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. Oh come on Turley. It is obvious they are counting the number of times of dumping water on him and it is obvious you are up to your inflammatory tricks again.

    Each time they pour water onto a washcloth over his mouth is one incident of “waterboarding”

    Good lord, get over it.

    What turley cannot comprehend is if it was a member of his family that was hurt after the fact of an attack; turley would be right up there demanding to know what we knew before the attack and why didn’t we try harder to get the information to prevent it. Turley’s advantage will always be hindsight as opposed to the people on the front line. Turely can always say “there were other ways”. LOL. ya sure. That reallly helps America’s grieving families AFTER the fact.

    Well, now I will get the usual 3 or 4 rightous indignation responses from 3 or 4 indignant & self rightous readers.

  2. korn,

    No. You won’t. What you’ll get is a proper label.

    Nazi Sadist Scumbag and General Neocon Dipsh*t.

    You’re backing the enemy within and you’re too stupid to realize it. My sincere hope is that you and/or someone you care about (unlikely since sociopaths don’t care about others) are picked up, whisked away to an undisclosed location, and get tortured 183 times.

    Then get back to us with your oh so enlightened perspective on torture, half-wit. You’re the kind of American that makes me want to vomit. Ignorant and violent by choice.

  3. korn,

    I have had friends who have been directly affected by terrorist activities. In fact, one of my friends I joined the Marines with is bedridden for life after he was hit by an IED on his second tour. I am against the use of torture.

    “Torture degrades the rule of law and puts the core values of our democracy – the belief that all men are created equal and have the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – at risk. It not only creates new enemies abroad, but is damaging our relationships with long-term allies.” (from the ACLU)

    There are numerous arguments against torture, including that it gives notoriously unreliable information, but I have a feeling that no matter what anyone says or does it isn’t going to convince you that degrading someone and subjecting them to cruel and unusual conditions (sound familiar?) is morally, legally, and ethically wrong.

    The fact that we hold ourselves to a higher standard is what makes us better than our enemy.

  4. korn:

    “What turley cannot comprehend is if it was a member of his family that was hurt after the fact of an attack; turley would be right up there demanding to know what we knew before the attack and why didn’t we try harder to get the information to prevent it. Turley’s advantage will always be hindsight as opposed to the people on the front line.”


    The fundamental principle of this democracy is that reason trumps emotions like revenge. Victims are poor policy makers, and your id over super-ego philosophy is the genesis of just about every self-inflicted injury this nation ever suffered.

  5. And on topic . . .

    That’s 183 times too many. The very definition of excessive. I now retract my earlier position that the torturers proper should get a pass.


    You had better get your act together, sport. Soon. This is simply unacceptable and I don’t want to hear any more equivocation spilling out of your Janus-like political mouth, Apologist and Protectionist. The scope of this individual incident tells me everything I need to know. You take concrete steps to punish the guilty or I can guarantee that at least one citizen is DONE co-operating with the Federal Government ON ANYTHING. This is no longer a legitimate government and won’t be unless you take serious and I do mean serious action against the enablers of this heinous behavior. Or you could just go along get along like a good little PNAC Nazi. That has a price too. Were he alive, Thomas Jefferson himself would be leading the charge to burn Washington to the ground for this abuse of the Constitution. It is now time to start some trouble for anyone in office calling themselves Republican OR Democrat.

    I’m not joking. It’s time for citizens to take action.

    I am not so much truly sorry I voted for your traitor protecting self, but I am truly sorry your now proven lies were the only other choice besides two known incompetents. Because the choice is between visible morons and a lying, torture endorsing, weak willed enabler of treason who got my vote for his PROMISES, excuse me, LIES to uphold the Constitution and restore the Rule of Law (you know, YOUR DAMN JOB, JACKASS!) just goes to show how truly and totally ethically bankrupt Washington is.

    It’s time for BOTH parties to go.

    You suck. Enjoy the single term. Just pray your daughters never realize what a liar you are. It’ll make any future holiday real uncomfortable. Assuming this once great country has a future with spineless liars like yourself at the helm.

  6. Matthew N,

    Again, very well said. I also agree with Buddha. This is clear evidence of sadism. Naomi Klein writes about the history of torture in the CIA in her book, “The Shock Doctrine”. This book is somewhat disorganized but it does give an excellent history of torture techniques and how the CIA has consistently been “interested” in using them for a very long time. She also tells of the many unwitting test subjects used in the creating of the techniques we now see codified in these memos.

    I am grateful that korn is posting here. The trolls always telegraph the fears of the administration, both past and present. So we know both administrations are not certain that they will get away with what they are doing. Thank you korn for letting us know that korn.

    The sadism is one very real reason that I find these blanket grants of immunity so disturbing and why I think these individuals should not be working in our govt. Let them give their accounts and let Obama pardon them with the stipulation that if they failed to give a full accounting of their actions, the pardon is withdrawn and they will serve hard time. But under no circumstances is it appropriate to keep these people in place. They constitute a danger to our own citizens, the citizens of other nations and they are demoralizing to those interrogators who are professional and know how to get actual useful intelligence.

