I had never seen anything like the sight I saw on Iowa State's Central Campus and "Greekland" as I did on the night of May 1, 2011. I was at ISUtv's office when I heard the breaking news from my good friend Brandon. After we heard President Obama's speech, we rushed out the door, took our camera and filmed the sights and sounds of the reaction to Osama bin Laden's death here in Ames, and more specifically, at Iowa State.

Thousands of ISU students united under the same cause and under the same flag, very much the same way American citizens did after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, but this was a different case — a very positive one. The man responsible for attacking our great nation nearly 10 years ago was finally brought to justice.

Students were singing songs, shouting chants of "U-S-A" and showing off their American pride through flags and fireworks. Even the Ames Police were in on it; they said as long as the students stayed safe, they'd stay out of the celebrations and encourage the students to take in the moment.

When I came back to the ISUtv office later that night to upload my videos to YouTube, I took the time to watch the similar footage from campus to campus across the country. In a time of struggle and need in our country, we united — no matter the political party, religion, race or creed — to be proud of our country and to partially let go of the pain and suffering many of us had to endure 10 years ago when our great country was attacked.

For at least one night, we all agreed on something, peacefully, but passionately. For one night, we weren't a nation divided by petty arguments and heated discussion about political issues. For one night, we all stood together from sea to shining sea as Americans.

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(8) comments

Steve Gregg

Thank goodness for the CIA black prisons in Poland and Rumania where the information was extracted from Kalik Sheikh Mohammed that led SEAL Team Six to Bin Laden's doorstep. Had Obama been in charge back then, KSM would have lawyered up and shut up and Bin Laden would have been floating on his waterbed without a care in the world. Fortunately, Bush was in charge which led to Bin Laden sleeping with the fishes.

Rob Stone

Steve Gregg, in the four months or so I've been reading your posts you have become so predictable that I'm thinking of starting a drinking game based on your responses. My greatest fear is liver disease.

Here's the timeline of reality:

--March 1, 2003: KSM arrested. He "lawyered up" but was denied.
--2003: KSM tortured. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/world/20detain.html
--2003-2007: Confessed to some terrorist attacks, some planned attacks, many are unconfirmed. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6452789.stm Authorities fear he delivered false infomation: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/washington/22ksm.html?pagewanted=4
Useful information was gotten without torture: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/washington/22ksm.html?adxnnl=1&pagewanted=5&adxnnlx=1304424107-NQ5W8AX46xiWl4h1bzPmwQ
--2005: Compound in Abbottabad built.
--Oct. 2006: Admits to providing false information. http://www.nybooks.com/media/doc/2010/04/22/icrc-report.pdf In fact, KSM lies about the idendity of the courier: http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/05/02/borger.ksm.bin.laden/
--2007: CIA learns name of courier, not from KSM, but from others: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/02/how-osama-bin-laden-found?intcmp=239 http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7364691n Apparently the courier was a protege of KSM but KSM never gave him up, even under torture.
--2009: CIA learns location of courier.

No info about the courier was gotten from either KSM or from anyone in Poland or Romania.

According to a senior administration official: "Detainees gave us his nom de guerre or his nickname and identified him as both a protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of September 11th, and a trusted assistant of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the former number three of al Qaeda who was captured in 2005.

Detainees also identified this man as one of the few al Qaeda couriers trusted by bin Laden. They indicated he might be living with and protecting bin Laden. But for years, we were unable to identify his true name or his location.

Four years ago, we uncovered his identity, and for operational reasons, I can’t go into details about his name or how we identified him, but about two years ago, after months of persistent effort, we identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated."
http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/05/raid-got-bin-laden-was-culmination-years-work-sr-admin-official-s#ixzz1LDcoaqUw

There is absolutely no evidence that any actionable intelligence was gotten under torture. None. In fact, actional intelligence was gotten without torture.

Steve Gregg

Rob Stone,

This article from the Telegraph contradicts you:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/8489866/WikiLeaks-Bin-Ladens-courier-trained-911-hijack-team.html

According to classified US documents released by Wikileaks, the courier's name was first given up by wannabe 20th hijacker, Muhammad Mani al-Qahtani, a Saudi, who was caught overseas and given "enhanced interrogation." The courier taught him how to send emails. Al Qaeda member Hassan Ghul was caught in Iraq (!) and interrogated in Pakistan. He gave up the useful info tha the courier travelled constantly with Bin Laden. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed gave up the couriers nickname while being waterboarded in a black prison in either Poland or Romania. Abu Faraj al-Libi, another Gitmo detainee, gave up the courier's home town, Abattobad, where Bin Laden was finally found.

Those are the facts which you claim don't exist.

Rob Stone

Steve Gregg, simply posting your link without rebutting the evidence I provided doesn't help your argument. If you had actually researched the issue you would have found the facts.

