Bush Gave OK To Discuss Use Of Waterboarding

Now this has to be one of the best spins ever… The liberal medial titled their article Bush gave OK to waterboard, which flat out says that Bush authorized the use of waterboarding personally…

However nowhere in the article does it actually say that. The closest thing it says it that Bush gave the authorization to discuss that this technique was used and that in the future, certain measures will be taken before it is used again…

Bush gave OK to waterboard

By Jon Ward
February 6, 2008


CIA Director Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, shown testifying in Washington on Tuesday before a Senate Intelligence Committee, has said that the technique of “waterboarding” has been used on three men between 2002 and 2003 in part to thwart another terrorist attack in the U.S.


The White House today said the interrogation technique called waterboarding, as practiced by U.S. intelligence officials, does not amount to torture, one day after an administration official said publicly for the first time that such a method has been used.

A White House spokesman said that President Bush authorized his CIA director to confirm yesterday the use of waterboarding — commonly described as simulating drowning by covering the mouth with a cloth and pouring water down the throat —on three suspected terrorists.

“This program and the techniques used in it were determined lawful, through a process,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.

Mr. Fratto also said the technique is authorized currently, but could be used in the future if a rigid set of legal and procedural safeguards are followed.

Senate Democrats, however, have demanded a government investigation into the matter to determine whether laws forbidding torture were broken.

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, told Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey in a letter Tuesday that he would stall the nomination of U.S. District Judge Mark Filip in Chicago to be deputy attorney general until Mr. Mukasey responds to his request for a criminal investigation and other torture-related inquiries.

Mr. Fratto clarified his comments on the legality of waterboarding by saying that each specific time the technique has been used, its legality was “dependent on the circumstances.”

In the future, Mr. Fratto said in each case where officials think the technique is needed, the CIA director will present “a plan” to the attorney general, who in turn would judge its legality on a case-by-case basis. If deemed legal, the attorney general and the CIA director would present their plan to the president

Before this week, Mr. Bush and his administration had refused to discuss any interrogation techniques used by U.S. officials on suspected terrorists, but insisted the U.S. government does not use torture.

Late in 2006, Mr. Bush spoke publicly for the first time about “enhanced interrogation techniques” that he said were being used on select terrorist suspects.

Mr. Bush has said the techniques are “tough” but lawful. He did not elaborate, saying he does not want terrorists to “adjust” or train to resist interrogation.

Michael V. Hayden gave approval to talk about waterboarding, based on “the cumulative impact of public discussion of that technique,” which included “misinformation,” Mr. Fratto said.

Mr. Hayden, in testimony before the Senate intelligence panel on Tuesday, said three men were subjected to waterboarding between 2002 and 2003: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks; Abu Zubaydah, an early member of al Qaeda and close associate of Osama bin Laden, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashir, who helped plan the USS Cole bombing and headed al Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf before his capture in 2002.

Mr. Fratto, when asked why the practice is not authorized currently, said that the intelligence community’s “knowledge of how to interrogate in effective ways has evolved.”

Mr. Hayden, in his testimony, said that waterboarding was used in 2002 and 2003 in part because U.S. officials were fearful of another terrorist attack after September 11.

“There was the belief that additional catastrophic attacks against the homeland were inevitable. And we had limited knowledge about al Qaeda and its workings,” Mr. Hayden said. “Those two realities have changed.”

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Waterboarding USA

Well, this guy made it 24 minutes and was perfectly fine afterwards. Hardly seems like torture to me, more like a discomfort and fear of dying, but not torture and definitely no permanent physical damage… But then again bare breasts are considered torture by the liberal demograph evaluating our interrogation tactics in Gitmo…

There is always the Beach Boys Surfin’ USA, now that is torture…

 

Kaj Larsen Goes Waterboarding

Make your point at current.com

 

Waterboarding Necessary Sometimes

The controversial waterboarding technique is a necessary tool for interrogators of terrorists and on top of that it works for extracting information. Many reports  talk about how torture does not get reliable information out of the suspect, however if you carefully read the transcripts carefully, you will see that attacks were prevented due to information optained using waterboarding on Abu Zubaydah.

Now, should this be used on every terrorist suspect? No. But there are terrorists that have intimate knowledge of operations and plans and these ones need to given incentive to talk, if that incentive is torture, then so be it.

This interview with a former CIA intel officer outlines where it is necessary and the value of such techniques. See the video and transcripts at the end of the post…

A leader of the CIA team that captured the first major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary.

In the first public comment by any CIA officer involved in handling high-value al Qaeda targets, John Kiriakou, now retired, said the technique broke Zubaydah in less than 35 seconds.

