|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
During a recent stop of the Bold & Fresh Tour with fellow Fox News personality Glenn Beck, right-wing talker Bill O'Reilly couldn't help but to spin a hypothetical.
In his fantasy world where Obama hires him as a presidential adviser, O'Reilly explained the first thing he'd do is lavishly decorate his office. Thing two would be having the CIA director kidnap top Democrats and "waterboard" Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
He was, of course, "joking" during the Jan. 23 appearance. The audience roared with laughter, even as O'Reilly had cautioned, "Don't tell anyone I said this, please."
Well, it's official now: John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who affirmed claims that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists, says he didn't know what he was talking about.
Kiriakou, a 15-year veteran of the agency's intelligence analysis and operations directorates, electrified the hand-wringing national debate over torture in December 2007 when he told ABC's Brian Ross and Richard Esposito in a much ballyhooed, exclusive interview that senior al Qaeda commando Abu Zubaydah cracked after only one application of the face cloth and water.
Now comes John Kiriakou, again, with a wholly different story. On the next-to-last page of a new memoir, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror (written with Michael Ruby), Kiriakou now rather off handedly admits that he basically made it all up.
"What I told Brian Ross in late 2007 was wrong on a couple counts," he writes. "I suggested that Abu Zubaydah had lasted only thirty or thirty-five seconds during his waterboarding before he begged his interrogators to stop; after that, I said he opened up and gave the agency actionable intelligence."
But never mind, he says now.
"I wasn't there when the interrogation took place; instead, I relied on what I'd heard and read inside the agency at the time."