Panetta admits ‘use of torture’ in Osama hunt

Panetta said that ‘without having to resort to those interrogation techniques, they could not have got bin Laden’.

Last Updated: Feb 04, 2013, 11:38 AM IST

London: Outgoing US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has admitted that torture was used to ‘put together the puzzle’ that led the American military to Osama bin Laden`s compound in Pakistan.

``Zero Dark Thirty’, Kathyrn Bigelow`s Oscar-nominated film has sparked a furious debate by implying that torturous interrogation tactics such as water boarding were used for gathering information that led to the raid.

During an interview with NBC, Panetta, when asked if the implication was accurate, initially played down the suggestion.

But then he seemed to acknowledge that torture was in fact used, the Independent reports.

According to the report, he said that ‘the real story is that in order to put the puzzle of intelligence together that led us to bin Laden, there was a lot of intelligence... Yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time, interrogation tactics that were used.’

He said that ‘without having to resort to those sorts of interrogation techniques, they could not have got bin Laden’.

According to the paper, the response was similar to what he said in a private letter to Senator John McCain in 2011, days after the raid.

In the letter, Panetta explained that "nearly 10 years" of intelligence work had led the CIA to conclude that bin Laden was hiding in the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was eventually killed.