“The next day, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate,” said Kiriakou in an interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News’ “World News With Charles Gibson” and “Nightline.”

“From that day on, he answered every question,” Kiriakou said. “The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks.”

Kiriakou said the feeling in the months after the 9/11 attacks was that interrogators did not have the time to delve into the agency’s bag of other interrogation tricks.”Those tricks of the trade require a great deal of time — much of the time — and we didn’t have that luxury. We were afraid that there was another major attack coming,” he said.

Kiriakou says he did not know that the interrogation of Zubaydah was being secretly recorded by the CIA and had no idea the tapes had been destroyed.

Now retired, Kiriakou, who declined to use the enhanced interrogation techniques, says he has come to believe that water boarding is torture but that perhaps the circumstances warranted it.

“Like a lot of Americans, I’m involved in this internal, intellectual battle with myself weighing the idea that waterboarding may be torture versus the quality of information that we often get after using the waterboarding technique,” Kiriakou told ABC News. “And I struggle with it.”

But he says the urgency in the wake of 9/ll led to a desire to do everything possible to get actionable intelligence.

That began with Abu Zubaydah’s capture following a series of raids in which Kiriakou co-led a team of CIA officers, FBI agents, a Port Authority police officer named Tom McHale and Pakistani police, including a SWAT team.

And, in the case of Abu Zubayda, it ended with waterboarding.

“What happens if we don’t waterboard a person, and we don’t get that nugget of information, and there’s an attack,” Kiriakou said. “I would have trouble forgiving myself.”

The former intelligence officer says the interrogators’ activities were carefully directed from Langley, Va., each step of the way.

It wasn’t up to individual interrogators to decide, ‘Well, I’m gonna slap him.’ Or, ‘I’m going to shake him.’ Or, ‘I’m gonna make him stay up for 48 hours.’

“Each one of these steps, even though they’re minor steps, like the intention shake, or the open-handed belly slap, each one of these had to have the approval of the deputy director for operations,” Kiriakou told ABC News.

“The cable traffic back and forth was extremely specific,” he said. “And the bottom line was these were very unusual authorities that the agency got after 9/11. No one wanted to mess them up. No one wanted to get in trouble by going overboard. So it was extremely deliberate.”

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And it was always a last resort.

“That’s why so few people were waterboarded. I think the agency has said that two people were waterboarded, Abu Zubaydah being one, and it’s because you really wanted it to be a last resort because we didn’t want these false confessions. We didn’t want wild goose chases,” Kiriakou said.

And they were faced with men like Abu Zubaydah, Kiriakou says, who held critical and timely intelligence.

“A former colleague of mine asked him during the conversation one day, ‘What would you do if we decided to let you go one day?’ And he said, ‘I would kill every American and Jew I could get my hands on…It’s nothing personal. You’re a nice guy. But this is who I am.'”

In that context, at that time, Kiriakou says he felt waterboarding was something the United States needed to do.

“At the time, I felt that waterboarding was something that we needed to do. And as time has passed, and as September 11th has, you know, has moved farther and farther back into history, I think I’ve changed my mind,” he told ABC News.

Part of his decision appears to be an ethical one; another part, perhaps, simply pragmatic.

“I think we’re chasing them all over the world. I think we’ve had a great deal of success chasing them…and, as a result, waterboarding, at least right now, is unnecessary,” Kirikou said.

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Brian Ross: “Did it compromise American principles? Or did it save American lives? Or both?”

John Kiriakou: “I think both. It may have compromised our principles at least in the short term. And I think it’s good that we’re having a national debate about this. We should be debating this, and Congress should be talking about it because, I think, as a country, we have to decide if this is something that we want to do as a matter of policy. I’m not saying now that we should, but, at the very least, we should be talking about it. It shouldn’t be secret. It should be out there as part of the national debate.”

A CIA spokesperson declined to specifically address Kiriakou’s comments.

In a statement, the CIA reiterated its long standing position that “the United States does not conduct or condone torture. The CIA’s terrorist interrogation effort has always been small, carefully run, lawful and highly productive.”

Transcripts:

Click Here for Part One of the Transcript with John Kiriakou.

Click Here for Part Two of the Transcript with John Kiriakou.

Video Interview

Former CIA Agent Speaks Out, Part 1

Former CIA Agent Speaks Out, Part 2

Former CIA Agent Speaks Out, Part 3

Former CIA Agent Speaks Out, Part 4

Former CIA Agent Speaks Out, Part 5

Former CIA Agent Speaks Out, Part 6

Former CIA Agent Speaks Out, Part 7

Former CIA Agent Speaks Out, Part 8

Former CIA Agent Speaks Out, Part 9

Former CIA Agent Speaks Out, Part 10