Washington: When the CIA sought permission to use harsh interrogation methods on captured al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah (ah-BOO' zoo-BY'-dah), the response from Bush administration lawyers was encouraging, even clinical.
There were several memos that formed the legal underpinnings for brutal interrogation techniques. One memo said the CIA could lawfully place him in a box with an insect, keep him awake for days at a time and repeatedly slap him in the face.
The memo said waterboarding was acceptable because it didn't cause the lengthy mental anguish needed to meet the legal standard of torture.
The release last week of a Senate report cataloging years of such interrogation tactics has revived debate about the legal opinions and about the decision to not prosecute the program's architects or officers who used the methods.