"WikiLeaks bolsters argument for â??enhancedâ?? interrogation tactics Cables show U.S. collected details of plots, terrorists"

Hi Gang:
My commentary today will deal with a newspaper report that appeared in the Washington Times this past Thursday, May 19th and focused on documents leaked by WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange that disclosed information that was developed by U.S. intelligence officials who conducted interrogations of al-Qaeda members being held at Guantanamo.
It would certainly appear that the controversial interrogation tactics yielded important results- first and foremost, apparently thwarting additional terrorist attacks.
I will not get into a debate about the merits of using “enhanced techniques” to interrogate the prisoners other than to say that given the dire and imminent threat clearly posed to our nation by al-Qaeda, we are all fortunate that the information that was obtained saved God knows how many American lives!  I would remind you that the prisoners who were detained were not being accused of shop lifting or some other mundane crime but were engaged in asymmetrical warfare against our nation where the obvious goal was to slaughter as many innocent civilians as possible!
Having made that point, I want to focus on the issue that caught my eye in reading this report, the tactics that were determined to have been employed by the members of al-Qaeda in order to seek to enter the United States to be able to launch additional attacks against our nation and against our citizens and others who live in the United States.
Let me provide you with a couple brief quotes to be found in the newspaper report:
                                                                            ***************************
• Ramzi Bin al-Shibh revealed how operatives gained visas to enter the West, often by gaining acceptance to an educational institute. If they were denied visas at U.S. embassies in the Middle East, they would try to gain entrance to Europe and apply from there.
• Abu Zubaydah, another high-ranking bin Laden aide, provided a wealth of information on al Qaeda’s ability to forge documents used to gain access to the West. Zubaydah, for example, forged medical files to show that a terrorist had been tortured. The supposed victims then used the phony medical history to gain political asylum in Europe or the United States.

• Mohammed Abdah al-Nashiri, another close bin Laden aide, operated a separate al Qaeda operation in Yemen that received aid from Yemeni security forces. The revelation showed that, as in Pakistan, a U.S. ally supposedly working with the West actually was helping the enemy.


                                                                            ***************************


I have consistently hammered away at the way that there is no integrity to the process by which visas are issued to aliens and the way that there is not integrity to the process by which aliens are provided with immigration benefits including the granting of political asylum and the conferring of resident alien status and even United States citizenship upon aliens.  These benefits provide aliens with the “Keys to the kingdom” and enable them to conceal themselves in our country as they work to support terrorist operations around the world and within our country.
Time and again, examples abound of how easily individuals who were involved with terrorism easily gamed the immigration system, yet our government has done nothing of meaningful consequence to plug these glaring holes in the system!
Let me review some examples of the lunacy that passes for our nation’s “War on Terror:”
On March 30, 2010 the United States issued a press release, entitled, “Eritrean Man Pleads Guilty to Alien Smuggling” that can be found a this link:
I have provided you with the entire text of that press release beneath the Daily Mail report, but for the sake of convenience, here are the three short paragraphs I have taken directly from the press release that “cut to the chase:”

WASHINGTON – Samuel Abrahaley Fessahazion, 23, an Eritrean national, has pleaded guilty to helping smuggle illegal aliens to the United States for private financial gain, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno of the Southern District of Texas and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary John Morton.


Fessahazion, aka “Sami,” aka “Sammy,” aka “Alex” and aka “Alex Williams” pleaded guilty yesterday in Houston before U.S. District Court Judge Nancy A. Atlas to one count of conspiracy, and two counts of encouraging and inducing aliens to come to, enter or reside in the United States in violation of law for the purpose of private financial gain.

According to plea documents, from at least June 2007 until approximately January 2008, Fessahazion was the Guatemalan link of an alien smuggling network that spans East Africa, Central and South America.   Specifically, according to the court documents, Fessahazion illegally entered the United States at McAllen, Texas, on March 20, 2008.   He applied for asylum on Sept. 30, 2008, claiming in his application that he was traveling across Africa in 2007 and 2008, fleeing persecution in Eritrea.   However, according to court documents, Fessahazion was actually in Guatemala during that period facilitating the smuggling of East African aliens to the United States.   Fessahazion was granted asylum by the United States on Nov. 13, 2008.

Stop and give some thought to the statement that he purportedly ran our border on March 20, 2008 and then applied for political asylum on September 30, 2008, over six months after he allegedly ran the border, and in under six weeks his application for political asylum was approved!  He claimed he was facing prosecution on the other side of the planet yet the government rushed to provide him with political asylum!  This “rush to judgement” rewarded him with political asylum even though he completely falsified all of the significant relevant facts!
Here are two other important facts for you to consider-
1.  There was no mention of Fessahazion being charged with committing fraud in has application for political asylum.
2.  There was no mention of any efforts being made to locate and/or apprehend the illegal aliens he helped to smuggle into the United States.
 
