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Khalid Sheik Mohammed Waterboarded 183 Times


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http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN19326905

 

Apparently Khalid Sheik Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in the first month after his capture. There are 31 days in March, so that's, what, over six times per day? Gee.

 

The Bush administration insisted that he gave up important information. So, what, we're supposed to believe that he enjoyed 182 waterboardings, and then just suddenly decided to spill all the important beans after the disastrous 183rd time? What, did his mask slip or something? Pfft.

 

I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop here, where we learn about how he also identified the true Kennedy and Lincoln assassins, Nicole Simpson's "real killer", the location of the Roswell UFO, and the secret to faster-than-light travel. :rolleyes:

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Same stupid mistake as the Germans in WWII. If you're going to commit crimes against humanity, don't write about it in official documents. How is it possible that this kind of info leaked? Apparently it's easier to extract the truth from a torturing government than from a terrorist.

 

All jokes aside, I believe that waterboarding is a crime against humanity. It's real torture (the number 183 is irrelevant, just 1 time is enough).

Just 8 years ago I would never have believed that such a thing could happen in a Western democracy.

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It is interesting that the information leaked during the Bush administration, but I'm still wondering about how wise it was for Obama to release the info. I mean sure I wanna know what happened so we can be angry and never let it happen again, but there are a lot of CIA people who were doing their jobs (and not doing anything illegal at the time under the ridiculous G.W wording) who are under a lot of fire to be prosecuted for their actions.

 

Instead of hitting those guys, I would say take the punishment to the top - if you're gonna start being stupid about trying the interrogators, go for the previous head of the CIA and the former president first - Americans are getting stupid with their taste for throwing everybody in prison for everything (and complaining about how much money we pay about keeping them there)

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The information was in the public domain and available for all to see long before Obama said anything about it. These calls about his "poor decision" are silly since it's not like they released any new information. What they DID do, however is improve our standing in the world and take away some pretty key terrorist recruiting tactics from our opposition.

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I agree with pretty much everything said by iNow. Perhaps I worded my view poorly too - he didn't release any new information, but he certainly brought a lot more public attention to the documents than they had previously.

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...there are a lot of CIA people who were doing their jobs (and not doing anything illegal at the time under the ridiculous G.W wording) who are under a lot of fire to be prosecuted for their actions.

 

Instead of hitting those guys, I would say take the punishment to the top....

At the link below are two vids on the sidebar....

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30273330

Obama: No trials over CIA's harsh tactics

April 16: The Justice Department Thursday released memos from the Bush administration that authorized the CIA to use harsh interrogation methods against suspected terrorists, but
the Obama administration said CIA staffers won't be tried
for "mistakes of the past." NBC's Pete Williams reports.

 

Obama in hot seat for torture memos

April 17: Former Bush officials are accusing President Barack Obama of weakening national security by releasing the torture memos, even though
he decided to give immunity to any CIA interrogators
involved in these practices. Constitutional law Prof. Jonathan Turley discusses.

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Thanks TBK,

 

I did know about that already. I wasn't saying the Obama administration wanted to try them, I was talking more about the public masses and human right's activists

 

CNN

 

That's all I was getting at

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Nice.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090421/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_cia

The president urged the hundreds of CIA employees who gathered in a secure auditorium to ignore the recent controversy. "Don't be discouraged by what's happened the last few weeks," he said.

 

A round of cheers erupted when CIA Director Leon Panetta introduced Obama, who quickly reassured them that they had his backing.

 

"I know the last few days have been difficult," he said. "You need to know you've got my full support."

 

But Obama also heard a reminder of the intense criticism his decision sparked from many in the intelligence community. Four former CIA directors and several senior agency officials opposed the release of the memos.

 

This next bit has tones of Benjamin Franklin and Patrick Henry.

He said that he understands that intelligence officials sometimes feel as if they are operating with one hand tied behind their backs.

 

But Obama said that upholding American values and ideals in the face of those enemies is "what makes the United States special and what makes you special."

A*freakin*men.

