McCain: Torture did not lead to bin Laden

By David Edwards
Thursday, May 12, 2011 10:54 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

Waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques didn’t provide the intelligence used to find Osama bin Laden, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) insists.

In a Washington Post op-ed published Thursday, the former Republican presidential candidate said that bin Laden’s death shouldn’t be used to justify torture.

Former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey recently wrote that “the intelligence that led to bin Laden… began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who broke like a dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included waterboarding.”

“He loosed a torrent of information — including eventually the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden,”

“That is false,” McCain flatly stated.

CIA Director Leon Panetta told the Arizona senator that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times, did not provide the information that eventually led to bin Laden.

“The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti — the nickname of the al-Qaeda courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden — as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaeda, came from a detainee held in another country, who we believe was not tortured. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed’s real name, his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaeda,” McCain wrote.

“In fact, the use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ on Khalid Sheik Mohammed produced false and misleading information.”

“I don’t mourn the loss of any terrorist’s life. What I do mourn is what we lose when by official policy or official neglect we confuse or encourage those who fight this war for us to forget that best sense of ourselves,” he said in conclusion.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.