In an extraordinary interview, former CIA officer John Kiriakou has come forward to publicly admit that he led the raid, which captured the al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, and witnesses the waterboarding of the suspect. He further admits that waterboarding is torture — a fact already established by U.S. courts.
It appears like much else in our modern down-sized government, torture is contracted out. Kiriakou said that former special forces were brought in to do the torturing and that he refused to do it.
The disclosure further undermined Gen. Michael Hayden’s rather transparent claim that the tapes were destroyed to protect the identity of CIA officers. Moreover, another former CIA officer has said that the tapes were destroyed because the CIA feared that “another body” would claim them and that Congress would not support the use of torture.
The then-head of the clandestine service, Jose Rodriguez, ordered the tapes destroyed shortly after a Washington Post expose focused attention on the CIA’s secret prisons, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports. “Well, I think there might have been concern that those tapes could have been called for by some outside body and the CIA would no longer maintain control over them,” said retired CIA officer John Brennan, who is now a CBS News consultant.
Brennan says Rodriguez was also worried the Justice Department was backing away from its earlier support of harsh interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding.
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The Administration’s initial justifications are now collapsing, but Congress has been resisting a call from Sen. Joe Biden for an independent investigation.
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