Video: Panetta Admits Intelligence Gathered From Waterboarded Detainees Used To Track Down Osama bin Laden

Via Weasel Zippers:

WASHINGTON — Intelligence garnered from waterboarded detainees was used to track down al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and kill him, CIA Chief Leon Panetta told NBC News on Tuesday.

“Enhanced interrogation techniques” were used to extract information that led to the mission’s success, Panetta said during an interview with anchor Brian Williams. Those techniques included waterboarding, he acknowledged.

Agreeing with Panetta , Rumsfeld told Hannity, Tuesday evening that  “anyone who suggests that… waterboarding didn’t produce an enormous amount of valuable intelligence – just. isn’t. facing. the truth.”


Will The OBL Death Photos Be Released Or Not?

Via CNN:

The senior us official also says the White House received 3 sets of photos yesterday. The photos included:

1. Photos of OBLs body at a hangar after he was brought back to Afghanistan. This is the most recognizable with a clear picture of his face. The picture is gruesome because he has a massive open head wound across both eyes. It’s very bloody and gory.

2. Photos from the burial at sea on the USS Carl Vinson. Photos of OBL before the shroud was put on and then wrapped in the shroud.

3. There are photos of the raid itself that include photos of the two dead brothers, one of OBLs dead son (adult adolescent, maybe approx 18 yrs old) and some of the inside scene of the compound.

It was reported this morning that Obama had made the decision to release “at least one photo”.

Then Press Sec, Jay Carney said in his daily press briefing that the photograph of a dead Osama bin Laden is “gruesome” and that “it could be inflammatory” if released.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the White House is mulling whether to make the photo public, but he said officials are concerned about the “sensitivity” of doing so.

Has this thing been decided or not?


Time: On release of a photograph depicting Osama bin Laden’s death:

LEON PANETTA: The government obviously has been talking about how best to do this, but I don’t think there was any question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public.


Fake Tea Party Candidate Running in Upstate New York Special Election

A special election in New York’s 26th Congressional District is taking place on May 24  in a district that currently scores R+6 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index. Because of the late entry of  Jack Davis on the “Tea Party” ticket, the Republican and Democrat candidates are polling neck and neck.

Siena College surveyed the district and found:

In the special election for the 26th Congressional District seat, Republican Jane Corwin currently has a small lead, with the support of 36 percent of voters. Democrat Kathy Hochul is supported by 31 percent, and independent Jack Davis, running on the Tea Party line, has the support of 23 percent of voters, according to a Siena (College) Research Institute poll of likely 26th CD voters released today.

Jim Geraghty of Campaign Spot is questioning Davis’ Tea Party credentials:

Jack Davis didn’t win any Tea Party nomination. Local Tea Parties loathe him. But under New York law, any third party candidate can create their own ballot line if they collect the necessary signatures. After hiring a “petition signature-gathering firm”, Davis declared himself the “Tea Party” candidate.

Of course, for a “Tea Party” candidate, he’s got some very un-”Tea Party” actions in his past.

He’s run for Congress three times before, all as a Democrat. He endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008, and took $5,000 from Obama’s PAC. He also took $7,000 from Charlie Rangel and his PAC. He supports late-term abortions, taxpayer funding of abortions, and the Assault Weapons Ban.

In 2008, running on the Independent ticket, Davis, (a millionaire) caused a major flap by bribing the wives of the two men who were to decide who got the Independence Party’s nomination for Congress in the 26th District.    Davis called them “consultants,” and denied any impropriety.

Here’s an ad from the 2008 election:

The guy’s a fraud and has no business running on a Tea Party ticket.


Will Obama Break Down And Give Bush Some Credit For Bin Laden Kill?

 Obama is looking more than a little crass for taking full credit for Bin Laden’s downfall, as do his minions who have been crowing all over the net and airwaves that 2012 is a “sure thing”. According to The Politico, they are just seizing the opportunity to portray Obama as a decisive leader:

… one Democratic communications hand sent advice to a slew of other Democratic operatives in the wake of the announcement hammering on the need to make sure Obama comes out on top.

“In your day jobs, do not let Republicans turn this into continuing the Bush legacy. This has to be about Obama’s decisive leadership,” the guidance said. “He is the one who oversaw bringing bin Laden to justice, much like how Bush failed to do so at Tora Bora and then claimed Osama wasn’t a priority.”

This Washington Post poll that shows  51% of the American people think that President Bush deserves some credit, may be a game changer, though.

You know what happened when the birth certificate issue started polling badly for Obama, mmmkay? An abrupt about-face after two and a half years of obstinate resistance.

In the very near future, President Obama may give a speech in which the former president is “graciously” given some credit  for the intelligence work that led to Osama Bin Laden’s demise. Perhaps he’ll use his “victory lap” appearance at Ground Zero on Thursday, to acknowledge Bush’s role.

