Sometimes what isn't said is more powerful then what is — especially in politics.
Case in point, last night NBC NEWS' Brian Williams gave current CIA Director and soon-to-be Defense Chief Leon Panetta a slam dunk chance to say that waterboarding did NOT play a role in the kill/capture of OBL.
Under tough questioning from NBC's Williams, note a slippery Panetta doesn't say that at all. Check the interview: Panetta effectively admits that critical intelligence was in fact derived courtesy of the watery accoutrement of CIA interrogators and their handy waterboard.
Panetta's only throw-away for progressives who have made banning waterboarding a domestic jihad of their own? Panetta says that maybe the critical intelligence about Osama's couriers could have been acquired with less aggressive interrogating tactics.
Well thanks for that Leon. We are sure that the first thing that your CIA agents did was paste the jihadis to a waterboard. We are sure it never occurred to CIA interrogators to simply "ask nicely" as to the whereabouts of OBL.
Here's the exchange between Panetta and Williams.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: I'd like to ask you about the sourcing on the intel that ultimately led to this successful attack. Can you confirm that it was as a result of waterboarding that we learned what we needed to learn to go after bin Laden?
LEON PANETTA: You know Brian, in the intelligence business you work from a lot of sources of information, and that was true here. We had a multiple source — a multiple series of sources — that provided information with regards to this situation. Clearly, some of it came from detainees and the interrogation of detainees. But we also had information from other sources as well. So, it's a little difficult to say it was due just to one source of information that we got.
WILLIAMS: Turned around the other way, are you denying that waterboarding was in part among the tactics used to extract the intelligence that led to this successful mission?
PANETTA: No, I think some of the detainees clearly were, you know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees. But I'm also saying that, you know, the debate about whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches I think is always going to be an open question.
WILLIAMS: So, finer point, one final time, enhanced interrogation techniques — which has always been kind of a handy euphemism in these post-9/11 years — that includes waterboarding?
PANETTA: That's correct.
First "black sites", then Gitmo, and now waterboarding.
Leon Panetta should just come out and say it. Barack Obama, Move-on.org, ColoradoPols and all the naïve clamoring buffoons on the left were wrong about waterboarding. Lindsay Graham and John McCain were wrong too.
Tough interrogation tactics work. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were right.