“I think that without a doubt, torture and enhanced interrogation techniques slowed down the hunt for bin Laden,” Matthew Alexander told The Huffington Post.
Alexander, an Air Force interrogator, was able to successfully locate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, in 2006.
Alexander, along with other intelligence professionals, said the use of torture may cause people to lie or make false confessions.
“They gave us the bare minimum amount of information they could get away with to get the pain to stop, or to mislead us,” Alexander said of several Guantanamo Bay detainees.
“[Osama bin Laden’s death] vindicates the Bush administration, whose intelligence architecture marked the path to bin Laden’s door,” John Yoo, the former Justice Department official under the Bush administration who authored the secret ‘torture memos,’ said on Monday. Under Bush, the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” i.e. torture, was legally sanctioned.
A 2006 study by the National Defense Intelligence College found that rapport-based interrogations are very effective in obtaining information, whereas coercion involving physical brutality consistently builds resistance and resentment.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged 9/11 mastermind, repeatedly misled interrogators on a key al-Qaeda suspect, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. Sheikh Mohammad, who has reportedly been waterboarded 183 times in one month, has been subjected to other physical abuses upon being detained by US authorities.
“The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003,” spokesman for the National Security Council Tommy Vietor said.
Glenn L. Carle, a retired CIA officer said that torture, “didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information,” in tracking down bin Laden.