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May 20, 2011

WikiLeaks Bolsters Claim That Enhanced Interrogation Was Effective And Necessary

And it didn't just lead to bin Ladin, but to other terrorists, and other plots.

Before the interrogations, the U.S. knew little about al Qaeda in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Years later, the CIA and military had accumulated a large database of ongoing plots and the identities of terrorists, the WikiLeaks files show.

“The WikiLeaks documents provide still additional evidence that intelligence gained from CIA detainees not only helped lead us to Osama bin Laden, it helped us disrupt a number of follow-on attacks that had been set in motion after 9/11,” said Marc Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter.

“Without this program, we would not have gone nearly 10 years without another catastrophic attack on the homeland. This is quite possibly the most important, and most successful, intelligence program in modern times. But instead of medals, the people behind this program have been given subpoenas.”

He was referring to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s launch of a criminal investigation of CIA officers who conducted the “enhanced” interrogations, some of which the Obama administration has dubbed “torture.”

That's the Washington Times making those conclusions, a conservative-leaning paper, and Marc Thiessen, conservative-leaning as well, but the evidence is the evidence.

John McCain recently wrote an op-ed claiming exactly none of the information necessary to get bin Ladin came from enhanced interrogations. The story is a little muddled, but Andrew McCarthy catches him misleading his audience, and basically rewriting Leon Panetta's statement to get to that conclusion.

Apparently a terrorist, not subject to Enhanced Interrogation, gave up the real name of al-Kuwaiti in 2002. But this was apparently overlooked, as no one really understood how important al-Kuwaiti was.

Only later did enhanced interrogation reveal al-Kuwaiti was crucial, and get his real name. For the second time, but the first time it was noticed. Apparently we only even know of the 2002 disclosure because the CIA, after getting that information in 2004, searched all its files for additional mentions of the name, and discovered they had actually had a reference to the name from a couple of years back.

But McCain casts this as if the CIA knew, as an organization, who al-Kuwaiti was, all from standard q-and-a interrogation. Not so. They had a stray mention of the name whose value eluded them. It was enhanced interrogation that generated both the name and the importance of the name.

So, casting back through old files, with lots of bits and pieces which weren't acted on, McCain now seizes on this unappreciated mention and says we knew the name from 2002, without EIT.

Not so. Or at least that's how it appears. It looks like McCain is doing what all of these jackasses do, simply changing the facts to support an untenable conclusion they need to be true.


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posted by Ace at 12:42 PM

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