Feinstein: Information That Led to Bin Laden Didn't Come from Enhanced Interrogation

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 3 2011 11:21 AM

Feinstein: Information That Led to Bin Laden Didn't Come from Enhanced Interrogation

The debate over what role controversial war on terror techniques played in the killing of Osama bin Laden is fully joined now. Yesterday, House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King told Bill O'Reilly , with no real doubts.

You mentioned the fact that we obtained information several years ago, vital information about the courier for Osama. We obtained that information through waterboarding. So for those who say that waterboarding doesn’t work, who say it should be stopped and never used again, we got vital information which directly led us to bin Laden.

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Today, in a wide-ranging press conference, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said this wasn't true. Dianne Feinstein, who'd been briefed on exactly what happened on Sunday in Pakistan, said the breakthrough did not come from information gleaned at Gitmo or through enhanced interrogation -- ie, waterboarding.

"To the best of our knowledge," she said, "based on a look, none of it came as a result of harsh interrogation techniques."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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