Next I would ask you to consider the case of Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane, who was to be sentenced in San Antonio for his running a smuggling ring based in Brazil for the Somaili Al-Shabaab terrorist group.
A pre-sentencing memo that was posed by Patrick Poole on March 23, 2011 provided a wealth of disturbing information about Dhakane in a posting on the Pajamas entitled:

(PJM Exclusive) “DOJ Memo Confirms Terrorists Have Crossed the Border”

Here is a link to that posting:


Please take the time to read the memo and then I want you to consider that Dhakane smuggled numerous aliens into the United States who he believed would, if called upon, engage in terrorist acts within our country.   He boasted that he had earned more than $75,000 on a single day by smuggling citizens of Somalia into the United States through Latin America.  Some of these aliens were smuggled from Brazil.  It is worth noting that the Tri-Border Region of Brazil is known to host training camps for Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.  Furthermore, the memorandum made it clear that in addition to smuggling these aliens into the United States, he coached them in the way that they should apply for political asylum and also furnished a number of them with fraud passports from a number of different countries.
Here are a couple of questions not addressed and therefore not answered in the memorandum:
1- Have our officials identified all of the aliens who were smuggled into the United States with the assistance of  Dhakane?  (If not, what is being done to try to figure out who they all are?)
2- Are all of those smuggled aliens in custody?  If not, what efforts are being made to locate and arrest them?
The fact that Dhakane is accused by the Department of Justice is the primary reason that so many folks e-mailed me the Pajamas Media article that contained the link to the memorandum. Certainly this is of extreme significance- especially while Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Surrender, as I have come to refer to her inept bureaucracy, maintains that the border is secure!  I take no satisfaction in assailing Ms Napolitano.  I was proud to be a Special Agent of the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) one of the key agencies that was merged with the former U.S. Customs Service and several other agencies to form the DHS.  However, I found many problems with the INS and I continue to find at least as many problems with the DHS.  However, the first step in solving problems is to identify the problems.  If Ms Napolitano can continue to spew these meaningless assertions that the border is secure she is either lying or ignorant.  Either way she cannot possibly be effective in her mission unless her mission is to engage in something I came to refer to a number of years ago as “Operation Back-Rub.”
When a child wakes up at night suffering from a nightmare or night terrors, the parent will often rub the child’s back and in soft, soothing tones, try to convince the upset youngster that all is well.  The goal of the parent is to help the child go back to sleep and of probably equal importance, if the child goes back to sleep, the awakened parent can also go back to sleep.  Hence the term I have coined is “Operation Back Rub!”
The point is that it is clear that our borders are not stopping criminal or terrorists from entering the United States.
Brad Stone, the Special Projects Producer at WSB-TV, the Atlanta based ABC affiliated news station has produced a series of hard hitting reports on how bad the situation is along the Mexican border.  I was pleased to have been interviewed by Brad on a number of occasions.  Here is a link to his broadcast on this important issue that aired several months ago:
Next I want you to consider that on April 29, 2011 CNS News ran an aritlc authored by Edwin Mora that was entitled:
“Three Convicted in Terror-Related Cases Later Granted U.S. Citizenship by Obama Administration”
Here is the link to this disturbing news report:

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/3-persons-convicted-terrorism-related-ca

Here is an excerpt from the report that based its information on a recently released GAO report on Criminal Alien Statistics.  (You can review the entire report by clicking on the link provided in the excerpt:

                                                                            ***************************


(CNSNews.com) — Three people convicted of crimes as a result of a terrorism-related investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) were later naturalized as U.S. citizens by the Obama administration, according to federal auditors.

The March 2011 audit (released on April 21, 2011) by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), entitled Criminal Alien Statistics: Information on Incarcerations, Arrests and Costs, shows that three individuals were among “defendants where the investigation involved an identified link to international terrorism but they were charged with violating other statutes [not directly related to terrorism], including fraud, immigration, drugs, false statements, and general conspiracy charges,” referred by DOJ as Category II terrorism-related cases.

The three individuals in question can be found in a DOJ list of unsealed terrorism-related investigations conducted from Sept. 11, 2001 through Mar. 18, 2010. There are 403 defendants on that list of  which, according to the GAO, at least 43 percent were aliens–both legal (26 percent) and illegal (17 percent)–at the time they were charged with crimes.