 

Government employees have long been duped by politicians into believing their jobs are difficult only because the pesky Constitution stands in their way -- in the way of blaming lawyers and political opponents. It's a habit so ingrained that many public servants consider it wise to look for the easy way out. But they need to relearn viewing it a duty to go the one extra mile demanded by the rigors of ensuring Constitutional compliance (and safeguardng its protections).

 

...I was talking more about the public masses and human right's activists

 

CNN

 

That's all I was getting at

Well they should give Obama a healthy dose of credit for releasing the info. And the employees were simply doing their jobs, even if some probably did fall victim to enjoying it.

 

But I'm more interested in exposure than prosecution. All of the Bush Gang's actions must be exposed. To quote the right-winged, they have nothing to fear if they've done no wrong -- especially if no prosecution is forthcoming (although votes won't be either).

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I probably wouldn't phrase it that way, but I agree -- expose everything. Put it all out there. Let's have that debate. Dick Cheney is screaming from the rooftops about how bad it is that the memos are out there. But now he can make his case, and those who disagree can make theirs, and we'll see what we see.

 

I think when we look back on the first decade of the 21st century in American politics, it's going to show that it was an amazingly educational period.

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Again... The information was already in the public domain. Nothing new was released by Obama, so this is all a big smoke screen to distract attention away from wrong doings in the past and displace it on to flaming Obama for being stupid. Regardless, it's a false charge, since he didn't release anything new. It was all available already, and claims that Obama has made the nation less safe are completely without merit.

 

The information was available to the public well before Obama did anything this week.

Openly acknowledging it takes away a key recruiting tool from our enemies.

Torture still sucks even if you know it's coming.

 

 

 

The Daily Show had a rather funny bit on exactly this last night, although, I must clarify that my own points and opinions were formed myself by watching Meet the Press, This Week, and Face the Nation this Sunday (in other words, well before I saw TDS last night).

 

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=224287&title=we-dont-torture

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I'm not sure why you keep saying that, since from what I've been reading the memos themselves and quite a bit of information they contained was new. As I understand it we didn't know that KSM had been waterboarded 183 times, for example. What have you read to the contrary? Please pass it along. :)

 

It also seems that the Obama administration hasn't released enough information, at least not yet. One of the things Cheney is complaining about is that the documents released don't show what was gained by these techniques -- what information was learned. Now of course he's playing politics too, but he's also right -- we can't assess whether or not these techniques worked unless we know what information was gained and whether or not it was verified to be accurate. And he's not entirely off base in suggesting that the Obama administration may be playing political games here. This release has a certain taint of Emanuel politics.

 

If we're going to release information about Bush administration interrogation techniques, then we should release all of it.

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Simple miscommunication.

 

The techniques we use have been in public domain for quite some time. This is what so many people are attacking Obama for releasing. "Oh great, now they'll know what we do to our prisoners." Well... they knew already.

 

Now, as for the specifics (like 183 times in one month), that was new, and all it does is make former leaders look bad, and set the foundation for us to have a conversation how we can do this better moving forward.

 

So, techniques themselves? Known. Specific times used in past on detainees? New.

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Instead of hitting those guys, I would say take the punishment to the top - if you're gonna start being stupid about trying the interrogators, go for the previous head of the CIA and the former president first - Americans are getting stupid with their taste for throwing everybody in prison for everything (and complaining about how much money we pay about keeping them there)

 

Well, if they can show that any interrogators knew they weren't supposed to be doing that, then they should be prosecuted as well. "Just following orders" can't be a defense if they knew the orders were illegal -- it would make them responsible to their superiors rather than to their country. Of course, the one giving the orders should be in a lot more trouble.

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Well, if they can show that any interrogators knew they weren't supposed to be doing that, then they should be prosecuted as well. "Just following orders" can't be a defense if they knew the orders were illegal -- it would make them responsible to their superiors rather than to their country. Of course, the one giving the orders should be in a lot more trouble.

It seems one has to not just know the law, but at the time of the deed, one's superiors must acknowledge that interpretation of the law (before it lands in military courts -- and hope they don't side against you)...

 

 

http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/militarylaw1/a/obeyingorders.htm

 

In fact, under Article 90, during times of war, a military member who willfully disobeys a superior commissioned officer can be sentenced to death.

