Skip to main content

Bin Laden compound
Bin Laden's compound, not located through torture. (Ho New/Reuters)

There's yet another AP story, apparently being pushed hard by Bush-era intelligence officials, that it was the torture of KSM that led to bin Laden.
In a secret CIA prison in Eastern Europe years ago, al-Qaida's No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, gave authorities the nicknames of several of bin Laden's couriers, four former U.S. intelligence officials said. Those names were among thousands of leads the CIA was pursuing....

The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA's so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.

"We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day," said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.

Marcy Wheeler has much more on the torture timeline that disproves this ongoing effort to credit Bush's torture policies for leading U.S. intelligence to bin Laden. She writes at emptywheel:

Here’s what a senior administration official said last night about when they got the intelligence on the courier.
Detainees gave us his nom de guerre or his nickname and identified him as both a protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of September 11th, and a trusted assistant of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the former number three of al Qaeda who was captured in 2005.

Detainees also identified this man as one of the few al Qaeda couriers trusted by bin Laden. They indicated he might be living with and protecting bin Laden. But for years, we were unable to identify his true name or his location.

Four years ago, we uncovered his identity, and for operational reasons, I can’t go into details about his name or how we identified him, but about two years ago, after months of persistent effort, we identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated. [my emphasis]

In other words, while the CIA may have learned the courier’s nickname earlier, they didn’t learn his true name until “four years ago”–so late 2006 at the earliest. And they didn’t learn where the courier operated until around 2009.

From these dates we can conclude that either KSM shielded the courier’s identity entirely until close to 2007, or he told his interrogators that there was a courier who might be protecting bin Laden early in his detention but they were never able to force him to give the courier’s true name or his location, at least not until three or four years after the waterboarding of KSM ended. That’s either a sign of the rank incompetence of KSM’s interrogators (that is, that they missed the significance of a courier protecting OBL), or a sign he was able to withstand whatever treatment they used with him.

The assumption is, then, that 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."

Marcy reads the Cheney statement saying he "assumes" that torture led to bin Laden differently because he "admits he doesn’t know where the intelligence came from." She's spot on in pointing out that the failure of Cheney to take full credit for the torture policy he loves so much, and spent so much time propagandizing. She says, since he "can’t claim definitively that the intelligence came from it, is a pretty good tell that he can’t say it did." She also points out that Donald Rumsfeld, who would have every reason to crow that the policies he supported had a good outcome, will only go so far as to say the intelligence might have come from detainees at Guantanamo.

Note clearly that neither of these two endorsing the idea that the waterboarding of KSM nine years ago—all 183 incidents of it—led to the name and location of the courier, which current intelligence officials say they learned in the last four years. It's not even clear that KSM's interrogators were even interested then in obtaining information about the couriers. The timeline, and every report that says the specific information on the courier was obtained in recent years at Guantanamo make the KSM waterboarding story incredible.

All of which makes it look like the AP is being used by these Bush-era intelligence officials to justify their illegal actions.

All of the arguments against torture that we've all used for so many years still exists: it's morally wrong and inherently anti-American; it results in false intelligence; it fuels hatred against us; it increases the likelihood that captured Americans would be tortured. That, and more, remains as true today as when the Bush administration started torturing to obtain the false evidence to justify the war in Iraq.

Dick Cheney still says "We need to keep in place those policies that made it possible for us to succeed in this case," meaning torture. He's still wrong.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Is it possible for one, such as the AP, (7+ / 0-)

    to be "used," when one does so, so willingly and even eagerly?

    Hey, if Haley Barbour's not running, that means the GOP won't be able to find a rich white racist to head up their......ummm, never mind.

    by jazzmaniac on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:25:48 PM PDT

  •  Still waiting for anyone in the Bush/Cheney regime (7+ / 0-)

    to give credit to Bill Clinton for something... anything... that contributed toward the minuscule successes that occurred during 2001-2008.

