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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed got waterboarded ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-THREE TIMES IN ONE MONTH...?!?!? [UPDATE: Doing the math]
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed got waterboarded ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-THREE TIMES IN ONE MONTH...?!?!? [UPDATE: Doing the math]

call me naive, but when i've considered the use of waterboarding and the horrific sense of imminent death by drowning it produces in the victim, i thought that applying that particular torture technique to someone a very few times would be the maximum terror "our guys" would permit any one individual to be exposed to, but


i knew we had crossed the line from interrogators to torturers... i didn't know we had further crossed the line into being monsters...

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Waterboarded 183 Times in One Month

By: emptywheel Saturday April 18, 2009 11:57 am

I've put this detail in a series of posts, but it really deserves a full post. According to the May 30, 2005 Bradbury memo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002.

On page 37 of the OLC memo, in a passage discussing the differences between SERE techniques and the torture used with detainees, the memo explains:

The CIA used the waterboard "at least 83 times during August 2002" in the interrogation of Zubaydah. IG Report at 90, and 183 times during March 2003 in the interrogation of KSM, see id. at 91.

Note, the information comes from the CIA IG report which, in the case of Abu Zubaydah, is based on having viewed the torture tapes as well as other materials. So this is presumably a number that was once backed up by video evidence.

The same OLC memo passage explains how the CIA might manage to waterboard these men so many times in one month each (though even with these chilling numbers, the CIA's math doesn't add up).

...where authorized, it may be used for two "sessions" per day of up to two hours. During a session, water may be applied up to six times for ten seconds or longer (but never more than 40 seconds). In a 24-hour period, a detainee may be subjected to up to twelve minutes of water appliaction. See id. at 42. Additionally, the waterboard may be used on as many as five days during a 30-day approval period.

So: two two-hour sessions a day, with six applications of the waterboard each = 12 applications in a day. Though to get up to the permitted 12 minutes of waterboarding in a day (with each use of the waterboard limited to 40 seconds), you'd need 18 applications in a day. Assuming you use the larger 18 applications in one 24-hour period, and do 18 applications on five days within a month, you've waterboarded 90 times--still just half of what they did to KSM.

oh, my dear lord, have mercy on my country and my fellow countrymen... we've fallen into the blackest of holes and may never find our way back...


i just did the math... 183 times over the space of a 30-day month equates to over SIX TIMES A DAY...! i'm simply stunned... words cannot express the depth of my revulsion...

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