and others on the left using you to make their assertions against coerced interrogation?
Donald Rumsfeld: Well, it's the first time I've ever heard of Alan Colmes using me to support a position of his. But the fact is that the information was garbled. I think what I said was that there was no waterboarding at Guantanimo, and omebody else said that a Guantanimo detainee who had been waterboarded provided important information, and the connection created a disconnect, because the people who were waterboarded were three people -- by the CIA, none of whom were waterboarded at Guantanamo, and none of whom were waterboarded by the military. ...
Bill O'Reilley: OK, so there was confusion about the context of your remarks, which happens, you know, all the time, all the time, and it was seized upon by Alan and others on the left to say, "you know what, even Rumsfeld says it didn't it." But I said, quite responsibly I believe, that since I hadn't talked with you directly, I'm not taking some secondary source, that as you said, garbled up what your original remarks were. Now the most important thing. You just heard Barack Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and Vice President say flat out that coerced interrogation doesn't work. We now know that is false. It does work. Correct?
Donald Rumsfeld: Unquestionably, it works. And the problem I have with the discussion thus far is that people are equating waterboarding with torture, and I think that's a mistake. The President of the United States authorized waterboarding, it was done to three people by the CIA, not by the military, and it produced an enormous amount of very valuable intelligence information by the testimony of George Tenet, by the testimony of CIA director Mike Hayden, and by others who had a chance to review the information.
Bill O'Reilley: How about you? Did you see that intel?
Donald Rumsfeld: Yes. I've certainly been made aware of the intelligence information that came from those sources and others.
Bill O'Reilley: OK, that being said, then, you cited two names in the CIA and yourself as primary sources that coerced interrogation provided information that protected America. Correct?
Donald Rumsfeld: Correct.
Bill O'Reilley: You cited the sources, and the sourcing is correct. So then...
Bill O'Reilley: We saw what Leon Panetta said about this incident. OK, now. So then you hear the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State flat out deny what it looks to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That worries me.
Donald Rumsfeld: Well, in my view, we very likely would not have captured or killed Osama bin Laden had we not had the intelligence information we have.
Bill O'Reilley: OK, but does it worry you that the top three people in the government are saying you know, even though Rumsfeld and everybody else, Tenet, says it, we still don't believe it. Doesn't that worry you?
Donald Rumsfeld: Did they say that recently, or when they were Sena(tors)?
Bill O'Reilley: No, no, but they didn't repudiate it, they should have come out and said "hey, I was wrong, this intel.." Instead, the talking point's from Washington, "It was a mosaic. It was a mosaic of information." They're bending over like pretzels trying to get away from the coerced interrogation deal. You know what they're doing, it's the Washington spin-around.
Donald Rumsfeld: Well of course, it is a mosaic in a sense that you take pieces of information and no one in isolation is determinative, but taken together it produces the outcome and if some of that, as Director Pineta says, came from the enhanced interrogations, the waterboarding, then in fact the mosaic would not have produced the outcome, and you would not have been able to get bin Laden.
Bill O'Reilley: But you're not going to get that admission from this administration, are you?
Donald Rumsfeld: Maybe not. Although in fact what they've done is they've reversed themselves on most of the things they attacked during the campaign. On indefinite detention, Guantanimo bay, military commission, the patriot act, all of these things they campaigned against, and yet now, once they're governing, I think they realize that those are things that President Bush's administration put into place and they're protecting the American people.
Bill O'Reilley: I hope they realize it. I hope so. Now I think, to be fair, you and I have to take Colmes out for dinner, since he made us look good at the expense of himself. All right, the book is Known and Unknown, it was a pleasure...

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