“Prosecuting terror-related targets using Category II offenses and others is often an effective method–and sometimes the only available method–of deterring and disrupting potential terrorist planning and support activities,” explained the DOJ in the document that listed the defendants.

                                                                            ***************************

The point is that often terrorists are charged with crimes that do not directly relate to terrorism either because it is impossible to provide necessary evidence of terrorism-based crimes or because it is determined that by arresting members of a terrorist organization for violations of law not directly pertaining to terrorism that their cohorts would not be “spooked” and flee before they can be apprehended.  This sort of strategy is also often used in major narcotics trafficking investigations or investigations involving major conspiracies.  Often, where aliens are involved, the crimes that are prosecuted deal with violations of the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act.) 

The fact that our inept government would confer the highest privilege a nation can provide to an alien, citizenship, upon those engaged in terrorism or even the commission of felonies should give us all “cause for pause” but unfortunately it should not surprise us.  

I think it is worth remembering how our nation’s leaders voiced outrage in March of 2002 that two of the dead terrorists, could have been sent letters of approval from the former INS precisely 6 months after those attacks authorizing them to extend their stay in the United States and change immigration status so that they could attend flight schools!  The House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims convened a hearing into that fiasco on March 19, 2002.  I was invited to appear before that hearing and I gladly accepted that invitation offered to me by the then Ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee, Sheila Jackson Lee.

Here is the link to the C-SPAN video of the Congressional hearing conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, at which I testified on March 19, 2002 as you watch this video I want you to consider how much has not changed in the more than 8 years since the attacks of September 11, 2001:

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/id/165862

Topic for the hearing:
“INS’S MARCH 2002 NOTIFICATION OF APPROVAL OF CHANGE OF STATUS FOR PILOT TRAINING FOR TERRORIST HIJACKERS MOHAMMED ATTA AND MARWAN AL-SHEHHI”
Here is the link to the transcript of the hearing in its entirety
The video runs about 2 hours and 30 minutes.  I would urge you to watch it and, as you watch the hearing, I want you to ask yourself a simple question, “What has really changed?”

It is really worth considering that last question as to what has changed when you realize that our government has certainly not done anything to truly address this lunacy.  Consider, for example, that on Novermber 29, 2006 the Washington Post ran an article entitled:

“Citizenship Agency Lost 111,000 Files”

You can read the article at: 


Incredibly the applications that related to those 111,000 files were all processed without the relating immigration files including the 30,000 aliens who were naturalized by adjudications officers who were not provided with the critically important immigration files relating to the aliens who applied for United States citizenship.  This travesty took place more than 13 years after Kansi gamed the system to acquire political asylum and opened fire of CIA officers.  Just one month later other terrorists from the Middle East who launched the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 and had also committed visa fraud and immigration fraud in order to facilitate their plans to attack our nation and kill our citizens.  Those 111,000 files were lost and the application adjudicated more than five years after the Terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Yet the system has never possessed integrity and still possesses no integrity!

Let me briefly tell you about one of the illegal aliens that Amnesty of 1986 brought out of the “shadows.”  His name is  Mahmud Abouhalima.
    
On September 1, 2006 I was invited to testify before a field hearing conducted by the House Judiciary Committee at Dubuque, Iowa.  The topic of that hearing was:

 “IS THE REID-KENNEDY BILL A REPEAT OF THE FAILED AMNESTY OF 1986?”

You can read the transcript of that hearing at:


When I testified at that hearing I raised Mr. Abouhalima’s name.  Here is an excerpt of what I had to say at that hearing:
 
  “….A notable example of such a terrorist can be found in a review of the facts concerning Mahmud Abouhalima, a citizen of Egypt who entered the United States on a tourist visa, overstayed his authorized period of admission and then applied for amnesty under the agricultural worker provisions of IRCA. He succeeded in obtaining resident alien status through this process. During the 5 year period he drove a cab and had his license suspended numerous times for various violations of law and he ultimately demonstrated his appreciation for our Nation’s generosity by participating in the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 that left six people dead, hundreds of people injured and an estimated one-half billion dollars in damages inflicted on that iconic, ill-fated complex. America had opened his doors to him so that he might participate in the American dream and he turned that dream into our worst nightmare. The other terrorists who attacked our Nation on subsequent attacks, including the attacks of September 11, 2001, similarly exploited our generosity, seeing in our Nation’s kindness, weakness, gaming the immigration system to enter our country and then hide in plain sight among us.”

The point is that the only thing that Mr. Abouhalima ever planted in the United States was a bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center with deadly consequences.

