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UPDATED: Rumsfeld: Bin Laden Info from Gitmo NOT from ‘Harsh Treatment’ Or ‘Waterboarding’

UPDATED: Rumsfeld: Bin Laden Info from Gitmo NOT from ‘Harsh Treatment’ Or ‘Waterboarding’

UPDATE:  Rumsfeld’s later comments belie the information in this story as he moved to join his former colleagues in claiming that “enhanced interrogation” was likely the reason for the revelations that led to the locating of Osama.

The New York Times reported Monday that some of the information that led U.S. intelligence officials to ultimately determine Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts was obtained from detainees at Guantanamo Bay:

The real breakthrough came when they finally figured out the name and location of Bin Laden’s most trusted courier, whom the Qaeda chief appeared to rely on to maintain contacts with the outside world.

Detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had given the courier’s pseudonym to American interrogators and said that the man was a protégé of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Torture apologists on the right immediately extrapolated from this passage in the Times that this information was gleaned from using “enhanced interrogation” techniques (i.e. torture). Former Bush administration speechwriter Marc Theissen wrote that “it turns out the detainees in question were KSM and Abu Faraj al-Libi” (although it’s unclear how he knows this) and noted that both were tortured. Thus:

Before coming to Gitmo, both were held by the CIA as part of the agency’s enhanced interrogation program, and provided the information that led to bin Laden’s death after undergoing interrogation by the CIA. In other words, the crowning achievement of Obama’s presidency came as a direct result of the CIA interrogation program he has denigrated and shut down.

Bush torture program architect John Yoo agreed:

Also, buried in the stories may be yet another sign of the vindication of the Bush administration’s war on terror policies. Anonymous government sources say that the al Qaeda courier who led our intelligence people to bin Laden was a protege of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the 9/11 attacks who was captured in 2002, subjected to enhanced interrogation methods, and yielded a trove of intelligence on al Qaeda.

Dick Cheney said today that “it wouldn’t be surprising” the intel came from Bush’s torture program. However, there is currently no evidence to suggest that the detainees that provided the information that led to bin Laden were subject to torture. And Bush Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who presumably has some knowledge about what went on at Gitmo, today threw some cold water on this theory:

“The United States Department of Defense did not do waterboarding for interrogation purposes to anyone. It is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance. But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.”

Without any evidence, and without Rumsfeld’s blessing, it seems like conservatives are going to have to work a little bit harder at trying to take credit for bin Laden’s death.

This story first appeared at Think Progress.

 

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By Cody McComas via Creative Commons
By Ben Armbruster

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124 comments

+ add your own
6:25AM PDT on May 11, 2011

Bush/shrub and all his unholy crew are WAR CRIMINALS and should be written about as such because there seems little chance that they will ever be sent to The Hague. Further, they then facilitated the robbing of the US taxpayer, Iraqi oil and the World for the benefit of a few of their cronies.
If there be a God, which I doubt, and a Hell, these self proclaimed religious freeks should be burning there for several eternities. Sh1ts and hypocrites all of them; oh and the repugs and teatards as well.

6:23AM PDT on May 11, 2011

Bush/shrub and all his unholy crew are WAR CRIMINALS and should be written about as such because there seems little chance that they will ever be sent to The Hague. Further, they then facilitated the robbing of the US taxpayer, Iraqi oil and the World for the benefit of a few of their cronies.
If there be a God, which I doubt, and a Hell, these self proclaimed religious freeks should be burning there for several eternities. Sh1ts and hypocrites all of them; oh and the repugs and teatards as well.

6:04AM PDT on May 11, 2011

Torture doesn't work; bush/cheney/rove/rumsfeld et al are criminals and should be put in Gitmo and water boarded to find out if they have brains; the USA has to totally rethink its foreign policy.
The US is far too important a country to be left to morons like palin/bush/cheney/the repugs and teatards.

9:41PM PDT on May 9, 2011

First, the Repugs claim that they got the information in 2002. If they had the needed information why didn't they carry out some effort to get bin Laden? Either they did not have any such information, did not recognize its importance, or they did not know what to do with it, or did not knofw how to capture bin Laden. Whatever the reason, they couldn't carry out the job. And, that is the critical issue they did not have what it takes to carry out the job.

7:56PM PDT on May 9, 2011

NOTED THANKS

7:47PM PDT on May 9, 2011

Even the CIA Director for this poor excuse for a POTUS said that the enhanced interrogation techniques were the initial leads to OBL being found. What Rumsfeld said was those techniques weren't done in Gitmo but overseas before the two that went through the techniques were sent to Gitmo, As usual you "progressives" never get the facts right.

6:40PM PDT on May 9, 2011

@Paul B. Oh, didn't you know? Obama used his supervision to see through the buildings in Abbottabad as he was flying overhead. After he single-handedly "got 'er done" he then flew into a hospital and performed open-heart surgery on six patients. Then he saved the whales, cured cancer and stopped global warming. All praise Obama! The Messiah has come!

5:52PM PDT on May 9, 2011

So Rummey changed his tune after telling the truth for possibly the first time! First he says torture didn't help then he goes lock-step with his former bosses. Umm... Once a liar...

bin Laden got what he so well deserved...hope he sank fast for the hungry little fishes.

The latest reports are that WB did not have anything to do with catching the creep, intelligence far beyond what we can imagine did, case closed.

5:32PM PDT on May 9, 2011

Anyone who would believe anybody from the Bush Administration has to be closing their eyes and ears out of loyalty only. These people are lucky, and I mean lucky, that they weren't prosecuted for not only war crimes but crimes against America. They claim it was patriotism. Everyone should believe their own way, but please do so after being realistic and sympathetic to those who died supporting their country probably for the wrong reasons. In Viet Nam War times, US soldiers were chastised for doing what their commanders ordered them to do. They said that these soldiers should have walked away. I hear the same thing from people who support that Administration, that it was for patriotism. I choose to walk away, because I feel it is more patriotic to support the soldiers who died for lies.

4:49PM PDT on May 9, 2011

I have some oceanfront property in Montana to sell everyone who believes waterboarding isn't torture.

Reading Rummy's remarks made me want to point and laugh a la Nelson from 'The Simpsons'.

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