By Andrew Sullivan
Date: December 18, 2007
Curiouser and curiouser. I've learned to be a little suspicious when former CIA agents suddenly pop up on television describing torture sessions that have been wiped from the official record. Especially when those agents turn out not to have been actually present for the interrogation, give the opposition a morsel of truth - yep, this was torture - and yet also spin the story in ways amenable to torture advocates. You know how Fox News played the Kiriakou story.
Today, the Washington Post offers a must-read
on conflicting versions of what was done to Zubaydah. The version relayed by FBI agents, and picked up by Ron Suskind, differs from the president's account. Surprise! According to retired FBI agent Daniel Coleman, who led an examination of documents after Abu Zubaida's capture in early 2002 and worked on the case, Zubaydah gave the only real information he had before he was tortured. But the CIA believed he had more info and the president authorized his extensive, months-long, Gestapo-playbook torture. This, moreover, was not some one-off 35 second waterboarding session:
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