From the Washington Post:
A crucial break [in the search for Osama Bin Laden] appears to have come on May 2, 2005, when Pakistani special forces arrested a senior al-Qaida operative known as Abu Faraj al-Libi, who had been designated bin Laden's "official messenger" to others within the organization. Libi was later turned over to the CIA and held at a "black site" prison where he was subjected to the harsh methods that the Bush administration termed "enhanced interrogation techniques."The AP reported:
Libi and other detainees pointed CIA interrogators to another messenger with close ties to the al-Qaida leader. U.S. officials said they started only with the mystery courier's nom de guerre, and that it took four years to uncover his actual identity, his approximate location in Pakistan and ultimately the compound where bin Laden was found.
Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, detainees in the CIA's secret prison network told interrogators about an important courier with the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti who was close to bin Laden. After the CIA captured al-Qaida's No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he confirmed knowing al-Kuwaiti but denied he had anything to do with al-Qaida.Abu Faraj al-Libi was detained at at a secret CIA prison and was subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques." Hassan Ghul was also incarcerated in a CIA prison where he was subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques."
Then in 2004, top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, someone crucial to the terrorist organization. In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who replaced Mohammed as al-Qaida's operational commander. It was a key break in the hunt for in bin Laden's personal courier.
"Hassan Ghul was the linchpin," a U.S. official said.
Finally, in May 2005, al-Libi was captured. Under CIA interrogation, al-Libi admitted that when he was promoted to succeed Mohammed, he received the word through a courier...
The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA's so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.
"We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day," said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.
The Liberal Pro Publica website, in 2009, complained about the harsh and abusive treatment that Ghul received during his detention in the secret CIA prison.
Both Abu Faraj al-Libi and Hassan Ghul likely cracked as a result of the enhanced interrogations. They spilled the beans about Bin Laden's courier, and it was this information that ultimately led to Bin Laden's demise.
President Obama railed against the harsh interrogation techniques and the secret CIA prisons. [Not suprisingly, he later reneged on his promise to close the prisons, which was likely due to Intelligence officials warning him that closing the prisons would be a death knell to U.S. security.] Obama also railed against the troop surge in Iraq.
Hence, while Obama tries to take credit for Osama Bin Laden's demise and for facilitating a successful exit strategy in Iraq, in truth, his policies and rantings were actually an impediment to these goals.
Osama Bin Laden is no longer alive despite Obama's bellicose rhetoric. The victories achieved in Iraq could come crashing down soon if the President continues to remain disengaged from the region, but ultimately the military success in Iraq came in spite of Obama, and because George W. Bush had the fortitude to ignore Obama's politically calculated tirades.
Thank you, President Bush. Thank you, Vice President Cheney. Osama Bin Laden is dead, and the credit is all yours!
Related Video: Dick Cheney lambasts Obama, defends Bush enhanced interrogation techniques during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute - May 21, 2009