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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  May 3, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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"last word with lawrence o'donnell" starts right now. . the head of the cia told nbc news's brian williams tonight that the president is still deciding whether or not to release a photo of osama bin laden. that's just one of the tough questions now facing the president after he killed the world's most wanted terrorist. >> we're a little safer today. >> why don't we just pack up and leave afghanistan? bin laden is gone, but president obama still has some big decisions to make. >>? july 2011 transition date for the begin og-a draw down remains very much in place. >> what is our real security challenge? >> the focus of that operation of the -- of the u.s. personnel in afghanistan is on al qaeda. >> you cannot wait us out. you cannot defeat us. >> what to release. >> the photos, the videos whatever else. >> i think there is any doubt that we killed osama bin laden.
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>> some say the death of bin laden proves torture works. >> using those techniques save lives. >> enhanced interrogation obviously served his successor quite well. >> some of those tools may have been helpful. >> we obtained that information through water boarding. >> and the truth? >> the answer would be, no. >> not to my knowledge. >> no single piece of information led to the successful mission. >> osama bin laden was caught because of the incredible detective work. >> and what does it all mean for president obama? >> change in president obama's opposition to so-called enhanced interrogation techniques? >> no change whatsoever. >> this could really be the most important moment in this presidency. >> the president and his team did a superb job. >> obama's going to be significantly harder to defeat than people think. >> what president obama did was very, very calm, cool and extremely courageous. >> looks like president obama has a new campaign slogan, yes,
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i did! >> good evening from new york. as intelligence officials investigate what one official called a treasure-trove of come computers, hard drives, storage devices and documents u.s. special forces seized during their raid on the bin laden compound, white house press secretary jay carney provided the official account of what those forces encountered when they first entered the home of osama bin laden. >> on the first floor of bin laden's building two al qaeda couriers were killed along with a woman who was killed in cross fire. bin laden and his family were found on the second and third floor of the building. there was concern that bin laden would oppose the capture operation, rather, and indeed he did resist. in the room with bin laden a woman, bin laden's -- a woman, rather, bin laden's wife rushed the u.s. asalter and was shot in the leg but not killed. bin laden was then shot and
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killed. he was not armed. >> the white house continues to consider whether to release a photo as proof of bin laden's death, which was already confirmed through d.n.a. analysis. earlier tonight cia director leon panetta revealed the status of that decision to nbc news brian williams. >> there is a report as we have this conversation for the record, 10:36 a.m., that the president, the white house has decided and it may already be out to release a proof of death photo what light can you shed on this. >> the government obviously has been talking about how best to do this. but i don't think there was any question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public. >> leon panetta also provided details on the president's rules of engagement with bin laden. >> the president's order read capture or kill or both or just
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one of those? >> the authorities we have on bin laden are to kill him. and that was made clear. but it was also as part of their rules of engagement, if -- if he suddenly put up his hands and offered to be captured, then they would have the opportunity obviously to capture him. but that opportunity never developed. >> director panetta then discussed the risks the president considered before ordering the mission. >> how often did blackhawk down and somalia rattle around your heads? rattle around the room as you sat during the planning stages? >> well, that -- that was clearly part of the debate. this was a risky mission. there were a lot of risks and a lot of uncertainties. we had -- the bottom line was this, that we had the best intelligence on the location of
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bin laden since tora bora. that presented an obligation to act and the president obviously felt that we had that obligation to act. what course we would take, whether we would use an assault the way we did or whether we would try other methods was also debated. and when we came down to considering the assault, the risks of having helicopters go down, the risks of suddenly being in battle with the pakistanis or having a serious incident there all of that was discussed. and we all knew that that was -- that was part of the risks involved here. but the president to his credit, made the decision that we had to go. >> brian also asked the cia director about the role of water boarding in finding bin laden. >> i'd like to z you about the sourcing on the sbel that ultimately led to this
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successful attack. can you confirm that it was a -- as a result of water boarding that we learned what we needed to learn to go after bin laden? >> you know, brian, in the intelligence business you work from a lot of sources of information. and that was true here. we had -- we had a multiple source -- multiseries of sources that provided information with regards to this situation. clearly some of it came from detainees in the interrogation of detainees. but we also had information from other sources as well. >> turned around the other way, are you denying that water boarding was in part among the tactics used to extract the intelligence that led to this successful mission? >> no, i think some of the di dane knees clearly were, you know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees. i'm also saying that, you know,
