CIA Interrogations and the Bin Laden Operation

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The operation that killed Osama bin Laden has reignited the debate over Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) interrogations. Numerous intelligence officials have stated that information from terrorist detainees helped the CIA identify bin Laden's principal courier, who led us to his secret compound in Abbottabad. Yet on his second day in office, President Barack Obama shut down the very interrogation program that helped find bin Laden--and outside the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, no high-value terrorists have been detained during the Obama administration.

How important were CIA interrogations in the killing of bin Laden? Are critics right that enhanced interrogations do not produce reliable intelligence? In light of recent events, should the Obama administration continue its current policy of killing rather than capturing and interrogating terrorists? And if not, should the United States bring captured terrorists to Guantanamo again? Participants will discuss these and other questions.
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About the Author

 

John
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Marc A.
Thiessen
  • A member of the White House senior staff under President George W. Bush, Marc A. Thiessen served as chief speechwriter to the president and to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Thiessen spent more than six years as spokesman and senior policy adviser to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jesse Helms (R-N.C.). He is a weekly columnist for the Washington Post, and his articles can be found in many major publications. His book on the Central Intelligence Agency's interrogation program, Courting Disaster (Regnery Press, 2010), is a New York Times bestseller. At AEI, Thiessen writes about U.S. foreign and defense policy issues for The American and the Enterprise Blog. He appears every Sunday on Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends" and makes frequent appearances on other TV and talk radio programs.


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