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Ex-CIA Spy Retracts Statement About Waterboarding

spy bookBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — There’s no shortage of B.S. in this town.

Enter John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative.

Reporter Jeff Stein has penned an article in Foreign Policy magazine saying that Kiriakou’s claim that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists was simply misleading.

Stein writes that “Kiriakou, a 15-year veteran of the agency’s intelligence analysis and operations directorates, electrified the hand-wringing national debate over torture in December 2007 when he told ABC’s Brian Ross and Richard Esposito in a much ballyhooed, exclusive interview that senior al Qaeda commando Abu Zubaydah cracked after only one application of the face cloth and water.”

But Stein writes: ” Now comes John Kiriakou, again, with a wholly different story. On the next-to-last page of a new memoir, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror (written with Michael Ruby), Kiriakou now rather off handedly admits that he basically made it all up.”

Ouch!

“What I told Brian Ross in late 2007 was wrong on a couple counts,” he writes, according to Stein. “I suggested that Abu Zubaydah had lasted only thirty or thirty-five seconds during his waterboarding before he begged his interrogators to stop; after that, I said he opened up and gave the agency actionable intelligence.”

But never mind, he says now.

“I wasn’t there when the interrogation took place; instead, I relied on what I’d heard and read inside the agency at the time,” he said, according to Stein.

In a word, it was hearsay, water-cooler talk, Stein says.

“Now we know,” Kiriakou goes on, according to Stein “that Zubaydah was waterboarded eighty-three times in a single month, raising questions about how much useful information he actually supplied.”

To read more click here.


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