[Guest post by DRJ]
Sometime last year, CIA Director Michael Hayden banned the use of water-boarding in interrogations despite new legislation that reportedly gave the CIA authority to use the technique:
“The controversial interrogation technique known as water-boarding, in which a suspect has water poured over his mouth and nose to stimulate a drowning reflex, has been banned by CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden, current and former CIA officials tell ABCNews.com.
The officials say Hayden made the decision at the recommendation of his deputy, Steve Kappes, and received approval from the White House to remove water-boarding from the list of approved interrogation techniques first authorized by a presidential finding in 2002.
The officials say the decision was made sometime last year but has never been publicly disclosed.
While new legislation reportedly gave the CIA the leeway to use water-boarding, current and former CIA officials said Gen. Hayden decided to take it off the list of about six “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
I assume this an administrative decision that can be changed by future CIA directors and/or presidential administrations, although it’s unlikely the rule will be changed absent extraordinary circumstances.
The information was disclosed to ABC News by “current and former CIA officials” who, if history is any indication, will not be prosecuted for the leak.