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Tag: leon panetta

Sen. McCain Opposes Torture; Says Waterboarding Did Not Lead to bin Laden Courier

John McCain/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain (R-Az) wrote Thursday in a Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post that he opposed torture, and said it just isn’t true that waterboarding lead authorities to the trusted courier of the Osama bin Laden.

“Much of this debate is a definitional one: whether any or all of these methods constitute torture. I believe some of them do, especially waterboarding, which is a mock execution and thus an exquisite form of torture. As such, they are prohibited by American laws and values, and I oppose them.

As for the courier, he stated:

“Former attorney general Michael Mukasey recently claimed 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.”

“I asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he told me the following: The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. 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.”

He also stated that he was against anyone being prosecuted for using any of the methods he opposes.

To read full column click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

If Captured Bin Laden Might Go to Gitmo, CIA Head Says

bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a "religious duty"

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – After almost 10 years, it seems like nothing more than a lot of “what ifs” and fantasy on the part of the U.S. government when it talks about what to do  with Osama bin Laden if he’s ever captured.

Still, CIA Director Leon Panetta testified Wednesday before a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill that the administration would probably take him to the military prison at Gitmo, the Associated Press reported.

AP’s Eileen Sullivan went on to write “that suggests that, at least under current law, bin Laden would not be transferred to US soil to be tried in the civilian court system.”

Bin laden has been indicted in federal court in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.

But the new White House spokesman Jay Carney said, according to AP:

“The president remains committed to closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, because as our military commanders have made clear, it’s a national security priority to do so.

“I’m not going to speculate about what, you know, would happen if we were to capture Osama bin Laden.”

FBI Director Mueller Says Cyber-Crimes Making it Easier to Steal Intelligence and Cash

FBI Dir. Mueller testifies Thursday

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III emphasized Thursday that the cyberworld has dramatically changed the landscape when it comes to theft of intelligence and money.

“You have probes and capabilities of intruding into networks..that previously you had to recruit somebody inside to obtain, which makes it much easier for those who are trying to steal our secrets, to steal our secrets, ” Mueller testified before the House Select Intelligence Committee.

And he said there’s the problem of “robbing banks of millions of dollars over night by intruding and upping the limits on say, ATMs.”

He testified that sometimes it’s difficult to tell initially who is behind some cybercrimes.

“At the outset you do not know whether it may be a state actor, a group of individuals operating at the behest of a state actor or a high school kid across the street.”

Mueller appeared on the Hill along with some other notables including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter and CIA Director Leon Panetta.

The juicy stuff was supposed to come later during a closed-door session.

Mueller Also Testifies that FBI Scrutinizing Iraqis Who Settled in U.S. and May Have Ties to al Qaeda (AP)