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“Enhanced” Interrogations and the Killing of Bin Laden

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by The Federalist Society
Posted May 06, 2011, 2:45 PM

Michael B. Mukasey, former U.S. Attorney General and current Federalist Society Board of Visitors member, wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today crediting the Bush Administration's use of coercive and forceful tactics in interrogations of terrorist detainees with creating the intelligence needed to kill Osama Bin Laden.

However, he argues that under the Obama Administration's policies publicizing the interrogation tactics officials use on detainees and preventing many such tactics from being used, such valuable intelligence will be difficult to come by:

Immediately following the killing of bin Laden, the issue of interrogation techniques became in some quarters the "dirty little secret" of the event. But as disclosed in the declassified memos in 2009, the techniques are neither dirty nor . . . were their results little. As the memoranda concluded . . . the techniques were entirely lawful as the law stood at the time the memos were written, and the disclosures they elicited were enormously important. That they are no longer secret is deeply regrettable.

Mukasey also asserts that the Obama Administration should end its investigations of CIA operatives for using harsh techniques against detainees.

The op-ed comes on the heels of an op-ed from John Yoo in The Wall Street Journal criticizing the Obama Administration for using methods to kill rather than capture terrorists so that U.S. officials would not have to deal with the question of whether to use harsh techniques to elicit information from detainees.

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