Daily Archives: May 4, 2011

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques was Used to Get Information Which Led to the Killing of Osama bin Laden

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques  played a role in the killing of Osama bin Laden. From the Washington Times:

The debate over the use of harsh interrogation techniques during the Bush administration is being rekindled by the successful operation against Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, which was based on information about the courier extracted from detained terror suspects.

Rep. Peter T. King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said initial clues to bin Laden’s location can be traced to the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and the interrogations of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the former No. 3 al Qaeda leader captured in 2005.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed basically gave up nothing until after he had been waterboarded,” Mr. King, New York Republican, said in an interview Tuesday. “It was after that that he first mentioned the courier, he identified him by his nom de guerre, and after that … al Libbi also gave us additional information on the courier.”

The Obama Administration denied that information was a result  of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques:

White House counterterrorism coordinator John Brennan said Tuesday that he is not aware that waterboarding produced intelligence that led to the identity of bin Laden’s compound.

“Not to my knowledge. The information that was acquired over the course of nine years or so came from many different sources — human sources, technical sources, as well as information that detainees provided,” Mr. Brennan said on MSNBC.

CIA outgoing chief Leon Panetta said on Tuesday in an interview with Brian Williams of NBC News that Enhanced interrogation techniques role is an “Open Question” the information gathered on Osama bin Laden. From Real Clear Politics:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Can you confirm that it was as a result of water boarding that we learned what we needed to learn to go after Bin Laden?

LEON PANETTA: Brian, in the intelligence business you work from a lot of sources of information and that was true here… It’s a little difficult to say it was due just to one source of information that we got… I think some of the detainees clearly were, you know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees. But I’m also saying that, you know, the debate about whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches I think is always going to be an open question.

Real Clear Politics has the video.

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Suprise! Canadian Prime Minister Wins Re-election Conservatives take Control of Parliament

As the world was rocked by the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by US Special Forces and a hangover from the Royal Wedding of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge  in London. The Tories shocked Canada by winning Parliament taking 167 ridings and Prime Minister Stephen  Harper remain Prime Minister winning his riding in Calgary.

This comes after a scandal  threaten to topple the Harper Government. The scandal which involved Bev Oda. Heritage Minister in the Harper Government. From Wikipedia: A contempt of Parliament  by Liberal Party for the scandal in which an Oda’s staffer added a hand written annotation to a bill involve  Canadian International Development Agency funding recommendation involving KAIROS a faith-based human rights organization which accused of Anti-Israel sentiment. ( The investigation was not completed)

And a Second Contempt charge by Liberals  and New Democratic Party for not proving information to both parties regarding proposed legislation and potential funding. This led to a vote no confidence vote earlier this year Parliament was dissolved and a call for elections.

Harper overcame these charges to win Sunday. The Prime Minister humbled at his and the Tories victories. From Reuters via Yahoo News Canada:

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, now backed by a powerful parliamentary majority, said on Tuesday the energy sector can rest easy that his government will not impede plans to vastly expand the country’s oil sands output and ship some of the crude to Asia.

Harper, in his Western Canadian home base of Calgary on the morning after his Conservatives won big in the federal election, singled out the Western-based oil industry as being a beneficiary of his party’s pro-business agenda, which will also include corporate tax cuts and deficit reduction. Investors greeted the result with relief.

“There were a lot of policies being quoted by the other parties, whether it’s on West Coast transportation or the energy sector, that simply did not reflect the needs and concerns of this part of the country,” he told reporters.

“I actually argued during the campaign that the policies of our opponents were actually quite dangerous to the country as a whole, but obviously some specific policies seemed to be almost targeted to do damage to Western Canada.”

The Conservatives won 167 of 308 seats in the House of Commons in Monday’s vote, giving Harper a third mandate since 2006 and his first majority. Until now, the Conservatives’ minority-government status has meant they had to compromise with other parties on many policies.

Meanwhile Liberal Party is no longer the main opposition  party  in Parliament  as New Democratic Party won a large block on Sunday; Bloc Quebecois shrank to near obscurity and the Green Party adds its first seat in Parliament. From The Toronto Star:

It is the first time in Canadian history that the Liberal party did not finish either first or second.

“It’s tough to lose like this,” said Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, who lost his own riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

The Liberals have never suffered a crushing defeat, either in popular support or seat.

“Defeat is a teacher and now we have to learn the lesson of defeat and look at ourselves in the mirror,” Ignatieff said.

The NDP nearly tripled the 36 seats the party held at dissolution, winning 102 seats while the Liberals took 34

A triumphant NDP Leader Jack Layton strode through the crowd to speak to his supporters.

“I let Mr. Harper know that I look forward to working with his party and in fact with all parties to get things done for our families. And I shared with him my desire to bring a more positive and respectful tone to Parliament,” Layton said.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe lost his Montreal riding after a 21-year run. The 63-year-old Duceppe proved to be just another Bloc pushover on Monday as the NDP steamrolled to a crushing victory in Quebec.

Duceppe, who became the Bloc’s first MP in 1990, was defeated by the NDP’s Helene Laverdiere in Laurier-Sainte-Marie. He announced he would be officially resigning in the next couple of days but will continue to fight for Quebec sovereignty.

The Liberals were pounded in Ontario with the Conservatives making gains in Toronto. In the 905 belt around Toronto long-time Liberals MPs were falling, including Ruby Dhalla in Brampton-Springdale and Mark Holland in Ajax-Pickering where he conceded to political novice Chris Alexander, former ambassador to Afghanistan.

Of the 46 seats in GTA, the Conservatives won 31, at the expense the Liberals.

One of the stories of the night was the orange wave across Quebec, the NDP reducing the Bloc to single digits.

And for the first time the Green Party won a seat in the House of Commons after party leader Elizabeth May defeated Conservative incumbent Gary Lunn in the B.C. riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.

“Today we proved the Canadians want change in politics … I stand here today as the first elected Green member of Parliament in Canadian history,” May said after her victory.

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