John McCain: ‘Torture didn’t lead us to Osama bin Laden’

U.S. Sen. John McCain, perhaps the only member of Congress who understands torture as something other than a State of the Union address, tackles the topic today in a Washington Post op-ed.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz./Associated Press

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz./Associated Press

McCain declared as “false” contentions that intelligence leading to the death of Osama bin Laden came through techniques such as waterboarding:

”I asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he told me the following: The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times.

“The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti — the nickname of the al-Qaeda courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden — as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaeda, came from a detainee held in another country, who we believe was not tortured.

“None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed’s real name, his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaeda.

“In fact, the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on Khalid Sheik Mohammed produced false and misleading information….”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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54 comments Add your comment

Jon Lester

May 12th, 2011
1:12 pm

I think I can guess what some of our resident, unemployable armchair commando commenters will have to say about this one.

khc

May 12th, 2011
1:16 pm

who likely have never served

Hazel

May 12th, 2011
1:39 pm

Don’t try to confuse me with the truth!

The Ghost of Lester Maddox

May 12th, 2011
1:43 pm

How about printing the full content of what McCain said, instead of just the blurb you chose to highlight?

In other words, how about placing McCain’s comments into proper context?

Oops, forgive me, you’re with the AJC – so what does “context” and “truth” mean to you, huh?

Bill Orvis White

May 12th, 2011
1:43 pm

Senator McCain: I always saw right through you. You should have been fired years ago with your stupid McCain-Feingold free speech robbery “bill.” Senator McCain, you were never a true conservative nor Republican. I thank you for your service, but in your so-called political life, you desecrated your fine work in the rightful Vietnam War. Senator McCain, the Bush Doctrine is what led us to Usama bin Laden. It never was and never will be anything Hussein Obama did, pure and simple. Our Enhanced Interrogation Program was just, necessary and supported by millions except for Godless liberals and traitors like you, sir. I held my nose and voted for you because you put a real conservative on your ticket. But, now here we are with you being an apologist for the Hussein Obama regime. You’re a disgrace, “sir!”

Amen,
Bill

E-Roll

May 12th, 2011
1:52 pm

Hey The Ghost of Lester Maddox why don’t you just click “today in a Washington Post op-ed.” and just read his words yourself.

SuperGeorge

May 12th, 2011
1:59 pm

What about the weapons of mass destruction in Irak.

Never found because no torture? Not enough torture or what?
Or just more lies to the list.

Corey

May 12th, 2011
2:02 pm

None of us have ever been tortured. Mr. McCain was tortured while being held captive by the North Vietnamese as a prisoner of war, but some on here have the gall to discredit Mr. McCain because his expression does not suit thier delusional thinking. Bush was a bad president! Get over it already. Jingoisms does not a great leader make. There I said it. Now go foam at the mouth, turn red and toss your computers out the window.

wampum

May 12th, 2011
2:10 pm

Bill Orvis White: “the Bush Doctrine?” Whoo boy, is that the one where he invades the wrong country, fired the general that suggested his war of choice would cost 200 billion, bankrupt the country, morphed international sympathy for US into universal disdain…need I go on? You speak with such religious fervor when mentioning “enhanced interrogation techniques”. Thank your lucky stars we have a real leader now and not an empty-suit strutter across flight decks.
AMEN
Amen

deegee

May 12th, 2011
2:17 pm

According to at least one former CIA official, information retrieved from waterboarding may not be reliable because a person under such duress may admit to anything, as harsh interrogation techniques lead to false confessions. According to the experts, waterboarding is used when you want to get false admissions like “yes, sadaam hussein had weapons of mass destruction and we at al-qaeda knew all about them because we trained there.

RIGHTISWRONG

May 12th, 2011
2:20 pm

wampum-
Could not have said it better!

Bill is an idiot…..just like Palin and the other misled T-Baggers.

I too am glad we have some intelligence in the White House.

Romegaguy

May 12th, 2011
2:23 pm

Let me go get some popcorn. Be right back

John K

May 12th, 2011
2:27 pm

But we realllllllllllllly want it to be torture!!! How else can we give Bush 110% of the credit! Waaaahhhhhh

Ga Values

May 12th, 2011
2:37 pm

Who you going to trust an American Hero like John McCain or a Chicken Hawk like Saxby What’s in for ME Chambliss?

gm

May 12th, 2011
2:37 pm

This puts to rest the other idioits out there Hannity, Sara, Rush, how to people continue to listen to those retards and get miss information everytime.
Thanks Mccain for telling the truth, Fox and stupid friends need to be taken off the air.

gm

May 12th, 2011
2:46 pm

Lets not forget stupid cheney going around saying torture lead to Bidn Ladin, Carl Rowe, another lier
Rep retards please keep this up all the way to 2012. this people are a disgrace to every American.

gsueagle

May 12th, 2011
2:52 pm

Mccain is no conservative. thats why he lost.

