Condi Was First to OK Waterboarding

Condi gave go-ahead before Rumsfeld, Powell even knew about it: Senate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2009 2:39 AM CDT
Condi Was First to OK Waterboarding
Then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, talks with reporters at the White House in this 2001 file photo.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Condoleezza Rice played a greater role than she has acknowledged in the CIA's harsh interrogation program, and approved the use of waterboarding, according to a newly released report from the Senate Intelligence Committee. The report finds that Rice, as national security adviser, verbally approved the CIA's request to waterboard a captured al-Qaeda member in 2002, making her the first known Bush adminstration official to do so.

Rice told the Senate Armed Services Committee last fall only that she attended meetings where waterboarding was discussed, and said she didn't recall details. The Intelligence Committee's timeline—which notes that dissenting legal opinions were brushed aside—found that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were not briefed on the CIA's  interrogation program until September 2003, long after it had begun.
(More Condoleezza Rice stories.)

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