Months before al-Qaida operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is set to stand trial for his alleged role in the 9/11 attacks, a draft of a secret memo written in 2006 by a senior adviser to Condoleezza Rice warning that the “enhanced interrogation” techniques used by the Bush administration in the “war on terror” violated U.S. law has surfaced at the U.S. State Department.
Mohammed was subjected to waterboarding to obtain information during his interrogations by the U.S. military. —ARK
[Philip] Zelikow, whose official position was counsellor to Rice, said he had her support on the issue. As the state department’s representative on the National Security Council committee considering legal issues around violent interrogations, he expressed his concerns at the time in a top secret 2006 memorandum.
The memo, to other members of the committee who represented the justice and defence departments and intelligence services, warned that the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other abuses were almost certainly in breach of US and international law. But the memo so alarmed the administration that it was immediately rejected and all copies were ordered destroyed.
A draft version of the memo, found at the state department, was released this week following a freedom of information request by the National Security Archive in Washington.