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Did torture nab bin Laden?


 

No.


 

Did torture nab bin Laden?

  1. Paul, we are (im)patiently waiting your election thoughts!

    • It's OK for him to post one word on another topic before he gets to the election – I suspect he needs more than a single word : )

  2. My favourite line:
    "Leave aside the horrifying fact that Republicans, seeking to score some ownership of this triumph, would look to torture as their contribution. Why not the beefed up on-the-ground intelligence from 2005 on? That's Bush's legacy that Obama built on. Besides, there is no evidence that it played any part whatsoever"

  3. Sure. Now would you like to address his arguments in the question at hand?

    • Okay, to quote from the followup,

      "The capture of bin Laden was done according to American principles under a president who has outlawed torture."

  4. I agree the answer is "No", but the meme that torture brought this about is out there and appeared very quickly.
    For obvious, backside-covering reasons.

  5. The real question is why does Paul Wells hate the troops.

  6. This meme will probably be as hard to kill as the one that the 9/11 hijackers crossed to the US from Canada. The first story out of the gate seems to be the stickiest.

  7. You're right Wells. It took the US ten years to find the guy, and now they're gloating how effective the water-boarding was. Seems to me that their gloating is a little misplaced. I'm glad they FINALLY got the guy, but for them to be crowing about their methods, that's ridiculous.

    • At the risk of belabouring my (borrowed) point, the people who know what the effective methods were aren't crowing about waterboarding. Only the ones who are guessing, or trying to salve their conscience.

      • Ah, so you're saying that Leon Panetta doesn't know what he's talking about?

      • Yes, I do realize my point was only indirectly related.

        Well, I guess I'm saying that even if they were right (and you pointed out that they're not), but even if they were, to be calling the method a success is a joke anyway.

        If it took 10 years to find him, then they need to do things differently, not just for ethical reasons, but also for basic reasons of competence. It's stupidity all-around for them to be praising their methods.

  8. Thank you, Paul.

  9. "The decade-long, tortuous trail that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces included vital clues extracted from waterboarded Guantanamo detainees, America's spymaster says …… But CIA director Leon Panetta, currently the toast of Washington because his agents painstakingly tracked down the al-Qaeda leader, has acknowledged that a waterboarding yielded valuable information. That intelligence gave Mr. Obama the chance to make good on his vow to hunt down Mr. bin Laden …… “We had multiple series of sources that provided information with regards to this situation … clearly some of it came from detainees [and] they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of those detainees,” Mr. Panetta said. He confirmed – “that's correct” – when asked specifically whether waterboarding was one of the techniques." Globe/Mail, May 4, 2011

    I believe Panetta more than I do NY Times and A Sullivan when it comes to knowing how information was collected. I think what is happening is that White House does not want it known waterboarding works – Obama would be ever so embarrased with his base if that info ever leaked out – so we are getting obfuscation.

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