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the debate about whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches i think is always going to be an open question. >> final point, one final time, enhanced interrogation techniques which has always been a hand to hoof yuf nichl, that includes water boarding? >> that's correct. >> leon panetta then revealed what pakistani officials said when informed that united states special forces had killed bin laden. >> the bottom line here is that they were clearly told that if we had bin laden, if we knew where he was, we were going to go in and get him. actually, when we revealed to them that this operation had taken place, interestingly enough, the first comment from them was congratulations. >> tonight, vice president joe bide en said congratulations are coming in to the white house from all corners of the globe. earlier this evening i spoke with one of the advisors who was
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in the situation room with the president during sunday's mission. the national security advisor, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you for having me. it's good to be with you. >> candidate obama spoke strongly against water boarding. director panetta has now confirmed to brian williams that some of the detainees that provided some of the information that led to the killing of osama bin laden had been water boarded. >> i don't think that's right. i just took a look at the transcript. i think that's an overstatement. >> clarify for us what unck director panetta has said. >> i leave that to you. what i just looked at, he did not say that. >> did any useful information, any usable information that led to this mission come from water boarding? >> i'd say a couple different things. first of all, it's very clear that this is the result of an intense and very complex, very
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effective intelligence operation over the course of many, many years. i'm not going to stand here and tell you definitively or categorically what every piece of that information was. that's just not credible, of course. because i just don't have access to each of those pieces of information. what i do know is this, is that this is a mosaic put together over the course of a considerable amount of time drawing on all sources of intelligence, human intelligence of the sort that you're talking about. but also other pieces of intelligence. this was a very effective interagency intelligence team. individuals from each of the 16 intelligence agencies and they drew on a whole collection of intelligence capabilities and intelligence itself. i can't rule anything out in terms of whether categorically no such information exists. what i can tell you is that this
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information was drawn from a series of efforts that started frankly before k.s.m. was even arrested. i think some of the reports that have been out there have been frankly a distraction from the bigger story, which is this is a very effective intelligence operation about which is president is very proud and frankly for which he's very thankful. >> what would you say to bush, cheney administration supporters that this proves that torture works? >> what i'd say to everybody all the american people is that the president is very gratified by and proud of the sense of and very capable work of our sberchs community. i do think that to suggest that one particular piece of information was the a ha moment in this effort would be a dramatic overstatement. our intelligence personnel had to comb through pages and pages
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of documents put together minute details to create this overall as i said mosaic that led us to this operation. >> we're going to take a look at this now famous photo in the situation room where you're sitting beside secretary clinton. what was happening at that moment in the situation room? >> i don't recall exactly what was happening at that moment. but we were getting realtime updates. the president was getting realtime updates. secretary clinton, secretary gates from a variety of means including chats, including, you know, audio and otherwise. i don't know exactly what was happening there. but there was as i've said earlier today, i think that picture is emble ma'amic of very good team work across agencies. across the globe, in fact, to ensure that this effort, this operation that the president ordered was carried out as successfully as it was. >> how much debate was there
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about what to do with bin laden's body? and did that debate take place before or after he was killed? >> it was a debate that took place before the operation. frankly, i think that was -- that too was emble ma'amic of a process run by tom donlin here that was orderly. that teed up the decisions for the president in a very straight forward way and allowed him to make the gutsy decision that he made. but specifically as it relates to the disposal of the remains, the disposition of the remains that was an issue that was debated and then decided unanimously before the operation was undertaken. >> as you're all watching there the video in the situation room, how did osama bin laden react when he was confronted? did he say anything? >> i didn't say that we were watching video in the situation room. i don't know how he reacted. >> okay. we do have information that the
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video was available, i can understand your reluctance to reveal some of those details. what is the status of the debate within the administration at this point in time as to whether there should be released a photograph of the dead osama bin laden? >> well, there's obviously a range of considerations that spring from a simple baseline consideration which is in the midst of a very robust debate oddly infused yet more images which can be mischaracterized or misused for propaganda purposes. over the last 36 hours we've made available a range of information, d.n.a. analysis, facial recognition analysis. a lot of the intelligence some of which you've referred to here now. the question is whether we ought to insert into that already very robust piece of information more information that can be misused.
