Last year, Dubya said:
It has long been suspected that "these procedures" = waterboarding.
Within months of September the 11th, 2001, we captured a man known as Abu Zubaydah...
After he recovered, Zubaydah was defiant and evasive. He declared his hatred of America. During questioning, he at first disclosed what he thought was nominal information -- and then stopped all cooperation...
We knew that Zubaydah had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking. As his questioning proceeded, it became clear that he had received training on how to resist interrogation. And so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures. These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful. I cannot describe the specific methods used -- I think you understand why -- if I did, it would help the terrorists learn how to resist questioning, and to keep information from us that we need to prevent new attacks on our country. But I can say the procedures were tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary.
Zubaydah was questioned using these procedures, and soon he began to provide information on key al Qaeda operatives, including information that helped us find and capture more of those responsible for the attacks on September the 11th.
Anyway, this Abu Zubayda guy's name came up in the news again this week, after it was disclosed that the CIA destroyed videotapes of his interrogation. Now there's an ex-CIA agent who tells the same story as Bush, except instead of characterizing what the CIA did as an "alternative set of procedures," he just describes what those procedures actually were:
"Waterboarding" itself is a euphemism for water torture. It's a war crime. And Bush (or more likely, Cheney) approved it:
The former agent, who said he participated in the Abu Zubayda interrogation but not his waterboarding, said the CIA decided to waterboard the al Qaeda operative only after he was "wholly uncooperative" for weeks and refused to answer questions.
All that changed -- and Zubayda reportedly had a divine revelation -- after 30 to 35 seconds of waterboarding, Kiriakou said he learned from the CIA agents who performed the technique.
In a separate CNN interview, Kiriakou said the Justice Department and National Security Council reportedly approved waterboarding and other "alternative" interrogation techniques in June 2002.
"It was a policy decision that came down from the White House," he said.