During an interview on Meet the Press, Leon Panetta obliterated the mythology of torture enthusiasts and the inferred message of Zero Dark Thirty that torture led to Bin Laden’s capture. According to CBS:
Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Sunday that “We could have gotten bin Laden without” enhanced interrogation techniques, despite the implication in the film “Zero Dark Thirty” that the techniques, called torture by opponents, played a pivotal role in finding bin Laden.
He went on to say the following: ”Yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time, interrogation tactics that were used,” he admitted. “But the fact is we put together most of that intelligence without having to resort to that.”
In response to Chuck Todd’s follow up asking if we could have gotten the information without any use of torture (or as some call it enhanced interrogation” Panetta replied: ”I think we could have gotten bin Laden without that.”
This is consistent with Panetta’s explanation in a letter to Senator John McCain right after we got Bin Laden.
Let me further point out that we first learned about the facilitator/courier’s nom de guerre from a detainee not in CIA custody in 2002. It is also important to note that some detainees who were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques attempted to provide false or misleading information about the facilitator/courier. These attempts to falsify the facilitator/courier’s role were alerting.
In the end, no detainee in CIA custody revealed the facilitator/courier’s full true name or specific whereabouts. This information was discovered through other intelligence means. (my emphasis)
Then, as now, torture enthusiasts are trying desperately to spin this to mean the very opposite of the truth simply because lies and distortion is all they have. This is despite statements by Senator Diane Feinstein, joined by Senators John McCain and Carl Levin who are also in the best position to know the facts since they reviewed all the available CIA records.
This also discredits (again) similar claims that torture led to Bin Laden made by Jose Rodriguez during a 60 Minutes Interview last year.
Everyone who has access to the facts about the sources of information that led us to Bin Laden says the same thing. What part of that is so hard to understand?