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US didn't need rough interrogation to get bin Laden: Panetta

Published on Feb 4, 2013 2:16 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Leon Panetta, who as CIA director oversaw the US operation that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, said the job could have been done without resorting to controversial interrogation methods that some have said constitute torture.

The outgoing defence secretary, in remarks aired Sunday on the NBC programme "Meet the Press," said there had been many pieces to the "puzzle" solved to find bin Laden, who was held responsible for the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

"Yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time - interrogation tactics that were used," said Panetta, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 2009 until he became US defence secretary on July 1, 2011.

"I think we could have gotten Bin Laden without that,"Panetta added in response to a question about what the interviewer called enhanced interrogation or torture.

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