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NYT Claims 266 Waterboardings Is Fact

From a ready to believe anything bad about the CIA New York Times:

Waterboarding Used 266 Times on 2 Suspects


C.I.A. interrogators used waterboarding, the near-drowning technique that top Obama administration officials have described as illegal torture, 266 times on two key prisoners from Al Qaeda, far more than had been previously reported.

The C.I.A. officers used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 against Abu Zubaydah, according to a 2005 Justice Department legal memorandum. Abu Zubaydah has been described as a Qaeda operative.

A former C.I.A. officer, John Kiriakou, told ABC News and other news media organizations in 2007 that Abu Zubaydah had undergone waterboarding for only 35 seconds before agreeing to tell everything he knew.

The 2005 memo also says that the C.I.A. used waterboarding 183 times in March 2003 against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described planner of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The New York Times reported in 2007 that Mr. Mohammed had been barraged more than 100 times with harsh interrogation methods, causing C.I.A. officers to worry that they might have crossed legal limits and to halt his questioning. But the precise number and the exact nature of the interrogation method was not previously known.

The release of the numbers is likely to become part of the debate about the morality and efficacy of interrogation methods that the Justice Department under the Bush administration declared legal even though the United States had historically treated them as torture.

President Obama plans to visit C.I.A. headquarters Monday and make public remarks to employees, as well as meet privately with officials, an agency spokesman said Sunday night. It will be his first visit to the agency, whose use of harsh interrogation methods he often condemned during the presidential campaign and whose secret prisons he ordered closed on the second full day of his presidency.

C.I.A. officials had opposed the release of the interrogation memo, dated May 30, 2005, which was one of four secret legal memos on interrogation that Mr. Obama ordered to be released last Thursday.

Mr. Obama said C.I.A. officers who had used waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods with the approval of the Justice Department would not be prosecuted. He has repeatedly suggested that he opposes Congressional proposals for a “truth commission” to examine Bush administration counterterrorism programs, including interrogation and warrantless eavesdropping.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has begun a yearlong, closed-door investigation of the C.I.A. interrogation program, in part to assess claims of Bush administration officials that brutal treatment, including slamming prisoners into walls, shackling them in standing positions for days and confining them in small boxes, was necessary to get information.

The fact that waterboarding was repeated so many times may raise questions about its effectiveness, as well as about assertions by Bush administration officials that their methods were used under strict guidelines.

A footnote to another 2005 Justice Department memo released Thursday said waterboarding was used both more frequently and with a greater volume of water than the C.I.A. rules permitted.

The new information on the number of waterboarding episodes came out over the weekend when a number of bloggers, including Marcy Wheeler of the blog emptywheel, discovered it in the May 30, 2005, memo.

The sentences in the memo containing that information appear to have been redacted from some copies but are visible in others. Initial news reports about the memos in The New York Times and other publications did not include the numbers.

Michael V. Hayden, director of the C.I.A. for the last two years of the Bush administration, would not comment when asked on the program “Fox News Sunday” if Mr. Mohammed had been waterboarded 183 times. He said he believed that that information was still classified.

A C.I.A. spokesman, reached Sunday night, also would not comment on the new information.

Mr. Hayden said he had opposed the release of the memos, even though President Obama has said the techniques will never be used again, because they would tell Al Qaeda “the outer limits that any American would ever go in terms of interrogating an Al Qaeda terrorist.”

He also disputed an article in The New York Times on Saturday that said Abu Zubaydah had revealed nothing new after being waterboarded, saying that he believed that after unspecified “techniques” were used, Abu Zubaydah revealed information that led to the capture of another terrorist suspect, Ramzi Binalshibh.

The Times article, based on information from former intelligence officers who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Abu Zubaydah had revealed a great deal of information before harsh methods were used and after his captors stripped him of clothes, kept him in a cold cell and kept him awake at night. The article said interrogators at the secret prison in Thailand believed he had given up all the information he had, but officials at headquarters ordered them to use waterboarding.

He revealed no new information after being waterboarded, the article said, a conclusion that appears to be supported by a footnote to a 2005 Justice Department memo saying the use of the harshest methods appeared to have been “unnecessary” in his case.

This is news the New York Times considers fit to print.

All of it is speculation based on two sentences from a memo:

(Click to enlarge)

If you read the full Rizzo memo (a pdf file), you can see the the context of this is ambiguous at best. (This paragraph appears in the midst of a discussion about SERE training, techniques and standards.)

But common sense itself makes it seem very unlikely that anything like these numbers could be true.

The fact that waterboarding was repeated so many times may raise questions about its effectiveness…

Gee, do you think so?