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:27:32 PM PDT

  •  Doesn't matter if it did or didn't. (11+ / 0-)

    If torturing people caused gold ingots to shoot out their asses, you don't do it.  It's pure evil.

    The conundrum of stable democracy: Reform requires the consent of the corrupt.

    by Troubadour on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:32:09 PM PDT

    •  If you have a conscience or a soul. (4+ / 0-)

      If you are Dick Cheney, you torture first and come up with reasons why it was good 7 years later.

      Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. - Poor Richard's Almanac 1755 The government exists to protect us from the thugs who got rich ripping off our ancestors. - Mungley 2011

      by mungley on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:43:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's just how psychopaths roll. (5+ / 0-)

        We've gotten the guy behind 9/11, now we can focus on bringing the vultures to justice who exploited it.

        The conundrum of stable democracy: Reform requires the consent of the corrupt.

        by Troubadour on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:46:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, like that is going to happen. Remember: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pete Rock

          Progressives only look FORWARD, that's why they are called "progressive," and why they keep looking for "leaders" they hope will shoot gold ingots out their asses. To go with the drivel that comes out of the other end. Looking BACK is a no-no -- that might lead to recognition that those gold ingots were nothing more than steaming you know whats...

          "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

          by jm214 on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:57:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It happens if we make it happen. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mungley

            And it doesn't if we don't.  Either way, it's our choice.  Stop choosing fatalism while blaming other people for not changing your outlook.

            The conundrum of stable democracy: Reform requires the consent of the corrupt.

            by Troubadour on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:02:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Diligent, competent progressives make sure they (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Troubadour

            have all the information they need before they act.

            Look at it this way:
            Putting John Yoo on trial before bringing Bin Laden to Justice you look like we were attacking ourselves first.

            Now, we can can demonstrate that we are serious about fighting terrorists we can become serious about fighting torturers.

            Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. - Poor Richard's Almanac 1755 The government exists to protect us from the thugs who got rich ripping off our ancestors. - Mungley 2011

            by mungley on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:09:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Let's not be hasty (3+ / 0-)

              If the Democrats want to make absolutely sure that the they look serious about national security, they shouldn't settle for launching only 2 new wars on Muslim countries. (Libya and Yemen. Remember them?)

              No, they must start a third. And since now there will be public resentment of Pakistan for harboring bin Laden, we have a perfect candidate.

              That they have nukes will mean extra Macho Points.

              •  Extra Observant Points for you! (0+ / 0-)

                So many generals/admirals, so little real war... Seems like SOMEthing can be done to redress that patent imbalance...

                "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

                by jm214 on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:23:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Get real. (0+ / 0-)

                There's just no friggin' way we're going to attack Pakistan. Just spend a little time with Wikipedia comparing Pakistan to Libya and Yemen and a dozen reasons will jump out at you.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Tue May 03, 2011 at 05:37:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  THANK YOU. (5+ / 0-)

      Torture.  Is.  Wrong.  Why don't they understand this?

      "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." - Anatole France

      by stophurtingamerica on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:48:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because they're psychopaths. (4+ / 0-)

        The conundrum of stable democracy: Reform requires the consent of the corrupt.

        by Troubadour on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:57:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have struggled mightily not to believe this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Troubadour

          of my fellow human beings.  I'm not ready necessarily to give in to it yet.  But the evidence is pretty damning.

          "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." - Anatole France

          by stophurtingamerica on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:03:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's easier to deal constructively (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            once you accept what people really are.  To one extent or another, Republicans are basically people deficient in human empathy and/or critical thinking, and their leaders are those who exhibit those deficiencies most prominently - i.e., psychopaths and idiots (in Bush's case, an idiotic psychopath).  It's best not to hate them for that, but just to understand that you're not ever going to change them - you can only limit their power to hurt others.

