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CIA Confirms That Waterboarding Saved Lives

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Posted on April 23 2009 1:39 am
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Thanks to the waterboarding of al Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), at least six terrorists were taken off the streets and the City of Los Angeles was spared a major terrorist attack.

KSM, the mastermind of the 1998 embassy bombings, the 2002 Bali bombings, the murder of Daniel Pearl, and the 9/11 attacks, was initially defiant and refused to cooperate with CIA interrogators. When they asked KSM to disclose whatever he knew about subsequent terror attacks that were being planned, he mockingly replied, “Soon, you will know.”  After being waterboarded, however, KSM “sang right away.”  As an example, the information he provided was crucial in effectuating the arrest and conviction of  “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla, who was ultimately convicted of providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to kidnap, maim, and murder people overseas.

According to the previously classified May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that was released by President Barack Obama last week, the thwarted attack — which KSM called the “Second Wave” — planned “to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into a building in Los Angeles.” This information only became known after KSM was waterboarded. The memo elaborated:

“[I]nformation obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemaah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the ‘Second Wave.’ … [T]he CIA believes that ‘the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al Qa’ida has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001.” 

Senator Joseph Lieberman sums up the rationale for waterboarding very well: “I have said in the past, and I’ll say it again to you, that I want the president of the United States in a given circumstance where we believe somebody we’ve got in our control may have information that could help us stop an attack, an imminent attack on the United States like 9/11 or, god forbid, worse, we ought to be able to use something like waterboarding.” 
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