Long Island Rep. Says Controversial Interrogation Was KeyBy Marcia Kramer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In January 2009, President Barack Obama banned the use of waterboarding, but that controversial torture technique is now being credited with leading to the death of Osama bin Laden.

“Osama bin Laden would not have been captured and killed if it were not for the initial information we got from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after he was waterboarded,” Long Island Rep. Peter King told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

It is a very controversial form of torture. Water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, causing the individual to feel like he’s drowning. However, Rep. King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said that very technique pried the name and identity of Osama bin Laden’s courier out of Mohammed — the mastermind of the 9/11 attack.

“The initial information we received on who the currier was, the person to lead us to bin Laden, came as the result of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed being waterboarded,” Rep. King said. “He appeared on the radar screen as a result of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s statements after he was waterboarded.”

Intelligence experts got more clues in the hunt for the courier — a key member of bin Laden’s inner circle who ultimately led authorities to the Abbotabad, Pakistan, compound where the al Qaeda leader lived  — when Mohammed’s assistant, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, was also captured and subjected to severe interrogation, King said.

After they killed bin Laden, American forces grabbed a whole lot of al Qaeda intelligence data from his compound, which law enforcement sources say can have huge local security implications.

Sources told Kramer they expect the information taken by Navy SEALs from bin Laden’s compound will help the NYPD thwart future terror attacks right here.

“I was with CIA Director Leon Panetta, who told me that there was a large amount of information seized that is being analyzed vigorously by the CIA. We have to assume that if it talks about possible targets that New York will be on that list because we are the number one target,” Rep. King said.

As for a revenge attack, the NYPD has beefed up surveillance and other intelligence operations that largely go on behind closed doors. Sources said they are especially mindful of the actions of terror leader Anwar al-Awlaki — the man behind the Times Square bombing and a lot of other attacks.

“Awlaki, right now, is the number one, the number one terrorist leader in the world,” Rep. King said.

In the wake of the bin Laden killing the NYPD has beefed up police patrols, but as Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday, a lot of what the NYPD does is what you don’t see. They have 1,000 people assigned to anti-terror activities.

Bothered by the admitted use of waterboarding? Think it was a necessary evil in this case? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Marcia Kramer

Comments (58)
  1. cones says:

    hello,i’m glad to share this post,nice discuss,i’ll keep visiting asap,thanks

  2. Steve Taylor says:

    Rep King (R) is misleading everyone who listens to him and who don’t check his facts. I would use the word liar but will not just yet, preferring to believe that he will do the right thing and reveal the entire history of this story.

    On case you the reader want to know what really happened with the KSM interrogation just google his name and al-Kuwaitis name (the courier).

    As it turns out KSM did NOT reveal al-Kuwaitis name nor did he confirm him as the courier. And if the Bush admin thinks that info was so important why did Bush disband the unit assigned with following up on this courier?

    This one’s going to have a blowback effect on King and the republicans. I’m wondering if OBL would have been assassinated much earlier had the Bush administration done a better job.

    1. PWong says:

      I don’t know, by doing what you suggested it does seem that KSM did confirm Al-kuwait’s existence. It was the other two captured al Qaeda operators that gave better intel on the importance of the Al-kuwait. But still points to the fact that the information was gather through not so nice methods (maybe not waterboarding) but probably some “enhanced” interrogation techniques. Also, the secret prisons the US has in Eastern Europe was probably used too.

  3. Sam Gough says:

    I think that one thing now is for sure all the al Qaida couriers would be watching their backs now – The terrorist passport office would be in overflow with all these couriers trying to change their lives. All the terrorists who thought their names were uncovered by the raid would be going into hiding right now.

    Interesting to see the pictures of the stelth chopper wonder how much that was worth.

  4. dc says:

    We can’t know how well the waterboarding worked because the CIA destroyed all the tapes. Why do you burn the evidence for a critical and useful method? Maybe because it isn’t as valuable and useful as its defenders are claiming. Like tobacco companies claiming smoking is healthy while destroying tobacco cancer research results.

    If King believes in torture, put it on paper, legalize waterboarding as a legitimate law enforcement interrogation. Waterboard Madoff, waterboard the local drug pusher, waterboard the pimp, waterboard the gang banger. I’ll totally support it if it works.

    But no, waterboarding is torture,no different than spanish inquisition, vietcong torture. It’s great for obtaining confessions, but not so good at getting credible intel when the subject just says whatever the torturer wants to hear.

  5. Kingfisher says:

    I want to know what King knows about Provisional I.R.A. violence and why he was regarded as a threat to President Reagan when Reagan came to Long Island, in 1984, to attend a Special Olympics event. It’s up to his constituents to get it out of him, even if waterboarding has to be used. Or we should seal off his Congressional District, just as Israel did to Gaza, when they elected Hamas.

