KSM torture timeline

Something came to my notice over the weekend, in the category of “the dog isn’t barking.” Despite hearing a great deal of discussion on both sides of the so-called “debate” over American use of torture, I haven’t heard anyone raise this point:

We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed 183 times in March, 2003, according to the released memos.

No one seems to have correlated that with the date we captured Khalid Sheik Mohammed — which was March 1, 2003, in Pakistan.

In other words, we started torturing that unholy bastard pretty much the minute we laid hands on him. There were no “regular interrogation methods” for him. We went straight to the Torquemada techniques.

I don’t know about you, but there seems to be an unstated presumption that when the United States does engage in torture, it’s because we need information that we can’t get any other way. KSM shows that this is clearly false; with him, we didn’t try any other way.

3 thoughts on “KSM torture timeline

  1. OK, I went and did some reading on this, although I hesitate to tell you what I found, lest you accuse me of “defending torture.” I’ll just summarize by saying that by March of 2003, he had already been transferred to his third detention facility (source), that in what the DOJ called a “prototypical interrogation,” water boarding was one of the last techniques performed, although the others are still rather disturbing (source), and that we water boarded him five times, not 183 times (source). From what I can tell, we poured water on him a total of 183 times during the five allowable sessions. This, of course, could be the most colossal “splitting of hairs” in history, but there you have it…

    I also found out some additional fascinating facts, which became too long for a comment, so I posted them on my blog here.

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