If the real power of waterboarding is the supposed to be fear of drowning, how effective would it be after the third or fourth time? — Let alone the 182nd?

More importantly, wouldn’t you think that Mr. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed attorneys would have mentioned it if he had been “waterboarded” 183 times? Or Mr. Zubaydah’s attorneys?

Would this not have been a gold-plated ‘get out of jail free’ card for them?

Also, lest we forget, Mr. Mohammed represented himself during his 2008 trial.

He didn’t think it was worth noting that he had been tortured so often? Or did it slip his mind?

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:

According to the sources familiar with the Red Cross report, Mohammed claimed to have been waterboarded five times. Two former C.I.A. officers who are friends with one of Mohammed’s interrogators called this bravado, insisting that he was waterboarded only once. According to one of the officers, Mohammed needed only to be shown the drowning equipment again before he “broke.”

Moreover, Mr. Mohammed’s trial was attended by a regular Who’s Who of "rights groups" from Amnesty International, the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, ad nausea.

They certainly would have loved to hear this account.

And don’t you think that one of the many Congressmen or their staff who are investigating this would not have leaked this bombshell?

The 2005 memo also says that the C.I.A. used waterboarding 183 times in March 2003 against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed…

Mr. Mohammed was captured in March 2003 by the Pakistanis. It’s not at all clear how soon they turned him over to the US. Some say right away, some say not.

But even so, that cuts into the number of days they had to torture him.

But even if the US torturers had him for the full thirty days of March, that means that they had to “waterboard” him six (6) times a day, seven days a week.

Who really believes that?

Well, of course the New York Times would – without question.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 20th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

22 Responses to “NYT Claims 266 Waterboardings Is Fact”

  1. Colonel1961 says:

    Only 266 times?

  2. Steve says:

    Mr. Limbaugh is discussing this as we type.

  3. U NO HOO says:

    Rush is talking about this now.

    “Six times a day, it can’t be torture.”


    If it is so bad and it didn’t work the first time I’d give it up.

    Try something else.

    Liberalism IS a mental disorder.

  4. gone2pot says:

    First of all waterboarding is NOT torture. Pulling shoulders out of socket, foot blocking, pulling out limbs, boiling alive in oil, and cutting off heads all done to innocent civilans IS torture. Being a former Marine pilot and having gone through SERE school in 1982, many of us were waterboarded. Except for my newfound revelation that I am a right wing extremist domestic terrorist because of my military experience, there was absolutely no damage, short term or permanent, done. The One Who Hopes just gave away the keys to the kingdom.on our new path to smiley faced totalitarian Marxism.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      SEMPER FI stick man!!

      Ted Kennedy waterboarded Mary Jo one time and not a peep was heard from the Fourth Estate. Yet Teddy still was allowed to continue his rampage on the women of North America. Where in the hell was our justice? Where in the hell is Mary Jo’s justice?

      Stop crying about some mamby pamby terrorist (caught on the field of battle; willingly doing harm to our troops) rights. They are gone…..you hear me …..GONE!!
      (Just like ours if something don’t happen soon)

  5. Gila Monster says:

    266 times on two terrorists? Come on now, give me a flippin’ break, this is just utterly preposterous..!!

    First of all, water-boarding is effective because the terrorist thinks he is going to drown so common sense should tell you that after a few sessions, said terrorist would realize that he’s not really drowning or being harmed in any way. Once realized, subsequent sessions would be basically useless for garnering intelligence.

    Secondly, do they really think the CIA is that stupid to not realize the above?

    The so called reporters and editors at the Slimes have sunk far below the status of “yellow journalism”. Hell, even The Sun and Pravda rank above them in my mind.

    • proreason says:

      “water-boarding is effective because the terrorist thinks he is going to drown so common sense should tell you that after a few sessions, said terrorist would realize that he’s not really drowning or being harmed in any way”


      But too obvious for the liberal brain.

      Moreover, how could someone endure it at least 133 times if it was torture?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Good one pro!
      Another thing…..how many became bed wetters because of the ordeal?

  6. canary says:

    266 OUNCES of water was documented and logged; not times – ounces

    The terrorists are only afraid of their own leader’s method used on Americans
    “blow up one finger at a time” or off with the head. .

  7. SizzleLean says:

    Liberalism is not just a mental disorder it is a condition that people have to be extricated from. People with these mental illnesses should NOT be allowed to vote as they are a danger not only to themselves, but more important to the innocent people around them (especially unborn babies, the sick and elderly, and our fine military men and women). What would happen if it was determined that liberals truly did have a non-functioning part of their brain and it was discovered that it could be fixed? It would obviously be related to the reasoning section of the brain.

