May 15, 2009
Posted: 12:55 AM ET
Washington – - Senate testimony painted a stunning picture Wednesday of panicked Bush administration officials resorting to harsh interrogation techniques, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remained mum about what she knew when about torture.
Yet amid the political brawl, testimony Wednesday from a former FBI interrogator, Ali Soufan, and a Bush State Department deputy, Philip Zelikow, revealed a sobering portrait of fear-struck officials resorting to simulated drowning – or waterboarding – extreme sleep deprivation, prolonged confinement in small spaces, humiliation and other interrogation methods without examining their history, their efficacy or their larger consequences in the battle against extremism.
Soufan, testifying behind a screen to shield his identity, painted a picture of incompetence by outside contractors hastily flown in from Washington using "amateurish, Hollywood-style interrogation methods." He also accused Bush administration officials of making false claims about their success.
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