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our concern would be the ramifications of that misuse to include potential threats against our military personnel, our diplomats, our intelligence diplomats and even to private american citizens who are traveling overseas, for example. so we're considering each of those ramifications, discussing it with the national security team, and we'll make that decision over the course of the next several days. >> in the white house is there any sense that there's any significant doubt out there in the world about osama bin laden being dead, a doubt that could in some way be addressed by a photograph? >> no evidence of such doubt whatsoever. >> that's -- okay. deputy national security advisor, thank you very much for your time tonight. >> thanks so much for having me. it's good to be with you. coming up -- we'll take a look at the extraordinary stakes for president obama where when he gave the order to get osama bin laden. and the intelligence clues that led to bin laden. did water boarding really
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provide usable information? and how president obama has proved how wrong the bush-cheney team was about how to fight the war on terror that's ahead.
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bipartisan praise for making the bold move to kill osama bin laden. what were the political pressures surrounding that decision? and new information is just in on who president obama has invited to come with him to ground zero on thursday. also coming up -- what are the risks to the united states if we show the rest of the world bin laden's final pictures? combining classroom and online teaching. and a 15 to 1 student to faculty ratio... to make learning more... personal. today, she runs a thriving tutoring company that offers kids the same individualized attention she had. my name is beatrice hair,
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. as americans learn that the united states had carried out an operation that resulted in the capture and death of osama bin laden -- >> that was president obama getting interrupted last night with a standing ovation as he discussed the killing of osama bin laden at a bipartisan congressional dinner. we have just learned that president obama in the spirit of bipartisanism has invited president george w. bush to join him on thursday at ground zero. we have also learned that president bush has declined that invitation. the risky operation on the compound in a pakistan vacation spot which resulted in the killing of osama bin laden has boosted the president's approval ratings according to three new polls out today.
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in a poll by "the washington post" and the pew reach center, the president's approval rating has jumped nine points. the highest rating since 2009. 56% approve of the president's job performance. 38% disaprooef. a cnn research poll shows a one-point increase since the news of bin laden's death. 52% majority approve of the president's job performance. 43% disapprove in that poll and 5% have no opinion. a new reuters poll shows an improvement in the perception of president obama's leadership. 39% say their view of president obama's leadership has improved since the killing of osama bin laden. 10% say it has worsened. 52% say their view has not changed. senator john mccain weighed in on the president's leadership
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this afternoon. >> all americans should feel proud and appreciative of the leadership shown by president obama and his team on this matter. it took real courage to assume the many risks associated with putting boots on the ground. and i strongly commend the president for it. >> joining me now washington bureau chief and msnbc analyst. thank you for joining me tonight. >> good evening, lawrence. >> david, the bipartisan seems to still be afloat in washington. president obama inviting president bush to ground zero. president bush dechaining. senator mccain praising the president. no ifs, ands or buts around it. we haven't seen this moment before in the obama presidency? >> not really. he hit a grand slam. the entire military intelligence community did. to give credit, this is an
