Friday, May 06, 2011

Enhanced Interrogation Worked to Find/Kill Osama

Osama bin Laden would still be in his room plotting 10th Anniversary Attacks if GWB & his team of interrogators not applied harsh interrogatory techniques on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other perps of AQs top echelon.
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.

That regimen of harsh interrogation was used on KSM after another detainee, Abu Zubaydeh, was subjected to the same techniques. When he broke, he said that he and other members of al Qaeda were obligated to resist only until they could no longer do so, at which point it became permissible for them to yield. "Do this for all the brothers," he advised his interrogators.

Abu Zubaydeh was coerced into disclosing information that led to the capture of Ramzi bin al Shibh, another of the planners of 9/11. Bin al Shibh disclosed information that, when combined with what was learned from Abu Zubaydeh, helped lead to the capture of KSM and other senior terrorists and the disruption of follow-on plots aimed at both Europe and the United States.

Another of those gathered up later in this harvest, Abu Faraj al-Libi, also was subjected to certain of these harsh techniques and disclosed further details about bin Laden's couriers that helped in last weekend's achievement.

The harsh techniques themselves were used selectively against only a small number of hard-core prisoners who successfully resisted other forms of interrogation, and then only with the explicit authorization of the director of the CIA. Of the thousands of unlawful combatants captured by the U.S., fewer than 100 were detained and questioned in the CIA program. Of those, fewer than one-third were subjected to any of these techniques.

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden has said that, as late as 2006, even with the growing success of other intelligence tools, fully half of the government's knowledge about the structure and activities of al Qaeda came from those interrogations. The Bush administration put these techniques in place only after rigorous analysis by the Justice Department, which concluded that they were lawful. Regrettably, that same administration gave them a name—"enhanced interrogation techniques"—so absurdly antiseptic as to imply that it must conceal something unlawful.

The other-worldly buffoon who ultimately used to fruits of these intelligence gems disdains to admit doing so. Former Atty. Gen Mukasey continues his explanation.
The current president ran for election on the promise to do away with them even before he became aware, if he ever did, of what they were. Days after taking office he directed that the CIA interrogation program be done away with entirely, and that interrogation be limited to the techniques set forth in the Army Field Manual, a document designed for use by even the least experienced troops. It's available on the Internet and used by terrorists as a training manual for resisting interrogation.

In April 2009, the administration made public the previously classified Justice Department memoranda analyzing the harsh techniques, thereby disclosing them to our enemies and assuring that they could never be used effectively again. Meanwhile, the administration announced its intentions to replace the CIA interrogation program with one administered by the FBI. In December 2009, Omar Faruq Abdulmutallab was caught in an airplane over Detroit trying to detonate a bomb concealed in his underwear. He was warned after apprehension of his Miranda rights, and it was later disclosed that no one had yet gotten around to implementing the new program.

Yet the Justice Department, revealing its priorities, had gotten around to reopening investigations into the conduct of a half-dozen CIA employees alleged to have used undue force against suspected terrorists. I say "reopening" advisedly because those investigations had all been formally closed by the end of 2007, with detailed memoranda prepared by career Justice Department prosecutors explaining why no charges were warranted. Attorney General Eric Holder conceded that he had ordered the investigations reopened in September 2009 without reading those memoranda. The investigations have now dragged on for years with prosecutors chasing allegations down rabbit holes, with the CIA along with the rest of the intelligence community left demoralized.

Immediately following the killing of bin Laden, the issue of interrogation techniques became in some quarters the "dirty little secret" of the event. But as disclosed in the declassified memos in 2009, the techniques are neither dirty nor, as noted by Director Hayden and others, were their results little. As the memoranda concluded—and as I concluded reading them at the beginning of my tenure as attorney general in 2007—the techniques were entirely lawful as the law stood at the time the memos were written, and the disclosures they elicited were enormously important. That they are no longer secret is deeply regrettable.

The completely politicized criminal-lite AG Holder continues to push his absurd agenda of racist protection of the "New" Black Panthers and the terrorists who would do great harm to the US.
The Wall Street Journal editorializes that this coddling of criminals has got to stop:
This week the Associated Press reported that the name of bin Laden's courier may have come from CIA interrogations of Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libi, who received "harsh" interrogation at CIA prisons in Poland and Romania. On Tuesday, Mr. Holder said the information came from a "mosaic of sources."

Incidentally, there will be no attempt here to establish whether CIA interrogations did or did not lead to the bin Laden courier, who led our commandos to a bedroom in Abbottabad. Just as there will be no attempt here to resolve the fastidious debate unfolding over whether the Navy Seals' shooting of an unarmed Osama bin Laden was "legal." We'll leave that to the endless grinding wheels of the law journals.

If Mr. Holder has evidence of an egregious crime, he should step forward and announce it. If not, he should use this moment to put an end to the Durham investigation. Mr. Durham is not an independent counsel, whose hallowed status makes attorneys general loath to interfere. He is a special prosecutor, appointed by the attorney general and under his authority.

On June 18 last year, Mr. Holder said in a Washington speech that Mr. Durham was "close to the end of the time that he needs and will be making recommendations to me." But nothing has happened. Asked this week about the status of this investigation, a Justice Department spokesman for Mr. Durham, whose office is in Connecticut, said the project is "still ongoing."

Ironically, the CIA's contribution to bin Laden's end may ensure that its people will remain under this cloud. With President Obama elated over the success of his call to take down bin Laden, his poll numbers rising and his re-election campaign insulated from charges of Democratic softness on national security, what are the chances that his attorney general would wash away all that by announcing his intention to indict the men whose work may have sent his boss into Abbottabad, guns blazing? It is zero.

Eric Holder has taken a lot of flak over his handling of various terror issues. The point here is not to put him in the dock over another but to hope he'll make a good call. Times change. In his statement Sunday, Mr. Obama described 10 years of "heroic" work by "our counterterrorism professionals." But he also noted that the remarkable sense of national unity after 9/11 "has at times frayed." It might be truer to say it was our ever-ragged politics that frayed, not our people.

President Obama will be at Ground Zero in Manhattan today to lay a wreath. This is the same Ground Zero that on Monday morning was surrounded by young people chanting "USA" and singing "God Bless America (land that I love)." Some have asked whether Monday's chanters, barely teenagers on 9/11, were too celebratory or were in bad taste.

Was it too celebratory Monday when 35-year-old David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox and the Dominican Republic stopped after hitting a home run to hug Army Ranger Sgt. Lucas Carr, who'd been leading the Boston crowd in "USA" chants? Mr. Ortiz said it was just about "love." That's right. Those outpourings were about love of something bigger in America than our frayed politics or even making "our values" a function of our legal procedures.

After 9/11, when the fraying started, George W. Bush passed through a seven-year political minefield of media leaks and lawsuits over the Patriot Act, surveillance, renditions, Guantanamo and CIA interrogations. Now bin Laden is dead, and Barack Obama's got the credit. We're all fine with that, just as we're fine with people chanting "USA" over the dead terrorist who tried to kill us. Now how about letting those CIA interrogators come in from the cold and join the celebration?

It's obvious that Mr. Durham is dragging his feet and that Holder now is holding a very poor political hand. But Eric is the criminal-lite who recommended to the impeached BJ perjuror that he pardon Marc Rich, who through his wife Denise had contributed millions to the Clinton Library.

And this clown also dropped a case concerning the New Black Panthers' intimidating voters in Philly with automatic weapons.

When Traitors rule the land, none dare call it treason.

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