            The conundrum of stable democracy: Reform requires the consent of the corrupt.

            by Troubadour on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:12:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Too broad. (0+ / 0-)

              Betting on any given individual to change is a low-percentage proposition. But it is 100% certain that, given a large enough group of people, some of them will change. Even on DKos you run across the occasional poster who says, "I'm a former right-winger."

              In other words, Keep Hope Alive.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Tue May 03, 2011 at 05:40:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •   That would be good if we held individuals (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pete Rock

      accountable for what the state or corporation does.
      The fact is that they instituted a program to elicit false proof of a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.
      They weren't trying to "stop an imminent threat".
      That's why they ignored the intel briefing: "bin Laden determined to strike in US", because they wanted him to, they didn't think he'd get away with such a big strike.
      They wanted a pretext to go into Iraq, period.
      Torture is what evil people do, but we better plan on stopping it by prosecuting people rather than guilt tripping them.

  •  incorrect analysis (12+ / 0-)



    From these dates we can conclude that either KSM shielded the courier’s identity entirely until close to 2007, or he told his interrogators that there was a courier who might be protecting bin Laden early in his detention but they were never able to force him to give the courier’s true name or his location, at least not until three or four years after the waterboarding of KSM ended. That’s either a sign of the rank incompetence of KSM’s interrogators (that is, that they missed the significance of a courier protecting OBL), or a sign he was able to withstand whatever treatment they used with him.


      The correct explanation for the failure is that al Queda has the ability to run a compartmentalized operation. KSM was a key player, but he didn't know everything.

      This has been a consistent theme with what is seen in Progressive analysis in general and in particular the coverage at FDL - people make mistakes that even a brand new intelligence analyst would have the sense to avoid.

    •  I second this (7+ / 0-)

      . . .  the logical conclusion is that KSM did not the courier's real name or other details - he only knew his nickname.  

      •  but nobody else? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stranded Wind

        They didn't have other people, and other
        links?

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:45:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That IS the reason conspirators ue nicks. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stranded Wind

        Just like kossacks!

        "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

        by Bob Love on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:50:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And torture may have gotten us the pseudonym. (0+ / 0-)

          Don't think I'm defending torture--I'm not.

          But apparently the original nugget of info--that bin Laden had a trusted courier, and the courier's pseudonym--came out while we were still torturing people. We don't know if it came out during torture or the threat of torture; and even if it did, we don't know if it would have come out anyway using humane interrogation methods. But the timeline doesn't rule out getting this first clue by torture.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Tue May 03, 2011 at 05:44:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Logical. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, Stranded Wind

      Which puts it outside the grasp of the radical right.

    •  Wasn't he KSM's protege? n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  I agree. The fact is that we cannot know (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jon Says, Stranded Wind, HeyMikey

      all that the enhanced interrogation program produced.  However, this analysis twists facts to fit a preconceived notion which is a fundamental error.

    •  Nah, that's YOUR personal explanation. Based on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bay of arizona, Pete Rock

      what kind of experience and knowledge, again? One amazing element in the wonderland of American geopolitics is the inability to recognize dirty, ugly reality. And that it's the "itys" that characterize the real world, much of which will never become apparent to the folks who are satisfied with re-runs of "Wag the Dog" and "Rambo: The Fraud:" stupidity, cupidity, vapidity, mendacity, voracity, futility...

      Correct, my foot. I seem to recall that on the "cupidity" front, there was some "al Quaeda" clerk who took a couple of thousand bucks to turn over to CIA jackals all the video "training" material of the Grand Compartmentalized al Quaeda Conspiracy of Terrorist Horror. And as for "stupidity," see, e.g., "shoe" and "crotch" bombers, and more tellingly in the macro historical context, the idiot failures of "intelligence" (sic) in the run-up to 9/11, worthy of a grand rehabilitating story on the FBI in this week's TIME. Which I find interesting only in that it shows the massively disabling careerist-driven shift of resources away from enforcing "white collar" criminal law, you remember, banksta kind of crime that is screwing our economy in one orifice while the MIC/state security apparatus reams the other,  into the much more lucrative, metric-less arena of "state security apparatus."