  6. Josh says:

    I completely support the use of waterboarding to be used only when needed. In this case, it was needed, it was effective and it worked.
    I am a Democrat and I am not a liberal.
    Why Peter King disclosed this info is beyond me. Playing politics perhaps?

    1. Officer says:

      ….did you say “PERHAPS”?

      1. jerseyjoey says:

        Interesting Very Very Very Interesting, so your a democrat BUT NOT a LIberal, ok so your saying in a very direct way that these liberals are bad for the democratic party and your personal freedoms and wallet, wow the democratic base is cracking and coming to its senses or at least Perhaps? Sad thing is democratic ideals and liberals fantisies are very tight nit together.

  7. muggsy bogues says:

    This is the ultimate slippery slope.

    If you think torture will end with terror suspects, then you are gravely mistaken.

    The next step will be to use enhanced interrogation techniques against American citizens for any crime that is simply deemed necessary to solve. Narcotics violations, burglaries, assaults, etc.

    Just watch the TV show “COPS” – these guys are violating people’s rights right on camera and we call it entertainment.

    People will continue to think it is okay … until it happens to them …

    Our founding fathers are absolutely spinning in their graves.

    1. alice smith says:

      spinning so fast it would make your waterboard dissolve.. you are so right.. rights are leaving us so fast and people just really don;t care.. until it happens to them.. then.. well wha’ happened?
      Those who prefer safety over liberty deserve neither liberty nor safety..
      Ben Franklin ( loosely quoted)

    2. Ward says:

      Or course. It was only last week that while I was in my study reading bible to my sons, Wallace and Theodore that the enitre NYPD tactical police forcer broke into my home, raped my wife and kids and torched my house. What the hell has happend to this country? Can’t we all just get along?
      By the way, the same thing happend to my grandfather.

  8. Mike Grisham says:

    Torture doesn’t work; read the rest of the AP story to find out that the courier’s nickname was given long after the torture, in normal interorogation. Peter King’s foolish story has already been repudiated by people who actually know what happened. I can’t believe CBS is still giving King any support after Lindsey Graham and Feinstein have denied his account.

    1. Nick says:

      You have to be born this way. Nobody can possibly be working that hard at being that stupid. Just to much work to be that stupid.

      What do you think “interrogation” is. Dope.

  9. Black Pride says:

    Bush (white man) couldn’t do it….. Obama finally did it….4 more years!

    1. floyd bannister says:

      please, tell me this is not a serious comment? please tell me this is just some unfunny joke in a very inappropriate forum. tell me anything but please don’t tell me you’re for real.

      1. Black Pride says:

        It’s not serious, I’m not even black. Just having some wholesome fun.

  10. Asif says:

    How would the USA like it if other countries torture American soldiers?

    1. Truth says:

      I’m sure they already do. They even rape women reporters.

      1. ham07 says:

        I think they also do an occasional beheading on video of journalists so their surviving families can really suffer.

  11. mj says:

    if we are going to torture prisoners , then we have no right to complain or be self righteous when it comes to other countries stances on human rights. we are no better than them

    1. rw says:

      oh please

  12. A C L U says:

    The prisoner’s civil rights were violated.

    1. rcf says:

      The phrase “civil rights” is a translation of Latin ius civis (rights of citizens) these people are not citizens

  13. jesse jackson says:

    This mayor is a communist and an egghead. We’d be better off with a colored running things.

  14. ChuckD (not that one) says:

    King was proven a liar before the 24 hour news cycle was up by members of both parties. Look it up, that’s your job. Or is your job to be a sock puppet?

    1. Harsh Reality says:

      Quick: name one politician who is NOT a liar.

      Hint: You can’t. There aren’t any.

  15. Ed says:

    So much for Mr. King keeping top secret information secret, how do we know Mr. King is even telling the truth ?

  16. sk says:

    if this was the only way to get this eveil man who is not only respeonsible for murdering thousands of americans, but continued planning attacks then justice was done! if those liberals are still argueing afte we captured BinLadin then let them go live in Afganistan/Pakistan so they can live in.. peace! good luck!

  17. Rod in says:

    There the US military go and do again. Killing Killing Killing. All the military ever does is kill and make other people mad at us. We don’t need the US military. Nobody has ever invaded us. All we need is a stronger diplomatic corps like the French. Nice peaceful negotiations will solve everything.

    1. Rod out says:

      Japan invaded Alaska in WW2, The British burned black our capital in war of 1812. That’s why it’s now the white house. White paint.

      BTW, it’s the politicians that send the military to do the killing. Maybe for special interests etc, it’s a very deep issue.

      1. Nic says:

        You are a fool. I am a service member and have fought to protect this country for a ery long time. We havent been invaded because we prevent it by fighting in places other than our back yard. Or would you prefer a war here on our door step where our children are the victims. It would be great if everyone got along. However there are still people who will take everything from you just because they think they can. Foolish, idiotic statements like this are why when you are confronted with violence you will lose everything important to you.

