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Report: CIA Agents Concerned About Rough Interrogations
VOA News
13 May 2004, 13:40 UTC

A leading U.S. newspaper says the Central Intelligence Agency has used rough interrogation techniques on high-level al-Qaida members, and that some agents are worried about the possible consequences.

The New York Times cites current and former counter-terrorism officials as saying at least one CIA employee has been disciplined for using a gun to threaten a detainee.

It says one al-Qaida suspect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, was subjected to a technique known as "water boarding," in which a prisoner is strapped down, pushed under water, and made to believe he might drown.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is believed to have helped plan the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

According to the Times, some agents are worried that the Congressional probe of prisoner abuse in Iraq will lead to a similar investigation of the CIA, and expose the agency to the same kind of public scrutiny the military is now facing.

The paper says the techniques were authorized in secret rules adopted shortly after the September 11 attacks.

It cites defenders of the techniques as saying the methods stopped short of torture and were necessary to fight the war against al-Qaida.

The paper says the CIA is also investigating the deaths of three lower-level detainees the agency held in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There has been no comment on the Times report from the CIA or other U.S. officials.