 

Seems like pretty good motivation to obey any order you're given, right? Nope. These articles require the obedience of LAWFUL orders. An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed, but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders -- if the order was illegal.

 

"I was only following orders," has been unsuccessfully used as a legal defense in hundreds of cases (probably most notably by Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg tribunals following World War II). The defense didn't work for them, nor has it worked in hundreds of cases since.

........

It's clear, under military law, that military members can be held accountable for crimes committed under the guise of "obeying orders," and there is no requirement to obey orders which are unlawful. However, here's the rub: A military member disobeys such orders at his/her own peril. Ultimately, it's not whether or not the military member thinks the order is illegal or unlawful, it's whether military superiors (and courts) think the order was illegal or unlawful.

.....

So, to obey, or not to obey? It depends on the order. Military members disobey orders at their own risk. They also obey orders at their own risk. An order to commit a crime is unlawful. An order to perform a military duty, no matter how dangerous is lawful, as long as it doesn't involve commission of a crime.

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Well, if they can show that any interrogators knew they weren't supposed to be doing that, then they should be prosecuted as well. "Just following orders" can't be a defense if they knew the orders were illegal -- it would make them responsible to their superiors rather than to their country. Of course, the one giving the orders should be in a lot more trouble.

 

This I do agree with

 

It seems one has to not just know the law,

~~~~

matter how dangerous is lawful, as long as it doesn't involve commission of a crime.

 

I mostly agree with that post, but you have to remember, a lot of people were made to believe what they were doing was lawful through the tricky wording of their superiors and the politicians.

 

As sort of stated earlier by Mr. Skeptic, those who knew they were going above and beyond legal, like waterboarding someone 150+ times might not enjoy the same protection, but I'm sure there are a lot of people who did what they were told and told it was legal because of x and x (not intentionally causing harm, etc.)

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In fact, under Article 90, during times of war, a military member who willfully disobeys a superior commissioned officer can be sentenced to death.

 

Well yes, but remember that there is a difference between "just following orders in a battle situation" and "just following orders inside the safety of our prison complex". I don't think any of the interrogators could have been executed for refusing to follow orders.

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Just for the record: simulated drowning is torture!

 

 

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/08/hitchens200808

 

What more can be added to the debate over U.S. interrogation methods, and whether waterboarding is torture? Try firsthand experience. The author undergoes the controversial drowning technique, at the hands of men who once trained American soldiers to resist—not inflict—it.

by Christopher Hitchens <
>

 

 

 

 

 

Video of Hitchens experience described in the story above is shown below:

 

4LPubUCJv58

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Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck are still arguing that waterboarding isn't torture.

 

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/08/hitchens200808

 

What more can be added to the debate over U.S. interrogation methods, and whether waterboarding is torture? Try firsthand experience.

 

Hannity has offered to be waterboarded, although I expect another strawman Fox News waterboarding where he lies down on an inclined board and they splash water on his face, as opposed to real waterboarding where he's tied down and they put a wet rag over his nose and mouth.

 

We'll see, but I entirely anticipate the result is Hannity going "waterboarding is a-ok!"

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What does one do when confronted with a "Jack Bauer" situation ( from TV series "24" )ie When one KNOWS with a fair degree of certainty that the unsub KNOWS where the nuclear weapon is hidden ?

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What does one do when confronted with a "Jack Bauer" situation ( from TV series "24" )ie When one KNOWS with a fair degree of certainty that the unsub KNOWS where the nuclear weapon is hidden ?

 

I don't think that question is particularly relevant to the waterboarding of Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

 

From a utilitarian perspective that situation does not bother me as much. But it's not one we've seen in the real world.

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What does one do when confronted with a "Jack Bauer" situation ( from TV series "24" )ie When one KNOWS with a fair degree of certainty that the unsub KNOWS where the nuclear weapon is hidden ?

 

