Memo: Bush Administration Tortured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 Times

khalid_shaikh_mohammed_2One of the more shocking revelation from the May 30, 2005 Bradbury memo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003. Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002. Unless I am missing something, that would mean that that KSM was tortured roughly six times a day.

The disclosure can be found on page 37 of the OLC memo, which referenced the rate to torture for the two men.

Notably, Bush officials earlier leaked a story that said that KSM broke within minutes of being waterboarded. CIA officials are quoted as saying “He sang right away. He cracked real quick.” Recently, reports have indicated that these interrogations produced largely known or false information, particularly in the case of the “successful” torture of Abu Zubaydah. Yet, putting aside these accounts, it is strange that CIA officials said that he broke quickly but proceeded to torture him 183 times in the course of a single month.

Notably, the CIA officials who earlier leaked information and details on the success of the torture program are now crying foul at the release of the legal justifications and the scope of the program.

These officials who tortured people multiple times a day have now been told by Attorney General Eric Holder that they will not be investigated and that the government will pay for any criminal defense.

36 thoughts on “Memo: Bush Administration Tortured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 Times”

  1. Does anyone else wonder: Where is KSM, and what is his condition?

  2. Al Jazerra is a big guy, just not to most of the public in the US! But I am hoping this gets picked up by our MSM because it needs immediate attention.

  3. The Guardian is a start, but it needs to get picked up by the big guys in order to legitimize it in the eyes of the public.

  4. JT covered one of the other allegations, that of Binyam Mohamed, in an earlier post (as did Glenn Greenwald). I am frustrated that this is ignored by most of our media. The Guardian covered Mohamed’s story for a while as it is linked in to their own prosecution of MI5 personnel for war crimes. So perhaps The Guardian will take it up. I know the ACLU is looking into the abuses at Gitmo as well, so perhaps they will be able to help these detainees.

  5. Jill,
    I apologize if I misunderstood the al-Jazeera article. As I stated in my earlier posting, if there is evidence that torture is still happening at Gitmo, then we need to know it and it needs to be corrected. I would like to see other media sources investigate these alleged crimes. If the CNN’s and the MSNBC’s can get this story out, then it has a better chance of being investigated. I wonder why Fox News hasn’t jumped all over this?

  6. rafflaw,

    This is a report detailing the torture of two different men. Mr. al-Qurani is in the camp that is “better” but by “better” they are refering to his treatment by interrogators when he was first captured at around age 15. He was able to detail his torture to
    Al Jazerra a few days back. The second man, Mr. Latif, is giving an additional account of torture. It is he who is quoted above.

    “The letter emerged on Thursday, two days after another inmate, Mohammad al-Qurani, told Al Jazeera in a phone call that he had been mistreated since Barack Obama, the US president, was elected last November.

    David Remes, one of Abdul Latif’s lawyers, said he had seen evidence of abuse on his client during meetings at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba.

    “We have met with our clients, we know the men and the experiences are uniform and universal,” he said.

    “I’ve seen the marks on these men, I’ve taken inventories that show the scars, that show the open wounds, that show the rashes.”

    We now have multiple accounts of torture since Obama took office in Gitmo. These crimes have been witnessed by outsiders to include lawyers and medical personel. I have to feel there is a connection in granting complete amnesty to people who torture and also doing nothing while torture occurs at Gitmo.

    Very likely you just uped your points by reading Al Jazerra!

  7. Jill,
    I read the link that you provided above and if the inmate was beaten it should be investigated and handled accordingly. I have to admit that when I went to the link I realized that it was the first time I ever visited al-Jazeera’s site. If the NSA wasn’t hooked into my computer before, they are now! I have no problem with any criminal activity being investigated and prosecuted if warranted. No matter who is involved. However, if you read the full article, it is admitted that the prisoner is in a better place than he was before Obama took office. If he is still being mistreated, then the axe should fall.

  8. My only question is why did it take them 183 times to get the information? they must be some pretty lame practitioners. I guess it just goes to show the government cant do anything right.

    If it took me 183 times to do something for a client I would have been fired after the 2nd or third time. And we have to pay for this level of abysmal service?

  9. rafflaw,

    I have to ask you something. There are credible allegations of torture at Gitmo under Obama, right now (see above). I worry that these acts are ignored because it makes people too heartsick to think they may be true. I understand this because it makes me heartsick as well. But you never remained silent about any claims of torture before. Now you are silent. I consider you to be a good and decent person with a strong character. I consider you in some ways, my friend. I am having a hard time with the deafening silence relating to credible claims of torture. If you have time, will you please tell me what you make of these claims.


  10. Well said Mike.
    When you have to torture someone 183 times, even a troll should be able to figure out that something isn’t right.

  11. Mike S.,

    I’m all for verbose too as long as the flow is good. Ivanhoe rocks. And as far as love of the arcane goes, I know it’s a genre jump, but need I say more than Tolkien? I’ll stipulate that Stephenson’s flow is excellent, so much so that the time jumps are minimally disruptive to the narrative (a common failing of multi-thread, multi-time frame novels).

  12. To all the defenders of truth, justice and torture, please tell me this. Does the “true confession” produced by your methods of interrogation come after the 30th waterboarding, or the 77th? The 115th? The 147th? Korn inadvertently gave the correct answer, which is that it doesn’t matter. Torture in his view is the price paid for harming citizens of this country. This is the attitude that sadism is an honorable response to outrage, that the infliction of pain for its own sake is appropriate because it is so damn emotionally satisfying. There. We need no longer debate any legal or policy issues. Thank you, Mr. korn, for accurately elucidating the views of those who support what has been done in our names.

  13. More allegations of abuse at Gitmo. This is why we must not leave people willing to torture in place. This is not happening under bush, it is happening under Obama. It should not be swept under a rug because it is happening under Obama.

    “More claims of mistreatment of detainees at the US prison facility in Guantanamo Bay have emerged after Al Jazeera obtained a letter from an inmate saying he had been abused since the Obama administration came to power.

    Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a Yemeni national held since 2001, said in a letter to his lawyer dated April that “oppression has increased, torture has increased and insults have increased”.

    “I have seen death so many times,” he wrote. “Everything is over, life is going to hell in my situation. America, what has happened to you?””

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