Yet the advocates for the DREAM Act that was narrowly defeated this past weekend, didn’t give a damn about the national security implications that the processing of unknown millions of applications for amnesty would have had!
The lack of integrity in the system by which applications for immigration benefits are processed has been the focus of numerous GAO (Government Accountability Office as well as the OIG (Office of the Inspector General).

Consider a recent report issued by the GAO in December 2008 entitled:

“IMMIGRATION BENEFITS:  Actions Needed to Address Vulnerabilities in Process for Granting Permanent Residency”

You can review that report at:

www.gao.gov/new.items/d0955.pdf

It is worth noting that the GAO has issued numerous reports on various aspects of immigration benefit fraud and other failings of the immigration system. You can see a list of these reports at:

In some instances the fraud that was committed by aliens enabled terrorists to enter our country and/or embed themselves in our country.  
Yet the administration and members of Congress refuse to end the Visa Waiver Program.  Additionally, of even greater concern, the administration and members of Congress of both political parties and in both houses of Congress are again proposing amnesty programs under the aegis of the “DREAM Act” and “Comprehensive Immigration Reform!”
If you wonder why I include the DREAM Act as a major problem- consider that it would provide aliens, up to their 35th birthday, with an opportunity to participate in this program.  You should know that it is believed that the vast majority of the illegal aliens in our country are no older than 35- this “Trojan Horse” would seek to legalize many millions of illegal aliens who would have no way of providing any official, reliable documentation to attest to their true identities!  Comprehensive Immigration Reform would permit even more such “undocumented” aliens with the opportunity to create new, false identities for themselves- aided and abetted by our own government!
This leads me to ask the question of questions, “Whose side are the “leaders” in Washington on?”
The effective enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws are, arguably, among the most important of all missions that are supposed to be carried out by our federal government.  
Nothing less than the security of our nation and safety of our citizens hang in the balance!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

I

our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!


The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  I implore you to resolve this year to get involved!
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler- 


Please check out my website:

WikiLeaks bolsters argument for ‘enhanced’ interrogation tactics

Cables show U.S. collected details of plots, terrorists


**FILE** WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. (Associated Press)
**FILE** WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. (Associated Press)

9:00 p.m.,
Thursday, May 19, 2011

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s ongoing release of the Guantanamo
Bay prison files, and large numbers of classified State Department
cables, attempts to expose what he calls American corruption.

But
supporters of the George W. Bush administration’s global war on
terrorism say the nearly 800 Guantanamo files show that “enhanced”
interrogations of hundreds of captured operatives at secret overseas
prisons and at the Cuban prison amounted to one of the most successful
intelligence operations in history.

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.”

The killing of Osama bin Laden underscores
the value of the vast intelligence database. The treasure trove of
information includes the identities of terrorists operating abroad,
plots to kill civilians and details on how al Qaeda used a network of
couriers for clandestine communication.

Public disclosure of the
interrogation windfall began in April by the anti-secrecy website
WikiLeaks, which obtained hundreds of classified U.S. reports on
detainees written by Joint Task Force Guantanamo, the military unit in
charge of the prison at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

As of Thursday, WikiLeaks had released 765 of 779 Gitmo files.

The
files show that prisoner Abu Farajal al-Libi, al Qaeda’s No. 3 and a
close aide to bin Laden, first disclosed the terrorist master’s special
courier to the CIA. It was the agency’s ability to find and track the
messenger that ultimately led a team of Navy SEALs to bin Laden’s
compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was killed early on May 2.

Supporters
of sending terrorist suspects to Guantanamo Bay — which the Obama
administration has vowed to shutter, though its initial deadline has
come and gone — for trials at military commissions say the prison
provided a single collection point to assess and cross-check
intelligence on an enemy the United States knew little about.

“We
learned a tremendous amount about the operation, not only in Afghanistan
but the organizational structure and how they were operating outside
the immediate combat area, for example in Europe,” said retired Brig.
Gen. Thomas L. Hemingway, the Pentagon’s top legal adviser to the
commissions’ office during Guantanamo’s early days.

Gen. Hemingway
recalled a case when the military command in Afghanistan was looking
for a senior Taliban commander. Interrogators found a detainee who knew
the suspect. The detainee drew a diagram of his compound. Aerial
surveillance located the home and led to the commander’s capture.

“There was a lot of actionable intelligence that was developed down there for a long time,” Gen. Hemingway said.

Hunt for bin Laden

In
the hunt for bin Laden, the files show al-Libi provided critical
information. The CIA used so-called enhanced-interrogation techniques on
al-Libi but did not subject him to waterboarding — the most
controversial of techniques, which also included stress positions,
slapping, shaking and dousing captives with cold water.

