Ex-CIA official: Torture ban a ‘great leap forward’

Some important analysis from our Washington Independent colleague national security reporter Spencer Ackerman.

President Barack Obama took a major step toward undoing the interrogation and detention policies of the Bush administration on Thursday, issuing four executive orders that lay out an unequivocal path to closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, constructing a new legal and policy architecture for terrorism detainees, and ending the CIA’s so-called “enhanced interrogation” regime.

Both civil libertarians and ex-CIA officials involved in interrogations and detentions policies hailed the changes.

“It’s a great leap forward in terms of respect for human rights,” said John Kiriakou, the retired CIA official who supervised the early interrogation of Al Qaeda detainee Abu Zubaydah in 2002. “From the very beginning, the CIA should not have been in the business of enhanced interrogation techniques and detentions.” CIA interrogators waterboarded Abu Zubaydah, but not while Kiriakou supervised the interrogation.

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Independent.

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Wendy Norris

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