Last night, I noted that “much of the intelligence gathered that led to discovering bin Laden was developed by the detainees detained under the Bush administration at facilities like the one Obama wanted to shut down.”
Saying that “our ideals give us the strength and moral high ground” to combat terrorism, President Obama signed executive orders Thursday ending the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret overseas prisons, banning coercive interrogation methods and closing the Guantánamo Bay detention camp within a year.
…As Mr. Obama signed three orders in a White House ceremony, 16 retired generals and admirals who have fought for months for a ban on coercive interrogations stood behind him and applauded. The group, organized to lobby the Obama transition team by the group Human Rights First, did not include any career C.I.A. officers or retirees.
…The intelligence agency built a network of secret prisons in 2002 to house and interrogate senior Qaeda figures captured overseas. The exact number of suspects to have moved through the prisons is unknown, although Michael V. Hayden, the departing director of the agency, has in the past put the number at “fewer than 100.”
The secret detentions brought international condemnation, and in September 2006, Mr. Bush ordered that the remaining 14 detainees in C.I.A. custody be transferred to Guantánamo Bay and tried by military tribunals.
Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.
Guess we are all secret detention advocates now, eh?