[JURIST] US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell [official profile] said in an article published in the New Yorker [media website] Sunday that waterboarding [JURIST news archive], the controversial interrogation technique simulating drowning allegedly used against detainees by the CIA, was torture as far as he was concerned. The question of whether waterboarding is in fact illegal torture dogged now-Attorney General Michael Mukasey in his recent confirmation hearings, and he ultimately refused to take a definitive stand [JURIST report] on the matter. "[W]hether it's torture by anybody else's definition," McConnell declared, "for me it would be torture."
This latest take on waterboarding comes in the wake of CIA's call for the Department of Justice [official websites] to conduct an investigation [JURIST report] into whether former CIA agent John Kiriakou's statements to several news organizations purporting to confirm the CIA's use of waterboarding constituted an illegal release of classified information. The CIA is also embroiled in a controversy about agency destruction of videotapes [JURIST news archive] that supposedly showed "enhanced" interrogation techniques used against two "high value" detainees believed to have been waterboarded. AP has more.