WASHINGTON - For the first time, the chief of the CIA stated in Congress that the near-drowning interrogation technique known as waterboarding was used on al-Qaida suspects.
Appearing Tuesday before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, CIA Director Michael Hayden said the technique was used in 2002 and 2003 but not since. He also said information obtained from the last uses accounted for 25 percent of the intelligence reports circulated by the CIA on al-Qaida activities, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
He testified hree detainees were subjected to the method: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks; a second suspect in the attacks; and a Saudi suspected of playing a major role in the bombing of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole in Yemen in 2000.
However, there wasn't unanimity in support among senior security officials at the hearing for the use of harsh techniques, as FBI Director Robert Mueller said his agents had extracted critical information from former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein without coercive techniques, the Times said.
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