      Old joke: Guy wanders downtown LA with an elephant gun under his arm. Cop stops him and says "Why the heck are you carrying that elephant gun around downtown LA?" Guy says, "To keep the wild elephants away." Cop says, "You idiot! There's not a wild elephant within 8,000 miles of here!" Guy says, smugly, "See? It works!"

      Fucking stupid humans.

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:09:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CBS pushing the same meme (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, Bob Love, Matt Z

    You've got to keep those intelligence sources happy or you won't get "real" scoops!

  •  I thought it was nice ... (7+ / 0-)

    ... of NPR this morning to give sub-human torture apologist John Negroponte a forum to make these same dubious claims and to give Bush equal credit for today's triumph.

  •  Now would be a great time to open some trials (9+ / 0-)

    against the people who authorized the torture of human beings.

    We can't let the lies of the Cheney/ Yoo torture club win on this.

    They have promised to torture more when they come back to power.
    That needs to be shown to be a bad practice.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. - Poor Richard's Almanac 1755 The government exists to protect us from the thugs who got rich ripping off our ancestors. - Mungley 2011

    by mungley on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:41:57 PM PDT

    •  But of course there's a bunch of people "EVEN HERE (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bay of arizona

      " in Progessiveland who say that's a no-no. Must... look... forward.... Never... look... back... something might be gaining on me...

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:11:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those people are wrong. We need to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jm214, aliasalias

        investigate those who approved the torture of human beings.

        If President Obama fails to act on that count, then the next Republican President will take that as a mandate to commit torture.

        Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. - Poor Richard's Almanac 1755 The government exists to protect us from the thugs who got rich ripping off our ancestors. - Mungley 2011

        by mungley on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:46:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You have to choose your moment. (0+ / 0-)

        We don't have the political power to prosecute Bush/Cheney now, and it got even worse after2010.
        However, it will probably be better in 2012. We  have to start getting people back to work. first.

  •  Thank you. (5+ / 0-)

    We're getting this bullshit story from within Daily Kos as well.  People embarrass themselves when they push that crap.

    "Ha! Obama wouild have to kill Bin Ladin before he'd ever get my vote again! HA HA HA HA.....wha-? ...aw fuck."

    by Detroit Mark on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:42:00 PM PDT

  •  Trump wants to see the Death Cert (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies, Matt Z

    Donald Trump wants to see the Long Form Death Certificate

  •  Don't forget how they caught KSM (7+ / 0-)

    Paraphrasing a NYT article from 2009:

    There was a guy they caught back in March of 2002 named  Abu Zubaydah. He was injured during a firefight when they arrested him. He was held in a prison in Thailand and supervised and questioned by two FBI agents who won his trust during the first two months. This is the time that this prisoner gave up all of his information.

    Then the CIA got involved and things started to go south when the leadership of the CIA decided that  Abu Zubaydah was the #4 man in al Queda even though this guy was just a travel clerk. All of the real intel they got from this guy came from before the time they began the torture including the information that led to the arrest of KSM.

    Cheney will never be able to prove that any of the torture was effective.

    "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."- Arthur Carlson

    by bobinson on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:43:19 PM PDT

  •  If torture worked (8+ / 0-)

    why didn't it work in the 7 years Bush was having
    these guys Steam Ironed.

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:43:56 PM PDT

  •  And where are those WMD's, Don? (6+ / 0-)
    Donald Rumsfeld, who would have every reason to crow that the policies he supported had a good outcome, will only go so far as to say the intelligence might have come from detainees at Guantanamo.
    Did you say they were somewhere North, South, East or West of Tikrit? I guess they might be. And I guess someone at Guantanamo might have said something useful. Thanks for the update.  

