Water-Boarding Key For Actionable Intelligence (i.e., Liberal Fail)

CHUCK TODD: When you say waterboarding is not torture, then why did we prosecute Japanese soldiers in World War II for waterboarding?

(OVERTALK)

DICK CHENEY: For a lot of stuff. Not for waterboarding. They did an awful lot of other stuff. To draw some kind of moral equivalent between waterboarding, judged by our Justice Department not to be torture, and what the Japanese did with the Bataan Death March and the slaughter of thousands of Americans, with the rape of Nanking and all of the other crimes they committed, that’s an outrage. It’s a really cheap shot, Chuck, to even try to draw a parallel between the Japanese who were prosecuted for war crimes after World War II and what we did with waterboarding three individuals–

TODD: I understand.

CHENEY: –all of whom were guilty and participated in the 9/11 attacks.

TODD: Is there a reason these interrogations didn’t happen on U.S. soil? Was there concern that maybe these folks would get legal protections–

CHENEY: Well–

TODD: –from the United States and that’s why it was done at black sites?

CHENEY: We didn’t read them their Miranda Rights either. These are not American citizens. They are unlawful combatants. They are terrorists. They are people who have committed unlawful acts of war against the American people. And we put them in places where we could proceed with the interrogation program and find out what they knew so we could protect the country against further attacks. And it worked.

(NewsBusters)

(Originally posted in May of 2011 — updated)

From a friendly challenge to me on my FaceBook:

Rumsfeld said point blank that they did not get this info from enhanced interrogation but through regular interrogation. I had a Newsmax link which I knew you’d like better but it did not want to post for some reason. I’ll try again.

The whole debate between the efficacious nature of enhanced interrogation is back in the news, thanks to the wonderful killing of Osama bin Laden. As the Atlantic Journal notes well the politically charged topic this brings to the debate between Left and Right:

The shot-up corpse of Osama bin Laden was barely wet at the bottom of the sea when conservative heavyweights began praising Bush-era “enhanced interrogation” tactics as a big reason why U.S. soldiers were able to know in which multistory house in which million-dollar compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the al Qaeda leader was holed up. With a spectacularly successful “end” to the bin Laden story, the we-told-you-so crowd evidently now wants to go back and re-litigate the legitimacy of the “means” by which they claim it all came about.

And, in the absence of any other juicy political conflict surrounding the news of bin Laden’s death, serious journalists were only too happy to oblige the counterfact festival choreographed (typically without attribution, of course) mainly by the nation’s various spies and spooks. One earnest reporter after another, from the right and the left and in between, dutifully stoked the suddenly “reignited” fires of debate over the effectiveness of torture as a means of gathering material information from terror detainees.

On Monday into Tuesday, as a running sidebar to the main story about how the bin Laden assault took place, there were a slew of news articles arguing the back-and-forth of the torture meme as if the two sides to the argument came to this august moment in American history on equal footing in fact or law. For example, NBC’s mighty Michael Isikoff tried to finesse the matter by describing the torture of terror law prisoners as “aggressive interrogations” or “sometimes controversial interrogations.” And then he wrote:

The behind-the-scenes story of how bin Laden was finally located is yet to be fully told, but emerging details seem likely to reignite the debate over whether “enhanced interrogation” techniques and other aggressive methods that have been widely criticized by human rights groups provided useful – or timely — intelligence about al-Qaida. While some current and former U.S. officials credited those interrogations Monday with producing the big break in the case, others countered that they failed to produce what turned out to be the most crucial piece of intelligence of all: the identity and whereabouts of the most important figure in bin Laden courier’s network.

One of the “behind-the-scenes” nuggets apparently involves Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, who was said by some unidentified analysts to have given up the nicknames of some of bin Laden’s couriers only after being subjected to waterboarding. One of those couriers, we now know, was brilliantly tracked by American operatives to the Abbottabad hideout and thus to bin Laden himself. But here’s what the Associated Press had to say about that:

Mohammed did not reveal the names while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He identified them many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.

