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Kiriakou: CIA IG Report Confirmed They Waterboarded Before Getting Approval (?)

I believe Jon Kiriakou is still engaging in disinformation, so while I suppose I’ll read his book, I won’t accept anything in it without corroboration.

Take this weird tidbit in his appearance on Tweety (just after 2:05). The statement is false on its face. But it does report an underlying truth.

We didn’t know that he’d been waterboarded 83 times. Last year the CIA Inspector General’s Report came out from 2004, heavily redacted, but it still confirmed that, ah, Abu Zubaydah had been waterboarded before the CIA actually received written permission to do it. So my view now, in retrospect, is that he had been waterboarded 83 times, but the people in the field actually carrying out the waterboarding did not report it. So those of us at headquarters, seeing the one report that finally did come in, believed he had been waterboarded once, and he had cracked.

See, that’s not what the CIA IG Report says–certainly not the unredacted section. In fact, the CIA IG Report implies that all the waterboarding occurred in August 2002, so after the Bybee Memo was signed.

Interrogators applied the waterboard to Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times during August 2002.

So if waterboarding happened before the Bybee Two memo was signed, it was not entered into the log books (nor was it captured on the 77 torture tapes still functional by the time the IG review them) the IG based this claim on. Or, the IG Report doesn’t mention it along with the other unredacted discussions of waterboarding. Or, the IG is lying about the timing of these 83 waterboardings.

And Kiriakou’s statement makes no sense, anyway, because if those 83 waterboardings took place in August but the IG Report admitted to waterboarding before the Bybee Two memo was signed, then the single waterboarding (the one that “cracked him”) would have been the one that happened before August.

That said, we do know Zubaydah was tortured before the Bybee Memos got signed–we’re just unclear on what happened (that is, how much torture happened), when.

All this confusion may simply stem from Kiriakou’s own attempt to excuse his own disinformation about waterboarding in the first place. Or he may well be confused himself, still reeling from cognitive dissonance of discovering the truth behind the torture regime. Or perhaps he is revealing something that is not otherwise documented in unredacted documents.

In any case, between Kiriakou and Thiessen and others spinning wildly, we’ll continue to hear details that don’t match the known details of the torture program.

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