Okay, Panetta admits that waterboarding helped get Bin Laden but then immediately spins how little it helped.
Via Gateway Pundit: (my emphasis added)
“The real story was that in order to put the puzzle of intelligence together that led us to Bin Laden, there were a lot of pieces out there that were a part of that puzzle. Yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time, interrogation tactics that were used. But the fact is we put together most of that intelligence without having to resort to that.”
Of course waterboarding wasn't [UPDATE: I had originally written 'was', I intended it as now corrected] required for most of the intelligence - it wasn't pervasively used, it was rarely used at all. That's the point. Enhanced interrogation is one means of intelligence gathering that is selective applied after other options have been futile. Enhanced interrogation also requires a target that has the requisite knowledge to share. Most enemy combatants or terror cell members would not. So yeah, it's rare and therefore a small part of intelligence gathering.
Either waterboarding helped get Bin Laden, in which case it was necessary, or it did not, in which case this administration would be all over the fact that it did nothing to support the Bin Laden intelligence.
Spin all you want Panetta, but after admitting some of the required intelligence in getting Bin Laden came from waterboarding, everything else you said was pure spin.