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The path to bin Laden’s death didn’t start with Obama

Jose A. Rodriguez Jr. is a 31-year veteran of the CIA and the author of “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives.”

As we mark the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, President Obama deserves creditfor making the right choice on taking out Public Enemy No. 1.

But his administration never would have had the opportunity to do the right thing had it not been for some extraordinary work during the George W. Bush administration. Much of that work has been denigrated by Obama as unproductive and contrary to American principles.

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Images after Osama bin Laden’s death: As the anniversary of the May 2, 2011, death of Osama bin Laden approaches, here are images showing the compound where he was killed as well as Americans’ reactions to the news.


He is wrong on both counts.

Shortly after bin Laden met his maker last spring, courtesy of U.S. Special Forces and intelligence, the administration proudly announced that when Obama took office, getting bin Laden was made a top priority. Many of us who served in senior counterterrorism positions in the Bush administration were left muttering: “Gee, why didn’t we think of that?”

The truth is that getting bin Laden was the top counterterrorism objective for U.S. intelligence since well before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. This administration built on work pain­stakingly pursued for many years before Obama was elected — and without this work, Obama administration officials never would have been in a position to authorize the strike on Abbottabad, Pakistan, that resulted in bin Laden’s overdue death.

In 2004, an al-Qaeda terrorist was captured trying to communicate with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of the terror organization’s operations in Iraq. That captured terrorist was taken to a secret CIA prison — or “black site” — where, initially, he was uncooperative. After being subjected to some “enhanced interrogation techniques” — techniques authorized by officials at the most senior levels of the U.S. government and that the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel confirmed were consistent with U.S. law — the detainee became compliant. He was not one of the three al-Qaeda operatives who underwent waterboarding, the harshest of the hard measures.

Once this terrorist decided that non-cooperation was a non-starter, he told us many things — including that bin Laden had given up communicating via telephone, radio or Internet, and depended solely on a single courier who went by “Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti.” At the time, I was chief of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. The fact that bin Laden was relying on a lone courier was a revelation that told me bin Laden had given up day-to-day control of his organization. You can’t run an operation as large, complex and ambitious as al-Qaeda by communicating only every few months. It also told me that capturing him would be even harder than we had thought.

Armed with the pseudonym of bin Laden’s courier, we pressed on. We asked other detainees in our custody if they had ever heard of “al-Kuwaiti.” Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, reacted in horror when he heard the name. He backed into his cell and vigorously denied ever hearing of the man. We later intercepted communications KSM sent to fellow detainees at the black site, in which he instructed them: “Tell them nothing about the courier!”

In 2005 another senior detainee, Abu Faraj al-Libi, told us that this courier had informed him that Libi had been selected to be al-Qaeda’s No. 3 official. Surely that kind of information is delivered only by highly placed individuals.

A couple of years later, after I became head of the National Clandestine Service, the CIA was able to discover the true name of the courier. Armed with that information, the agency worked relentlessly to locate that man. Finding him eventually led to tracking down and killing bin Laden.

With some trying to turn bin Laden’s death into a campaign talking point for Obama’s reelection, it is useful to remember that the trail to bin Laden started in a CIA black site — all of which Obama ordered closed, forever, on the second full day of his administration — and stemmed from information obtained from hardened terrorists who agreed to tell us some (but not all) of what they knew after undergoing harsh but legal interrogation methods. Obama banned those methods on Jan. 22, 2009.

This past weekend, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin attacked statements made in May 2011 by me, former CIA director Michael Hayden and former attorney general Michael Mukasey regarding what led to bin Laden’s death. They misunderstood and mischaracterized our positions.

No single tactic, technique or approach led to the successful operation against bin Laden. But those who suggest it was all a result of a fresh approach taken after Jan. 20, 2009, are mistaken.









http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-path-to-osama-bin-ladens-death-didnt-start-with-obama/2012/04/30/gIQAfFmdsT_story.html


Added: May-1-2012 Occurred On: May-1-2012
By: yorba
In:
Politics
Tags: death of bin laden, cia, jose rodriguez, spike that football, special forces
Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States (load item map)
Views: 2100 | Comments: 62 | Votes: 5 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 2 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • those who suggest it was a fresh approach are mistaken ,no shit the same people mistakenly voted a kenyan for president

    Posted May-1-2012 By 

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  • Well yeah of course it started before 9/11, all the way back to 1988 with his assistance in the US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The attempt to kill OBL also was way before 9/11 when Clinton authorized missile strikes on Sudan (and Afghanistan) when he lived in Khartoum. You Obama haters are hilarious; make it sound like on his watch the man single-handedly ran this complex US economy off the cliff yet the President somehow doesn't deserve any credit for this decision made on his watch More..

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  • Extraordinary work done during the Bush years, letting a man on kidney dialysis & his posse escape twice, the second time while the world finest spy satellites were trained on his near locale.

    Demoplicans Republicrats when it comes to Osama and either side its all wargasm bullshit all the time.

    Posted May-1-2012 By 

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  • Politicians always want the credit when something goes right, when it doesnt it is, as always, had fuck all to do with them. We have politicians like that in Britain as well.

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  • Free waterboarding for all the islamonazis.

    Posted May-1-2012 By 

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  • The DNC tells me Obama was the operations commander and was the first “boots on the ground” during the operation. Obama is a serious bad ass, OK so he’s a skinny effeminate twink of a man child but hey, ANYTHING to get votes right?

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  • why does everyone act surprised that politicians are all corrupted? it does not matter their "affiliation", this pissing contest between all of them is pathetic and bad news for us

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  • No shit we started looking for Bin Laden before Obama. The fact is Obama approved using the SEALs rather than a drone strike. W said he didn't really care where Bin Laden was and considering we invaded Iraq I'm gonna take his word on it. Mitt Romney has stated that if he were president he wouldn't have gone into Pakistan militarily. Here is the difference between someone who is level headed and the lunatic far right wing. If George W Bush had killed Bin laden on May 2, 2008 I would be just More..

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    • @ggppgg Stop rewriting history, Mr. Obama press secretary. William Mcraven approved the op, not Obama. Obama has taken credit for it, told us all to act with dignity, and now it's an election year so he dusts off the bin Laden killing and uses it, the SEALs, the CIA, and everything he despises to get his campaigner-in-chief ass elected. And now you and the left don't like the push back and counter arguments. Tough shit. And we didn't go into Pakistan "militarily" in the true cont More..

      Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @yorba

      no, we didn't go in to Pakistan 'militarily' with things like guns and grenades, instead went in armed with gifts like Quarans and candy. I'm not sure how you define 'Commander-in-Chief' but the chain of command is definite; his decisions supersede those the DoD.

      Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @yorba What bin laden killing? Pics or it didnt happen!

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  • Hahahahahaaaa..yes...bush only had 6 years to do it...I'm sure he was the brains behind it...bwahahahahahaaa....bush couldnt find his way out of a door after a speech let alone Bin Laden....so sad republicans..really?? you can come up with something better than this??? wait....no you can't...my bad.

    Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @mannixxx Its obvious Obama is gonna use this as a large part of his campaigning, so naturally the GOP is going to try to downplay it as much as they can. So now their strategy is to say Obama was a very small part of it, or that the decision was a very easy one to make. But thats funny, because if the mission failed, does anyone think the GOP wouldn't claim it to be Obama making a bad call and blowing the most major decision in history? I think not.

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    • @stevecore the GOP destroyed themselves with all of the hostility in the debates already, and gave the Democrats more than enough ammo to win Obama the next election...it'll be a landslide for Obama.

      Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @mannixxx Pretty much. Once Romney starts trying to turn the outrage on Obama up during the debates, most people are going to just think "oh look, its the GOP hating everything Obama does still..."

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    • @mannixxx Hahahahaha. No they can't it's kinda sad.

      Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @stevecore If Obama decides to question mitt about the "sacre underwear" or "multiple wives" thing to mitt...it's gonna be a comedy fest for the Dems.

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  • I'm still confused on the dipshits names, was it Osama or Usama? why does every agency on the planet use the two name interchangeably?...

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  • I still cant believe that they haven't and wont release the bin laden death pictures. It looks to me like they showed more respect to the bin laden than they did to all the people who have went to afghanistan and died to find him. Sort it out america and stop disrespecting the people who actually do the dirty work.

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    • @bazeret2

      do you really think showing pics of his dead body is the only way to deliver justice to fallen IASF soldiers? i mean i would love to see the pictures but that would be a bit gratuitous no? had AQ not made a public statement acknowledging his death and instead denied it (also assuming that belief caught on), i bet we'd see those pictures. too bad everyone seems to be on the same page on that one.

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    • @mixer A bit gratuitous? Over a million people have died in wars since 9/11 i think thats a bit gratuitous and not showing bin ladens body is just a further kick in the teeth to those people. When gaddafi got killed it was all over the news and papers. The american government like most governments lie to get your vote. Because they say bin laden died at the hands of marines doesnt make it true. Especially when they destroy all the evidence.

      Posted May-2-2012 By 

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  • That's one side of the story.

    Here's another.
    http://youtu.be/E-Xmy9S2Oys

    Posted May-1-2012 By 

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  • worthless bastard has not accomplished 1 thing in 3 years, he is hard pressed to find anything to brag about, this is all he could come up with, f'n pathetic

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  • Comment of user 'followthewhiterabbit' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • For those like me who missed the 60 minutes interview.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC9PP94f4OQ

    Posted May-1-2012 By 

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  • Haha, this is cute. Even if you right-wingers manage to take away Obama's accomplishments, there's still the little matter of concealing Romney's - and it's a lot of concealing you'll have to do, as most of his accomplishments ruined companies and put people out of work so he could turn a personal profit.

    Obama 2012. Get used to it :)

    Posted May-1-2012 By 

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  • Everyone seems to forget that Colonel Oliver North was on top of the game...and announced it to the world, in his own candid words.

    Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @itsallaboutyou In terms of what exactly?

      Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @The Grim ...real brief. North was made a puppet and completely aware along with many others in our government's upper leadership at the time (early 80's) that Osama bin Laden was high risk along with several other names in the terrorist pool. Basically, he should have been taken out 25+ yrs ago. Sorry for my original comment was just thinking out loud. ;)

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  • I hate to break it to the OP but it was G W Bush that let Bin Laden go in the first place. American special forces and CIA operatives had Bin Laden in sight and were tracking him for weeks, but Bush ignored them and instead chose to go at it with Saddam Hussein for some bizarre reason only know to Bush himself (probably had a sky fairy vision after one of his coke runs). So this claim is utter nonsense.

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    • @CargeLock

      I hate to break it to you but it was Clinton that let Bin Laden go in the first place. To bad Clinton ignored him and instead chose to go at it with Monica Lewinsky.

      LOL, lefties are so easy.

      Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @JihadKiller1s1k That was before the USS Cole and 9/11. Bush ignored his opportunity AFTER the worst terrorist attack in US history.

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    • @JihadKiller1s1k

      That is correct, Bush only missed him at Tora Bora despite the B52 carpet bombing. But concerning Clinton, at least going after sex in the White House didn't cause the death of thousands of soldiers and the waste of trillions of taxpayer's dollars, even if both Bush and Clinton are guilty of having been distracted from their jobs by their inappropriate entertainments...

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    • @JihadKiller1s1k Fuck me dude, i've never met a revisionist in your category before. Well done.

      Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Operation_Flesh' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • So, let's review!

    Bush:
    - Started two pointless wars to catch a guy who wasn't there
    - Killed hundreds of thousands for no reason, incl. thousands of Americans
    - Crippled the economy
    - Deregulated the banks
    - Tried taking away women's rights and gay marriage
    - Took away funding from sciences, education, and programs like stem cell research
    - Completely botched the response to Katrina

    Obama:
    - Killed the shit out of Osama Bin Laden, most wanted man on earth, and didn't start two pointless econo More..

    Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @hellgremlin: You act as if Bush and Obama are on opposite sides of the issues.

      Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @Moore Slayer No, merely on opposite sides of the competency chart. And certainly superior to the wealthy wooden statue running against him.

      Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @hellgremlin : Superior, right the superior Fed puppet.

      Posted May-1-2012 By 

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    • @hellgremlin And then there's that inconvenient reality on the wars:

      "Tonight, I'd like to speak to you about this transition. But first, let us remember why we came here. It was here, in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden established a safe-haven for his terrorist organization. It was here, in Afghanistan, where al Qaeda brought new recruits, trained them, and plotted acts of terror. It was here, from within these borders, that al Qaeda launched the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 innoc More..

      Posted May-2-2012 By 

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  • No way you guys can change this. Obama kilt Osama. Period.

    Posted May-1-2012 By 

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