Original Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5325680/Dick-Cheney-suggested-waterboarding-Iraqi-prisoner.html
By Alex Spillius
Dick Cheney, the former US vice-president, suggested waterboarding an Iraqi prisoner whom White House officials suspected might possess knowledge of a potential connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, it has emerged.
Two senior intelligence officials said that the April 2003 request was made regarding Muhammed Khudayr al-Dulaymi, head of the M-14 section of the Mukhabarat secret police, whose responsibilities included chemical weapons and contacts with terrorist groups.
They told the Daily Beast website that the request came from Mr Cheney's office but did not reveal who specifically had made it. At the time the Bush administration was anxious to support its principal case for the war, that the late Iraqi dictator was aiding plots against the US.
Charles Duelfer, who was leading the hunt for weapons of mass destruction at the time and was also in charge of interrogations, said that he found the suggestion "reprehensible".
"To those who wanted or suspected a relationship, he would have been a guy who would know, so [White House officials] had particular interest," he said.
In a new book, Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq, he said that officials in Washington let it be known that they considered Dulaymi's questioning had been "too gentle" and proposed harsher methods.
"They asked if enhanced measures, such as waterboarding, should be used," Mr Duelfer wrote. Waterboarding simulates drowning and is widely regarded as torture and has been condemned by President Barack Obama. Mr Cheney has recently been a lone voice defending the practice, arguing that it saved American lives by gleaning information from terror suspects.
However the justice department had only approved that such techniques could applied to terrorism cases. "Our debriefings were not as yet terrorism-related," he said.