The tough interrogation techniques that Barack Obama said are unacceptable worked. There are Americans who are alive today because our CIA took care of business:
President Obama’s national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.
“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,” Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.
Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.
Admiral Blair’s assessment that the interrogation methods did produce important information was deleted from a condensed version of his memo released to the media last Thursday. Also deleted was a line in which he empathized with his predecessors who originally approved some of the harsh tactics after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“I like to think I would not have approved those methods in the past,” he wrote, “but I do not fault those who made the decisions at that time, and I will absolutely defend those who carried out the interrogations within the orders they were given.”
Well Admiral Blair was not in charge when 9/11 happened so he was spared from having to make that difficult decision required to save thousands of American’s lives, and thank God for that because if he had been in charge at that time, there would be a lot more dead Americans.
Added: And did you note in that excerpted quote that the New York Times acknowledges that the version of the memo that the Obama administration released to the media was edited in order to cover up some of the valuable information that we gained from those techniques?
Erick Erickson at RedState asks:
How many Americans will die because of Barack Obama’s weak national security leadership?
He then described a conversation he had with Dick Cheney about this very topic:
By the way, when I had lunch with Vice President Cheney back in January, we discussed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Here’s the relevant part of that conversation:
Many of the administration’s opponents have never let go of the belief that terrorists could be prosecuted. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the best example: the dividing line between the Bush administrations admirers and its most vehement critics falls along not just party lines, but separates those whose views are legalistic and academic and those who view war pragmatically.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed belonged to Osama bin Laden’s inner circle inside Al-Qaeda: he was the operational planner behind the 9-11 attacks. On March 1, 2003, the Pakistani ISI captured him. He eventually landed in Guantanamo Bay. Cheney pointed out that very little was known about Al-Qaeda in the early days of the War on Terror. People forget that. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, having gone through enhanced interrogation, provided “a basic database of information on Al-Qaeda,” according to the Vice President. The sheikh provided information on where Al-Qaeda was located, how it received its funding, how it trained, etc. Without that information, which would never have been obtained via a judicial system prosecution, the United States would have been seriously set back in the early advancement of the war.
CNSNews has more details about what information the tough interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad yielded:
The Central Intelligence Agency told CNSNews.com today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) — including the use of waterboarding — caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles.
Before he was waterboarded, when KSM was asked about planned attacks on the United States, he ominously told his CIA interrogators, “Soon, you will know.”
According to the previously classified May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that was released by President Barack Obama last week, the thwarted attack — which KSM called the “Second Wave”– planned ” ‘to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into’ a building in Los Angeles.”