Obama JiveTalker = Lame

May 12th, 2011
2:54 pm

Having to listen to one of Obama’s lame speeches, read directly from a teleprompter, is TORTURE enough or anyone.

Real Athens

May 12th, 2011
2:59 pm

Bill Orvis White is satirist. Look at his web site. Relax.

The Snark

May 12th, 2011
3:09 pm

Real Athens:

God, I hope so. It scares me to think that I might sit next to that guy in a public place and not know it.

Last Man Standing

May 12th, 2011
3:10 pm

gm:

You forgot to say “racist” and “bigot”.

Last Man Standing

May 12th, 2011
3:14 pm

gsueagle:

“Mccain is no conservative. thats why he lost.”

McCain hasn’t had time to be a conservative. He has been to busy ingratiating himself with the liberals. Conservatives had no candidate in 2008.

Bullwinkle

May 12th, 2011
3:18 pm

Now that Newt’s in, he will straighten everything out.

It’s whatever Newt says.

jconservative

May 12th, 2011
3:37 pm

Bill Orvis White –

Actually it was President George W Bush who very quietly ended the “enhanced interrogation” policy that he authorized in 2002. He ended it in February 2005 just after his inauguration for his second term. No one has been “waterboarded” since.

All Obama has done is continue the Bush policy, with one exception. Obama changed it to apply only to prisoners caught on a battlefield and left those caught in a “counter terrorism” mission open to enhanced interrogation. The distinction is involved with the wording of the Geneva Convention
and the wording of US laws. (Notice that no one has been prosecuted for torture.)

So if we catch Ayman al Zawahiri in a counter terrorism raid expect him to be throughly interrogated by whatever means are available to the interrogators. Oh, it will be done on foreign soil, not in the US. There are US laws against torture which is one reason Bush ended the practice.

You can read the Obama statement on line. The exception is stunning.

Legend of Len Barker

May 12th, 2011
3:39 pm

I guess no one is familiar with the Spanish Inquisition. Information out of torture does not equal accurate information. Information out of torture is information the tortured individual believes will get the torturer to stop.

Ximénez

May 12th, 2011
3:45 pm

Nobody expects The Spanish Inquisition!

double

May 12th, 2011
3:48 pm

@Wampum Mr white should work security at airport since he can see through people.Glad you told him the way it is,not the way he dreams.

jconservative

May 12th, 2011
3:50 pm

“Conservatives had no candidate in 2008.”

I would argue that they haven’t had but 2 candidates since 1932, Goldwater and then Reagan. All other candidates have been liberals.

But Goldwater lost and Reagan turned into a liberal the day after his first inauguration.

So it has been “liberal city” for the last 79 years.

And this is why the United States is a socialist society. And to make it worse, we insist on borrowing the money to pay for the socialist programs we “enjoy”.

So far in 2011 Congress has decided to 1) keep all major entitlements, 2) to continue to borrow the money to pay for them, and 3) cut a few other minor programs so they can tell the voters they cut spending.

Do we want to discuss the defense budget?

Dumb Elephants

May 12th, 2011
3:59 pm

Enter your comments here

Dumb Elephants

May 12th, 2011
4:01 pm

This article appears to be the “truth”, my how all the Conservatives are so ignorant to the truth. I don’t agree with all The Presidents decisions, but learn to give credit where credit is due. The only thing Bush caught was a “stupor”… By the way I see why the North beat the South….lolololo

Ol' Timer

May 12th, 2011
4:15 pm

The Tea Party will prevent the Republicans from fielding an electable candidate. The majority of the country cluster around the center.

Either extreme is undesireable.

However, the Tea Party, drunk with mid-term election success, have no mind to compromise and that’s what politics is all about. Changes need to be made on both sides of the ledger. We need vast spending cuts, but we also need revenue enhancement. To deny this reality is to perpetuate the problems.

Tax loopholes need to be plugged.

Subsidies to large agra-businesses and oil companies need to be curtailed.

Billions in waste and redundance could be removed from the Pentagon budget without compromising national security.

We have enough Republican congressmen and enough Democrat congressmen. We need American congressmen who’ll look beyond the next election to the next generation.

Then we’ll call them statemen, not two-bit politicians.

Last Fart Stinking

May 12th, 2011
4:37 pm

“Mccain is no conservative. thats why he lost.”

