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Osama Intel Boosts Waterboarding Fans

'Enhanced' interrogation may have led to terror mastermind
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2011 2:20 AM CDT
Osama Intel Boosts Waterboarding Fans
Anti-Iraq war protesters act out water boarding torture in front of the White House.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Did waterboarding finally nail Osama bin Laden? Intelligence leading to the killing of the terror mastermind gleaned from prisoners, possibly during "enhanced" interrogation techniques, is reigniting debate about waterboarding. US officials learned the identity of bin Laden's key courrier from Guantanamo Bay inmates, and tracking that courrier led to bin Laden's hideout. Attorney General Eric Holder said he "didn't know" if harsh tactics were used to obtain the intelligence, notes ABC News. But former Vice President Dick Cheney said he "wouldn't be surprised" if the "enhanced interrogation" program "produced results that ultimately contributed to the success" of tracking down bin Laden.

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John Yoo, the former Bush Justice Department official who wrote legal memos backing interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, has issued a statement calling the capture of bin Laden a "vindication" of the Bush administration's terrorism policies. Under an Obama administration "there would have been no enhanced interrogation program, no terrorist surveillance program, and hence no intelligence mosaic that could have given us the information that produced" the end of bin Laden, he said. (Read more waterboarding stories.)

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