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Senate panel's findings could show whether interrogations aided in finding bin Laden

WASHINGTON — Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee expect to release findings this summer from an 18-month investigation into the CIA's interrogation of terrorism suspects, a review that could provide some clarity on whether harsh techniques — or even torture — played a role in helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden.

Currently, the public is being treated to a back and forth between current and former U.S. officials — some with direct knowledge, some without — making claims they can neither prove nor disprove because classified information is involved.

Senate staffers, by contrast, have examined about 5 million pages of e-mails, cables and other classified materials that likely will shed light on which detainees said what and under what conditions, the Tribune Co. Washington bureau reports.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chairs the committee, said that the detainee who gave the CIA its best understanding of the courier who ultimately led the agency to bin Laden — a detainee identified by U.S. officials as Hassan Ghul — did so before he was subject to unspecified harsh techniques at a CIA site in Poland. Feinstein knows this, she said, because her staff has examined records documenting the CIA interrogations — records that few others have been able to examine.

U.S. questions three wives of bin Laden

WASHINGTON — CIA interrogators questioned three wives of Osama bin Laden for the first time on Thursday, 10 days after they were taken by Pakistani security forces from the compound where al-Qaida's leader was killed, the New York Times reported Friday, citing an unnamed American official.

The newspaper said the official declined to give details about the duration of the questioning or what was learned.

American officials have many questions for them: where other top al-Qaida operatives are located; where bin Laden lived before moving to Abbottabad; which Pakistani officials may have visited the compound. But the wives are believed to have lived very cloistered lives, and it is unclear what they may know or how cooperative they may be.

The three widows, Khairiah Sabar, Siham Sabar and Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, who is also known as Amal Ahmed al-Sadah, have been held and questioned for days by Pakistani officials.

Abdulfattah, who is Yemeni, was shot in the leg during the assault on the compound.

Officials say porn found at compound

A stash of pornography was found in the compound of bin Laden by the U.S. commandos who killed him, the Reuters news agency reported Friday, citing unnamed current and former U.S. officials.

The pornography consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive, according to the officials, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The officials said they did not know if bin Laden had acquired or viewed the materials.

Senate panel's findings could show whether interrogations aided in finding bin Laden 05/13/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 13, 2011 10:20pm]
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