Did enhanced interrogation lead U.S. to Osama bin Laden?

UPDATE 8:50 p.m.: In a CNN appearance, Former CIA director Michael Hayden said the detainees the administration said provided information on Osama bin Laden’s couriers were at one of the CIA’s locations that allowed enhanced interrogation techniques, not at Guantanamo Bay.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former George W. Bush senior adviser Karl Rove have indicated that enhanced interrogation techniques helped United States officials obtain the information that eventually led them to 9/11 terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden yesterday.

The Hill reports that Rumsfeld said new information that led to bin Laden’s killing, “very well could have been partly a result of the interviews that took place at Guantanamo.”

And, Rove said on Fox and Friends on Monday morning that Bush was the one who gave the CIA orders to get bin Laden, and Obama was using intelligence likely attained with enhanced, or harsh, interrogation techniques.

“Look, there is continuity in these kind of things and the tools that President Bush put into place, GITMO, rendition, enhanced interrogation, the vast effort to collect and collate this information, put it in a usable form obviously served his successor quite well because this served the information of the courier several years ago and moved forward to this administration,” Rove said. “I think President Obama needs to be complimented on his handling of this operation. But he did make one minor misstatement last night in that he said he gave the order to the C.I.A. to make the capture of Osama bin Laden. That was to reaffirm an order given to the C.I.A. by President Bush in the aftermath of 9-11.”

The Associated Press reports that the first leads on bin Laden’s whereabouts, information on the fictitious name the al Qaeda head’s closest aide was using, came from harsh interrogation tactics CIA officials were using on confessed 9/11 mastermind planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi.

The Weekly Standard’s Thomas Joscelyn points out, too, that The New York Times downplayed the importance the harsh interrogation tactics played in getting this information, but at least reported that it was Mohammed who was the original lead.

“The press has been quick to highlight every reported instance of abuse (most of them fiction) and every case where an innocent was detained (comparatively few),” Joscelyn writes. “At the same time, our leading press organizations, including the New York Times, have either ignored or downplayed the value of the intelligence learned through interrogations at Guantanamo. Yet, it was that intelligence that ultimately led to the death of Osama bin Laden.”

The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis reports that Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius pointed out the role of enhanced interrogation on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, too. “The CIA got a nickname for one of bin Laden’s couriers in interrogation of high targets — very controversial interrogation — let’s make no bones about it in 2002-2004 range,” Ignatius said. “It took them about four years to figure out who that nickname might really be. They finally got the true name in 2007. And then, they had to figure out where on earth was this, literally, where on earth was this person.”

  • truebearing

    Despite the pathetic attempts by the left to frame the death of Osama as the superhuman heroics of Obama, we all know the truth. Enhanced interrogation broke down Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and prevented other terror attacks, and it revealed the infamous courier that led to Osama.

    Obama deserves credit for making a courageous decision, but he didn’t kill Osama singlehandedly, and he didn’t do it without intel. That intelligence was acquired using techniques he railed against, which is the biggest irony in this whole event. Obama’s finest hour happens when policies he vehemently opposed are the source of information that made his success possible. The left can’t endure admitting this truth, but then they never were worth a damn when it comes to being truthful.

    The lefties here on the DC, and around the country, want the right to give Obama his due, but aren’t willing to reciprocate and admit the huge contributions of Bush or the real world benefits of enhanced interrogation. This lack of honesty is typical of the left and their double standard approach to everything. They simply have no integrity.

  • michaelslevinson

    The day after 9 / 11, Osama bin Laden DENIED he had anything to do with the attack. Look it up. In every other terrorist act that he was involved in – the bombing of the USS Cole – Osama claimed the full responsibility an hour before the bomb went off! But not 9 / 11. It was because of the USS Cole, and a true American patriot, Special Agent John P. O’Neill that put Osama bin Laden on the top of the terrorist watch list.
    A few weeks after 9 / 11 there was a filmed interview with bin Laden and it appeared he was taking credit for the heinous act. Were you to replay that interview and listen carefully it was clearly hearsay.

