On Sept. 11, 2001, afterwards three commuter planes had airtight into the Apple Trade Center architecture in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and while addition hijacked alike was still unaccounted for, the CIA address was evacuated.
But like several counter-terrorism admiral and ysts in the building, John Rizzo, one of the Agency's top attorneys at the time, didn't move. Instead, he sat at his desk, took out a chicken acknowledged pad and began drafting the acknowledged justifications for what he had already predicted would be a "full-scale advance on al Qaeda [which would] apply all agency all-important to ane any added attacks on the meland."
"On that doubtful morning, I let my acuteness run wild," Rizzo writes in his memoir, "Company Man", which covered his 30-plus years as a CIA advocate and was appear beforehand this month. Afterwards aboriginal chief that antecedent baleful activity permissions would accept to be broadcast to go afterwards "members of al Qaeda and any affiliated groups," he advised that American agents would additionally charge to booty their enemies animate in adjustment to ascertain al Qaeda's added plans.
"I scribbled bottomward the byword 'capture, apprehend and question' on my acknowledged pad. I was absolutely winging it now," Rizzo writes. Beneath than a anniversary later, President George W. Bush active a Memorandum of Notification acceding the "capture and apprehension of al Qaeda terrorists" and addition for "taking baleful activity adjoin them."
But what suld the American government do already it had captured doubtable terrorists, and w acutely could they be questioned? Back actomed ytic appeared to be declining with captured high-level al Qaeda accessible Abu Zubaydah in 2002, Rizzo writes that he was approached by a brace admiral from the Counter-Terrorism Center with a new proposal.
"It had a deceptively b name: 'Enhanced Claiming Techniques,' or EITs for srt. During my antecedent twenty-five years as an Agency lawyer, I had never heard of annihilation accidentally like this," Rizzo writes.
Enhanced interrogation, as it was declared to Rizzo then, included a cardinal of techniques advised to breach a man's will, including beddy-bye deprivation, slapping and a adjustment of apish drowning alleged waterboarding -- which he alleged the "ultimate EIT" and which would be alleged "torture" years after by a cir of top American admiral including President Obama, above CIA Director Leon Panetta and above Presidential applicant Sen. John McCain, w himself was a victim of ache during the Vietnam War.
But at the time, it was bottomward to Rizzo to adjudge w far American interrogators could go, and his accommodation would affect the way America would conduct its War on Terror for years.
"After the briefers left, I took a continued airing about the address compound, smoker a cigar and aggravating to action what I had aloof heard and to amount out what the to do next," Rizzo writes. "What I had to ane about – bugs in boxes [which Zubaydah feared] and apish drowning – would accept been absurd to me alone an ur before.[…] I accept no agnosticism that if I had said the word, abundant if not all of the EIT action would accept agilely died afore it was born. It would accept been a almost accessible affair to do, actually.
"But over the aing day or two, as I angry things over in my mind, I ured that the affair was annihilation but easy. We were beneath than six months removed from 9/11, the civic was still in the affliction of abrrence and alarming about addition adverse attack, intelligence letters were bottomward in advertence the accessible imminence of such an attack, and the CIA had in its aegis and ascendancy the one guy w would acceptable apperceive when, where, and by wm the aing advance would be aated out. And he was cheeky and biting us about it. The Agency's atypical objective, for the account both of the country and of its own insutional existence, was to do annihilation and aggregate in its allowable ability to ane addition advance from happening."
Rizzo said he advised the "nightmare scenario" in which addition advance strikes the citizenry and Zubaydah "gleefully tells his CIA handlers he knew all about it."
"All because at the moment of reckoning, the Agency had shied abroad from accomplishing what it knew was unavoidable, what was essential, to abstract that advice from him. And with dreds or bags of Americans afresh lying asleep on the streets or in bits somewhere, I would know, abysmal down, that I was at atomic in allotment responsible.
"In the final ysis, I could not aspect the anion of accepting to alive with that," he writes.
But Rizzo did not absolute ert the amends of all of the proposed techniques. Instead, he writes that he told then-CIA Director George Tenet that he couldn't acquaint if some of the "very harsh, alike brutal" techniques consuted ache and instead "punted" to the Department of Justice, preferring to accept them accomplish the call. A few months later, a Top Secret acknowledged essment from the DOJ came through: except for one technique, which wasn't declared in Rizzo's book, all the proposed EITs were begin to be legal, including waterboarding.
Rizzo writes that he is acquainted of three bodies w were waterboarded by the CIA: Zubaydah, self-proclaimed 9/11 administrator Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, declared as a key amount in the 2000 al Qaeda advance on the USS Cole.
"Overall, the Agency kept a aculative absolute of about one dred prisoners in its atramentous sites in the seven years the EITs were in existence, from 2002 to aboriginal 2009. KSM was the aftermost one waterboarded [in 2003]. Again, in afterwards years alfresco groups would affirmation otherwise. If that were true, I am ertive I would accept accepted about it. And I didn't," Rizzo writes.
Do you apperceive annihilation about this story? Write in to the Investigative Unit Tip Line by CLICKING HERE.
When the added claiming affairs became accessible through media letters in the mid- to late-2000s, a amorous civic aation ensued and accessible burden army to end what abounding critics, including above high-level American officials, believed consuted torture.
As one of his aboriginal acts in appointment in 2009, President Obama formally put an end to the affairs with an controlling adjustment alleged "Ensuring Allowable Interrogations" which directed all detainees to be questioned application alone the techniques actomed in the Army Field Manual.
"Waterboarding is torture. It's adverse to America's traditions, it's adverse to our ideals, it's not w we are, it's not w we operate," Obama told reporters at a columnist appointment in 2011 advanced of the 2012 presidential election. "If we appee to advance about the apple allotment of our administration is ambience a acceptable example. And anybody w has absolutely apprehend about and understands the convenance of waterboarding would say that that is ache and that's not article we do. Period."
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