December 11, 2007

SAFE, LEGAL, AND RARE:

Waterboarding Recounted: Ex-CIA Officer Says It 'Probably Saved Lives' but Is Torture (Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen, 12/11/07, Washington Post)

A former CIA officer who participated in the capture and questioning of the first al-Qaeda terrorist suspect to be waterboarded said yesterday that the harsh technique provided an intelligence breakthrough that "probably saved lives," but that he now regards the tactic as torture.

Zayn Abidin Muhammed Hussein abu Zubaida, the first high-ranking al-Qaeda member captured after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, broke in less than a minute after he was subjected to the technique and began providing interrogators with information that led to the disruption of several planned attacks, said John Kiriakou, who served as a CIA interrogator in Pakistan. [...]

He described Abu Zubaida as ideologically zealous, defiant and uncooperative -- until the day in mid-summer when his captors strapped him to a board, wrapped his nose and mouth in cellophane and forced water into his throat in a technique that simulates drowning.

The waterboarding lasted about 35 seconds before Abu Zubaida broke down, according to Kiriakou, who said he was given a detailed description of the incident by fellow team members. The next day, Abu Zubaida told his captors he would tell them whatever they wanted, Kiriakou said.

"He said that Allah had come to him in his cell and told him to cooperate, because it would make things easier for his brothers," Kiriakou said.


Maybe I'm missing something here, but that sounds like a good thing.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 11, 2007 12:16 AM
Comments

It is treason to speak of these things.

Posted by: Lou Gots at December 11, 2007 4:45 AM

Some days, it seems Lenin was right.

Posted by: ratbert at December 11, 2007 8:21 AM

No rope required. Just a hankie and a watering can.

Posted by: ghostcat at December 11, 2007 2:15 PM
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