    "If you are going to tell people the truth, be funny or they will kill you." Billy Wilder 1906 - 2002

    by LeftOfYou on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:44:45 PM PDT

  •  CBS just inferred the same connection (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stroszek

    The information came from those secret prisons where waterboarding was conducted was the introduction to a segment on OBL's death.

    You just know the torture lovers will glomb onto this as vindication and start spouting "torture works."

  •  Even if it did (3+ / 0-)

    ...provide the info to kill Bin Laden, it's still a crime. The reality is these clowns can never justify their actions and what they need to be doing is asking for forgiveness of the people they worked for, not trying to insist they were justified.

    You would think all these "Christians" would know moral relativism when they speak it.

    God I hate these arrogant pricks.

    -7.5 -7.28, Democratic Socialism...It's not just for Europeans.

    by Blueslide on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:47:17 PM PDT

    •  But it DIDN'T (0+ / 0-)

      It couldn't have - his compound wasn't even BUILT when those people were tortured. It wasn't there when ANY prisoners were sent to Gitmo.

      So they couldn't have known ANYTHING about it. They might have known a name or two, but any info would have been really old. The people might likely have been dead by now, or nowhere near where they were SEVEN YEARS AGO.

  •  What's their line? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    "Torture works! After 8 years!"

  •  Interesting puzzle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bay of arizona, mmacdDE

    My take:

    It was not KSM who spilled the beans, but other detainees.  So obviously, KSM had valuable info, and could not be broken.

    It does not seem to me that this timeline indicates that this break--from 'detainees'--came as late as 2007 (four years ago).  Rather, at some unspecified time, they learned that the courier existed, but not enough to ID him.  Then, four years ago, they ID'd him but could not find him, then two years ago, etc.

    That sounds to me like it could have been a long time ago, that first clue.

    My hypothesis is, they learned this info early.  We don't know if it was the result of torture or not.  We can infer that it was learned before the torture of KSM was carried out in earnest and then stopped.  (Because, the first piece of info would have lead everyone to question KSM closely for the exact identity, etc.  And it sounds like they stopped trying to get stuff out of KSM in 2003?)

    One other thing I'm sure I'm remembering correctly: the professional interrogators were pissed off at the Cheney team--isn't that right?--because their treatment of KSM had ruined chances of getting good info out of him.

    So, wouldn't you think the interrogators were pissed at Cheney, because they knew KSM could supply the name of the courier, and their opinions, after the waterboarding, it was harder not easier to get stuff from him.

    And maybe they were especially pissed off, because KSM was tortured to make him give fake info to justify invading Iraq?

  •  They paid no attention to a memo titled (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, bronte17, KayCeSF, aliasalias

    "Bin Laden Determined to Strike United States" from the CIA and they want credit for getting Bin Laden. Of all the unmitigated nerve.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:51:11 PM PDT

  •  Look, like it or not this started before Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrinus, IndieinVa

    and it also started before Bush.  The hunt for UBL started in the Clinton Administration and it took thousands of people more than a decade to find and kill him.  Yes, Bill Clinton's administration deserves some credit as well as Bush's and Obama's.  This isn't a victory of one man, one party, or one ideology.  This is an American victory, pure and simple.

    •  Look, that's not the issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bay of arizona

      The issue is whether, as some in the media are frantically claiming, torture provided actionable intelligence that led to this operation.

      As it stands, there's nothing to substantiate this claim and official timelines seem to contradict it.

      Granted, this wouldn't be an issue if outlets like CBS weren't emphatically declaring that waterboarding provided the intel even though the original AP article is purposefully ambiguous on that point, merely stating that a pseudonym was provided by a captive who was, at one point, waterboarded.

      But they are, so it needs to be investigated and fact-checked.

      •  The fact of the matter is that you and I (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jon Says

        and everyone else here doesn't know the true timeline of the intelligence and when and how it became actionable.  I'm not defending torture, but this is poor analysis because Joan is taking facts and twisting them to fit her preconceived notions.  We know this because there is no way she has access to all of the intel.  Maybe she's right, maybe she's wrong.  She doesn't know.  