Must not be one, since he is telling the truth and failed to bow down to the Dick “Dead Eye” Cheney…

kevin

May 12th, 2011
4:53 pm

JConservative,

Surely, you are kidding with Reagan who raised taxes 8 times, had higher tax rates than we now have under Obama and ran up a ginormous deficit. Reagan would be considered a liberal by today’s GOP standards.

DCX

May 12th, 2011
4:53 pm

In fairness to the institution of torture, maybe they just weren’t using the right methods. It works for Jack Bauer, because he doesn’t fool around with that waterboarding crap. He just goes straight to the breaking and cutting.

kevin

May 12th, 2011
5:00 pm

@Obama JiveTalker = Lame

May 12th, 2011
2:54 pm

At least Obama can read from the telepromtpter whieh is more than I can say for his predecessor.

kevin

May 12th, 2011
5:00 pm

Jconservative,

I just re-read your post. I missed the bit about turning into liberals after being elected. Sorry about that. Ignore.

Ted Striker

May 12th, 2011
5:22 pm

Those who support torture are at heart no different from those who support terrorism.

bart

May 12th, 2011
5:33 pm

I would wager all these idots criticizing McCain never served in the military and certainly were never a prisoner of war who was tortured. He knows better than anyone whether or not torture works. And by the way, jconservative has no idea what he’s talking about, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the extreme right wing. Why let the true facts stand in the way of your outlandish positions?

Otis

May 12th, 2011
5:33 pm

I hear George Bush say the he was most proudest of “not allowing America to get hit by terrorist”. I have one question, who was the President of the United States, when those two airplanes slammed into the World Trade Center?

Last Man Standing

May 12th, 2011
5:40 pm

Corey:

“some on here have the gall to discredit Mr. McCain because his expression does not suit thier delusional thinking.”

Who discredited him to bring about your statement? I saw nothing preceding your sttaement that discredited him. After you posted, I commented that he is not a conservative, and I believe most conservatives would agree with me. That takes nothing away from POW experience. However, I would add that being shot down and then behaving in a manner that would be expected hardly qualifies anyone for political office. I would offer your corrent president as an example that it is not necessarily a prerequisite since O. has never even served his country in the military.

Last Man Standing

May 12th, 2011
5:42 pm

Otis:

I think that would be that there were no attacks after 9/11, and Bush deserves credit for that.

Ga Values

May 12th, 2011
5:44 pm

Last Man Standing

May 12th, 2011
5:40 pm

What do you think our RINO Saxby’s qualifications for political office?

Last Man Standing

May 12th, 2011
5:47 pm

jconservative:

Why do you take exception at my statement? I merely pointed out that conservatives had no candidate in 2008. Is it necessary for me to go back to 1932 with every statement I make?

Last Man Standing

May 12th, 2011
5:48 pm

Ga Values:

I don’t know that he has any qualifications. You’re arguing with the wrong person. I am noit a Chambliss fan

J

May 12th, 2011
6:44 pm

Why are demorats always talking about cutting the DOD funding, but never metion entitlements? Voter buyouts?

Mama Says

May 12th, 2011
6:47 pm

HYPOCRITES CREED

Water boarding is torture, can’t you see ?

terrorists aren’t scared, it dosen’t work and hurts you and me !

Let’s be civil, we are the USA, Miranda and a hot meal each and every day.

we will let you die to prove our point, Gitmos to rough-close that joint.

bombers be damn -there is the rule of law ! The Patriot Act- now thats the flaw.

In the war on terror we need to be polite – so the educated world will know we are right !

Bush is the crook, can’t you see, wire taps on you and me ?

Black sites and rendition – just add to world tension.

Pull the troops back and you will see, terrorist are misunderstood–let’s just let them be.

before I go may I say, Republicans are racist, motivated by hate-thats just there way.

so follow our plan, civil rights for all, enhanced interrogation will make us fall

loud music and no sleep -I say are all wrong, but a bullet to the head now that says we are strong !

Unarmed he stood, behind a woman but it’s all good !

gatorman770

May 12th, 2011
6:54 pm

The Rino has really gotten senile if he expected the truth form a Obama appointee!

Last Man Standing

May 12th, 2011
7:00 pm

gatorman770:

I’d say you were “dead on the head” about that!

BIN LADEN

May 12th, 2011
8:46 pm

GEORGE DU DU DU DU DU DUBYA BUSH was by far the best president ever

Aquagirl

May 12th, 2011
8:47 pm

Goodness, it’s been a bad couple weeks for the wingnuts. First the birth certificate, then Obama orders the mission to get Bin Laden. Now efforts to steal the credit and make them feel all Jack Bauer-y are another disaster.

Some chickenhawks’ wives and dogs are in for serious beatings.