Nominee for CIA Director assures Congress he won’t bring back waterboarding
Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, White House Counter-terrorism Adviser John Brennan assured lawmakers that, if confirmed as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he will not bring back the practice of waterboarding.
“As far as I’m concerned, waterboarding is something that never should have been employed, and as far as I’m concerned never will be if I have anything to do with it,” said Brennan. “If were to go to the CIA, it would never, in fact, be brought back.”
Waterboarding is an interrogation technique that simulates the painful sensations of drowning by pouring water over a piece of cloth covering a detainee’s face. It is the most well-known and controversial “enhanced interrogation technique” or EIT employed by the CIA to try to extract intelligence and confessions from detainees captured after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. So-called “high value” detainees, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, were subjected to waterboarding during the Bush administration.
But when asked whether he thinks waterboarding constitutes torture, Brennan sidestepped the question, responding that “I’m not a lawyer…I can’t address that question.”
“I have a person opinion that waterboarding is reprehensible and it’s something that should not be done,” Brennan said. “The Attorney General has referred to waterboarding as torture. Many people have referred to it as torture.”