  8. Enthalpy says:

    Sometimes the enemy within is more despicable than our alleged enemy.

  9. NickInVirginia says:

    You don’t think the 0bama administration could have deliberately redacted these memos in a way that would make them look worse against the Bush administration, do you?

    Nah, just another conspiracy theory, like 0bama is not a Natural-born citizen, 0bama is a Muslim, etc. We all know we can trust people like 0bama, Emmanuel, Axlerod, Gibbs, etc.

    Can’t we?

  10. Grzegorz says:

    OK, kids, I can be silent no longer. The Truth ™ can now be told! That’s me in the orange jumpsuit. The person with the pink water jug? That would be my mom. She said that she was gonna teach me how “to go out drinkin’ with your so-called friends”. She also said something about it being “for the children”.

  11. proreason says:

    Bring it ON. Cheney calls for the memos that proved waterboarding worked to be released as well.

    “And I’ve now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions.”

    God how I wish he was the President.

    Tonight and tomorrow on Hannity.


    • jobeth says:

      I know the lefties always hated him, but he’s always had my respect. We need more just like him. At least he has the gonads to demand a full story. Were are the rest who would do the same thing?

    • catie says:

      Jobeth, it certainly wouldn’t be W now would it? I doubt seriously the CIA will release that. It goes against their new agenda. I couldn’t believe that clown was out at Langley today. If asked, he’d believe the Slimes.

  12. pinandpuller says:

    The Four Yorkshiremen never had it so good.

  13. Rusty Shackleford says:

    What has me most infuriated is that people are actually entertaining the notion of prosecuting the people involved or knowledgeable of it, to include W..and any and all CIA agents. More than anything, I would think it has to do with revenge for impeaching Clinton for lying to the American people. They want blood and can smell it in a grasp-at-straws tactic like this. Sadly, there are probably more than enough “justices” to bring it to a kangaroo court and destroy the post-political lives W and others. Not to mention highly trained, very skilled and needed CIA agents.

    By doing so, should this come to pass, a clear message will be sent to the smelly terrorists that they can do whatever they wish and if caught, will be put up in nice accommodations, with their favorite foods, the right to pray every day as they choose, in fact, pretty much a hotel lifestyle.

    This of course flies in the face of how their victims are treated and the utter hatred they have toward The West. Again, O-blow-me thinks that by treating them as criminals vs. war criminals, he is “doing the right thing”. His idiocy is masked by people telling him how courageous he is.

    Gee willikers, Barry…I sure hope that some terrorist grabs someone of significance to you and cuts their head off. Oh..I forgot…the only person important to you….is you.

    Well, sure looks like it’s shaping up to be a really fun-filled four years. The things that come out of DC now never cease to amaze. I can only laugh a sick little laugh at how the democrats warped sense of right and wrong will undermine everything this nation stands for, based on at least a quarter century of them hating it.

    To that, I say, “If you want to burn your own house down, fine. I won’t stand in your way. But this is MY HOUSE TOO and you leave it the f*** alone!”

  14. canary says:

    It’s not like they added electricity to the water. For some reason, some middle-eastern people can’t stand water on them period. They scream when they take a shower, and I never learned why.

    The Mexican drug cartel used water and electricity on that group the tortured and killed in Alabama a couple of day ago. So, basically, as far as the U.S. looking bad, nothing compares to what most countries do to their own innocent people. Throwing acid in little girls faces, and Obama and Pelosi saying they have the same “love they neighbor” beliefs like we do.

    Obama and his clan needs to sit in a jail cell, and spend 24 hours looking at graphic torture pictures of what middle-easterns do to their own innocent people. Maybe they’d get over it allready.

  15. LewWaters says:

    If they really were waterboarded that many times, they sure must have been butt-headed.

    Druge says Cheney is now demanding more CIA Memos be declassified so the public and see the actual worth of what was garnered from all of this. Good idea, I think, but I’m not holding my breath.

  16. oki2 says:

    “based on information from former intelligence officers who spoke on condition of anonymity”

    Perhaps we should just give the terrorists this option. “Hey, Mr. Terrorist guy, just tell us your secrets! I promise you will remain anonymous… or would you prefer waterboarding?”

    I wonder what OTHER benefits the former intelligence officers received as a result of divulging their information.

  17. JayDickB says:

    I have never understood how anyone can reasonably think waterboarding is torture. It seems as though the left thinks if any leftest says it’s torture, then there is no doubt about it.


    Obama and company should all be waterboarded. Then they will know first hand.

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