John Rizzo describes how he decided not to put halt to torture; Calls Bush "stand-up guy" for his role
In his latest confessional piece, titled "I Could Have Stopped Waterboarding Before It Happened," published in Politico Magazine, Rizzo recounts a visit from unnamed members of the White House's Office of Legal Council (OLC) in April of 2002 and how they described for him the series of what they called "enhanced interrogation techniques" or EITs they were hoping to employ on CIA-held detainees.
Asked to approve them, Rizzo contemplated rejecting the "most frightening and terrifying" techniques—including the well-known water torture the OLC lawyers called 'waterboarding.' However, even though he admits forbidding them "would have been a relatively easy thing to do," he decided (while smoking a cigar and walking around CIA headquarters) that use of most of the practices should go forward.
That euphemism of "enhanced interrogation techniques" became a famous fill-in for torture sanctioned by the Bush White House, but even before the techniques became public knowledge (years later), Rizzo acknowledges he knew immediately that the CIA was about to go over the line.