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operation preceded barack obama's entry to office. under the bush years they were working on finding the couriers and tracking them down. we have the debate over water boarding. regardless of that, it preceded barack obama. i thought it was a generous move on his part to invite george w. bush. maybe it's a generous move on his part to say i would literally be the third wheel there. thank you very much, i'll see you in september. >> the white house, the stakes for the white house could not have been higher. we can all imagine what would have occurred if that helicopter went down. it couldn't be recovered and then perhaps another one did. and the mission went awry. this would have been one of those jimmy carter moments that probably would have been an irreversible damage to the president. >> you and i lived through that desert one debacle when jimmy carter tried to rescue the hostages held in teheran by iran
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extremists. and it was disastrous for his presidency. who know ifs that led to his loss months later to ronald reagan. it certainly tarnished him. in this instance, too, barack obama and his advisors had to know if this didn't go good, once again we'd have another democratic president who botched a rescue attempt. the beef on obama is from the left that he's -- you know, that he's a wimp when it comes to political fights. he doesn't want to really put anything on the line from the right, it's that he doesn't care about national security. that haes weak and he's indecisive. i think in this instance at least, he showed that he was willing to do what probably was the political risky thing because he thought it was the right thing to do. as lien panetta told brian earlier today, the intelligence said 60%, 80% chance that obama -- that osama bin laden was even there. but put that aside, you had to have these 40, 60, however many
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s.e.a.l.s going in two helicopters and a million different things could have gone wrong. things far beyond the president's control. a stray bullet. one false assumption about one aspect of the operation and the whole thing could have blown up and he would have taken the biggest hit for that politically speaking. he still said go ahead. i think a lot of other politicians looking at the cost benefit analysis would have been reluctant to go ahead. this was a gutsy call. and that -- in that regard, mcdonough and brennan are right. >> david, five hard drives found. more than 100 storage devices. this could be one of the great treasure-troves of intelligence since 9/11 to have been obtained. not only the taking out of osama bin laden. what need the white house do, the obama campaign do to fight this image that has been out there in our politics for so long that the democrats are not good at this sort of thing.
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that the democrats are soft on defense. that you are not safe as the republican campaign in 2004 said, you will not be safe if you elect a democratic president? >> listen, we've seen this up to date in the republican wannabes for 2012. we've been attacking obama for being bad on public policy, dick cheney said this for not understanding the threat of terrorism. for not really caring about the threat of terrorism. i think regardless of what the polls say today a nine-point bump, a one-point bump, it will probably level out over the next 18 months. but anytime they try to play that card obama is weak on defense, he can say, weak on defense, ask osama bin laden. you can't. he's at the bottom of the ocean. >> david, i showed the tape last night of president bush back when he had basically given up looking for osama bin laden. and it was shocking to our audience many of whom had forgotten that moment where they simply disowned the search for
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osama bin laden. said it's not important. president bush saying i don't know where he is. i don't really care where he is. that's how far they went with that because they weren't making any headway. it seems to me that what president obama has accomplished here should change that imagery, but the republicans have been incredibly clever about how to campaign in this territory. i assume they will continue to be. >> i think they lost the obama is weak on defense card. and they will not be able to play it between now and the election. >> thanks for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, the white house debate on what to do with the evidence of osama bin laden's death. should they release pictures of bin laden's corpse. and later, i'm going to show you that tape of president bush again. how the democrats vision for the war on terror was not only accurate, it could have saved thousands of lives. that will be in tonight's rewrite.
