[Ppnews] CIA says used waterboarding on three suspects

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Feb 5 18:57:43 EST 2008

CIA says used waterboarding on three suspects


Tue Feb 5, 2008 4:03pm EST
(Adds Hayden quote, comments by FBI, national intelligence director, 

By Randall Mikkelsen

WASHINGTON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - The CIA used a widely condemned 
interrogation technique known as waterboarding on three suspects 
captured after the Sept. 11 attacks, CIA Director Michael Hayden told 
Congress on Tuesday.

"Waterboarding has been used on only three detainees," Hayden told 
the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was the first time a U.S. 
official publicly specified the number of people subjected to 
waterboarding and named them.

Critics call waterboarding a form of illegal torture. Congress is 
considering banning the technique.

Those subjected to waterboarding were suspected Sept. 11 mastermind 
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and senior al Qaeda leaders Abu Zubaydah and 
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Hayden said at the hearing on threats to the 
United States.

He said waterboarding has not been used in five years.

"The circumstances are different than they were in late 2001, early 
2002," Hayden said. "Very critical to those circumstances was the 
belief that additional catastrophic attacks against the homeland were 
imminent. In addition to that, my agency ... had limited knowledge 
about al Qaeda and its workings. Those two realities have changed."

Hayden told reporters later that the interrogations of Mohammed and 
Zubaydah were particularly fruitful.

 From the time of their capture in 2002 and 2003 until they were 
delivered to Guantanamo Bay prison in 2006, the two suspects 
accounted for one-fourth of the human intelligence reports on al 
Qaeda, Hayden said.

Some analysts have questioned Mohammed's credibility under 
interrogation. But Hayden said most of the information was reliable 
and helped lead to other al Qaeda suspects.

He told the committee he opposed limiting the CIA to using 
interrogation techniques permitted in the U.S. Army Field Manual, 
which bans waterboarding. CIA interrogators are better trained, and 
the agency works with a narrower range of suspects in its 
interrogations, he said.


Hayden said fewer than 100 people had been held in the CIA's 
terrorism detention and interrogation program launched after the 
Sept. 11 attacks, with fewer than one-third of them subjected to any 
harsh interrogation techniques.

But applying the field manual's limitations to the CIA, he said, 
"would substantially increase the danger to America."

The CIA is the only U.S. agency that uses harsh interrogation 
techniques, National Intelligence Director Michael McConnell told the 
hearing. The entire military adheres to the Army Field Manual and FBI 
Director Robert Mueller told the hearing his agency does not use 
coercive techniques.

A senior intelligence official said after the hearing that it was 
unclear whether the CIA could legally use waterboarding in the 
future, given changes in U.S. law. The Bush administration says it 
neither uses nor condones torture.

The CIA said in December that it had destroyed videotapes depicting 
the interrogations of Zubaydah and Nashiri, prompting a Justice 
Department investigation.

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