Torture Defenders Begin Their Work to Obfuscate

August 29, 2009 at 2:46 am | Posted in American politics | 1 Comment

At the Washington Post, of course. This article is about KSM, and the torture used on him.

Watch here how they obfuscate. They start the article like this:

After enduring the CIA’s harshest interrogation methods and spending more than a year in the agency’s secret prisons, Khalid Sheik Mohammed stood before U.S. intelligence officers in a makeshift lecture hall, leading what they called “terrorist tutorials.”

So after a year, and after being tortured, the man spoke like a canary. But would he have spoken as such without the use of torture? We’ll get to that. See, it seems the guy wanted to get a chance to brag about what he did:

Speaking in English, Mohammed “seemed to relish the opportunity, sometimes for hours on end, to discuss the inner workings of al-Qaeda and the group’s plans, ideology and operatives,” said one of two sources who described the sessions, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much information about detainee confinement remains classified. “He’d even use a chalkboard at times.”

So would he have talked without the use of torture? We’ll never know, because:

“KSM, an accomplished resistor, provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard, and analysis of that information revealed that much of it was outdated, inaccurate or incomplete,” according to newly unclassified portions of a 2004 report by the CIA’s then-inspector general released Monday by the Justice Department.

The debate over the effectiveness of subjecting detainees to psychological and physical pressure is in some ways irresolvable, because it is impossible to know whether less coercive methods would have achieved the same result. But for defenders of waterboarding, the evidence is clear: Mohammed cooperated, and to an extraordinary extent, only when his spirit was broken in the month after his capture March 1, 2003, as the inspector general’s report and other documents released this week indicate.

Over a few weeks, he was subjected to an escalating series of coercive methods, culminating in 7 1/2 days of sleep deprivation, while diapered and shackled, and 183 instances of waterboarding. After the month-long torment, he was never waterboarded again.

“What do you think changed KSM’s mind?” one former senior intelligence official said this week after being asked about the effect of waterboarding. “Of course it began with that.”

There is where the obfuscation begins. Did you catch that?

1. The CIA captured KSM on March 1, 2003.
2. The CIA says that KSM “provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard.”
3. The CIA waterboarded KSM in March 2003 183 times! plus seven and a half days of sleep deprivation.

Uh…. when exactly did KSM get a chance to “provide intelligence prior to the use of the waterboard?” If he was waterboarded 183 times in the same month in which he was captured, how much time was he actually given to speak of his own free will? Surely the sleep deprivation began almost immediately also.

For defenders of torture, it doesn’t matter. In their eyes, what they did to KSM proves they are right. Only 183 times of waterboarding plus 7 days without sleep and you’ll get anyone talking! It’s that easy. Oh, don’t forget the diapers. Gotta make sure they wallow in their shit too.

Why did the CIA not give KSM a chance to speak without immediately torturing him? Well, we don’t live in a vacuum. March 2003 has a special place in our history.

Yes, see Bush badly needed KSM to actually say Iraq had connections to Al-Qaeda BEFORE the war in Iraq started. THAT’S why he was tortured without giving him a chance to come clean of his own free will. KSM was captured on March 1, 2003. The war in Iraq started 17 days later. I bet you that most, if not all, of the waterboarding took place before March 17. But see, the guys that were there, and the guys who ordered this will not divulge this. They won’t let America know that the reason they tortured KSM was so they could get a confession out of him that there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden. I mean, hell, the anonymous ex officials clearly state that KSM and others like him believed it was okay to be tortured for a while and then reveal all they had:

One former U.S. official with detailed knowledge of how the interrogations were carried out said Mohammed, like several other detainees, seemed to have decided that it was okay to stop resisting after he had endured a certain amount of pressure.

“Once the harsher techniques were used on [detainees], they could be viewed as having done their duty to Islam or their cause, and their religious principles would ask no more of them,” said the former official, who requested anonymity because the events are still classified. “After that point, they became compliant. Obviously, there was also an interest in being able to later say, ‘I was tortured into cooperating.’ “

Surely that would mean KSM began talking after only a few times under the waterboard. The reason for waterboarding him 183 times in the very first month he is captured, though? It’s all about Iraq. He may have been talking, but that was not good enough for his interrogators or the Bush administration. They believed in their heart of hearts that there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden. If KSM was not revealing anything about that connection, it was not because it wasn’t true. It was because KSM was too good at resisting torture! So that is why they tortured him so much in that first month.

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  1. Andrew Sullivan reminds us of what KSM told the Red Cross:

    “During the harshest period of my interrogation I gave a lot of false information in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished to hear in order to make the ill-treatment stop. I later told interrogators that their methods were stupid and counterproductive. I’m sure that the false information I was forced to invent in order to make the ill-treatment stop wasted a lot of their time,” he said.”


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