Torture Didn't Help Catch bin Laden, Report Finds
Senate Intelligence Committee: No evidence tortured detainees gave up crucial info
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 31, 2014 11:20 AM CDT
This undated file photo shows al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – The report that has thrown the CIA into a bitter fight with the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that there is no evidence that torture helped the agency find Osama bin Laden, congressional aides and other sources tell the AP. The CIA has argued that "harsh interrogation techniques" like waterboarding provided vital information; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, for example, confirmed that he knew al-Qaeda courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti after he'd been waterboarded. But he made the admission months after the waterboarding, the Senate report finds, while Mohammed was under standard interrogation.

Even then, the information he provided wasn't important and didn't include the courier's true name; the report concludes it served only to confirm what the CIA already knew. False information given by another tortured detainee related to the courier, which the CIA has argued was a tell-tale sign he was trying to protect al-Kuwati, turned out to be similarly unimportant, per the report. The AP notes that it took the CIA years to ascertain al-Kuwati's real name, Sheikh Abu Ahmed; it's still unclear how the agency did so. Writing for the Wire, Philip Bump observes that "it's impossible to overestimate the significance of the bin Laden capture in the defense of the CIA's interrogation programs ... which is no doubt part of the reason that the Senate staffers spoke with the AP."

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Torture Didn't Help Catch bin Laden, Report Finds is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 103 comments
Edward L
Apr 1, 2014 1:45 PM CDT
I hope will keep us updated on the conclusions the Senate Intelligence Committee has drawn from the CIA report which they claim to have never seen. I've noticed that the longer and louder they complain about never having been allowed to read a single word of it, the more intriguing and detailed their comments on its contents become.
Apr 1, 2014 1:20 PM CDT
We don't really know who they caught and dumped into the sea, do we?
Apr 1, 2014 7:49 AM CDT
Moot point considering the CIA is never going to stop using torture unless THEY want to It's worth discussing. I suppose the constant attention would reduce torture being used by the military which is a smidge more transparent than the CIA. But I doubt the CIA will stop torture all together unless they believe the time wasted is truly wasted.