    Osama bin Laden’s advisers told him the people in the planes were Saudi and because of 9 / 11 he, bin Laden was now a world figure, so he took the blame. When we captured all the lap top computers in all the Afghan caves, and the hard drive pass words were cracked, and the drives were studied, there was not even one mention in any of them of the planned attack on 9 /11.


    But not genteel looking bin Laden. Nope. He was the millionaire leader of al Qaeda so the responsibility for the terrorist act fell on his shoulders, and he accepted the blame, but he was innocent of the charge. It was the price for world-wide anti-American leadership, which he failed to capitalize on.

    Where has bin Laden been since Toraa Bora? Out of the picture. Even the so-called pod casts were questionable. Was it Ossie talking or someone pretending they were him? We really don’t know.

    When FB Eye field agents reported to Washington, D.C. there were Middle Eastern people going to airline school learning how to fly 747 planes, but not how to land them, the FB Eye bosses told the agents in the field mind to their own business.

    And not one of those scum bags lost their job. They knew something was up, with planes! They didn’t know exactly what but they wanted something to happen at the trade centers because the person in charge of security there was former Special Agent John P. O’Neill, the best FBI agent ever to come along in their history and the fascist bureaucrats running the F be Eye show hated him and pushed him out of the F Be Eye.

    Bush and Cheney DID NOT WANT a 9 / 11 Commission, or do you forget. When they met with the 9 / 11 Commission attorneys they brought their own attorneys with them and may have taken the 5th.

    The end F be eye result: Every telephone in America is tapped with the contents being stored, and F BI does name checks on anyone who seeks employment not only in a government agency, but with any company that does business with USA – East German Stassi Lite, the legacy of 9/11.

    Go ahead, grass hoppers, declare you are a candidate for congress and the first thing you are going to do is end the unconstitutional wire tapping by domestic counter-intelligence AKA F be Eye unt you will be veiled threatened by the f be eye and in the event you are not self employed your boss will call you into the office and tell you has to let you go. Home of the brave up a U S.

    I’m sorry they conveniently killed bin Laden. I would have applied to defend him as his attorney and I would have shown a jury that he could not be found guilty. The so-called al qaeda cell that pulled it off had its roots in Germany. The group was trained on plane takeovers by Abu Nidal. Bin Laden was suckered and so were we.

    In the whole world today there might be 2000 terrorist wanna bees and amongst them 20-30 people who can only day dream over a hookah pipe about hurting America. It is in the self interest of the fascist descendants of J. Edgarina, that pharaoh of fascists, the f aggot hypocrite who masterminded the destruction of your First Amendment rights, putting those wheels in motion in 1972 before he died, to keep the terrorist fears alive.

    Put bin Laden, pictures of him shot up in death, on billboards all over the Middle East. State, in Arabic: “all who dare follow bin Laden we will kill you and your wives and your children and your brothers and your sisters and all of their children for harming even one hair on the head of an American. Go ask Gaddafi how good we are at killing.”

    That should be an very effective billboard, though meaningless, because there aren’t any terrorists. If there are expect fire crackers in Congress.

    Middle East suicide bombers are paid with opium poppy harvest money that goes to the families of the suicide bombers. They aren’t here! Nor are they planning to be here.

    That’s the F Be Eye scam to keep chipping away at your constitutional rights. Either the 535 return our rights, or we DUMP the 535.

    We ought to all be able to agree, regardless our party affiliation, as a body the 535 members of Congress have, like all fascists, an agenda. They above us, in office, selling out to the special interests all day in every way. They must go.

    michael s lev in son dot com edict ( a related voice heard from)

  • cnter91

    The headline is in the form of a question. The article gives no evidence of answering this question in the affirmative. So where does this question come from?
    That answer is sad: The Daily Caller loves torture.

    • truebearing

      Now that you mention it, maybe they do. They posted your comment.