The PJ Tatler

Did Gitmo terrorists provide the crucial leads to bin Laden?

It sure sounds like it.

In September 2010, the CIA presented Obama with a set of assessments that indicated bin Laden could be hiding in a compound in northwest Pakistan. Starting in mid-March, the president convened at least nine National Security Council meetings to discuss the intelligence suggesting bin Laden may be hiding out virtually in plain sight.

The CIA developed their theory through leads from individuals in bin Laden’s inner circle and other captured fighters following Sept. 11. Intelligence officials were repeatedly told about one courier working for bin Laden, as someone that America’s Most Wanted Man deeply trusted.

The detainees provided U.S. officials the courier’s nickname, and identified him as protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a trusted assistant of Abu Faraj al Libbi, once al-Qaida’s third highest ranking official. (He was captured in 2005).

Piece all that together. KSM was captured in Pakistan in 2003. Al Libbi was captured in 2005. Both, and many other captured al Qaeda terrorists, have been held at Gitmo for years, where they have been interrogated, queried, quizzed and waterboarded. And the information they all have dribbled out has been patiently pieced together over years, finally giving US intel a name and an operational picture that was actionable. If we had simply killed them with drone aircraft, or made the decision early on not to find out what they knew, the raid to get Osama bin Laden would never have happened.