        However, we will know if enhanced interrogation works after Obama leaves office.  Because if it worked, you know they did it too.  (I kind of think it works.  It is just morally wrong.)

        •  that's not the issue either (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bay of arizona, aliasalias

          If we don't know whether or not it worked, the media shouldn't be reporting definitively that it was responsible. They are, so the issue needs to be fact-checked and the facts just aren't there. Moreover, the facts available indicate otherwise.

          And BTW, based on testimony from FBI interrogators responsible for the individuals in question, it didn't work, but I suppose you think it's plausible that an FBI agent would commit perjury to stop an interrogation method he knew to be effective.

        •  wtf... even the AP stories say that regular intel (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bay of arizona, mmacdDE, aliasalias

          worked.

          If you read far enough down... it is admitted that regular intelligence worked through the tried-and-true method of wiretapping phone conversations.

          That is what led to the break that helped crack Bin Laden's whereabouts.

          The use of torture has had a negative impact on US influence throughout the world.


          I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. --Emma Goldman

          by bronte17 on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:18:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Most on the ground CIA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sharman

    operators and military special ops forces were there in the Clinton terms. They carried on the work through the Bush terms. Now in the Obama term they succeeded in their efforts. I don't see where Obama hampered, stalled, or sabotaged these efforts. I do see where he continued, updated, and escalated them though. Being Commander-in-Chief at the time of this action gives him the bragging rights. He can give kudos to the prior office holders but the real heroes of the day are the CIA operatives, Navy Seals, and supportive ground and air forces.....Our military.....the best in the world.

    •  that's not the topic of this article (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, aliasalias, KLM

      I agree that most of the credit goes to career intel officials.

      That's not the issue here. The issue here is what role tortured played in this operation, and it's an important issue given that some in the media are glomming on to vague statements from anonymous CIA officials to make unsubstantiated claims that torture was integral to its success.

    •  Like so many jobs in our lives... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stroszek

      it's the regular people who do most of the sweating and fighting and dying to get a job done. But, behind that job is planning and engineering and logistics and timely decision-making.

      Obama didn't just wave his hand like some king and watch while everyone else did the work.

      It is really annoying how many people want to take away any measure of respect and honor that Obama should get too for conducting this successful mission competently and bringing our folks home on top of that.

      For you to belittle Obama and his work behind the scenes with this mission smacks of condescension.

      Why would you do it?

       


      I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. --Emma Goldman

      by bronte17 on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:11:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we Southerners have a word for it (0+ / 0-)

        Butthurt.

      •  As I wrote: (0+ / 0-)

        Being Commander-in-Chief at the time of this action gives him the bragging rights.
        He is the Commander-in-Chief and is in charge of the military....all of it. His efforts to escalate the search for bin laden is what made this whole effort possible. I am in no way taking anything from this president. His commanders in the field along with CIA operatives are the ones who designed this mission, but without the Commander-in-Chief's blessing it would never have taken place. His leadership is a primary part of what this country can be proud.

  •  Thank you so much for this Joan. (3+ / 0-)

    Caught the first part of CBS Evening News and they're doing their damnedest to give waterboarding legitimacy.

    Current and former U.S. officials said that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, provided his name. 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.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/...

    They don't have the video up yet of their lead in story otherwise I'd post it.

    Switched over to ABC and not a word was mentioned about CIA prisons or torture.

    The juxtaposition was very telling.

    We need to call CBS out for this.

    "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it." President Obama

    by Onomastic on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:58:11 PM PDT

  •  thank you, joan. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias
    All of the arguments against torture that we've all used for so many years still exists: it's morally wrong and inherently anti-American; it results in false intelligence; it fuels hatred against us; it increases the likelihood that captured Americans would be tortured. That, and more, remains as true today as when the Bush administration started torturing to obtain the false evidence to justify the war in Iraq.

    can't be said enough.

    dictators & imperial democracies are the biggest terrorists of them all. ...

    by stolen water on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:00:03 PM PDT

  •  Do you suppose it matters? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, IndieinVa

    Imagine Obama had said last night, "We found bin Laden by crushing KSM's nuts in a vice."

