Conservatives are rewriting history. Conservatives, like those on Fox News, will have all Americans to believe that enhanced interrogation technique, aka. waterboarding, lead to the capture of Osama Bin Laden.
Years of intelligence gathering, including details gleaned from controversial interrogations of Al Qaeda members during the Bush administration, ultimately led the Navy SEALs who killed Usama bin Laden to his compound in Pakistan.
The initial threads of intelligence began surfacing in 2003 and came in the form of information about a trusted bin Laden courier, a senior U.S. official told Fox News on condition of anonymity. The information included an alias for the courier. Bin Laden had cut off all traditional lines of communication with his network by this time because the Al Qaeda leader knew the U.S. intelligence community was monitoring him. It was said that he also didn't even trust his most loyal men to know his whereabouts and instead communicated only through couriers.
But it was four years later, in 2007, that terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay military prison started giving up information that led to the identification of the key courier.
Around this time, the use of enhanced interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning, were being denounced as torture by critics of the Bush administration. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney came under intense pressure for supporting rough treatment of prisoners. Critics claimed that any information given under duress simply couldn't be trusted.
It is an argument that Bush and Cheney strongly rejected then, and now.
"I would assume that the enhanced interrogation program that we put in place produced some of the results that led to bin Laden's ultimate capture," Cheney told Fox News on Monday, a hint of vindication in his voice. Link
I have been critical of John McCain throughout his 2008 campaign and his stance against gays in the military, but when the discussion is about torture, McCain (a former POW) is knowledgable on the very subject. This is the John McCain I appreciate as a leader (not the Maverick that pandered to his base by picking an unqualified, incurious Mooseburger Palin). McCain spoke from the Senate floor on the role of torture in locating Osama Bin Laden. History thanks you John for speaking the truth.
Have you noticed the politicians and pundits who support torture (Bush, Cheney, Lieberman, Rumsfeld, Limbaugh, etc) are ALL stay-at-home rightwingers who did everything they could to dodge the draft some 40 years ago. And the politicians who oppose torture, John McCain, John Kerry, Lawrence Wilkerson and Colin Powell are all men that have actually fought in wars.
Ever wonder if torture was what led the Bush Administration to believe that WMDs were in Iraq???