Just exactly why the merits of waterboarding as an honorable tool of U.S. policy are “once again up for debate” based upon the Mohammed example was left unwritten by the AP.

…(read more)…

Firstly, a shout out to the many years from multiple administrations and the intelligence community and our boys in uniform. Now down to business. I have gotten a couple of people pointing out some discrepancies in my previous post, Without Bush Implementing Water-Boarding and Guantanamo Interrogations, Osama Would Still Be Alive. What is actually happening – I believe – is a misconception of times and places on the part of the liberals entering into this discussion. It is important to know as well that “first reports” are always a bit confused. As you read the following you will see that the Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and other liberal sites ran with responses to questions that don’t fit the outcome to the conclusions made. What the questions were that were originally posed to Rumsfeld seem to be a bit out of context, as we will see.

To wit I have been given multiple articles to read, some from liberal sources, others from conservative source… sources rejected except in this singular instance – speaking here of the NewsMax article. In it NewsMax starts out with this:

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells Newsmax the information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden was obtained through “normal interrogation approaches” and says the notion that terrorist suspects were waterboarded at Guantanamo Bay is a “myth.”


Lets bullet point this for clarity sake:

1) information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden was obtained through “normal interrogation approaches

2) the notion that terrorist suspects were waterboarded at Guantanamo Bay is a “myth.”

Nothing I wrote or conservatives posted disagree with this notion, and it is beyond me why DailyKos, the Huffington post, and other sites take Rummies words and misconstrue them. A great post dealing with this issue is found over at SayAnythingBlog.com:

Liberals have been touting these comments from Donald Rumsfeld in which the former Bush administration Secretary of Defense says that the intelligence used to find Osama bin Laden wasn’t obtained through waterboarding because waterboarding didn’t happen at Guantanamo Bay:

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells Newsmax the information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden was obtained through “normal interrogation approaches” and says the notion that terrorist suspects were waterboarded at Guantanamo Bay is a “myth.”

Rumsfeld also claims that elements of Pakistani intelligence could have been complicit in hiding the terrorist mastermind, asserts that his killing exonerates George W. Bush’s approach to fighting terrorism, and warns that terrorists will likely try to avenge bin Laden’s death with new attacks against America or its allies.

“Another wingnut myth bites the dust,” writes Bob Cesca, but I’m not sure this really disproves anything.

First, we know that Khalid Sheik Mohammed was interrogated not at Guantanamo Bay but at CIA detention centers in eastern Europe. We also know that KSM was subjected to so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” which is pretty much political speak for waterboarding.

Also, as Stephen Hayes notes on Twitter, the question isn’t whether or not KSM gave up the intelligence during a waterboarding session but whether or not the waterboarding we all know KSM went through made him compliant with his interrogators, something that lead to him giving up the intelligence at a later date.

Say Anything Blog goes on to point out that Congressman King still stands by the position that this beginning info came from those waterboarding moments. However, even if we accept the liberal spin, Say Anything goes on to point out the following:

But really, this is all a moot point. Even it we stipulate that waterboarding, or “enhanced interrogation techniques,” had nothing at all do to with KSM giving up key details which lead to bin Laden’s capture the intelligence was still gathered at facilities (Guantanamo Bay and the CIA prisons in Europe) Obama wanted shut down.

No matter how this is spun, the reality of how the intelligence which brought down bin Laden was gathered is a black eye for President Obama and the liberals who spent years campaigning against the very policies which made that intelligence gathering possible.

…read more…

Excellent points! Also, many sources in the prevailing articles coming out hourly is another indicator of the factual points of the varying sides of this argument. For instance, over at the Denver Post (was at the Charlotte Observer):

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, detainees in the CIA’s secret prison network told interrogators about an important courier with the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti who was close to bin Laden. After the CIA captured al-Qaida’s No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he confirmed knowing al-Kuwaiti but denied he had anything to do with al-Qaida.

