Jose Rodriguez, a former National Clandestine Service chief at the CIA, recently made the case that the search for Osama bin Laden was long, hard, and full of twists and turns.
"As we mark the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, President Obama deserves credit for making the right choice on taking out Public Enemy No. 1," Rodriguez wrote in the Washington Post. But also, the former spy argued, credit should be given to the CIA and former President George W. Bush and his administration.
"[G]etting bin Laden was the top counterterrorism objective for U.S. intelligence since well before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks," Rodriguez wrote. "This administration built on work painstakingly pursued for many years before Obama was elected — and without this work, Obama administration officials never would have been in a position to authorize the strike on Abbottabad, Pakistan, that resulted in bin Laden’s overdue death."
Rodriguez later adds: "With some trying to turn bin Laden’s death into a campaign talking point for Obama’s reelection, it is useful to remember that the trail to bin Laden started in a CIA black site — all of which Obama ordered closed, forever, on the second full day of his administration — and stemmed from information obtained from hardened terrorists who agreed to tell us some (but not all) of what they knew after undergoing harsh but legal interrogation methods. Obama banned those methods on Jan. 22, 2009."
Those who actually know what information was gathered from the use of enhanced interrogation techniques by CIA officers are now feeling vindicated. After years of being widely criticized for the program, information that these CIA interrogators learned from their use of enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorists finally led to the demise of al Qaeda founder and chief Osama bin Laden.