"You have informed us that the interrogation of KSM -- once enhanced techniques were employed -- led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the 'Second Wave,' 'to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into' a building in Los Angeles," says the memo, referring to information CIA provided to Justice.
"You have informed us that information obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemaah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the 'Second Wave,'" said the memo.
"More specifically, we understand that KSM admitted that he had (redaction) large sum of money to an al-Qaida associate (redaction) ... . Khan subsequently identified the associate (Zubair), who was then captured," said the memo. "Zubair, in turn, provided information that led to the arrest of Hambali. The information acquired from these captures allowed CIA interrogators to pose more specific questions to KSM, which led the CIA (to) Hambali's brother, al-Hadi. Using information obtained from multiple sources, al-Hadi was captured, and he subsequently identified the Garuba cell. With the aid of this additional information, interrogations of Hambali confirmed much of what was learned from KSM."
A CIA spokesman confirmed to me on Tuesday, as I first reported on CNSNews.com, that the CIA stands by the factual assertions made here.
While waterboarding was exceedingly rare in CIA interrogations of al-Qaida terrorists, it was routinely used on certain members of our own armed forces who went through "Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape" (SERE) training. According to another previously classified memo that Obama released last week, some branches of the U.S. military stopped using waterboarding in training certain troops not because waterboarding had harmful long-term effects, but because it was so universally effective in extracting information.
"With respect to the waterboard, you have also orally informed us that the Navy continues to use it in training," said a 2002 Office of Legal Counsel memo to the CIA's Rizzo. "You have informed us that other services ceased use of the waterboard because it was so successful as an interrogation technique but not because of any concerns over harm, physical or mental, caused by it. It was also reported to be almost 100 percent effective in producing cooperation among trainees."
According to the CIA, it produced cooperation in the mastermind of 9-11 and thus yielded information used to stop a 9-11 type attack on the West Coast.
President Obama says he has prohibited the interrogation techniques described in the Justice Department memos he released. Next time the CIA catches a KSM, they must be kinder and gentler with him.