UPDATE: Bush’s Interrogation Polices Catalyzed Bin Laden’s Demise in 2007

Yesterday I discussed the direct correlation between the Obama Administration’s partial embrace of Bush-era counter-terrorism tactics and the death of Osama Bin Laden. It’s becoming clearer by the hour how “direct” the link actually is, Save Jerseyans.

Believe it or not, the story of Osama’s demise began in President George W. Bush’s first term (via FoxNews):

The initial threads of intelligence began surfacing in 2003 and came in the form of information about a trusted bin Laden courier, a senior U.S. official told Fox News on condition of anonymity. Bin Laden had cut off all traditional lines of communication with his network by this time because the Al Qaeda leader knew the U.S. intelligence community was monitoring him. It was said that he also didn’t even trust his most loyal men to know his whereabouts and instead communicated only through couriers.

But it was four years later, in 2007, that terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay military prison started giving up information about the key courier.

Around this time, the use of enhanced interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning, were being denounced as torture by critics of the Bush administration. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney came under intense pressure for supporting rough treatment of prisoners. Critics claimed that any information given under duress simply couldn’t be trusted.

To his credit, we now know that President Obama’s Administration grabbed the baton and acted on Bush-era intelligence successes in the hunt for Osama:

By 2009, the U.S. intelligence community had a rough idea of where the courier operated: a region north of Islamabad, Pakistan. It was another year before this compound was identified in August 2010 as a likely home for a senior Al Qaeda member.

The compound was eight times the size of other homes in the affluent neighborhood, and the impressive 18-foot-high walls with barbed wire drew scrutiny from intelligence analysts.

By early this year, information from multiple intelligence sources, including the now-shuttered harsh interrogation program, as well as CIA operatives and Special Operations Forces on the ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan, were building a clearer case that the compound might house bin Laden. Officials found out that there were three families living there. In addition, a significantly older man, who was shown deference by the group, was not required to work on the compound.

The result of all of this will be a temporary albeit significant polling bump for the President. Here’s a political humble suggestion for the commander-in-chief, free of charge from a Republican who won’t vote for him in 2012 but certainly loves the country more than partisanship: if he enjoys his renewed popularity, then President Obama should seriously consider reviving the interrogation policies that were responsible for this triumph!

The Obama Administration has nothing to lose and the United State has everything to gain! The only losers will be Osama’s remaining, unaccounted-for sycophants who have to be feeling the heat today.

2 thoughts on “UPDATE: Bush’s Interrogation Polices Catalyzed Bin Laden’s Demise in 2007

  1. Bush had 7-1/2 years to get Bin Laden….President Obama did it in 27 months.

  2. Fear and Loathing on Wall Street:

    Clift’s notes of the last ten+ years, and the War on Terror’s evolution

    Some of my friends contend CEOs of humungous, multi-nationals—Exxon-Mobile, Monsanto and Pfizer spring to mind—are not simply callous; they’re stupid as well. I disagree. As a class of people, powerful magnates are not really the ignoramuses we may make them out to be. Moreover, most Forture-500 corporate CEOs are potentially not all that much more callous than everyday ordinary Americans who have learned not to make eye contact when needy people pass them on the street, or to get choked up every time a passel of innocent children are incinerated by a drone missile in yet another far-away country whose name we can barely pronounce.

    No, what I strongly suspect characterizes your typical corporate big wig is neither exceptional stupidity nor callousness, but rather, fearfulness. Let me explain.

    Madoff

    On April 26, radio host, Terry Gross interviews New York Times financial writer, Diana Henriques apropos to her recently published book, The Wizard of Lies, about Bernie Madoff and the scandal of surrounding him. Henriques notes Madoff cannot face the fact that–when his Ponzi scheme goes south, and he’s finally arrested and thrown into the clink—he’s ever really lost a handle on the situation. He’s in the clink because that’s the way he wants it is all. The game, apparently, has started to bore him, and burned out by the day to day grind, he chooses the brig. Voluntarily. They never would have gotten to him if he had not let them!

    Rewind to Bush/Cheney

    In the first months of the new Administration, Bush/Cheney make a priority of energy independence. They want to roll back previous environmental protections, open the Arctic up to exploratory oil drilling. Do they show concern for what happens after oil reserves are exhausted? One would not exactly put it that way. Bush and Cheney are oilmen; Cheney was the former CEO of Halliburton.

    In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein describes a “revolving door policy” affecting the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. This policy rewards private lobbyists for patronage they have offered by granting them political appointments later on. In exchange, politicians, when they step down from- or lose public office, are offered six or seven-figure jobs in the private sector.

    9/11 and its aftermath

    The Chief Executives hide… President and Vice-President re-emerge. ‘The most patriotic thing Americans can do in aftermath of 9/11 is buy,’ Bush declares: War on Terror, Afghanistan, Iraq (They say it’s over….just about…What about Afghanistan?)

    The reasons for The War on Terror are multifaceted, including: the chance to flex our muscles; remind the world “we’re Number 1,” shore up political influence. Are there still other, covert but equally ‘satisfying’ psychologically reasons for the War? And could the War on Terror in some way gratify the popsters of corporate-dom? Consider Terror’s fallout:

    1)Distracted public attention away from Wall Street shenanigans,

    2)Calmed entrepreneurial fears that (although their sphincters may act up because of an over-inflated Stock Market) they can say with some probity: We’re not the only ones shitting our pants!

    Sources:

    Henriques, Diana B., on The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the death of trust Times Books: 2011, in an April 26, 2011 interview: by Fresh Air’s Terry Gross

    Klein, Naomi, The Shock Doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 2008

    Sachs, Jeffrey, “The World is Drowning in Corporate Fraud.” http://www.b-fair.net/?p=2183, B-Fair Project, May, 2011

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