    Do you think there would have been one fewer chant of "U-S-A" outside the White House? There probably would have been more.

    On the whole, the American people are indifferent to torture. At least when practiced on people with Arab names.

  •  Say, where is Liz Cheney today anyway? (0+ / 0-)

    Curiously silent.

    Bitch.

    "I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative." - John Stuart Mill

    by Kevinole on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:01:51 PM PDT

    •  According to MSNBC, (0+ / 0-)

      Lizzie is out with her meme that waterboarding is the reason Obama was able to get OBL.

      Expect to hear a lot more from her.  When the GOP/Bush/Cheney start feeling defensive and panicky, Dick sends his daughter out.

  •  We gave up the moral high ground when we tortured. (5+ / 0-)

    Any psychologist with an once of brains will tell you that torture does not work.  If I torture you, you will tell me whatever I want to hear, true or false.

    When  we torture, we are no better than those who attack us.  When we torture, we lower ourselves to the level of Nazis, fascists, radical religionists of every stripe...think Salem Witch trials and the Spanish Inquisition.

    I really loathe any who support torture.  It is inhumane and it absolutely does not work.

    After all, for progressives, taking one for the team is desirable, but all too often at present, we are taking one from the team.

    by El Tomaso on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:02:32 PM PDT

  •  The "torture works" meme is there to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bay of arizona, aliasalias

    exculpate Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld because the Spanish are still willing to prosecute them.  Cheney in particular wants to depart this mortal coil with vindication for his wickedness so that daughter Liz's future path in politics  
    is adequately greased for her.  The RW lacks introspection above all else.

  •  I think its all horse crap (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bay of arizona, mmacdDE

    None of us will ever really know how this all went down. We don't work at the CIA. Here's my tin-foil hat thesis:

    They need to make it look like Guantanamo was not an abject failure so they come up with a back story about the heroic interrogations coming up with some "intel".

    What I think they really did was look at all of the residences in Pakistan to see if they could listen in on communications. They spend billions on this. I think it's possible. What they found was this one rather expensive residence with satellite dishes on the roof to watch TV but no internet hookup or telephone communications. Not even any traces of cell phone communications.

    They know that bin Laden stays away from electronic communication. I'd give it a red flag.

    "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."- Arthur Carlson

    by bobinson on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:05:08 PM PDT

    •  IF this, then why wouldn't Obama proudly proclaim (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobinson

      that Gitmo was useless and then shut it down?

      Of course, maybe that's coming.. I think Gitmo was on his campaign promises list, too. :/

      Eh, we can hope.

      "Ridiculous, counter-productive, and stupid." —P.J. Crowley on the treatment of Bradley Manning

      by IndieinVa on Mon May 02, 2011 at 05:27:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beyond politics (0+ / 0-)

    as politics today are nothing more then the accepted reality of two sides who have created and operated on the same narrative. God knows what the reality is. I cannot for the life of me believe the narrative that haggles about how many angels where on the pin that told us where Goldstein was is really worth getting all worked up about.

     Fine we got him, us wimpy Dems, the ones who follow and don't look back cause God knows the reality is not anything we can flat out reject cause we are just as vicious and nasty as our enemy the Repubs. The one's we love to compromise with and whose storyline we have adopted hook line and sinker. I'm sure this turn of events is politically a WIN. Then again why rejoice at Golsteins death as we surely realize that there are more where he came from and more Republicans who will surely be even more vicious and destructive in the name of keeping us safe then us sane Democrat's.    

  •  Very good. I heard Cheney making his "torture (0+ / 0-)

    is good" pitch on Fox and wanted to throw water on him.