Then in 2004, top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, someone crucial to the terrorist organization. In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who replaced Mohammed as al-Qaida’s operational commander. It was a key break in the hunt for in bin Laden’s personal courier.

“Hassan Ghul was the linchpin,” a U.S. official said.

Finally, in May 2005, al-Libi was captured. Under CIA interrogation, al-Libi admitted that when he was promoted to succeed Mohammed, he received the word through a courier. But he made up a name for the courier and denied knowing al-Kuwaiti, a denial that was so adamant and unbelievable that the CIA took it as confirmation that he and Mohammed were protecting the courier. It only reinforced the idea that al-Kuwaiti was very important to al-Qaida.

If they could find the man known as al-Kuwaiti, they’d find bin Laden.

The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA’s so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.

“We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day,” said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.

Mohammed did not discuss al-Kuwaiti while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He acknowledged knowing him many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.

…read more…

Take note that the source that mentions that we did get the info via enhanced interrogations was sourced by name. Again:

The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA’s so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.

“We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day,” said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.

The sources apparently saying different are simply referred to as former officials, But note that the article says this, “Mohammed did not discuss al-Kuwaiti while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He acknowledged knowing him many months later under standard interrogation.” In two separate posts on my FaceBook I pointed out the misunderstanding some seem to have:

The name of the courier did not come from KSM under enhanced interrogation. KSM cracked and agreed to share what he knew BECAUSE of enhanced interrogation. I don’t know how I can be clearer? …. ‎(I read the Newsmax article.) KSM, after many short intervals of water-boarding combined with sleep deprivation, caved in. And over many months/years of “tea and crumpets” he divulged names, places, tactics, and the like. This info led to many plots being foiled [like the planned attack on the Library Tower in L.A.]. The codename for the courier was one of the items given up during these talks AFTER they water-boarded him, which could have been months after or years after this initial event. Clear?

For those who have the time, I highly recommend Larry Elders dealing with this topic yesterday. I combine highlighted moments from his radio broadcast where he makes many similar point:

The Sage Talks KSM, Osama, and Liberal Rants! from Papa Giorgio on Vimeo.

Gateway Pundit likewise deals with his topic in a way that refutes the many positions stated by my liberal friends:

Obama's Own CIA Head Says Water-boarding Helped

Obama CIA chief admitted today that intelligence gleaned from enhanced interrogating techniques led the US to Osama Bin Laden. Today reported:

Intelligence garnered from waterboarded detainees was used to track down al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and kill him, CIA Chief Leon Panetta told NBC News on Tuesday.

“Enhanced interrogation techniques” were used to extract information that led to the mission’s success, Panetta said during an interview with anchor Brian Williams. Those techniques included waterboarding, he acknowledged.

Panetta, who in a 2009 CIA confirmation hearing declared “waterboarding is torture and it’s wrong,” said Tuesday that debate about its use will continue.

“Whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches I think is always gonna be an open question,” Panetta said.

Additionally, Gateway Pundit has video of Rumsfeld saying the same:

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:

“CIA Director Panetta indicated that one of the individuals who provided important information had in fact been waterboarded… There was some confusion today on some programs, even one on FOX I think, suggesting that I indicated that no one who was waterboarded at Guantanamo provided any information on this. It’s not true. No one was waterboarded at Guantanamo by the US military. In fact no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo period. Three people were waterboarded by the CIA away from Guantanamo and then later were brought to Guantanamo. And, in fact, as you pointed out the information from these individuals was critically important.”

Once again… Ace of Spades put together the timeline that started back in 2003 during the Bush years that led to Osama’s death on Sunday.

The Obama Administration is lying. They don’t want to give Bush credit for leading them to Osama’s compound. And, they don’t want to admit they were wrong about waterboarding.