Furthermore, I don't believe you even read the TELEGRAPH article because it doesn't say what you claim it does.

"Muhammad Mani al-Qahtani, a Saudi, who was caught overseas and given "enhanced interrogation.""--Steve Gregg

The TELEGRAPH article does not state that Muhammad Mani al-Qahtani was subjected to "enhanced interrogation."

"Al Qaeda member Hassan Ghul was caught in Iraq (!) and interrogated in Pakistan. He gave up the useful info tha the courier travelled constantly with Bin Laden."--Steve Gregg

Hassan Ghul, arrested in 2004 by the Kurdish military, also was not subjected to "enhanced interrogation," according to the article.

"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed gave up the couriers nickname while being waterboarded in a black prison in either Poland or Romania."--Steve Gregg

That's false.

"Mohammed did not discuss al-Kuwaiti while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He acknowledged knowing him many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic." http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=13512344

"But it was not until later, after waterboarding was suspended because it and other harsh techniques became heatedly debated, that Mohammed told interrogators about the existence of a courier particularly close to bin Laden, a fragmentary tip that touched off a years-long manhunt that ended in bin Laden's death at the hands of U.S. special forces on Sunday." http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/03/us-binladen-interrogations-idUSTRE7417SQ20110503

"Abu Faraj al-Libi, another Gitmo detainee, gave up the courier's home town, Abattobad, where Bin Laden was finally found."--Steve Gregg

But the article you cited never claims he provided information because of waterboarding or "enhanced interrogation."

You've proved nothing.

Here is what the NEW YORK TIMES reported this morning:

But a closer look at prisoner interrogations suggests that the harsh techniques played a small role at most in identifying Bin Laden’s trusted courier and exposing his hide-out. One detainee who apparently was subjected to some tough treatment provided a crucial description of the courier, according to current and former officials briefed on the interrogations. But two prisoners who underwent some of the harshest treatment — including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times — repeatedly misled their interrogators about the courier’s identity.

Glenn L. Carle, a retired C.I.A. officer who oversaw the interrogation of a high-level detainee in 2002, said in a phone interview Tuesday, that coercive techniques “didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information.” He said that while some of his colleagues defended the measures, “everyone was deeply concerned and most felt it was un-American and did not work.”

“The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003,” said Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council. “It took years of collection and analysis from many different sources to develop the case that enabled us to identify this compound, and reach a judgment that Bin Laden was likely to be living there.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/us/politics/04torture.html

The bottom line is that there is NO EVIDENCE that any information gained from torture led to the death of bin Laden. There is evidence that intelligence gotten from standard interrogations did.

Some of the "enhanced interrogation techniques" don't amount to torture. Waterboarding does. Of the men mentioned, only KSM was waterboarded and he did not give up anything useful from his torture. Torture does not work and it is immoral. Why would you defend immorality?

Steve Gregg

While the Telegraph article only says that Qahtani gave up the courier's name and role, other sources say he got water-boarded and had the harshest interrogation. They made him wear a bra and do dog tricks.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42863247/ns/world_news-death_of_bin_laden/

These harsh interrogations occurred in the CIA black prisons in Poland, Romania, Thailand, and elsewhere, even though you deny it. It's unclear which one Qahtani went to.

Even though you claim Hassan Ghul was never subjected to "enhanced interrogation," the government documents leaked by Wikileaks proves that wrong:

"According to the memo, Ghul was one of 28 CIA detainees at the time who had been subjected to the agency’s "enhanced interrogation techniques." Specifically, the memo says he was subjected to "facial hold," "facial slap," "stress positions," "sleep deprivation," a technique called "walling," in which a detainee’s shoulders are repeatedly smashed against a wall, and the "attention grasp," in which the detainee is placed in a choke-hold and slapped."

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/nationworld/report/050311_binladen_memo_missing/memo-inadvertently-revealed-cia-held-and-abused-missing-prisoner

And, by the way, Kurdistan is in northern Iraq. Evidently, you think that being captured in Kurdistan is not being captured in Iraq.

And so on, and so on.

Despite your claim that torture does not work, it worked on our prisoners in Vietnam. Under torture, all of our POWs in the Hanoi Hilton broke and gave up everything their interrogators asked.

As for the morality of torture with respect to terrorists: Another Sep 11 style attack can not be allowed to happen. Whatever can be done to stop it, must be done. While your sympathy lies with the terrorists of Al Qaeda and you are distressed by their rough treatment, my sympathy lies with America and the men, women, and children the terrorists sought to exterminate.

The aggressive interrogations helped avert that. Al Qaeda planned follow on attacks. One of them, stopped only weeks before it was due to be launched, would employ mubtakkars, cyanide gas bombs, in the New York subway. It would have killed thousands indiscriminately.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1205309,00.html

How is it moral to allow thousands to choke to death on cyanide because you don't want to waterboard a terrorist who would survive the process unharmed?

