Ex-CIA Agent: Waterboarding Useful Torture
He saw a key prisoner break in 35 seconds; intel saved many lives
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2007 8:09 AM CST
Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington during a confirmation hearing on his nomination to be deputy director of national intelligence in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The highly controversial use of waterboarding in terrorist interrogations has "probably saved lives" but is torture, a former CIA officer told ABC News last night and the Today show this morning. John Kiriakou watched a prisoner break down under waterboarding in 35 seconds, he said, and "from that day on, he answered every question." The information "disrupted maybe dozens of attacks," he said.

Critics have claimed that prisoners will say anything to end the procedure in which they are strapped down and water poured down their throats until they feel as if they're drowning. The use of torture is an issue that Kiriakou said he "struggles with" and he refused to use "enhanced interrogation techniques" while he worked for the CIA, admitting they "may have compromised our principles."