CIA interrogator says torture was approved personally by the Deputy Director for Operations.

ABC News scores a beat: an interview with John Kiriakou, the first CIA officer to debrief Abu Zubaydah.

Kiriakou says:

1. Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded.

2. Waterboarding is torture.

3. Every single interrogation technique, down to the individual shake or slap, had to be personally cleared by the CIA’s Deputy Director for Operations.

Torture is a felony.

Update A reader adds: “And so are aiding and abetting torture, procuring torture, causing torture, counseling or advising torture, and agreeing to torture (i.e., conspiracy).”

Indeed. If I were the DDO, I’d think about lawyering up.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com