  •  I think it would be wise... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gregabbott

    not to speculate, as Joan is doing, that KSM or enhanced interrogation played no role until more information come out. The more times goes on the more we learn that KSM was a treasure trove of information. It would hardly be the most surprising thing if it turned out some of the revelations helped connect the dots to Osama. The story is going to be fully researched and explored in time and you risk looking really silly pretending that from the vantage point of a blogger you know the true story of what went down.

    I think this would also explain why Obama has seemed to carry on so many of Bushes GWOT policies. There have been successes we don't know about and that we can't hope to fully appreciate without a security clearance.

  •  Not very hard to find (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieinVa

    Just use Google Earth and it is clearly marked.

    Almost as easy for the USA was that the Bin Laden mansion was not only less than half a kilometer from the Pakistani equivalent of West Point, it was located in a "cantonnment". That is a special area controlled by the Pakistani military.

    To pretend that the Pakistani intelligence organization was not aware of his presence is  about as believable as Colin Powell's description of a gas generator for barrage balloons as an Iraqi mobile chemical weapons laboratory.

    "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism." Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and son of Holocaust survivor.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:26:01 PM PDT

  •  another rendering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xanthippe2


    Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad as illustrated in a Pentagon backgrounder. (detail of PDF)

    ...

    dictators & imperial plutocracies are the biggest terrorists of them all. ...

    by stolen water on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:29:15 PM PDT

  •  New bin laden tape expected to surface soon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water
  •  It doesn't matter whether it lead to information (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieinVa

    I'm sure the Nazis and Stalin got plenty of good information by torturing people but we're America....WE DON'T DO THAT!

    "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." Mother Teresa

    by Pam LaPier on Mon May 02, 2011 at 04:52:00 PM PDT

  •  BTW, the North arrow compass point (0+ / 0-)

    on the map above, as of 17:05 PDT, is completely wrong.  The NNW facing side of the house is the one with the two black squares (a/c units?) nearest.  In fact, it is exactly oriented as North at the top, i.e. N ^.

    My core tenets:
    • I am intolerant of only intolerance
    • I am prejudiced only against prejudice
    • I hate only hate
    But Republicans continue to strive to be the subject of these three tenets.

    by DrSpalding on Mon May 02, 2011 at 05:08:05 PM PDT

  •  Ron Susskind. (0+ / 0-)

    One reason that KSM was able to divulge only the nickname is that they didn't really want to know. They weren't interested after they accepted the fact that OBL was in Pakistan and therefore unreachable.
    They had other fish to fry.

  •  where did it come from then? (0+ / 0-)

    Thats fine if it didn't come from gitmo ... or she can "assume" it didn't come from gitmo... just as Cheney can assume it did..if thats even the case.

    so ..if she is gonna bash the AP ... at least she can say ...well ok we received the intelligence from (insert place).

    Hmm... The St. Louis cardinals won today 4-1 ... someone was pitching, someone got a hit, and there were 4 rbi's.  Ok..well who was pitching, who had the RBI's..what inning did they score.  Sure they won, but how?

    This woman has added no factual information.  I too am interested to know where the intelligence came from  but throwing around a bunch of gibberish on both sides doesn't prove anything.

    I do know that the information wasn't obtained asking nicely with hugs and kisses...any rational person would know that.

  •  Assume...Dick Cheney made himself an ass (0+ / 0-)

    Dick Cheney made an elementary school error when he said he "assumed".  I will politely say it was one of my grandfathers, not my grandmothers, who cautioned me about assuming as it could make an ass out of me.

  •  NPR reported "enhanced interogation" (0+ / 0-)

    methods were used to extract the information that led to the attack on Osama Bin Laden.  I don't know if that was waterboarding, but that means we're still torturing people, or at least handing them off to countries who will torture them.

    I have no problem with the outcome of yesterday, but I have a huge problem with using torture.  

    Looks like business as usual in the American Empire.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site