Armitage: I Should Have Resigned





President Bush's former No. 2 State Department official says he hopes he would have had "the courage to resign" if he knew the CIA was using waterboarding, a torture tactic, to interrogate suspects. Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, told Al Jazeera English in an interview airing Wednesday he doesn't think CIA agents who interrogated using waterboarding should be prosecuted, even though he thinks it was torture. The White House and the Justice Department signed off on the CiA waterboarding of three terror detainees in 2002 and 2003. "I hope, had I known about it at the time I was serving, I would've had the courage to resign. But I don't know. It's in hindsight now," Armitage said. Armitage left his post the day after Colin Powell resigned, shortly after Bush's re-election in 2004. Armitage said in the interview that the State Department was in the dark about the abuse of prisoners until the Abu Ghraib scandal broke in April 2004. President Obama has ended the CIA interrogation program and approved a one-year deadline for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base prison. CIA Director Leon Panetta said last week that the secret sites where detainees were waterboarded are being shut down and that no CIA employees will be prosecuted for their role at the sites.

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