Kiriakou; John

Al Qaeda suspect waterboarded before "legal authorization"


"US 'waterboarding' row rekindled"
BBC, July 13, 2009

Fresh claims have emerged that a key al-Qaeda suspect was waterboarded before the Bush government lawyers issued written authorisation to do so.

A former CIA agent has told the BBC that Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded by the CIA in May or June 2002.

The date was provided by former CIA agent John Kiriakou. The practice was sanctioned in written memos by Bush administration lawyers in August 2002.

The CIA says waterboarding did not take place before August 2002.

Officials have refused to tell the BBC when it did occur.

Legal memos

Mr Kiriakou led the CIA team that captured Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan on 28 March 2002, and was the first to speak to the badly injured captive before returning to the US.

There he monitored the internal communications that came in (cable traffic) on Abu Zubaydah's interrogation at a secret CIA prison from the organisation's headquarters in Virginia.