  18. littlestar says:

    It was the policy of the Bush administration, the aproval of waterboarding, that led to this great day, not the sissy foolish retoric of the libby Dems.

    1. Flynn says:

      You mean the same President that basically stopped looking for Bin Laden, right?

      Oh yeah…we totally have to thank him!

      1. littlestar says:

        Prove to me he stoped looking. Flynn Boil.

  19. HooDatIS? says:

    we need to do some waterboarding to these republicans make them tell the damn truth sometimes
    freaking loosers

  20. Nick says:

    Torture works. Get over it. But than the truth had never stopped you libs from your not-thinking tantrums.

  21. chuckshumacher says:

    KIng is generally right – no pun – but totally a loose cannon.

    should shave his eyebrows too.

  22. gr williams says:

    To say the least when i read Rep King’s comments i felt ashamed to live in a country where the President(George Bush) states publicly that we don’t torture when clearly he lied and we did. not certain if the end justify the means, but if we do in fact torture we should say so. That type of “double talk” really makes me wonder about overall foreign & domestic policies and their impact in the world.

    1. Nick says:

      So why don’t you go somewhere where you would not feel ashamed? How about the Middle East? They’re perfectly honorable and peaceful. Move, nobody wants to force you to stay in a place that you’re ashamed of.

    2. Truth says:

      Every politician lies. I would rather you point out one that doesn’t yup.. there isn’t one! The higher the position, the lies get greater. Politician is a smooth talker who tells you want you want to hear while he is getting sexual favors in one pocket and money in the other.

  23. tejun says:

    I think we are all in for it…..
    water boarding will be the least of our worries

  24. sheila says:

    A civilized person can never condone waterboarding and how does Mr. King know all this highly-classified info? My guess is he doesn’t but is trying to give Republicans credit for catching Bin Laden, although they deserve none. How come they didn’t get him in their 8-year reign while a Democratic administration found and eliminated him in just over 2 years? Also, Mr/Ms NYPD, don’t dare talk about voter frauds – How quickly you forget Broward County Florida and the 2000 punched-card chaff voting fraud perpetrated by the Republicans! Furthermore, the Jewish population is only 9% of the USA, hardly a large bloc (correct spelling, not “block”!).

    1. Independent Man says:

      I tell you what, you moronic liberal. Let’s do nothing bad against the evil menace of Islam, and hopefully then they will attack you and your friends and your family, and then we will see how stupid your remarks are, because I can guaranty you would be seeking revenge and not caring how it was exacted. What, do we just ask them not to attack us again, pretty please with sugar on top. WE THE USA ARE NOT THE CAUSE OF THESE EVIL PEOPLE CARRYING OUT BARBARIC MURDERS. THEY ARE PURE EVIL, AND THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR IDIOTIC PACIFISM. THEY WILL COME TO YOUR DOOR AS FAST AS ANY OTHER.

      1. Nick says:

        I don’t think she would change her mind. This particular type of stupid would spread its legs and turn the other cheek. Because they just like to be F’d up the behind.

      2. sheila says:

        You leave my balloon-knot out of this mister!

  25. jim truthseeker says:

    This though not technically a lie is misleading at best and dangerous at worst. Yes, KSM did confirm the last name of the couriers suggested by other Guantanamo detainees, but only MONTHS after the waterboarding occurred and as the result of conventional interogation techniques. To promote the usefulness and appropriateness of torture from this misanthope is irresponsible. I’m so disappointed in your “journalism”.

  26. Susanna Margolis says:

    Ms. Kramer:
    Is it true? Did you check King’s assertions? Or do you just believe that if Peter King says it, it must be so? It’s a reporter’s duty, is it not, to present us with facts; that would mean confirming King’s assertions.

  27. Rodin says:

    Waterboard the bigot!

  28. Dave Tibet says:

    Torture should NEVER EVER be tolerated no matter the situation! As far as I am concern King should step down from his office. Torture is a violation of all international law!!

    1. Nick says:

      So burning 3,000+ people alive in tall buildings is not torture?
      re. t. ard.

      1. Dave Tibet says:

        Nick killing people as what happened in 911 is not the same as torture.

        People get killed in every war and it is never considered torture.

        Waterboarding a person, electricuting a person, depriving a person of food and any other number of things similar to this is torture and is illegal by all international standards to which the US has agreed. People like Bush and Obama and King only bring shame to this country and the fact that people like you condone torture also brings shame to this country!

        And I see you know how to sign your posts!

      2. Nick says:

        So you’re saying if we burn you, Dave Tibet, alive than it’s ok?

      3. rcf says:

        Dave instead of telling us the problem give us a better solution, anyone can state a problem and offer no solutions. What better ways are there to get intel in your estimation?

  29. biff says:

    Hey NYPD – there are plenty of voters who are not Jewish. Most of them are not.

  30. NYPD says:


    1. ugoshlomo says:


  31. nathan says:

    Was he in the room at the time? Then he doesn’t know squat.

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