Rice "verbally approved" waterboarding in 2002

The Senate Intelligence Committee just released a new timeline and report. From the Associated Press:

As national security adviser to former President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice verbally approved the CIA’s request to subject alleged al-Qaida terrorist Abu Zubaydah to waterboarding in July 2002, the earliest known decision by a Bush administration official to OK use of the simulated drowning technique.

Rice’s role was detailed in a narrative released Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee. It provides the most detailed timeline yet for how the CIA’s harsh interrogation program was conceived and approved at the highest levels in the Bush White House.

Ok, so July 2002 was not long after 9/11 and everyone wanted to prevent the next attack. Also a verbal request is not the same as a law-twisting memo. Still, Rice did fail to mention any direct role when testifying in the Senate last fall. Which is worse, intentionally underplaying the role she had, or participating in the (very important) decision to waterboard and forgetting about it?

What really happened? So far Dr. Rice has declined to comment. Interview question for next time you get her, Review staff?

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