US Tortured During Bin Laden Hunt, Panetta Admits

Top Official Yet to Admit to US Torture of Detainees

Though he was quick to insist over the weekend that the US hypothetically could have found Osama bin Laden without torturing anyone, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta concedes that they actually did so.

After years of Bush and Obama Administration officials ducking the question, Panetta became the top ranking US official to ever admit to the US torturing detainees, oddly by way of questioning about the “Zero Dark Thirty” movie.

Panetta has been loudly praising the movie for the past several days, and was asked if the torture portrayed in the movie was accurate. Panetta conceded that it was “part of the puzzle.”

In the past US officials have insisted that nothing they did in the hunt for bin Laden was technically torture, though some former Bush Administration officials insisted that whatever harsh techniques were used were a good thing.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of