MSNBC host Touré incorrectly stated that Osama bin Laden was "retired" at the time of his killing in 2011 on The Cycle Monday, calling him "not operational at that point."
TOURÉ: It's not polite or PC to say, but I do believe that there are some things that the intelligence community essentially has to do that we should not know about.
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ARI MELBER: I think that's absolutely true, but I think that idea that there should be some things secret and where we are over here that we didn't know what kind of general web surveillance was going on, I think we're so far apart from it. On the point about PRISM, it is not a revelation to terrorists that there is some monitoring of the Internet going on. We had a former CIA espionage director on The Cycle talking about the fact that all the terrorists know, in fact that's why the serious operational ones, like bin Laden in his compound–
TOURÉ: He was not operational at that point. He was a retired —
MELBER: By the CIA's definition he was operational, in the sense that he had couriers that he was communicating with. But he wasn't doing it on Gmail, so the idea that any discussion will reveal the sources and methods, I think we're way past that and the question has to be, do we want courts involved in, do we want individual oversight of some of these programs.
Referring to bin Laden as "retired" by the time he was killed is entirely erroneous. The Weekly Standard reported June 10, after President Obama declared an end to the global war on terror, that al-Qaeda was not the diminished sect it is made out to be by the administration and that bin Laden played an "active role" in coordinating terrorist attacks up until his death:
It’s clear that al Qaeda central was being chased out of Waziristan by U.S. drones, and there were difficulties among al Qaeda affiliates and would-be allies. But upon further examination, the answer to the question "Was bin Laden sidelined?" appears to be "no."
Current and former U.S. officials briefed on the full cache of documents say that bin Laden played an active role in coordinating attacks and running al Qaeda central, even from the isolation of his compound. They say the documents show the al Qaeda leader as someone who wanted the organization he built to continue to reflect his priorities and objectives and who sought to make clear to those beneath him what those priorities and objectives were.