"High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa'ida organization that was attacking this country," Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.
Admiral Blair sent his memo on the same day the administration publicly released secret Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of interrogation methods that the Obama White House has deemed to be illegal torture. Among other things, the Bush administration memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.
"We were shocked when we learned the full extent of the inappropriate techniques approved by the CIA under the previous administration," White House press secretary Robert L. Gibbs told reporters. "That's one of the reasons we made the memos public. We want everyone to know what was done, supposedly in our name, and that this administration does not condone such actions."
|Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles was the first building destroyed in the Obama administration's attempt to right past wrongs.|
"It would be unconscionable for this administration to look the other way, just because those tactics achieved results. It was wrong to use them, and we should not benefit from their use," Gibbs stated. "The president had directed that, since those tactics obtained information that prevented a major attack on Los Angeles, it is only right that we carry out the attack on ourselves."
Late last night, the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles was destroyed. It was one of the high profile targets of the operatives that were to carry out the attacks on the west coast.
"We have transcripts of all the information obtained from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah. They listed all the targets and the time frames of the scheduled attacks," Gibbs said. "We are looking to compile a list of all those who were at or near the targets on the dates in question. Their deaths were prevented by these illegal interrogation tactics. The president seeks to correct that."