“In July
2003, [al Libi] received a letter from [bin Laden’s] designated courier,
Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan, requesting detainee take on the
responsibility of collecting donations, organizing travel and
distributing funds to families in Pakistan,” the document stated.

“[Bin
Laden] stated detainee would be the official messenger between [bin
Laden] and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, detainee moved his family to
Abbottabad, PK, and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar.”

U.S.
officials said the name provided to interrogators was false. But the
intelligence added to the other bits of data that helped the U.S. learn
how bin Laden planned to direct al Qaeda from Pakistan, the real name of
his special courier and the connection of the group to Abbottabad,
where the courier moved around 2006.

The courier, who eventually
led the U.S. to the compound unwittingly, was killed in the raid. The
Obama administration has not identified that person’s name.

Other plots

An
earlier declassified CIA report on Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh
Mohammed reveals that he disclosed the identities of several operatives
and the status of a number of planned attacks.

One plan called for commandeering commercial airliners at London’s Heathrow Airport. Authorities broke up the plot.

Mohammed
was one of three al Qaeda leaders waterboarded by the CIA. The Bush
administration called it part of “enhanced” interrogations. The Obama
administration has labeled it “torture.”

The leaked detainee files
show that other ranking al Qaeda operatives provided a first-ever look
inside the al Qaeda killing machine:

• Ramzi Bin al-Shibh revealed
how operatives gained visas to enter the West, often by gaining
acceptance to an educational institute. If they were denied visas at
U.S. embassies in the Middle East, they would try to gain entrance to
Europe and apply from there.

• A terrorist identified as Hambali,
the leader of the al Qaeda-funded Islamiyah network in South Asia,
provided extensive information on his terrorist contacts in Indonesia.
Responsible for the 2002 Bali bombing that killed more than 200, Hambali
disclosed the existence of the “Infraq Fisabillah” fund used to finance
travel by terrorists to and from Pakistan for training.

• Abu
Zubaydah, another high-ranking bin Laden aide, provided a wealth of
information on al Qaeda’s ability to forge documents used to gain access
to the West. Zubaydah, for example, forged medical files to show that a
terrorist had been tortured. The supposed victims then used the phony
medical history to gain political asylum in Europe or the United States.

“Detainee
has intimate knowledge of al Qaeda’s use of a document committee for
forging documents such as identification cards, visas, and passports,”
the Zubaydah file states, adding, “Detainee has provided a wealth of
information on terrorist organizations. He has provided intelligence on
their operations and leadership. Detainee continues to be a valuable
source of intelligence for operations still occurring today.”


Mohammed Abdah al-Nashiri, another close bin Laden aide, operated a
separate al Qaeda operation in Yemen that received aid from Yemeni
security forces. The revelation showed that, as in Pakistan, a U.S. ally
supposedly working with the West actually was helping the enemy.

One of three al Qaeda captives waterboarded, Nashiri provided the names of a number of operatives still in the field.

Broad consensus

It is not just Bush administration supporters who say interrogations of terrorist suspects at Gitmo and other venues worked.

Asked
on NBC News whether enhanced interrogations, including waterboarding,
produced information that helped find bin Laden, CIA Director Leon E.
Panetta said: “In the intelligence business, you work from a lot of
sources of information, and that was true here.”

Mr. Panetta said:
“We had a multiple series of sources that provided information with
regards to the situation. Clearly, some of it came from detainees and
the interrogation of detainees, but we also had information from other
sources as well.”

Asked whether he would deny that waterboarding
produced critical information on bin Laden, Mr. Panetta answered said he
would not.

“No, I think some of the detainees clearly were, you
know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of
these detainees,” he said.

“But I’m also saying that, you know,
the debate about whether we would have gotten the same information
through other approaches I think is always going be an open question.”

Mr. Panetta opposed Mr. Holder’s decision to open a criminal investigation into the CIA interrogators.

The
debate over the use of “enhanced” interrogation techniques has raged on
Capitol Hill since Mr. Bush initiated the tactics, the most famous of
which was waterboarding, and said Geneva Convention rules apply only to
signing parties and thus not to stateless terrorists in the wake of the
Sept. 11 attacks.

Even though leaders from both parties were
briefed on the practices as early as 2002, leading Democrats derided
their use as reports of secret prisons emerged around 2006.

In
2007, Mr. Bush signed an executive order prohibiting cruel and inhumane
treatment, humiliation or denigration of prisoners’ religious beliefs.
After taking office in 2009, Mr. Obama dubbed some of the techniques
torture, closed the secret prison system and said the administration
would abide by the Geneva Conventions.

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.