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KSM ‘Mocked’ CIA During Waterboarding

From the Miami Herald:

Bush aide says KSM counted off seconds during waterboarding

Carol Rosenberg
May 16, 2011

WASHINGTON — A former speech writer for President George W. Bush said Monday that confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed mocked his CIA interrogators during his March 2003 waterboarding sessions by using his fingers to tick off the number of seconds he would be subjected to near drowning.

"He was communicating to his interrogators that he was on to them," Marc Thiessen said during a panel discussion on what role harsh interrogation tactics might have played in developing the intelligence that led to Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan…

Thiessen said Monday that Mohammed knew that agents had to relent after 40 seconds, something he may have divined after undergoing the procedure repeatedly.

And by "repeatedly" they mean five times. As we will see below.

Only two detainees, Mohammed, who is also known as KSM, and a Palestinian, Zayn al Abdeen Mohammed Hussein, who’s also known as Abu Zubaydah, were waterboarded scores of times, U.S. documents indicate.

In fact, they were also the only detainees who were waterboarded at all. And, again, they were not "waterboarded scores of times." (See below.)

Abu Zubaydah underwent the procedure at least 83 times, while KSM was waterboarded 183 times, according to a Justice Department memo written in 2005, citing a 2004 report by the CIA’s inspector general.

As we noted at the time, this is almost certainly a misreading of two sentences from a SERE training memo – the so-called ‘Rizzo Memo.’

For instance, Mr. Mohammed was held overseas by the CIA for less than a month. It would have been physically impossible to waterboard him so often in such a short time. Even if the US had him for the full thirty days of March, they would have had to “waterboard” him six times a day, seven days a week to reach those numbers.

Also, as we have previously noted, neither Mr. Mohammed nor his ACLU lawyers have ever claimed anything like this. On the contrary, according to the August 13, 2007 edition of the New Yorker, Mr. Mohammed told the International Red Cross that he had been waterboarded five times.

Besides, as we have also pointed out previously, whatever effectiveness waterboarding might have, it would rapidly diminish after the first few uses, since it is entirely dependent upon the element of fear. Which this article bears out.

Neither Justice Department memo nor the portions of the CIA inspector general’s report that have been made public, however, mentions KSM as counting down the seconds during his waterboard sessions.

Thiessen, who now writes a weekly column for the Washington Post, said he learned of KSM’s actions while researching a book that defends the Bush administration’s use of harsh interrogation techniques. He referred to Mohammed’s waterboard experience as "183 splashes" administered in five separate sessions

Which sounds more like the truth. And exactly what we have suspected all along.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 17th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “KSM ‘Mocked’ CIA During Waterboarding”

  1. Not so fast says:

    Let’s ask everyone one question. Would you rather be waterboarded by the CIA or would you rather be in a muslim hijacked aircraft or on the ground as a target of said hijacked aircraft? Seems rather simple to me.

  2. tranquil.night says:

    “Besides, as we have also pointed out previously, whatever effectiveness waterboarding might have, it would rapidly diminish after the first few uses, since it is entirely dependent upon the element of fear.”

    Don’t let common sense get in the way of some juicy propoganda!

    The Miami Herald must have stupid readers.

    • Right of the People says:

      More like stupid people being read to since anybody dumb enough to believe this drivel I doubt can actually read above a third grade level.

      Plus, this “news” if you want to call it that is 8 years old! Shouldn’t they be writing about the great things their lord and savior, Barry the Bungler, is doing instead of bringing up old, irrelevant crap?

      I know, I know, they’re still trying to blame Bush for all of the Bungler’s failures.

  3. GetBackJack says:

    Steve, I really wish we could post jpeg images, because sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. (I know, I know, you’d be delighted to ramp up to graphic images, GBJ, just fork over the operating cost, ok?)


    A speech writer tells a tale and the media prints it and hooray!

    C’mon, people. We gather here every day to mock the media for the Ridiculously Obvious Spin Machine it is. Just because this article sounds right doesn’t make it factual.

    Personally, I hope they dunked his sorry ass 120 seconds at a time, tied to a board and dropped into hydrochloric. But an anonymous “speech writer” for GWB and the always believable US MSM are hardly bona fide sources.

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