Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sorry, Torture Freaks,Waterboarding Had Nothing to Do With It,Again.

Yesterday, the House celebrated the death of bin Laden by passing a bill to defund the Affordable Health Care Act and by voting to name a Federal Courthouse after George W. Bush. I guess the latter was in recognition of his contribution to the understanding of torture. I hope at least it's the Courthouse where Judge Bybee presides, since he was one of the authors of the notorious torture memos.

But facts keep coming up that refute the torture freaks insistence that bin Laden was captured because of intel obtained by torture. Our leading torture newspaper, the Washington Post,printed a story this morning that one of the Al Qaeda courier gave up the name of bin Laden's trusted courier under "enhanced interrogation". Nice try but today's AP story spells out another story about how the United States found out about the courier and by fluke and managed to track him to bin Laden's Pakistan retreat.

If torture was so great, why didn't the US know that Abbottabad was where Al-Libi, one of their prime prisoners, hung his hat? Or why then did the tortured deny knowing the courier was an Al Qaeda member. KSM, the man who was waterboarded 180+ times, said he knew the man but denied he was a member of Al Qaeda. Al-Libi, who was tortured at our request in Egypt,did not discuss Said al-Kuwaiti, the pseudonym of the courier, while being waterboarded, although he was used by Dick Cheney to confirm Saddam Hussein's WMD program. In fact,later the CIA talked to him about al-Kuwaiti and the denials were so strong that then the CIA figured out that Al-Libi was lying. That really makes a bizarre case for the effectiveness of torture--strong denials equal truth.

The break on the couriers came when the United States captured Hassan Gul, an Al Qaeda operative in Iraq in 2004. Gul had informed Americans that al-Kuwaiti was a courier and he was close to Al-Libi, who was captured the following year. Once he has identified as a courier, the United States returned to Gitmo detainees, who said the man was a mid-level Al Qaeda functionary who helped militants find safe havens. But no one knew his whereabouts. One detainee claimed that al-Kuwaiti had been wounded in Afghanistan and died in his arms. Another triumph for torture.

It took the United States years to determine that the wanted man was Sheikh Abu Ahmed, a Pakistani man who was born in Kuwait. And then he placed a fateful call to someone being monitored by the United States and the hunt began again.

The torture freaks might confuse the public in the days ahead but wait for July. Former CIA interrogator Glenn Carle has his book The Interrogator: An Education (Nation) coming out which will eviscerate the Bush torture advocates and the "lurking despicable men" involved in the torture program. Col, Lawrence Wilkerson raved about the book last night on the Ed Show and Charles McGarry called it the best book on the CIA he's ever read. Carle was at Tora Bora and was "surged" into becoming an interrogator for Al Qaeda personnel and then was whisked away to on of the remote torture sites along with an Al Qaeda suspect. You can pre-order the book on Amazon today.

If you really need to credit George W. Bush, then the only appropriate point of praise has to do with the secret NSA programs created during his term to force bin Laden to use couriers since they hung up his use of banks, phones and the internet. This forced him to rely on personal couriers. These programs helped to smoke bin Laden out into the open.

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