Confirming the statement today in Vanity Fair by FBI Director Mueller that "No Plots Were Foiled by Enhanced Interrogation", the allegation that the use of Water-boarding (183 Times) against Khallid Sheik Mohammad helped foil "Second Wave" terrorist attacks against the U.S. such as the alleged plan to use planes to bring down the Library Tower in Downtown Los Angeles, appears to just simply be impossible.
The Library Tower plot was foiled in February of 2002, while KSM wasn't even captured until over a year later in March 2003. So how did water boarding him stop a plot that was already stopped?
Much of this information comes from a 2005 Memo which states the following:
It is difficult quantify with confidence and precision th conclusively if interrogations have provided informationp critical to the interdiction of specific imminent attacks.
More from Slate.
The Library Tower, designed by I.M. Pei's architectural firm, stands 73 stories high and is the tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi.* Sheikh Mohammed initially planned to crash a jetliner into it on 9/11 as part of a scheme involving not four but 10 passenger planes on both coasts. Osama Bin Laden vetoed that as too ambitious and scaled back the plan to focus on New York and Washington. After 9/11, Sheikh Mohammed still hoped to execute the attack on the Library Tower and, working with a Southeast Asian al-Qaida affiliate (the aforementioned Hambali), recruited four terror cell members to carry it out.Maybe, just maybe - he simply gave the interrogators Useless out-of-date information just to get them TO STOP! Ya think?
What clinches the falsity of Thiessen's claim, however (and that of the memo he cites, and that of an unnamed Central Intelligence Agency spokesman who today seconded Thessen's argument), is chronology. In a White House press briefing, Bush's counterterrorism chief, Frances Fragos Townsend, told reporters that the cell leader was arrested in February 2002, and "at that point, the other members of the cell" (later arrested) "believed that the West Coast plot has been canceled, was not going forward" [italics mine]. A subsequent fact sheet released by the Bush White House states, "In 2002, we broke up [italics mine] a plot by KSM to hijack an airplane and fly it into the tallest building on the West Coast." These two statements make clear that however far the plot to attack the Library Tower ever got—an unnamed senior FBI official would later tell the Los Angeles Times that Bush's characterization of it as a "disrupted plot" was "ludicrous"—that plot was foiled in 2002. But Sheikh Mohammed wasn't captured until March 2003.