Changes of Heart

CIA Man Retracts Waterboarding Claim

In 2007, a former CIA operative named John Kiriakou told ABC that waterboarding cracked al Qaeda militant Abu Zubayadh, saying "From that day on, he answered every question. The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks." Now, in a new book, Kiriakou says he wasn’t actually there for the interrogation. "What I told Brian Ross in late 2007 was wrong on a couple counts," he writes. “I wasn't there when the interrogation took place; instead, I relied on what I'd heard and read inside the agency at the time." Kiriakou suggested to ABC that Zubayadh only lasted 30 or 35 seconds in a single waterboarding session before cracking. In his book, he writes “Now we know that Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in a single month, raising questions about how much useful information he actually supplied."