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ahead in this hour, does the world need more proof that osama bin laden is dead? we'll consider the debate inside the white house about the pictures of the dead osama bin laden. and the fight over water boarding is back. did enhanced interrogation techniques provide any of the intelligence that led to the killing of the world's top terrorist? did you know prilosec otc
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many the spotlight tonight, protocol. u.s. officials say that osama
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bin laden's body was washed in aaccordance with islamic custom, placed in a white sheet and then inside a weighted bag. read religious rites, tipped up and then quote, eased in the sea. photos of that moment as well as photos of bin laden's body at a hangar in afghanistan with a massive open head wound are being held by the white house as officials deliberate whether to release them. joining me now is steve clemmons a senior fellow at the new american foundation a progressive think tank. steve, thanks for joining us tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. >> take us inside what you think the dimensions of that debate are in the white house about these photographs. the pros and cons of releasing a photograph like this. >> i think simply the con is they're worried just as they were in creting a tangable rallying point in bin laden had been buried at some site for retaliatory acts for those that were taken into some frenzy over
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his martyrdom that they've been trying to create a light and almost vanishing footprint of bin laden to try to keep this from animating terrorism around the world. i think the other side of this is america's a transparent nation. people needed to have closure, people needed to see his picture. when saddam hussein was hanged, the people needed to see his picture. at some level they need to release the bin laden video. what i told the white house today is they need to accompany that photo with a very clear photo of his body receiving the islamic rites. that hasn't been discussed yet. they need to release those two photos simultaneously. >> tell us your point about the photo about receiving the islamic rites. >> i was speaking today to senior executives at both al jazeera and other channels, i asked them how do they feel about the photos being released. the tone of the coverage about the coverage of bin laden's
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death on arabic networks has been more sober and somber. i said what's missing on your end, what are you worried about? they're worried about ultimately they thymus limbs i don't want to generalize, but conspiracy theories do well often in the muslim world. i think they feel they need to show that muslim as provocative and controversial as a rock star of transnational terrorism nonetheless received these rites. they tell me that they need to be able to show those images in the arabic world as something to help calm people. i think that makes sense. >> but in a culture that you say is so susceptible to conspiracy theory, what credibility would the united states have in releasing a photo of the islamic rites? why would anyone believe that's a real photo? the people who would be doubting this, what about an american issued photograph would have credibility? >> i don't think the culture is prone to conspiracies, but i do
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think spears are part of the currency of that region. i think that the issue is we've said he received those rites. there needs to be a photo. there could be many who won't believe that because they're prone not to. we need to give evidence that in fact, he was dealt with respectfully as he moved to -- off this earth into the ocean or whatever. ink that on the other hand, people eventually will need to see him dead. i completely understand why the white house is moving slowly. i would advocate moving slowly. they need to fill this need that people have to see him dead and to see him dealt with as a muslim leaving this earth. >> well, lien panetta told brian williams that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public. we will wait and see. steve clemmons a senior fellow at the new america foundation. thanks for joining us tonight, steve. >> thanks, lawrence. >> in his 2004 presidential campaign john kerry was attacked by the bush-cheney war machine and campaign machine for saying
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that the war on terror was more of a law enforcement operation than a military one. as more details of sunday's raid are released it looks like candidate kerry was exactly right. that's in the rewrite. it's been only two days since bin laden's death, but republicans are already claiming water boarding played a key role in finding bin laden. the fight over water boarding is back for at least one more round. that's coming up. it bringsingss s it hit helps the lhe of companipanies like the she smallestt ofof th ththat lets yos your employeloy, pa and custcustomersvate and sharee so you can can unleash tsh the of your mor your peopleople.
