Agency claims waterboarding KSM prevented attack, despite alleged plot being debunked by scores of intelligence professionals in 2006
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
As the controversy surrounding revelations of the Bush administration’s torture program builds, the CIA has attempted to diffuse the furore by claiming that the torture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed prevented a terror attack on an L.A. skyscraper, a completely ludicrous assertion since the credibility of the alleged “L.A. attack plot” was debunked by scores of intelligence professionals years ago.
“The Central Intelligence Agency told CNSNews.com today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) — including the use of waterboarding — caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles,” reports CNS News.
This claim was made the day after after former Vice-President Dick Cheney urged the CIA to “put out the memos that show the success of the effort….reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity.”
The “planned attack on Los Angeles” refers to an announcement made on February 9th 2006 in which it was claimed that an Al-Qaeda plan to fly a plane into the LA Library Tower was thwarted in 2002. The release of the news that the plot had been prevented by means of tapping terrorist suspect’s phone, and not torture as the CIA now claims, was politically timed to coincide with the start of legal hearings on the Bush administration’s domestic eavesdropping program.
Fox “News,” the White House’s PR mouthpiece, immediately began showing footage from the movie Independence Day, in which the famous tower is destroyed.
Hours after the announcement, the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, went public with his absolute bewilderment concerning the alleged plot.
“I’m amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels,” the mayor said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I don’t expect a call from the president — but somebody.”
The day after the announcement, twenty three separate intelligence experts, all with either CIA, FBI, NSA or military credentials, both in and out of service, angrily disputed Bush’s remarks about the alleged L.A. plot, with one going as far as saying that the President was “full of shit.”
Another described the claims as “worthless intel that was discarded long ago.”
A New York Times story cited “several counter-terrorism officials” as saying that “the plot never progressed past the planning stages…. ‘To take that and make it into a disrupted plot is just ludicrous,’ said one senior FBI official.”
The New York Daily News cited another senior counterterrorism official who said: “There was no definitive plot. It never materialized or got past the thought stage.”
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The Washington Post also dismissed the alleged plot as nothing more than talk, noting that no actual attack plan had been thwarted.
The LA attack plot arose from the same discredited informant who said that Washington and New York financial institutions were being targeted, which led the White House to raise the terror alert right as the 2004 election campaign was beginning.
“The President has cheapened the entire intelligence community by dragging us into his fantasy world,” said a veteran field operative of the Central Intelligence Agency. “He is basing this absurd claim on the same discredited informant who told us Al Qaeda would attack selected financial institutions in New York and Washington.”
In June 2004 John Pistole, the FBI’s counterterrorism director, said he was “not sure what [the CIA] was referring to,” after a CIA counterterrorism official who testified under the alias “Ted Davis” said that the US had prevented aviation attacks against the east and west coast.
Despite the alleged plot being thoroughly debunked a year prior, President Bush again cited it in his January 2007 State of the Union speech.
Now the CIA has recycled the same hoax in order to try and deflect accusations about its involvement in the torture program.
Indeed, by announcing that the torture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed led to his “confession” of being behind the non-existent L.A. attack plot, the CIA is only reaffirming the fact that the torture program was designed to elicit false confessions that could then be used as terror propaganda on the fearful and gullible American public.
As Senator Levin highlighted on the back of the release of the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinions, the techniques (known as SERE) authorized by officials to be used on detainees, “Are based on tactics used by Chinese Communists against American soldiers during the Korean War for the purpose of eliciting false confessions for propaganda purposes.”
In addition, the senior Army SERE psychologist warned in 2002 against using SERE training techniques during interrogations in an email to personnel at Guantanamo Bay, because, “It usually decreases the reliability of the information because the person will say whatever he believes will stop the pain… Bottom line: the likelihood that the use of physical pressures will increase the delivery of accurate information from a detainee is very low.”
Little wonder then that KSM confessed to everything under the sun, and only stopped short of admitting to being the real Santa Claus, assassinating JFK and creating AIDS. He even “confessed” to plotting to attack a bank that wasn’t even founded until after his arrest.
However, by regurgitating the confirmed hoax that KSM “confessed” to a plot that never even existed because of the “success” of waterboarding, the CIA has once again highlighted the fact that not only was the torture program an insult and a disgrace to everything America is supposed to stand for, but that it was also a complete waste of time and only put Americans in more danger because false confessions were taken as gospel so that they could be used not to protect the country from terrorists, but to propagandize to the American people and enlist their support for the thoroughly deceptive and insidious “war on terror”.
This article was posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 9:49 am