Monday, May 16, 2011

Torture Still Doesn't Work

This is part of the letter that CIA director Leon Panetta sent to Sen. John McCain. Panetta told McCain that torture was not the deciding factor in the gathering of intelligence of Osama bin Laden's location. Panetta told McCain that some detainees tortured did give intelligence relating to bin Laden's whereabouts. Other detainees that were tortured repeatedly lied to interogators. Panetta concluded that torture did not play a role in providing Osama bin Laden's whereabouts.

"Nearly 10 years of intensive intelligence work led the CIA to conclude that Bin Ladin was likely hiding at the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. There was no one 'essential and indispensible' [sic] key piece of information that led us to this conclusion. Rather, the intelligence picture was developed via painstaking collection and analysis. Multiple streams of intelligence — including from detainees, but also from multiple other sources — led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was at this compound. Some of the detainees who provided useful information about the facilitator/courier's role had been subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques. Whether those techniques were the 'only timely and effective way' to obtain such information is a matter of debate and cannot be established definitively. What is definitive is that that information was only a part of multiple streams of intelligence that led us to Bin Ladin.

"Let me further point out that we first learned about the facilitator/courier's nom de guerre from a detainee not in CIA custody in 2002. It is also important to note that some detainees who were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques attempted to provide false or misleading information about the facilitator/courier. These attempts to falsify the facilitator/courier's role were alerting.

"In the end, no detainee in CIA custody revealed the facilitator/courier's full true name or specific whereabouts. This information was discovered through other intelligence means."

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