Or…he can continue to endure mocking opeds like this one by Andrew Malcolm on John Brennan’s Press Conference: Osama bin Laden dead: Yes, SEALs were in on the raid, but aides hail Obama’s office bravery:

…the emphasis, with 2012 just around the calendrical corner, was on the boss’ valor. “There was nothing that confirmed that bin Laden was at that compound,” Brennan related as if such uncertainty is uncommon in war.

“And, therefore,” Brennan continued, “when President Obama was faced with the opportunity to act upon this, the president had to evaluate the strength of that information and then made what I believe was one of the most gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory.”

According to early reports of the incident, detailed here in The Ticket, 24 SEALs rappelled down ropes from hovering Chinooks in post-midnight darkness Monday Pakistan time with Osama security forces shooting at them. Brennan didn’t have much time to go into all that today, the goal is to elevate the ex-state senator to at least a one-star commander-in-chief.

Here’s something else that didn’t get much recognition in all the street celebrations or all-hail-Obama briefings:

The trail to Monday morning’s assault on Osama’s Pakistan compound began during someone else’s presidency. That previous president authorized enhanced interrogation techniques which convinced folks like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to give up, among many other things, the name of their top-secret courier, now deceased. His travels ultimately led the CIA back to Osama’s six-year-old suburban home.

Iowahawk has your read of the night: American Pride is Back Out of the Closet!

Yes, it’s true that some pre-January 2009 antiwar activists have remained morally and logically consistent in their opposition to America’s military presence in the Mideast; but, thank God, it appears now they were only a tiny, insignificant minority. Recent events have happily made clear that the antiwar movement of 2001-8 was overwhelmingly dominated by a vast silent hypocritical majority of craven political opportunists awaiting a Democratic administration to gleefully celebrate the covert execution of a man whom, until 28 months ago, they would have described as a “tragic civilian casualty.”

Who is to credit for this rebirth in American national unity? First and foremost, we must cite the leadership of President Obama. Like many Americans – and the Nobel Peace Prize committee – I naively feared he was actually serious when he initially proposed shutting down Guantanamo, trying detainees in American civilian courts, and prior consultation with the international community. Little did I know that this untested young Commander-in-Chief would muster the courage to read his weekly Gallup numbers and, in one daring unilateral extra-judicial targeted hit job, toss aside every single idiotic foreign policy principle of his election campaign. Perhaps most satisfyingly, it was a mission made possible thanks to information extracted by methods he previously banned as “illegal torture.”

But this triumphant new era in situationally-unified American bloodlust does not belong to the President alone; we must also cite Congress’s born-again waterboarders like Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and their newfound enthusiasm for what (at least until 9pm Sunday) they would have once considered illegal military murder squads. Neither can we forget the watchdogs of America’s press, who have shown unprecedented ethical flexibility in shedding their long-held Gandhi moralism and embracing their inner Rambo.

Read it all.


Ace: Obama Invites Bush To Ground Zero Thing on Thursday; Bush Declines, Deciding He’ll Pass On The Level of Courtesy and Respect Obama Showed Paul Ryan

Yes, come on down, and sit mutely as as President Obama insults you repeatedly while controlling the microphone and camera.

Except I don’t think Obama was going to do that, this time. He’s looking at the polls….


OBL News Round-up: Death Photo May Be Released Today

Photoshop created by Darlene Click, Protein Wisdom

 Jake Tapper has the scoop on the possible photo release:

A top source tells ABC News that President Obama and White House officials are discussing the possibility of releasing a photograph of Osama bin Laden’s corpse today.

Jim Geraghty says, Think of This As Osama’s Final Photo-op.

Hopefully, the raid video will be released, too, especially now that there are conflicting stories about how everything went down.

The White House backed away Monday evening from key details in its narrative about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, including claims by senior U.S. officials that the Al Qaeda leader had a weapon and may have fired it during a gun battle with U.S. forces.

Officials also retreated from claims that one of bin Laden’s wives was killed in the raid and that bin Laden was using her as a human shield before she was shot by U.S. forces.

Michelle Malkin asks, “Why the changes?” :Brennan and the bin Laden story bungle

People are also wondering, why did it take so long to act, if they knew about the compound since, last Sept?…

WikiLeaks may have triggered the killing of Osama Bin Laden, it was suggested last night.

For although the CIA has thought since September that he was in hiding in Abbottabad, special forces stormed his fortress only days after the website published new secret documents.

These made reference to named ‘couriers’ carrying Bin Laden’s message to his followers, and also to Abbottabad as a possible Al Qaeda bolthole.

America has already revealed that it was led to Bin Laden by tracking a man identified as his key courier.

