- Nov 27, 2007
How long, before we hear "What the President meant to say, was....".
Senate Democrats demanded a criminal investigation into waterboarding by government interrogators Tuesday after the Bush administration acknowledged for the first time that the tactic was used on three terror suspects.
In congressional testimony Tuesday, CIA Director Michael Hayden became the first administration official to publicly acknowledge the agency used waterboarding on detainees following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"We used it against these three detainees because of the circumstances at the time," Hayden told the Senate Intelligence Committee. "There was the belief that additional catastrophic attacks against the homeland were inevitable. And we had limited knowledge about al-Qaida and its workings. Those two realities have changed."
Hayden said Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Abu Zubayda and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded in 2002 and 2003. Hayden banned the technique in 2006, but National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell told senators during the same hearing Tuesday that waterboarding remains in the CIA arsenal _ so long as it as the specific consent of the president and legal approval of the attorney general.