In House Judiciary Committee testimony released yesterday, former Bush DOJ lawyer Jay Bybee said he hadn’t authorized all of the enhanced interrogation techniques the CIA used — a point that is at the heart of the criminal investigation into the CIA’s use of torture.
Bybee, one of the authors of the infamous torture memos that authorized the use of waterboarding and other techniques, testified before the committee in May.
One of the unauthorized techniques, he said, was the “substantial repetition” of waterboarding.
Via the L.A. Times:
Among the other techniques reportedly used on CIA detainees that were not approved by the Justice Department, Bybee testified, were diapering a detainee, forcing a detainee to defecate on himself, forcing a detainee to wear blackout goggles, extended solitary confinement or isolation, hanging a detainee from ceiling hooks, daily beatings, spraying cold water on a detainee, and subjecting a detainee to high-volume music or noise.
“Those techniques were not authorized,” Bybee said.
The DOJ’s criminal investigation into the use of torture focuses largely on which techniques were authorized by the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, which Bybee directed. Attorney General Eric Holder said in August 2009 that no one at the CIA who followed OLC guidelines would be prosecuted.
Bybee also stood by a memo on presidential power, although he said he wished it had been written better. From the New York Times:
In retrospect, Judge Bybee said he wished that a section in one memorandum — concluding that the president, as commander in chief, had the constitutional authority to override statutes regulating interrogations — had been written in a more “complete” manner, but he did not think it was wrong.