Once Again, my Democrats and Liberal friends are wrong as well as major liberal sites such as the Daily Kos and the Huffington Post are wrong. Too bad, sooo sad. I wish to point out that many of the truther leftist out there seem to running into a wall of competing emotions and logical conclusions within their models. (Here I suggest my C-O-N-Debunker page for the truther.) For instance, one friend on FaceBook posted this in regards to Rossie O’Donnel:

The killing of Bin Laden must pose a dilemma for leftist truthers like Rosie O’Donnell, who think 9/11 was an inside job by the Bush administration. As a loyal liberal, she wants to praise Obama, but for what — killing the wrong guy?

Another person chimed in:

It’s worse than that Mike, if you include the rare bird known as the truther-birther. That guy not only believes the wrong guy was killed, but that the wrong guy ordered the killing. And now add the newly-minted, “deather,” who doesn’t believe OBL was really killed. Thus, you can in theory have someone who believes that the wrong guy issued an order to kill a guy that didn’t die for a crime he did not commit.

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first try to deceive, which are what the conspiratorialists — of which I use to be one many years ago — are doing to themselves. But it sure is fun to watch.


(Another post dated May 2014)

I posted this on my FaceBook:

This capture and killing of Osama would not have been possible without Bush being in office. We water-boarded a handful of people, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed being one. He is the guy who gave up the codename for the courier that led to this “justice being served.” …. Confirmation came through other interrogations at Guantanamo Bay — something Dems wanted to close as well.

Firstly, we know that Democrats/liberals are against water-boarding, except if it were done to Bush’s daughters. You think I am kidding? Stepephen King, novelist and outspoken Democrat, said this:

Someone in the Bush family should actually be waterboarded so they could report on it to George. I said, I didn’t think he would do it, but I suggested Jenna be waterboarded and then she could talk about whether or not she thought it was torture.

I agree with Stephen King, if Jenna Bush had detailed information about a plot that was already under-way to destroy the Library Tower in L.A., by all means, waterboard her. But don’t ask if it is torture after… one should, rather, ask her if she is allergic to peas. Because that’s one staple she will be getting with her meals a few times a week in her lifelong prison cell.

You see, Democrats have what Thomas Sowell calls first tier thinking, they never make it to the second tier. They simply act upon how something makes them feel: “this makes me feel uneasy, therefore, I will act against what engenders my feeling.” They do not make it to the second tier, which asks “how does this affect society and other people besides me.” Many do not understand even how they make decisions. Dr. Sowell isn’t worried as much about Johnny not being able to read, rather, he is worried about how Johnny makes decisions: “The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.” This applies to Democratic decision making. It is this thinking that muddled the proper historical application of torture and the Geneva Convention (see: WWII, Nazi’s, Torture, & Rights (4 Imported Articles — Very Important Read To Formulate Proper Views of History and Responses to Revisionist History). One of my favorite lines from the linked post is comparing key information gotten from Nazi’s captured during WWII is this:

If anyone believes that SIS persuaded each of these 19 hard-bitten Nazi spies to fall in with Operation Fortitude by merely offering them tea, biscuits, and lectures in democracy, they’re being profoundly naïve.

One of the problems with Democratic thinking is in regards to “moral equivalency.” I point this out in a post about water-boarding and how the Democratic leadership views our military:

A Little Historical Angst

The Obama administration is backtracking on its statement that some may be open to legal prosecution for their involvement in the “torturing” three members of Al Qaeda. The problem of the Democrats is moral equivalency. While they say Republican see thing in black-and-white, and they see things in shades of grey (with thanks to Dennis Prager), they in fact see all torture techniques — putting a guy in a small cell with bugs — as morally wrong. They do not see gradations of “torture” like they do not see gradations between cultures and social-issues (moral equivalency of marriage, for instance).

See for instance Democrats calling our military Nazi’s and Terrorists:

John Kerry calls American troops terrorists
Durbin Compares U.S. Troops to Nazi’s, Soviets, & Pol Pot
Murtha calls Marines Murderers (of course these Marines were all acquitted because they were under fire from these places they fired on. I have to include a response by a Marine to Murtha, and a story on Murtha being sued for slander.)

