Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The path to bin Laden: Was it a waterway?

To what extent, if any, was the information leading to the death of Osama obtained through enhanced methods, including waterboarding?

JustOneMinute: Did Enhanced Interrogation Lead To Osama bin Laden?

Did the enhanced interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Faraj al-Libbi (who was not) and other Gitmo detainees lead to the information that led to bin Laden? The fog of war blows in from the left as Marcy Wheeler concludes that, since we can't prove that enhnced interrogation was helpful, we must assume that it wasn't. Well, she dresses that up a bit:
The AP has confirmed that intelligence leading to the courier that in turn led to Osama bin Laden came from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and–as I surmised earlier–Abu Faraj al-Libi while in CIA custody. But partly because of the language AP uses to describe this–and partly because the wingnuts love torture–many are drawing the wrong conclusion about it.

It is clear that KSM was held in secret prisons and waterboarded, and that al-Libbi was held in secret prisons; it is being reported that both provided critical clues that eventually led to bin Laden. To conclude from those facts that enhanced interrogation was not instrumental in cracking the case is a bit of a leap, just as it would be a leap to conclude that enhanced interrogation was essential.


TACKLING IT HEAD-ON: The Times takes a look and sees little:


So we don't know whether Ghul talked after being enhanced, we don't know if al-Libi lied after not being enhanced - really conclusive stuff here.

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