Saturday, September 12, 2009

EIT: Ethical considerations, part II: Preventions.

Continuing from this post, we now look at the results of EIT as applied to Kahlid Sheik Mohammad.

Q: What was prevented, due to the information gleaned from KSM?

A: The operations of at least 8 sleeper agents (maybe more, large parts of the CIA IG report are redacted):

1. Father son duo, Saifullah Paracha (Pakistan) Uzair Paracha (Brooklyn)

Planning attacks in the continental United States. Saifullah ran a clothing import/export company, KSM intended to use for smuggling explosives into CUSA.

Uzair was to receive the shipments coordinate attacks. He also posed as another operative (Mahjid Kahn who perhaps not coincidentally was nabbed shortly after KSM's nabbing) in order to aid Kahn's re-entry into U.S. Once this was accomplished, they would coordinate several attacks on soft targets, like gas stations, and malls. Uzair worked at a gas station in the U.S.

2. Jafar al Tayar "the pilot" (Adnan El Shukrijumah): Was to head up a second wave of attacks. Positivly identified by KSM by the latter given name, after EIT. He remains at large. FBI credits EIT with the info.

3. Iyman Faris: Plot against the Brooklyn Bridge, initially wanting to bring it down by cutting suspension cables using "gas cutters," tools used to dismantle large objects like ships. Researched, this found it unlikely to succeed. Also found increased security presence (due to information extracted from Abu Zubaydah shortly after his capture, using EIT.) Faris moved on to research train derailments in Washington D.C., and was eventually arrested. Using him, FBI uncovered a plot to attack the Columbus Shopping Mall in Ohio, and apprehended the cell members.

4. Hambali, a leader of Jemaah Islamiyah (An AQ affiliated group), his brother, Rusman “Gun Gun” Gunawan, and lieutenants Lillie and Zubair: Headed up cells plotting to bring down the tallest building on the West Coast, the "Library Tower."

From a July 13, 2004, CIA memo:

"Gun Gun identified a cell of JI operatives – some of them pilots – whom Hambali had sent to Karachi for possible al Qaeda operations. When confronted with his brother’s revelations, Hambali admitted that he was grooming members of the cell for US operations – at the behest of KSM – probably as part of KSM’s plot to fly hijacked planes into the tallest building on the US West Coast."

In all 14 members of this Karachi group were arrested after KSM interrogations. Information he provided was crucial in this success, according to any reasonable reading of the documents.

More factual material to come in the next post. Will get to the ethical argument after establishing the facts. Will consider not only the ethics of using such methods, at that time (02-03), and in those circumstances, but the ethical implications of the present debate, and the implications of the public and political nature of this debate for our ongoing fight with militant islamists - (AQ etc.)

Remember also, I will do this in the form of examining and responding to various objections to EITs (including, for those that are wondering, the allegation that supporters are engaging in "post hoc propter hoc" fallacious reasoning).

And, while we are on the subject, President Bush on this very topic, from about 4 years ago: