May 03, 2011
Irony: Bush Torture Policies Gave us bin Laden Location (And on Jihadi Nicknames)
Ace has a great post up which illustrates a possible timeline on the stages that led up to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Some of it is speculative, but all of it is based on the known details at this time. I'm sure some of the details will change as they are corrected over time, but it's a good place to start and seem the best we can do at reconstructing what happened over the years to get us to this point.
Let me point you to his main argument which was that the three people who led us to the courier who would eventually give away bin Laden's position were all tortured to get that information.
I used torture here intentionally because that is what the Left has chosen to call the enhanced interrogation techniques which gave us this information. During the debates over waterboarding, the Left had two basic arguments: 1) Torture doesn't work; 2) even if it did, no information gleaned would be worth the moral price paid.
As Ace shows, all three of those who gave up the courier were, in fact, tortured. And the one he forgets to mention, Abu Faraj al-Libbi? He was tortured too!
Of these four, it is only Hassan Ghul that we don't know for sure what techniques were used to extract information. But, again as Ace points out, Ghul was interrogated in Pakistan. A place not know for serving tea and crumpets just before conjugal visits.
So, clearly, torture works.
The problem with statistical and anecdotal evidence showing torture doesn't work (and I've seen this evidence) is that all of these data were collected from tin pot dictatorships, third world countries, or the middle ages. In other words, the people who didn't know what they were doing are the ones held out as evidence that torture doesn't work. Which is exactly what you'd expect to find.
It's not that torture never works, it's that usually torture is done so badly that it doesn't work. Our guys? These guys know how to do it.
If the latter argument is true, that the price just wasn't worth paying because it somehow makes us all complicit in a crime so the outcome is irrelevant, then why would any one on the Left be celebrating bin Laden's death? Instead, shouldn't they be mourning the fact that people were, you know, tortured?
Since torture was clearly used in getting bin Laden, then let's all sleep in the beds we collectively made over the past 10 years. For me, I will be comfortably sleeping tonight knowing I do so because rough men have done violence in my name.
For those of you who objected to waterboarding as never justified I kindly invite you to condemn Obama for acting on the evidence gathered using techniques which violated your Kantian notions of absolutism during the Bush years.
You can kindly take your moral high ground and stuff it while the rest of us revel in the moment. A moment brought to you by torture.
Let me turn last to the easily falsifiable argument that torture didn't work because al Libi and KSM only gave up the courier's nickname and not his real name.
Well, that's just stupid.
It's pretty much standard operating procedure within the circle of Islamic fighters to take on a new "mujahideen" name. These guys almost always do this, not to throw off intel or anything like that, but because they think it's cool. Most of these names are throwbacks to some great fighter in the past, such as the first generation of Muhammad's followers.
Asking KSM what the courier's real name was would be like me asking you who Snoop Dogg really is.
I'm just surprised that any one knew it.
In fact, there's a much better example. All of you know that Abu Faraj al-Libi was one of the poor tortured souls who gave up bin Laden's courier. I see tons of articles from MSM sources written over the past 48 hours citing al-Libi as key in tracking down bin Laden. I see a number of Leftist sources citing al-Libi's name as evidence that torture doesn't work.
What I don't see is a single citation of al Libi's real name, Mustafa al-'Uzayti.
Al-Libi is his cool jihad name. It just means, from Libya.