FBI Director James Comey repeatedly deflected the question at Friday's testimony, responding, “That's as far as I think we ought to go” before finally saying he doesn't know enough about techniques like waterboarding to answer the question.
During Comey's testimony, a law enforcement veteran who was the director of the CIA's human intelligence program defended his agency's role in torturing suspected terrorists, after waterboarding was banned by President Obama.
“I think from the perspective of a health professional in the field of studying terrorism, a standard practice of waterboarding, if used appropriately, appears to be of equal value as high-level bomb-making materials, AK-47s, RPGs, or the bomb that exploded in Brussels,” said Michael Adney, a forensic psychologist hired by the CIA as a consultant to develop a "unique interrogation process" that sought to foster rapport and cooperation.
The image of a doctor at a black-tie funeral? If you believe what you read... pic.twitter.com/ThGXBNsQUz — Karen Tumulty () February 1, 2019
Echoing comments President Bush made before leaving office, Adney argued that if the U.S. adopted a more aggressive interrogation regimen after the 9/11 attacks, similar to the CIA's program, the nation would have avoided another terrorist attack.
“To conduct such an interrogation program we would have paid a high price,” he said, adding that his comments reflect his personal belief. “To the extent that I share these opinions with the commanders on the ground, then they have my ass before them.”
Later during his testimony, FBI Director James Comey repeatedly deflected the question, responding, “That's as far as I think we ought to go” before finally saying he doesn't know enough about techniques like waterboarding to answer the question.
On Thursday, the CIA officially acknowledged the full extent of the agency's coercive interrogation techniques and said it still interrogates “terrorists, hackers, drug lords, corrupt regimes, and other dangerous criminals.” The document, which was signed by Director Gina Haspel, said the CIA “supports Congress' efforts to review the program and hold the responsible people accountable.”
Comey said there's no new approach to interrogating detainees, but added that he disagrees with Trump's views on torture.