Some CIA interrogation techniques may not have been authorized
WASHINGTON (AP) – One of the key Bush administration lawyers in the evolution of the CIA’s interrogation program cast doubt on whether the Justice Department approved some of the harsh steps the agency took to get terrorist suspects to talk.
Former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee’s remarks were contained in a transcript sent to the special prosecutor investigating CIA interrogations by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., who also made a copy public on Thursday.
Interviewed by Judiciary Committee members on May 26, Bybee stressed the limits that he helped set on how far the CIA could go while at the same time acknowledging that his legal advice helped pave the way for tactics such as waterboarding, which evokes the sensation of drowning.
“I do wish to repeat that we said on page 2 of the techniques memo … that repetition will not be substantial” on waterboarding, Bybee reminded the committee in quoting from one of his own legal memoranda.
The professed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, was waterboarded 183 times. Terrorist suspect Abu Zubaydah was subjected to the procedure at least 83 times.