Rob Stone

Steve Gregg, did you even read the article you linked? You might have missed this line: "It is unclear what Qahtani, who was captured in January 2002, told interrogators about the crucial bin Laden courier and whether he was fully honest."

"Even though you claim Hassan Ghul was never subjected to "enhanced interrogation""--Steve Gregg

I said the article does not indicate that (and it doesn't). And the news article you just provided does not claim that any "enhanced interrogation" techiniques caused him to give any useful information.

"And, by the way, Kurdistan is in northern Iraq. Evidently, you think that being captured in Kurdistan is not being captured in Iraq."--Steve Gregg

You are making stuff up. I didn't say he was captured in Kurdistan. I wrote: "Hassan Ghul, arrested in 2004 by the Kurdish military." And since you know so much about the Kurds, you know that the Kurdish military (in 2004) was not controlled by the Iraqi central government.

"Despite your claim that torture does not work, it worked on our prisoners in Vietnam. Under torture, all of our POWs in the Hanoi Hilton broke and gave up everything their interrogators asked."--Steve Gregg

That's flat-out untrue. No wonder you didn't provide any supporting evidence. What actionable intelligence did all of our POWs give up? What honest confessions did all of our POWs make?

"While your sympathy lies with the terrorists of Al Qaeda and you are distressed by their rough treatment, my sympathy lies with America and the men, women, and children the terrorists sought to exterminate."--Steve Gregg

If you don't want to be civil then I won't engage in any disscusions with you. My sympathy lies with the Constitution and the rule of law, not with immoral al Qaeda members and people who write posts defending immorality on the ISU Daily site.

"The aggressive interrogations helped avert that. Al Qaeda planned follow on attacks.--Steve Gregg

The first line of the article you posted that in no way supports your assertion reads: "Al-Qaeda terrorists came within 45 days of attacking the New York subway system with a lethal gas similar to that used in Nazi death camps. They were stopped not by any intelligence breakthrough, but by an order from Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Zawahiri."

No torture stopped the alleged attack. It was aborted by al Qaeda. The article doesn't even mention "enhanced interrogation."

Steve Gregg

In fact, Qahtani told his interrogators that the courier had taught him how to use email and book airline tickets online. He recanted everything later, as criminals often do. However, interrogators expect their subjects to tell them false and misleading information. That's why the intelligence collected is cross checked with other interrogations and intelligence sources before the subject is interrogated again. That's how you get accurate information from subjects who are hostile and dishonest.

I have given you the link below that tells of Qahtani's harsh interrogation. In addition to his adventures in women's lingerie, he was subjected to cold enough to be hospitalized twice. That sounds like enhanced interrogation to me.

First, you claimed that Qahtani was not subject to "enhanced interrogation." Now, you abandon that claim and retreat to the position that he was given harsh interrogation but there's no proof it caused him to give any information. What a dishonest rebuttal. Your method of argument is that of a sleazy defense attorney trying to get a guilty client off on a technicality.

Rob Stone

"First, you claimed that Qahtani was not subject to "enhanced interrogation.""--Steve Gregg

Another lie. I never claimed any such thing. I wrote: "The TELEGRAPH article does not state that Muhammad Mani al-Qahtani was subjected to "enhanced interrogation.""

And it does not.

Furthermore, you are confusing "enhanced interrogation" with waterboarding. Waterboarding is torture even though the Bush administration redefined it. Other EITs aren't acts of torture and illegal.

But in the end, there is no evidence that any of the intelligence used to catch bin Laden was gotten by either waterboarding or enhanced interrogation (in fact, it has been definitively established that waterboarding yielded no actionable intelligence).

"White House deputy national security advisor John Brennan Tuesday knocked down the myth that waterboarding provided crucial intelligence that led to the location of Osama bin Laden." http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/05/obama-advisor-waterboarding-didnt-lead-to-bin-laden-kill/

"Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells Newsmax the information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden was obtained through 'normal interrogation approaches'" http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/DonaldRumsfeld-gitmo-waterboarding-osamabinladen/2011/05/02/id/394820?s=al&promo_code=C30F-1

"Torture did not lead us to Osama bin Laden" http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2011/may/05/torture-and-osama-bin-laden

"The key pieces of information, however, were the courier's real name and location. His family name was first uncovered by CIA assets in Pakistan through other sources. The NSA subsequently figured out his full real name and location from an intercepted phone call. Waterboarding had nothing to do with it." http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/04/tortured_logic

"Matthew Alexander, Former Military Interrogator: Torture Slowed Down Effort to Find Osama bin Laden" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdjSdV2yxpA

"Your method of argument is that of a sleazy defense attorney trying to get a guilty client off on a technicality."--Steve Gregg

Your's is that of a liar.

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