The 'ticking time bomb' scenario is actually useful, but for different reasons - ask yourself what's justifiable to extract that information. Waterboarding the unsub? Waterboarding his family, including children? Rape? Killing his kids in front of him?

 

I know these all seem excessive, but it illustrates a point, namely that nobody actually believes 'by any means necessary' unless they're a raging sociopath and sadist. We, and every other society, have limits to what we are willing to do in that situation, and those limits vary between societies and between individuals.

 

So, amid all the definitions and quibbling over various techniques, the real issue is coming to a collective conclusion about what we, as a society, deem to be the boundary. How far is too far for us, as a nation?

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What does one do when confronted with a "Jack Bauer" situation ( from TV series "24" )ie When one KNOWS with a fair degree of certainty that the unsub KNOWS where the nuclear weapon is hidden ?

 

Apparently Khalid Sheik Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in the first month after his capture. There are 31 days in March...

@JHAQ

 

24 (TV series) = Hollywood's version of torture effectiveness.

31 days = a bit like...reality?

 

Jack Bauer wouldn't have a chance outside TV. (see also: "official lie" in bold).

 

In any ticking bomb scenario, if the info gained turned out to be incorrect, the bomb would likely go off before the prisoner could be re-tortured.

 

Misleading your captors is a great incentive when time is on the prisoner's side. What are they going to do to you after the bomb detonates, torture you in revenge?

 

 

Video of Hitchens experience described in the story above is shown below:

Give him a medal. I thought briefly about the feasibility of opening a roadside "be waterboarded" set-up, for people to try and crowds to witness. But then it occurred to me the best place would be outside the Republican National Convention, to see how many actually have the guts to make a "prove to the nation" type of statement -- if waterboarding really ain't torture. Using professional waterboarders (like on the vid), of course.

 

Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck are still arguing that waterboarding isn't torture.

Let Keith Olbermann choose the waterboarders, and I'd believe the outcome. Heck, forget that -- just use the guys from the vid and let the code/safety word or metal objects do the talking.

 

Shall we email the challenge idea to Mr. Olbermann? KOlbermann@msnbc.com (thanks waitforufo for the many posts of his email ;))

 

Let's see how well they can endure....

I was very gently yet firmly grabbed from behind, pulled to my feet, pinioned by my wrists (which were then cuffed to a belt), and cut off from the sunlight by having a black hood pulled over my face. I was then turned around a few times, I presume to assist in disorienting me, and led over some crunchy gravel into a darkened room. Well, mainly darkened: there were some oddly spaced bright lights that came as pinpoints through my hood. And some weird music assaulted my ears. (I’m no judge of these things, but I wouldn’t have expected former Special Forces types to be so fond of New Age techno-disco.) The outside world seemed very suddenly very distant indeed.

........

You may have read by now the
official lie
about this treatment, which is that it “simulates” the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning—or, rather, being drowned, albeit slowly and under controlled conditions and at the mercy (or otherwise) of those who are applying the pressure.....You are not being boarded. You are being watered. This was very rapidly brought home to me when, on top of the hood, which still admitted a few flashes of random and worrying strobe light to my vision, three layers of enveloping towel were added. In this pregnant darkness, head downward, I waited for a while until I abruptly felt a slow cascade of water going up my nose. Determined to resist if only for the honor of my navy ancestors who had so often been in peril on the sea, I held my breath for a while and then had to exhale and—as you might expect—inhale in turn. The inhalation brought the damp cloths tight against my nostrils, as if a huge, wet paw had been suddenly and annihilatingly clamped over my face. Unable to determine whether I was breathing in or out, and flooded more with sheer panic than with mere water, I triggered the pre-arranged signal and felt the unbelievable relief of being pulled upright and having the soaking and stifling layers pulled off me.

........

I am somewhat proud of my ability to "keep my head," as the saying goes, and to maintain presence of mind under trying circumstances. I was completely convinced that, when the water pressure had become intolerable, I had firmly uttered the pre-determined code word that would cause it to cease. But my interrogator told me that, rather to his surprise, I had not spoken a word. I had activated the "dead man’s handle" that signaled the onset of unconsciousness. So now I have to wonder about the role of false memory and delusion. What I do recall clearly, though, is a hard finger feeling for my solar plexus as the water was being poured. What was that for? "That’s to find out if you are trying to cheat, and timing your breathing to the doses. If you try that, we can outsmart you. We have all kinds of enhancements."

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