Bush loyalists have been “irked” over the past 24 hours that they are not getting credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden, arguing that their torture program helped bring about intelligence that led to the mission. Karl Rove said “the tools that President Bush put into place –- GITMO, rendition, enhanced interrogation” led to the successful operation. Similarly, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said the mission “rested heavily on some of those controversial policies” from the Bush era.
Today, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) rejected these assertions. She was asked by a reporter whether the intelligence that led to the killing was the result of waterboarding and other harsh treatment of detainees. She responded:
We are in the process of a big study on the detention and interrogation of the detainees on the Intelligence Committee. The Republicans have pulled out of the study. So this has been carried out by the Democratic staff essentially. They have gone through more than 3 million emails, cables, pieces of paper looking for this.
To date, the answer to your question is no. Nothing has been found to indicate this came out of Guantanamo. And people were questioned, but there were no positive answers as to the identity of this number one courier.
Asked a few minutes later whether she considers the Bin Laden killing any kind of “vindication” of the Bush-era torture program, Feinstein said, “Absolutely not. I do not.” She continued, “I happen to know a good deal about how those interrogations were conducted, and in my view, nothing justifies the kind of procedures that were used.” Watch it:
,Brian Beutler reports this quote from Feinstein: “To the best of our knowledge, based on a look, none of it came as a result of harsh interrogation practices.”
,”This idea we caught bin Laden because of waterboarding I think is a misstatement,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said. “This whole concept of how we caught bin Laden is a lot of work over time by different people and putting the puzzle together. I do not believe this is a time to celebrate waterboarding, I believe this is a time to celebrate hard work.”