RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
In Washington, D.C., the debate over waterboarding is back. This week for the first time the Bush administration acknowledged that the CIA has used the simulated drowning technique on al-Qaida prisoners.
CIA director Michael Hayden has raised doubts about whether waterboarding would be legal now. In hearings on Capitol Hill yesterday, Democrats pushed Attorney General Michael Mukasey for answers.
Representative John Conyers, a Democrat, led the attack.
Representative JOHN CONYERS (Democrat, Michigan): Are you ready to start a criminal investigation into whether this confirmed use of waterboarding by United States agents was illegal?
Attorney General MICHAEL MUKASEY (United States Attorney General): That's a direct question and I will give a direct answer. No, I am not.
MONTAGNE: Vice President Dick Cheney went even further at a conference yesterday in Washington, D.C. Of the al-Qaida leaders who were waterboarded he said, quote, "It's a good thing we had them in custody, and it's a good thing we found out what they knew."
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