For those who want to defend the CIA's torture program, the link between the interrogation programs and the capture of bin Laden has been both a frequent argument and a crown jewel. But there is no link — at least, not according to congressional aides and experts familiar with the controversial Senate Intelligence Committee report that is due to be released imminently.
It has been regularly suggested that torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed led to information about a figure named Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, who provided a critical link to bin Laden. The Senate report, however, indicates that the al-Kuwaiti information only emerged well after the torture took place, the Associated Pressreports. What's more, even then it was of more limited value than has been suggested, and did not not include his real name. The CIA has also suggested that information from the torture of Abu Faraj al-Libi introduced the connection to al-Kuwaiti; the report also discredits that idea.
The supposed value of the CIA's torture program was cemented by the film Zero Dark Thirty, which opens with a scene showing the torture of a suspect known as Hassan Ghul. The aides interviewed by the AP didn't talk about the utility of Ghul's information, but California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the committee that drafted the report, has previously indicated that "an unidentified 'third detainee' had provided relevant information … the day before he was subjected to harsh CIA interrogation."