Waterboarding Timeline Shows Torture Did Not Lead To Getting Bin Laden
On Monday, Donald Rumsfeld told Newsmax that information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden was obtained via “normal interrogation approaches,” and that it’s a “myth” that waterboarding took place at Guantanamo. However, on Sean Hannity’s show Tuesday night, Rumsfeld said waterboarding helped, and those who think otherwise “aren’t facing the truth.”
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was reportedly waterboarded 183 times, but that took place years before he was at Gitmo, and did not produce information leading to bin Laden’s demise. By the time the name of the courier’s name, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, was learned, it was 2007, and that was years after waterboarding and rendering to black sites had stopped.
[A] administration official told reporters on Sunday that “for years, we were unable to identify his true name or his location.” It took until “four years ago” — 2007, then — for intelligence officials to learn al-Kuwaiti’s real name. By then, President Bush had ceased waterboarding and shuttered the black sites, moving the detainees within them, including Mohammed and al-Libbi, to Guantanamo Bay. In a Monday interview, Donald Rumsfeld said “normal” interrogation techniques were used at Gitmo on those detainees.
If this timeline is correct — and there may be a lot of adjustment to it in the days and years to come — then that means waterboarding and other abusive techniques failed to get the name out of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libbi. A New York Times account has both men claiming not to know even the courier’s nom de guerre, which actually may have counted as a kind of confirmation by omission in this case. That says something about the limits of brute force in interrogation.
So we are being asked to believe that waterboarding — which took place years before Gitmo — led to information that was obtained at Gitmo. It is a stretch to make that claim, and is only being done in a desperate attempt to clean up the image of the Bush administration and try to make the case the President Obama wouldn’t have been successful getting bin Laden were it not for George W. Bush.Click here for reuse options!
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