A former CIA officer says he believes waterboarding is torture. John Kiriakou is speaking at the University of Pittsburgh today on ethics in intelligence. Kiriakou was involved in the questioning of Abu Zubaida, the first high-ranking al-Qaeda member captured after 9-11. Abu Zubaida was uncooperative until his captors submitted him to waterboarding. Kiriakou had already moved on to another assignment by that time.
Kiriakou is conflicted on waterboarding. He says in the short window after 9-11, he thinks the United States needed to do whatever it took to forestall another attack. But he says he believes the United States now needs to take the moral high road.
Kiriakou says he's had a mixed response from his former colleagues on his decision to speak out. He says about a third believe he should have kept his mouth shut; another third have supported him. He says another third have told him they are similarly conflicted on the issue.