I can here recommend a book by Michelle Malkin entitled,  “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild“; and another book by an ex-dem entitled,  “Leaving the Left: Moments in the News That Made Me Ashamed to Be a Liberal.”


“His sufferings must be that of a man who is drowning, but cannot drown.” ~ Lt. Grover Flint


Later in this same post Peter Hoekstra points out that, “Perhaps we need an investigation not of the enhanced interrogation program, but of what the Obama administration may be doing to endanger the security our nation has enjoyed because of interrogations and other antiterrorism measures implemented since Sept. 12, 2001. “Thankfully we had a President that knew at what cost information comes and was willing to implement the program that stopped sooo many deaths! This can be exemplified in Marc Thiessen debating Democrats on the issue…

[seen near the top]

…. From waterboarding.org, Waterboarding Success Stories: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Library Tower:

The waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is often cited as one of the major waterboarding “success stories”. ABC News reporter Brian Ross credited waterboarding for the crucial information used to avert the destruction of Library Tower.

ROSS: That has happened in some cases where the material that’s been given has not been accurate, has been essentially to stop the torture. In the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the information was very valuable, particularly names and addresses of people who were involved with al Qaeda in this country and in Europe. And in one particular plot, which would involve an airline attack on the tallest building in Los Angeles, known as the Library Tower.

The US Bank Tower plot was revealed to the public by President Bush on February 9, 2006 in a speech to the National Guard Association:

In the weeks after September the 11th, while Americans were still recovering from an unprecedented strike on our homeland, al Qaeda was already busy planning its next attack. We now know that in October 2001, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad — the mastermind of the September the 11th attacks — had already set in motion a plan to have terrorist operatives hijack an airplane using shoe bombs to breach the cockpit door, and fly the plane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We believe the intended target was Liberty [sic] Tower in Los Angeles, California.

Rather than use Arab hijackers as he had on September the 11th, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad sought out young men from Southeast Asia — whom he believed would not arouse as much suspicion. To help carry out this plan, he tapped a terrorist named Hambali [Riduan Isamuddin], one of the leaders of an al Qaeda affiliated group in Southeast Asia called “J-I” [Jemaah Islamiyah]. JI terrorists were responsible for a series of deadly attacks in Southeast Asia, and members of the group had trained with al Qaeda. Hambali recruited several key operatives who had been training in Afghanistan. Once the operatives were recruited, they met with Osama bin Laden, and then began preparations for the West Coast attack.

Their plot was derailed in early 2002 when a Southeast Asian nation arrested a key al Qaeda operative. Subsequent debriefings and other intelligence operations made clear the intended target, and how al Qaeda hoped to execute it. This critical intelligence helped other allies capture the ringleaders and other known operatives who had been recruited for this plot. The West Coast plot had been thwarted.

Which aspects of this plot could Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s waterboarding have revealed?

♦ We learned about Al Qaeda’s interest in flying planes into buildings on September 11, 2001.

♦ We knew about Al Qaeda’s use of shoe bombs from Richard Reid, captured in December 22, 2001.

♦ We knew about Jemaah Islamiyah at least since the Bali Bomb attack on October 12, 2002.

♦ The “key al Qaeda operative” and pilot for the plot, Zaini Zakari, was arrested by Malaysian authorities in December 2002.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003after the plot was discovered, after the plot was “derailed”, after the pilot of the plane was captured. Khaled Sheikh Mohammed could not have “provided valuable information and saved lives” when all aspects of the plot were well-known and the attack had been foiled prior to his capture. Coercive interrogation is extremely effective at obtaining confessions. Evidence obtained from coercive interrogation is highly dubious and must be corroborated with reliable sources. The claims of interrogators who coerce their prisoners should be treated with as much skepticism as the claims of the prisoners themselves.

You can add the death of a terror mastermind (Osama) to the above list of positives!