When that courier was found in Abbottabad, the CIA began surveillance that led to the raid.

As a result, last night it was suggested the operation had to be launched before Bin Laden knew the game was up.

What were they waiting for?
Jim Treacher at The Daily Caller notes the incredible transformation of Team Six from Dick Cheney’s “secret, illegal, assassination squad” to Obama’s”super awesome clean-up crew”, AKA Naval Special Warfare Development Group, AKA DevGru.

Cheney is bad and Obama is good, right? So… how will our moral, ethical, and intellectual superiors avoid giving The Evil Dick Cheney any credit for this? What rhetorical gymnastics will they perform to praise the brave men they once slandered as the instruments of Satan? How can they celebrate this victory for their beloved Obama without reversing themselves on the methods he used to achieve it?

Aw, they’ll find a way. If all else fails, they can just pretend they never said any of that stuff.

John Hayward at Human Events: The Instruments of Bin Laden’s Death:

If Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Seymour Hersh, and Stephen Colbert had gotten their way over the last ten years, Osama bin Laden would still be alive.  The intelligence leading to his location would not have been fully developed.  The commando team that took him down would not have existed.

Did these liberals hold their views entirely out of political expediency, slamming and indicting Bush and Cheney for programs and policies they would have quietly tolerated from Gore or Kerry?  What difference does it make?  They were dead wrong, and it doesn’t matter why.  They’ll be dead wrong again under the next Republican president.

Steve_in_hb tells Ace about one journalist in LA who didn’t get the memo about Obama’s super-awesome clean-up crew: The Case of the Abbottabad Abbatoir: A Sharon Tay Murder Mystery (TM):

Local CBS2 news anchor just made the following statement while pimping their 8:00 KCAL9 coverage of OBL: “new reaction on the murder of the terrorist mastermind.” Murder? Apparently, the killing during legal combat operations of a person who 1) declared war on the US and 2) masterminded a series of attacks, generally targeting civilians, is murder.

A charitable person would assume that, while it was a horrible misuse of the language, it was probably merely a slip of the tongue. However, when I went to their website to write a complaint I found that someone else had already complained about one of their stories describing his death as murder. That complaint (post and link here) was posted 20 hours before the occurence I witnessed. While it appears the earlier complaint refers to a guest describing OBL’s death as murder, the occurrence that angered me was a direct statement by Sharon Tay who is described on their website as an anchor.

Now it’s being reported that according to the Wikileaks cables, the terrorist who gave up the courier’s name was caught in Iraq in 2004. The UK Telegraphreports:

“Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti was a senior al-Qaeda facilitator and subordinate of [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed]. Al-Kuwaiti worked in the al-Qaeda media house operated by [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] in Kandahar and served as a courier.”

The file suggests that the courier’s identity was provided to the US by another key source, the al-Qaida facilitator Hassan Ghul, who was captured in Iraq in 2004 and interrogated by the CIA. Ghul was never sent to Guantanamo but was believed to have been taken to a prison in Pakistan.

The Blaze: Nancy Pelosi’s mother of all flip-flops

The Daily Mail: Obama took SIXTEEN HOURS to make up his mind about Bin Laden mission

Barack Obama kept military commanders hanging by declaring he would ‘sleep on it’ before taking 16 hours to give the go-ahead to raid Bin Laden’s compound.

Hit squads of specialist Navy Seals – who were not even told who they were preparing to capture – had practised the mission at two reconstructions of the terror chiefs sprawling compound.

But the president stunned officials when he told a national security meeting that he wanted more time to think – and disappeared out of the room.

‘I’m not going to tell you what my decision is now – I’m going to go back and think about it some more,’ said Obama, according to the New York Times. He then added ‘I’m going to make a decision soon.’

The head of the CIA and other senior intelligence officers who were keen to proceed were left tense as they waited for the president’s decision.

That’s why they call him, “No Drama Obama.”
Linked by doubleplusundead, and Michelle Malkin, thanks!


Krauthammer: Osama Now a “Dead Horse” “Being Eaten By The Fishes”

Charles Krauthammer weighs in on the “should they release the photo” question, and  heartily approves of the decision to dump Bin Laden  in the sea.

The man can turn a phrase, can’t he?

I totally agree with his assessment that releasing the photo would put to bed the growing meme that Osama wasn’t really killed. If you don’t believe that’s already becoming  problem, just check out some of the comments in this thread. There are quite a few doubting Thomas’s out there.

And after watching Obama string birthers along for 2 1/2 years, (when he could have ended the controversy at any time), I’m not sure he wouldn’t use this controversy as a political weapon to embarrass the Republican party, too. Everything is political fair game to an Alinskyite President.

Video via Greg Hengler at Townhall