Cables leaked by the infamous Julian Assange of Wikileaks confirm CIA enhanced interrogation techniques led not only to the killing of Osama bin Laden, but a plethora of valuable terrorism intelligence.
Nearly 800 Guantanamo files show that “enhanced” interrogations of hundreds of captured operatives at secret overseas prisons and at the Cuban prison amounted to one of the most successful intelligence operations in history.
Before the interrogations, the U.S. knew little about al Qaeda in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Years later, the CIA and military had accumulated a large database of ongoing plots and the identities of terrorists, the WikiLeaks files show.
“The WikiLeaks documents provide still additional evidence that intelligence gained from CIA detainees not only helped lead us to Osama bin Laden, it helped us disrupt a number of follow-on attacks that had been set in motion after 9/11,” said Marc Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter.
“Without this program, we would not have gone nearly 10 years without another catastrophic attack on the homeland. This is quite possibly the most important, and most successful, intelligence program in modern times. But instead of medals, the people behind this program have been given subpoenas.”
He was referring to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s launch of a criminal investigation of CIA officers who conducted the “enhanced” interrogations, some of which the Obama administration has dubbed “torture.”
The intelligence gained from enhanced interrogation techniques provided crucial information about future attacks, saving American lives in addition to bringing justice to those who lost loved ones at the hands of Osama bin Laden.
The killing of Osama bin Laden underscores the value of the vast intelligence database. The treasure trove of information includes the identities of terrorists operating abroad, plots to kill civilians and details on how al Qaeda used a network of couriers for clandestine communication.