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[ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. two of the most important are energy security
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and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. time for tonight's rewrite. this is how president george w. bush won re-election after the world knew he had embarked on an unprovoked war in iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction that were not there. >> first, kerry said defeating terrorism was really more about law enforcement and intelligence than a strong military operation. more about law enforcement than a strong military. now kerry says we have to get back to the place where terrorists are a nuisance like
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gambling and prostitution. we're never going to end them. terrorism a nuisance? how can kerry protect us when he doesn't understand the threat? >> i'm george w. bush and i prove this message. >> let's consider what john kerry actually said that the bush-cheney campaign found so worthy of mocking. here he is in a democratic primary debate in south carolina. >> the war on terror is less, it is occasionally military and it will be. and it will continue to be for a long time. and we will need the best trained and the most well equipped and the most capable military such as we have today. but it's primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation that requires cooperation around the world. the very thing this administration is worst at. and most importantly, the war on terrorism is also an engagement many the middle east, economically, socially, culturally in a way that we haven't embraced because
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otherwise we're inviting the clash of civilizations. i think this administration's arrogant and idealogical policy is taking america down a more dangerous path. i will make america safer than they are. >> then in an interview with "the new york times" in the final month of the campaign, john kerry said, we have to get back to the place where we were where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance. as a former law enforcement person i know we're never going to end prostitution. we're never going to end illegal gambling, but we're going to reduce it. organized crime to a level where it isn't on the rise. it isn't threatening people's lives every day and fundamentally it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life. everything john kerry said was right. everything. and some of it was even a bit visionary. the part about quote, engagement in the middle east economically, socially, culturally in a way
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that we haven't embraced. that carries more than a hint of seeing the possibility of the arab spring uprisings in thank you knee sha, yemen and syria that we are now so desperately trying to find a way to engage and embrace. as a president kerry would have had us begin doing six years ago. sunday night after a decade of nonstop war that has left us over 49,000 dead and wounded u.s. soldiers, costing in real economic terms something on the order of $4 trillion and the diplomat of our most sophisticated 21st century weaponry, osama bin laden was caught using the basic tools of police work interrogation, detective work, following up clues, piecing evidence and hunches together. eavesdropping, surveillance and finally, with over 100,000 troops in the neighborhood ready
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for action, sending only a couple of dozen of them to get the most important target in this decade of war. those navy s.e.a.l.s arrived using fewer helicopters than the l.a.p.d. has deployed over los angeles right now. after they had to correct intelligence on whether osama bin laden was after they had that intelligence, all they needed to get him was a few helicopters and some rifles. nothing fancy. the kind of equipment our biggest police departments are ready to deploy whenever they have to. the last decade did not have to be a decade of war. the united states didn't have to overreact to 9/11. a wiser president, one more experienced in world affairs. one more experienced in war.
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one experienced in war at all. one more experienced in law enforcement could have saved us from our overreaction. even with the worst decisions of the bush-cheney administration we could have been spared thousands of casualties and years of wasted time if they could have just risen to the level of fundamental competence as war makers. less than 90 days after 9/11 osama bin laden was trapped at tora bora in the mountains of afghanistan. and through sheer chain of command incompetence, the bush administration failed to order the killing of the most important target of their war on terror. when we ran the video last night of president bush saying he didn't care about catching osama
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bin laden not long after tora bora a veteran congresswoman was shocked. she didn't remember bush giving up on catching osama bin laden. much of the viewing audience was shocked too judged by comments online. it's worth listening to president bush on this point one more time. >> deep in my heart i know the man's on the run if he's alive at all. and i -- you know, who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not. we haven't heard from him in a long time. and the idea of focussing on one person is really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission. terror is bigger than one person. and he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginized. -- marginalized.
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his network is destroyed. i don't know where he is. i don't spend much time on him, to be honest with you. we haven't heard much from him. i wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. again, i don't know where he is. i repeat what i said. i truly am not that concerned about him. i know he is on the run. i was concerned about him when he had taken over a country. i was concerned about the fact that he was basically running afghanistan. and calling the shots for the taliban. but, once we set out the policy and start executing the plan, he became -- we shoved him out more and more on the margins. he has no place to train his al qaeda killers anymore. >> i don't know where he is. i'm not that concerned about him. can there be any surprise about why the bush-cheney
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administration did not catch osama bin laden? the president who made fun of john kerry for accurately describing how to fight terrorists for accurately describing how to get osama bin laden actually publicly gave up on trying to get osama bin laden. you just saw him do it. and still some of his most fanatical supporters want to today give him credit for getting osama bin laden. this is what going after osama bin laden looks like. now is the time for the bush/cheney fanatics, the people who created the war on terror and got so much of it wrong to listen to john kerry and to listen to president barack obama teach them how to fight terrorists. .
