Donald Rumsfeld: Information That Led To Bin Laden Was Not Obtained Via Waterboarding
There’s been some question since Sunday of the role that waterboarding or other forms of “enhanced interrogation” may have played in obtaining the information that eventually led to the location of Osama Bin Laden. In that regard, I give you the words of Donald Rumsfeld himself:
Asked if harsh interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay played a role in obtaining intelligence on bin Laden’s whereabouts, Rumsfeld declares: “First of all, no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo Bay. That’s a myth that’s been perpetrated around the country by critics.
“The United States Department of Defense did not do waterboarding for interrogation purposes to anyone. It is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance. But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.”
I normally don’t link to Newsmax, but this is Rumsfeld speaking for himself and saying something that, if anything, would tend to rebut the meme growing on the right that the bin Laden incident vindicates waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques.
UPDATE (Dodd): In the interest of complete accuracy, as noted in the comments, Rumsfeld didn’t say none of the intel that led to Osama was obtained through waterboarding. He said none of it was obtained by waterboarding any of those people at Gitmo. Which is what he was asked. Asked a broader question later by Hannity, he said in no uncertain terms that waterboarding did indeed lead to “critically important” intel that made this possible:
UPDATE: Video replaced.
Panetta has, of course, confirmed this. The headline is simply inaccurate.