Matthew Cole at NBC News reports that a senior CIA expert on al Qaeda who remains in a senior position at the agency "was a key architect of the agency's defense of its detention and 'enhanced interrogation' program for suspected terrorists, developing oft-repeated talking points that misrepresented and overstated its effectiveness." Information about her role was revealed in the Senate Intelligence Committee's report released last week.
After the 9/11 attacks, this same expert came under fire for "countenancing a subordinate's refusal to share the names of two of the hijackers with the FBI." For this, she was not punished. She was promoted.
The report singles out the female expert as a key apologist for the program, stating that she repeatedly told her superiors and others — including members of Congress — that the "torture" was working and producing useful intelligence, when it was not. She wrote the "template on which future justifications for the CIA program and the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques were based," it said.
The expert also participated in "enhanced interrogations" of self-professed 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, witnessed the waterboarding of terror suspect Abu Zubaydah and ordered the detention of a suspected terrorist who turned out to be unconnected to al Qaeda, according to the report.
NBC News doesn't name her, but other sources have: Alfreda Frances Bikowsky.