December 8, 2014


Waterboarding's role in identifying a terrorist (Marc A. Thiessen, December 8, 2014, Washington Post)

Before outgoing Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) releases her $40 million partisan report claiming that nothing of value came from CIA interrogations, she might want to save herself some embarrassment and make a few last-minute edits. Over the weekend, Pakistani forces killed the man who was believed to be al-Qaeda's top operational commander, Adnan el Shukrijumah -- a terrorist who was identified thanks to the CIA's interrogation of two senior al-Qaeda operatives.

The Post reported Saturday that "the FBI launched a global manhunt for Shukrijumah in 2003, offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest. U.S. officials at the time described him as an 'imminent threat to U.S. citizens and interests.' "

Well, how did the FBI know that (a) Shukrijumah existed, and that (b) he posed an "imminent threat" to the United States? Answer: CIA interrogations.

On March 28, 2002, the CIA captured its first senior al-Qaeda operative, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, better known as Abu Zubaida, in a pre-dawn raid in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Abu Zubaida was critically wounded in the raid and taken to the first CIA "black site." While still recovering, he was initially questioned by the FBI and offered up some information he thought the FBI already knew. But as he grew stronger, Abu Zubaida became increasingly defiant and evasive. He declared his hatred of the United States and refused to answer further questions. So the CIA took charge of Abu Zubaida's interrogation and began to apply the first proto-enhanced interrogation techniques, which included forced nudity, exposure to cold temperatures and sleep deprivation. It was under these circumstances (but before his waterboarding was approved in August) that Abu Zubaida provided information on a terrorist code-named "Abdullah al-Muhajir," whom he identified as an American with a Latino name. This terrorist, subsequently identified as Jose Padilla, was captured thanks to information provided by Abu Zubaida. FBI agent Ali Soufan tried to take credit for getting this information, but according to the Justice Department's Inspector General, Soufan's own FBI partner, "Agent Gibson," confirmed that Abu Zubaida "gave up" Padilla "during the CIA interrogations."

Posted by at December 8, 2014 6:07 PM

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