Former national security adviser and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice "verbally approved" the "earliest known request" by the Central Intelligence Agency to torture and waterboard detainees, reports the Associated Press, which contradicts her own testimony.
As national security adviser to former President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice verbally approved the CIA's request to subject alleged al-Qaida terrorist Abu Zubaydah to waterboarding in July 2002, the earliest known decision by a Bush administration official to OK use of the simulated drowning technique.
Rice's role was detailed in a narrative released Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee. It provides the most detailed timeline yet for how the CIA's harsh interrogation program was conceived and approved at the highest levels in the Bush White House.
Last fall, Rice acknowledged to the Senate Armed Services Committee only that she had attended meetings where the CIA interrogation request was discussed and asked for the attorney general to conduct a legal review. She said she did not recall details. Rice omitted her direct role in approving the program in her written statement to the committee.
The revelations come on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder announces "no one is above the law" and weighs potential prosecutions of Bush officials who authorized harsh interrogation techniques.
Holder's claim is lofty—and fwiw, Rice should not be a candidate for investigation, depite obviously lying to the Armed Services Committee—but it will be interesting to see if which if any CIA officials or interrogators are investigated. It is very interesting that CIA's Acting General Counsel John Rizzo was one of the architects of the Bush Administration's "enhanced interrogation" program. Yet Rizzo remains general counsel of Central Intelligence.