US Readied Waterboarding as Early as 2001

Harsh tactics were readied even before suspects captured
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2009 6:40 AM CDT
US Readied Waterboarding as Early as 2001
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., head of the Senate Armed Services Committee.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

The Bush administration prepared to use waterboarding and other harsh tactics widely considered to be torture 8 months before the Justice Department approved them, and even before capturing a high-level terrorist suspect, the Washington Post reports. A Senate investigation reveals these brutal interrogation methods were approved despite warnings that they violated US and international law and produced unreliable confessions.

The report by the Senate Armed Services Committee details how the tougher interrogation methods were used not only in the CIA's network of secret prisons, but also at Guantanamo Bay and in Afghanistan and Iraq. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the committee, said the Bush officials who approved such tactics "bear significant responsibility for creating the legal and operational framework for the abuses." (Read more torture stories.)

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