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From Guantanamo to Abbottabad

By John Yoo, Wall Street Journal - May 4, 2011

In the space of 40 minutes on Sunday night, two Navy SEAL teams descended on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed the fugitive leader of al Qaeda. They brought a rough measure of justice to the man responsible for the killing of 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001 and thousands of others in countries from Spain to Iraq. Credit goes to the armed forces, which executed the operation; the intelligence agencies, which found the target; and the Obama administration, which approved it.

Sunday's success also vindicates the Bush administration, whose intelligence architecture marked the path to bin Laden's door. According to current and former administration officials, CIA interrogators gathered the initial information that ultimately led to bin Laden's death. The United States located al Qaeda's leader by learning the identity of a trusted courier from the tough interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the 9/11 attacks, and his successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi.

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