As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Carney Suggests Interrogations Could Have Led to Bin Laden

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today did not rule out that “enhanced interrogation” techniques conducted on terrorist suspects during the Bush administration provided the key that led to Osama Bin Laden.

“I can’t categorically rule out that one piece of information — because we don’t know,” Carney during in an exchange with me today in the White House briefing.

But Carney was careful to emphasize that any information gleaned by the interrogations was just a piece of a much broader “body of work” that enabled U.S. officials to discover Bin Laden’s hiding place.

A growing catalog of evidence, including statements by CIA Director Leon Panetta and reports in Time and by NBC’s Michael Isikoff, point to a potentially significant role for the interrogations in uncovering the early intel that led to Bin Laden.

Here’s the transcript of my exchange with Jay. I give him credit for answering the questions fairly directly, at least as press secretaries I’ve dealt with go.

KOFFLER: Can you say with certainty that bin Laden’s hideout would have been found without the enhanced interrogation techniques that were done under the Bush administration?

CARNEY: I can say with certainty that no single piece of information, with the exception of the address of the compound, was vital to this, was singularly vital to this, because we’re talking about tiny bits of information that were compiled by unbelievably competent professionals over nine and a half years.

And it’s impossible to know if one piece of information came from one source and was corroborated in another way, if, you know — which — which thread held the cloth together, with the exception of the location of the compound. And I would simply note that that has not been — only been in existence for five or six years.

So may…

(CROSSTALK)

CARNEY: Can I finish just answering his question? That’d be great.

The fact is, is that information was gathered from detainees. We have multiple ways of gathering information: from detainees, from different methods that we have of getting information.

The work that was done that put the case together was done primarily by analysts gathering tiny bits of information and putting it together and creating a body of work, if you will, that led to the finding of the location where Osama bin Laden was hiding.

KOFFLER: To follow up. It sounds to me at the very least like what you’re saying is that the interrogation techniques cannot be ruled out as a critical and necessary piece to have found bin Laden. Is that correct? It’s possible that that’s true.

CARNEY: I’m saying that there was no single piece of information, beyond the location of the compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding out, that was incontrovertibly critical to the success of this operation on Sunday.

Now, I can’t categorically rule out that one piece of information — because we don’t know. We’re missing the sort of bigger picture here, which is that the incredibly hard and focused work of our intelligence community, intelligence professionals who don’t get credit because they’re so often, you know, we can’t name them and identify them and stand them up and celebrate them, led to this success.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

8 Responses to Carney Suggests Interrogations Could Have Led to Bin Laden

  1. “We’re missing the sort of bigger picture here, which is that the incredibly hard and focused work of our intelligence community, intelligence professionals who don’t get credit because they’re so often, you know, we can’t name them and identify them and stand them up and celebrate them, led to this success.”

    What Carney can’t say:
    (All we really can do in fact, is to unload our Justice Dept. lawyers on them, in the hopes of ending a few hundred careers in the CIA, gain some votes from our base, and risk future American lives. Good? OK?)

    Next question?

  2. I read this on Ace and didn’t know it was your question. Great job!

    “And Speaking of Liars and Fools: Jay Carney in his press conference is claiming that no single piece of information was critical, and futhermore “we can never know” where information came from — to avoid admitting the information came from waterboarding.

    This last point is particularly a lie. It’s not that “we can never know” — it’s that “they will never tell.”

    That’s an entirely different matter. Obama simply refuses to acknowledge what his CIA head confirms, because his political position is wrong.

    “I will never tell the truth” is not, in fact, the same as “we can never know the truth.” Carney’s insistence that they are the same notwithstanding.”

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/315712.php

  3. Great job holding Carney’s feet to the fire Keith! The tone of this press conference was very diff from others I’ve seen – did you sense animosity/hostility Keith?

    Jay of course will obfuscate into eternity no matter how tough or logical the questions.

  4. I agree with the other commenters here; the mood in the Briefing room has changed. It was not just surprising, it was like fresh air came into the room.
    Good job guys.

  5. Excellent question and followup Keith. Unfortunately, he’s in full spin mode. The guy can sure use a mouthful of words to say absolutely nothing.

    What’s up with this new found love and admiration for the intelligence community. Sure hope people aren’t falling for this horse manure. Anybody remember the big hullabaloo this little tyrant and his lackey Holder caused when they were contemplating prosecuting the CIA interrogators and releasing transcripts of the enhanced interrogations? They really must think we are all fools.

  6. Can’t catagorically rule out..meaning its in. Omg….is there ever going to be an end to the BS and lying….wait…thats redundant, isnt it. Just shoot me now.