Entries in Bush Administration (2)


Cheney: ‘Wouldn’t be Surprising’ if Bush Interrogation Methods Helped Get Bin Laden

ABC/Heidi Gutman(WASHINGTON) -- With reports swirling that intelligence that helped locate Osama bin Laden began with information obtained from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Vice President Dick Cheney said it “wouldn’t be surprising” if interrogation techniques authorized by President Bush provided critical intelligence that led to bin Laden’s death.

“It's an enhanced interrogation program that we put in place back in our first term,” Cheney told Jonathan Karl in an interview that aired on the ABC webcast Top Line Tuesday.

“And I don't know the details. All I know is what I've seen in the newspaper at this point, but it wouldn't be surprising if in fact that program produced results that ultimately contributed to the success of this venture.”

Cheney continued, “It's I think important to look at this as a continuum. I mean, it's not just on one day you get up, bang, and you got Osama bin Laden. It's the kind of thing where an awful lot of people over a long period of time, thousands have worked this case and worked these issues and followed up on the leads and captured bad guys and interrogated them and so forth.”

“Enhanced interrogation techniques” were a set of special, harsh tactics authorized by President Bush for use in limited circumstances to extract information from high-value suspects. President Obama ended the use of those techniques, including waterboarding.

Asked if information gleaned through such methods played a role in locating bin Laden, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that “multiple detainees provided insights” that helped find him.

“But reporting from detainees was just a slice of the information that has been gathered by incredibly diligent professionals over the years in the intelligence community,” Carney said. “And it simply strains credulity to suggest that a piece of information that may or may not have been gathered in -- eight years ago somehow directly led to a successful mission on Sunday.  That's just not the case."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Homeland Security Axes Bush-Era 'Virtual Fence' Project

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Homeland Security on Friday officially scrapped a Bush-era program designed to use radar technology to detect illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a DHS official and a congressional source.

The project, called "Virtual Fence," was rolled out under the Bush administration in 2006 with much fanfare about how technology could help secure the border. Illegal immigrants crossing the border would be detected by radar and picked up by remote cameras, which were monitored by border patrol agents.

But numerous internal and congressional reviews found consistent performance problems with the project's systems, which only spanned 53 miles of the vast U.S.-Mexico border. The cameras often provided blurry images, the radar system performed poorly in bad weather, and it often displayed false detections that were unable to distinguish between humans, cars and animals.

There were also cost overruns and the primary contractor, Boeing, repeatedly missed deadlines, officials said.

The system is estimated to cost about $1 billion. If the entire project had been accepted and rolled out, its cost would have exceeded $6 billion.

"We know that we cannot continue to put out millions and millions of dollars of taxpayer's money if we're not confident that it's really not going to work,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who ordered a review of the program upon taking office, said in October.

DHS officials say the program will not be a total loss and that Customs and Border Protection officers and border patrol agents will continue to use some of the systems that have been paid for.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio