Congressman Peter King (R-NY) says, and I quote: “You mentioned we obtained information several years ago, vital information about the courier for Obama. We obtained that information through waterboarding, and for those who say waterboarding doesn’t work, who say it should be stopped and never used again, we got vital information that directly led us to bin Laden….It came from an overseas prison where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was being interrogated and waterboarding was being used. KSM gave us the first lead, and later al Libi who was also a top aid to bin Laden, was being interrogated with strong interrogation measures and he confirmed information about the courier. So key information we got from waterboarding.” By the way, did you know that the White House has now changed some of their claims?
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.
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.
Rep. Peter King sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. John Brennan, Obama’s National Security Adviser also claims the information did not come from waterboarding. Fox News’ Bill Hemmer this minute ((;30 a.m. CDT) is telling Peter King that Donald Rumsfeld said the information DID NOT come from waterboarding. King says he has talked to people who were actually there, and waterboarding yielded the initial information.
The White House originally said that bin Laden had a weapon and fired on our troops. Reportedly, the entire White House security team watched, live, Osama receive some measure of justice at the hands of the SEALs. Today the story is NOT that bin Laden had a weapon. He did not. Another change is that bin Laden’s wife (one of them) DID NOT die, WAS NOT used as a human shield.
However, during a background, off-camera briefing for television reporters later Monday, a senior White House official said bin Laden was not armed when he was killed, apparently by the U.S. raid team.
Another White House official familiar with the TV briefing confirmed the change to POLITICO, adding, “I’m not aware of him having a weapon.”
“The bottom line is the team that entered that room was met with resistance and took appropriate action,” said a third American official.
This report from yesterday still gives the original information, but does say another woman, thought to be one of bin Laden’s wives, identified the terror leader as Osama bin Laden. The New York Times has a lengthy overview of the entire operation, and also mentions that a wife identified him, along with “facial recognition software,” suggesting a 95% certainty that the dead man was OBL.
…looks like our moment of bipartisan unity is officially over. Dubya, it seems, didn’t much care about catching Bin Laden whereas The One, immaculate in his wisdom, recognized it for the top national priority that it was. Which is a lovely narrative, with just a few teensy holes. For starters, [Lawrence] O’Donnell notes that the CIA’s Bin Laden unit was disbanded in 2005.
Reaganite Republican has some Obama quotes about how one goes about getting “good intelligence.” I’ll keep asking this question: did the SEALs find a kidney dialysis machine in the multi-million dollar compound? Memorandum has a full thread developing of the various details of the operation.
Background and Related:
Peter King with Bill O’Reilly: Peter King – KSM and Waterboarding Gave First Led to Courier (video)