The death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of Navy SEALs is “compelling evidence” of the effectiveness of Bush era anti-terror policies, including the interrogation of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, says Bush's Defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. Proof of that can be found in the WikiLeaks disclosures, Rumsfeld wrote in an Op-Ed in The Washington Post
Although noting that the WikiLeaks disclosures “harmed our security,” Rumsfeld said the illegally released files “record complex decisions and excruciating trade-offs that President Bush and national security officials had to make. They document the deadly techniques and intentions of hundreds of Guantanamo detainees who still desire to return to the fight and the labors of analysts and interrogators who enabled us to stop additional attacks.”
“The classified files from Guantanamo Bay, particularly those on senior operative Abu Faraj al-Libi, contain clues about al-Qaeda’s courier network and even mention Abbottabad,” he wrote. “Had bin Laden closely followed WikiLeaks’ release of these documents April 25, it is unlikely he would have been there when U.S. Navy SEALs descended into his compound days later.”
The documents also are a vindication of the policies of George W. Bush, Rumsfeld maintains.
“Julian Assange hoped that his latest gamble with the lives of intelligence professionals, military personnel and terrorist informants would embarrass the U.S. government and inhibit its ability to strike our enemies,” Rumsfeld wrote. “But the WikiLeaks documents, coupled with what we know about how bin Laden’s hiding place was discovered, may be among the clearest vindications yet of the Bush administration’s policies in the struggle to protect America and the free world from more terrorist attacks. They may prove the strongest arguments for keeping open the invaluable asset that is Guantanamo Bay.”
Nonetheless, the documents compromised intelligence sources and risked lives and should have been the stuff of tomorrow’s histories, not today’s headlines,” Rumsfeld said.
“I co-sponsored the Freedom of Information Act in 1966 and have long believed that the free flow of information is vital to our democracy, but the desire for transparency must be balanced with national security interests. Bush administration officials have much to gain from the release of this sort of record, but for our country’s benefit it must come in the proper time and through proper channels.”
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