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less than 48 hours after news of osama bin laden's death, republicans including house homeland security committee chair peter king are trying to suggest that the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques such as water boarding demonstrated here played a key role in tracking down bin laden. >> i'm saying the road to bin laden began with water boarding. those who put this around themselves against water boarding, i say the real moral decision to make is you're going to allow someone to die. >> the practice of water
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boarding ended seven years ago. all of the enhanced interrogation techniques were abandoned by the cia five years ago. the most famous target khalid sheik mohammed was water boarded hundreds of times. mohammed did not discuss bin laden's courier while being subjected to the simulated drowning deck neek known as water boarding. former officials said he acknowledged knowing him many months later under standard interrogation. joining me now mark fallon a former interrogator and special agent in charge of the criminal investigation task force at guantanamo bay. thanks for joining me tonight. >> you're very welcome. >> you have exfencive experience in the kinds of interrogations that king is talking about at guantanamo bay. i want you to listen to something that leon panetta said to brian william about that tonight. >> are you denying that water
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boarding was in part among the tactics used to extract the intelligence that led to this successful mission? >> no, i think some of the detainees clearly were, you know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these techniques. >> so final point one final time, enhanced interrogation techniques which has always been a hand to hoof euphemism in the post 9/11 years, that include water boarding? >> what i thought i heard there was director panetta saying that some of the people who gave us some of the information that started the trail to osama bin laden were water boarded. the white house has already disputed that interpretation of that he said and my first guest tonight distributed that from the white house. what is your sbrepgs of what you just heard? >> well, director panetta appears to be saying the folks were water boarded. i'm still trying to see if he's connected the timing of the water boarding to the
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acquisition of the intelligence for information. >> exactly. it's possible that one of these people was water boarded. it is also possible that they gave us information either before or after having nothing to do with the water boarding or any of that kind of activity. >> absolutely. if we look at the facts we know of the case right now where khalid sheik mohammed was a mentor. this was a property jay of him. had the information come out during the water boarding, we would have captured the courier sooner. >> what do you make of peter king saying the road to osama bin laden begins with water boarding. where would he get the confidence that would allow him to say that? >> i have no idea. i was privy to the information from khalid sheik mohammed at the time. i'm not aware of any information or intelligence that was a product from water boarding. >> fbi agents that knew the most
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about these people before 9/11 refused to participate in anything involving water boarding. at a certain point that left them out of the process and it left the less experienced interrogators who were less informed than the fbi agents in the process. isn't that the way? >> not necessarily that sequence. there were teams of interrogators down at guantanamo bay. there was a criminal task force. which i was a deputy commander and special agent of federal agents. the fbi was there and the agents worked very closely together. on the other side were military intelligence interrogators at gitmo. the interdpators from the federal agencies who were deeply experienced in counterterrorism matters were still in there doing interrogations just refused to participate or condone or be involved in any manner with anything that was tantamount to what we believe to be torture and illegal.
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>> what would say to people who say the capture and killing of osama bin laden proves that torture works? >> i think some people are trying to rewrite history here. i've seen no information that the infliction of pain equates to the elis tags of accurate information. two, it's a shame to diminish the incredible work that went on through the the intelligence community with analysts and case officers that led to bin laden's capture. that's a significant event in our history. to try to cheapen it by saying that some event in water boarding years ago led to this is a disservice to our service members. >> mark fallon a former interdater at guantanamo bay. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> my pleasure. >> you can have the last word online at our blog. you can follow my tweets. "rachel maddow show" is up next. thank you. thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. there are two reasons while osama bin laden became the sort of terrorist kingpin that he ultimately became. the first reason is