29 January 2010

CIA operative lied to media re efficacy of waterboarding

In December 2007, John Kiriakou told ABC News' Brian Ross in a televised and widely publicized interview that "senior al Qaeda commando Abu Zubaydah cracked after only one application of the face cloth and water." Now he admits he was lying.
The point was that it worked. And the pro-torture camp was quick to pick up on Kiriakou's claim.

"It works, is the bottom line," conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh exclaimed on his radio show the day after Kiriakou's ABC interview. "Thirty to 35 seconds, and it works."

A cascade of similar acclamations followed, muffling -- to this day -- the later revelation that Zubaydah had in fact been waterboarded at least 83 times...

Now comes John Kiriakou, again, with a wholly different story. On the next-to-last page of a new memoir, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror (written with Michael Ruby), Kiriakou now rather off handedly admits that he basically made it all up.

"What I told Brian Ross in late 2007 was wrong on a couple counts," he writes. "I suggested that Abu Zubaydah had lasted only thirty or thirty-five seconds during his waterboarding before he begged his interrogators to stop; after that, I said he opened up and gave the agency actionable intelligence."

"Now we know," Kiriakou goes on, "that Zubaydah was waterboarded eighty-three times in a single month, raising questions about how much useful information he actually supplied."
It will be interesting to see the coverage this gets in the major media compared to the coverage they gave his original allegation.

More at the Foreign Policy link.  Via Reddit.

1 comment:

  1. Anyone who takes any politician's or political pundit's word at face value is an outright fool. And Republicans have truly refined lying into a new art form ever since the hallowed days of Reagan The Great who would repeatedly score points and "win" arguments by making it up whole cloth- only after the fact would it be revealed, ever so quietly, that he had "misspoke."

    I remember when Charlie Rangel debated William F. Buckley, Jr., and the latter had to concede a certain issue outright. When asked about the particular law he cited to make his point, Rangel admitted, "I just made it up. It's something I learned from the Republicans."

    I could go on with countless examples of how these Republican icons of Christian virtue and family values literally delight in having no shame whatsoever. Voting against equal rights when they themselves are gay, knowingly manufacturing and publicizing false evidence to start a war so that Cheney's near bankrupt company could rake in hundreds of millions and then denying we torture when detainees have violently died in US detention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo- and those are just the non-secret places we know about!

    Here's the latest interpretive factoid- House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio issued a statement saying Obama "acknowledged the fact that House Republicans have offered better solutions over the last year."

    And ketchup IS a vegetable!


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