4 February 2013, 03:29

U.S. tortured suspected terrorists to find Osama bin Laden

U.S. tortured suspected terrorists to find Osama bin Laden

In the search for America’s "terrorist number one" Osama bin Laden, the U.S. used information obtained as a result of "extreme interrogation techniques", or torture, of suspected terrorists. This was confirmed by Pentagon head Leon Panetta, who at the time was the director of the CIA.

At the same time Panetta stressed that they “could have gotten bin Laden without that”, as “there was a lot of intelligence” that had eventually let them conclude that Bin Laden had likely been hiding at the compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan.

The statement was made by Panetta during NBC's "Meet the Press", devoted to a soon release of the film "Zero Dark Thirty" directed by Kathryn Bigelow about the operation to capture bin Laden in May 2011.

The film implies that “enhanced interrogation techniques” played a crucial role in finding bin Laden.

"First of all, it's a movie," Panetta said. "Let's remember that."

"Yes, some of it [intelligence] came from some of the tactics that were used at that time, interrogation tactics that were used," Panetta said. "But the fact is we put together most of that intelligence without having to resort to that."

"Zero Dark Thirty" has been nominated for several 2013 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film is based on real data, the film creators maintain, and is a chronicle of the search for Osama bin Laden that resulted in his capture and execution by U.S. forces in May 2011.

Torture becoming ‘normal business’ in US – CIA vet 

One of the first American officers to prove that the US used water-boarding against inmates, John Kiriakou is waiting for a summons to go to jail for 2.5 years after he blew the cover of an agent involved in torturing prisoners.

“When I blew the whistle on torture in December 2007, the Justice Department here in the US began investigating me and never stopped investigating me until they were able to patch together a charge and force me into taking a plea agreement,” the former CIA officer said in an interview to a Russian news agency.

“I took a strong stance and a very public one and that’s what got me into trouble,” he added.

According to the CIA vet, the Central Intelligence Agency offered special training to those who had no moral problem with torturing people. “When I returned from Pakistan to CIA headquarters early in the summer 2002, I was asked by a senior officer in the CIA’s counter-terrorist center if I wanted to be trained in the use of torture techniques, and I told him that I had a moral problem with these techniques,” he confessed.

Mr. Kiriakou believes that people in the post 9/11 America were “losing our civil liberties.” “Ten years ago, the thought of the National Security Agency spying on American citizens and intercepting their emails would have been anathema to Americans and now it’s just a part of normal business,” he told the journalist.

Voice of Russia, RT, TASS

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