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Ex-CIA Officer Tells of Waterboarding

Posted Dec 11, 2007 8:12 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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One of the two al-Qaida suspects whose interrogation was chronicled on a destroyed videotape was subjected to waterboarding, according to a former CIA officer.

John Kiriakou, a former CIA interrogator, said he didn’t regard waterboarding as torture at the time, but he has since changed his mind, the Washington Post reports. Kiriakou told the Post that the simulated-drowning technique worked, leading to information that helped foil several planned attacks.

"The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks," Kiriakou told ABC News.

The suspect was Zayn Abidin Muhammed Hussein abu Zubaida.

Kiriakou, who didn’t personally participate in the suspect’s interrogation, told ABC that CIA interrogators used the harsh technique after the Sept.11 attacks because they feared they did not have the time to try other methods.

"We were afraid that there was another major attack coming," he said.


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