Bush Approved CIA Waterboarding Disclosure
Posted on Feb 6, 2008
The confirmation, delivered by CIA Director Michael Hayden on Tuesday, that the U.S. intelligence agency did indeed use the now-infamous severe interrogation technique of waterboarding on three major 9/11 suspects was given the green light by President Bush in a rare show of (relative) transparency.
“The president authorized Gen. Hayden to say what he said in the testimony yesterday,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters.
Bush’s decision to allow testimony on waterboarding, a major shift from his policy of keeping it under wraps, was prompted by heated public debate and a consensus in the administration on the need “to be very clear about how those techniques were used and what the benefits were,” Fratto said.
Hayden told the Senate Intelligence Committee that waterboarding was used on suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and senior al Qaeda leaders Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.