Utter partisanship appeared to be behind some comments made by Republicans in response to the killing of Osama bin Laden.
– Majority Whip Eric Cantor: “I commend President Obama who has followed the vigilance of President Bush in bringing Bin Laden to justice.”
– Former Bush Chief of Staff Andy Card: “[Bush] made sure everything was in place so that President Obama could have an opportunity to get Osama bin Laden.”
– Rep. Steve King (R-IA) tweeted, “Wonder what President Obama thinks of water boarding now?” — an allusion to the fact that the nickname of the courier who served bin Laden may have been elicited under tortured interrogation.
– Former Bush adviser Karl Rove said on Fox & Friends this morning: “I think the tools that President Bush put into place –- GITMO, rendition, enhanced interrogation, the vast effort to collect and collate this information — obviously served his successor quite well.”
– Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld noted that the critical intelligence that led to bin Laden’s death “very well could have been partly a result of the interviews that took place at Guantanamo.”
– Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, wrote in a blog post, “Bin Laden’s elimination vindicates U.S. strategy in the region, started under President George W. Bush.”
– John Yoo, Bush legal adviser who wrote “torture memos”: “Without the tough decisions taken by President Bush and his national security team, the United States could not have found and killed bin Laden. It is the continuity of policies in the war on terror that has brought success, not the misguided effort of the last two years to disavow them.”
While information that led to discovering bin Laden’s whereabouts reportedly came from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and he was waterboarded, that does not mean that waterboarding led to actionable intelligence. Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times, so it is doubtful that that technique worked. The Pentagon has declared it ineffective, and the British have claimed that any information obtained from Mohammed was not via torture.