Desperately Seeking Vindication: Bin Laden and Torture

An excerpt from a new analysis at Right Web titled Enhanced Embellishment Techniques:

The death of Osama bin Laden has elicited myriad responses among the policymakers charged with tracking him down, the commentators who pontificated about him, and the millions of people whose lives he touched, however indirectly. The news triggered jubilant celebration, somber reflection, and even a subsequent attack on a Pakistani constabulary that killed scores of military recruits.

Already analysts have begun to ponder what bin Laden’s death will augur for the future of U.S. foreign policy. But this discussion has not resolved the debates over the tactics of the previous decade, not any more than many Americans’ joyous celebrations marked an end to the conflicts spurred on by the highest profile manhunt in recent history. Finding Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound required following a complex trail of intelligence gathered across multiple presidential administrations. In the end, the CIA used intelligence about a man who called himself Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, an alleged courier and confidant of bin Laden, to pinpoint the location of the al-Qaeda figurehead.

Nevertheless, for some pundits and officials, the death of Osama bin Laden represents pure vindication. Indeed, several former Bush administration officials, prominent neoconservatives, and their supporters in Congress and the media have loudly proclaimed that waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” were instrumental in locating America’s most wanted terrorist—and in the process they have laid credit at the feet of the previous administration. But their claims have amounted to little more than an embellishment of the historical record and a distortion of the real impact of torture on U.S. policy and security.

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