Tags: Barack Obama | Al-Qaida | Homeland Security | bin | laden | death | waterboarding

Terror Expert: Keep Waterboarding — It Led SEALs to bin Laden

By    |   Wednesday, 04 May 2011 04:55 PM

The waterboarding of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed stopped “enormous” terrorist plots and his interrogation led to the courier who in turn led the CIA to Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan, investigative journalist Richard Miniter tells Newsmax.

New York Times best-selling author Miniter’s latest book is “Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.”

He asserts that President Obama went back on his word to 9/11 families not to seek a civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (K.S.M.), but adds that if Khalid had been executed we would not have gotten to bin Laden.

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And he says it took Obama 18 hours before he finally decided to green light the bin Laden operation, showing indecision that was “not exactly Reaganesque.”

Miniter is a former editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal whose other books include “Losing Bin Laden.”

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV on Wednesday, Minister cites the waterboarding of terrorist subjects and says: “There’s a very good chance that waterboarding helped the CIA stop a number of plots — plots to blow up the U.S. embassy in Paris, plots to kill the U.S. ambassador in Singapore, plots to sink U.S. warships off the Straits of Gibraltar, plots to blow up the stadium at the World Cup soccer games.

“So enormous plots were stopped thanks to interrogating K.S.M. and waterboarding him. He was waterboarded for about a month in March 2003 following his capture. And once he broke he started talking freely ever since.

“More recently he began talking to the CIA and to his [Department of Defense] interrogators at Guantanamo about the name of the courier, the most trusted link between Osama bin Laden and the outside world, and that tip coming directly from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed led the CIA to Osama’s lair in Pakistan.”

K.S.M. continues to disclose such valuable intelligence that it could be “dangerous” to execute him, Miniter asserts.

“It may be more dangerous to execute him because frankly we need K.S.M.’s constant fountain of information,” he tells Newsmax.

“We need him alive and talking to us. That’s how we found bin Laden, thanks to the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a few years ago.

“The senior leaders of al-Qaida know about all the long-term plots. More importantly, they know the personnel, the long-term relationships.

That kind of thing is extremely valuable. In fact, as we saw from the successful attack on Osama bin Laden’s hideout, K.S.M. knew the name of that courier and he knew other key details that were useful to the CIA. If we’d executed him we’d never have gotten to bin Laden.”

Miniter writes in his book that Obama administration officials lied to the families of 9/11 victims. He explains: “Shortly after Obama was elected but before he was sworn in, he met with a number of the 9/11 families. They were very concerned, based on Obama’s campaign, that he was going to shut down the military commissions and deny the families the right to closure and to finally get justice for their lost sons, daughters, fathers and mothers.

“Obama looked them in the eye and said, no, I will not stop the military commissions. We will do civilian trials for other defendants but not these. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other four people directly involved in the planning of 9/11, they will continue in the military commissions.

“Two days after Obama is sworn in as president, he changes his mind. He stops the commissions and K.S.M. is spared a trial for the following two years while Eric Holder, the attorney general, has a fruitless fight trying to get a civilian trial for K.S.M. in New York. What a waste of time.

“Now we’re coming up on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and those families are going to have to see K.S.M. still alive 10 years after their loved ones were killed.”

Miniter was asked if it seems “inconsistent” that the Obama administration approved taking out bin Laden yet resisted bringing K.S.M. before a military tribunal.

“I think they’re locked into an anti-Bush ideology,” he responds.

“I don’t think what they did was develop the ideal way for dealing with terrorists. I think what they did was, anything Bush was for, they were against. That’s where their whole detention and interrogation policy comes from.

“Now that they’re in power and have to make real decisions involving real terrorists, they realize how dangerous it would be to let Khalid Sheikh Mohammed out.

“As for President Obama’s seemingly bold move to take out Osama bin Laden, it took him more than 18 hours to decide after the SEAL team was ready, to issue the order to let them go in — 18 hours of indecision and hair-pulling by President Obama. Not exactly decisive. Not exactly Reaganesque.”

Miniter says the killing of bin Laden has dealt an enormous psychological blow to al-Qaida because his followers had claimed he was invincible, even protected personally by Allah from American attacks, and his death is a “a massive morale loss for al-Qaida globally.”

Also, bin Laden had unique financial relationships with oil sheiks and other important people in the Muslim world who gave him millions of dollars to finance terrorist operations, and no one who might replace him has the same relationships, Miniter says.

He also tells Newsmax that documents and hard drives taken from Osama’s compound in Pakistan will enable American intelligence to unravel a number of key al-Qaida cells around the world.

And he says despite some claims to the contrary, “by any measure I think we’re winning the war” against terrorism.

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The waterboarding of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed stopped enormous terrorist plots and his interrogation led to the courier who in turn led the CIA to Osama bin Laden s hideout in Pakistan, investigative journalist Richard Miniter tells Newsmax. New York Times...
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Wednesday, 04 May 2011 04:55 PM
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