  7. These revelations shock the conscience.

    Sadistic. Barbaric. Orwellian. Inhuman. Monstrous.

    Let’s hope that this precedent is crushed before it is us and our children that are being tortured by the United States government.

  8. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
    – Sun Tzu

    But nowhere, and I mean nowhere, does Sun Tzu advocate BECOMING the enemy as a winning strategy.

    Your wrong assumption is the actual nature of the enemy, Little Nazi Troll.

  9. Dear Mr. and Ms. Korn,
    I guess this Sunday is your scheduled work day in the NRC Troll division. It would be nice if you actally had a clue on what torture does or does not accomplish. The FBI, under the Bush Administration, refused to cooperate at GITMO and other torture sites because they knew it was illegal and immoral and a waste. The FBI got more useful information out of the Shiek than the 138 instances of torture that was used on him. And yes, counting the times you are tortured is important when each separate incident of torture may be a separate violation of our laws and international law. Of course, even if good information was received, it was illegal then and it is illegal now. The rule of law is what is important.
    Matthew, good job on your response and thank you for your service to our country. Your last line sums it up best,”The fact that we hold ourselves to a higher standard is what makes us better than our enemy”.

  10. How, then, do we know we have the true story that Khalid was the mastermind of 9/11 just because he said so?

    The two chairmen of The 9/11 Commission say, in a book and in an article, that the government lied to them and obstructed their inquiry:

    Khalid tells us that “The Cavemen Did It” after being tortured a zillion times and we believe that?

    Why, then, does the FBI still have an open investigation?

  11. As a member of a family that was tortured, maimed or killed during a period of time that some people says does not exist I take exception to Mr. Korns generality of cruility.

    Please Mr. Korn, go to the area of the country that you will be of most use to your fellows. I assure you, sir, in here you are not.

    “Do not feed the trolls” and its abbreviation DNFTT redirect here. For the Wikipedia essay, see “What is a troll?”. For other uses see Troll (disambiguation).

    An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response[1] or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.[2]

  12. Couldn’t Resist Buddah

    I am not so much truly sorry I voted for your traitor protecting self, but I am truly sorry your now proven lies were the only other choice besides two known incompetents.

    My name is Buddah and I’m a Kool-Aid Drinker

    You should be very careful when making comments like that. YOU WILL BE VISITED if I see any more comments like that coming from you. This my friend will be your only warning.


    You had better get your act together, sport. Soon

    Burn Washington to the ground
    It is now time to start some trouble for anyone in office calling themselves Republican OR Democrat.

  13. bdman,

    Come visit me in KC yourself if you’ve got the cajones, sport. That goes for the Gestapo too. I’m not a shrinking violet. And on a personal note, go fornicate yourself, troll.

  14. I’m pretty sure that British loyalists told Jefferson to watch his mouth too. Forward in time, I’m sure the good little Nazis warned off Elsa Holzer for protesting against the persecution of Jews. And backward in time, but not to be Messianic as I am in no way divine, I’m pretty sure both the Jewish and Roman authorities warned Jesus to STFU or there’d be consequences. Now to the present, where some troll is telling me to watch what I say.

    You see how well that worked out.

    It seems I’m in good company. I’d rather die on my feet defending the Constitution than live forever licking some corporate fascist usurper’s boots like you’re willing to do, bdman, so suck on that kool-aid expert.

  15. Korn,
    In case you haven’t realized it “24” is an action television series and not a depiction of real life. I know you feel safe that Jack Bauer is in the world, but I think you need to realize that he is a role, played by Keifer Sutherland. Real life unfortunately offers few ticking time bomb situations and when it did: i.e. 9/11 predicted by the CIA in August 2001, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice ignored it. You need to stop mixing up fantasy and reality, really, it will lower your stress level. Also too, water boarding is not simply putting a wet washcloth in someone’s mouth. Torture is inhuman and ineffective, except on TV shows, that present mythical situations. I like “24,” but call me irresponsible since I don’t believe it depicts anything like the real world.

  16. “You should be very careful when making comments like that. YOU WILL BE VISITED if I see any more comments like that coming from you. This my friend will be your only warning.


    You had better get your act together, sport. Soon

    Burn Washington to the ground
    It is now time to start some trouble for anyone in office calling themselves Republican OR Democrat.”

    Do you realize that this threat is probably illegal, but also treasonous. I know that your either demented, or being paid by the word, but you have stepped over the line in this comment. Advocating burning our Nation’s capital and threatening our President is criminal and treasonous. I am for free speech but this passes into criminal intent and call to conspiracy. Do you really want to go there?

  17. Mike S.,

    Let Mr. Troll Pants him hang himself with his own words as he tries to put them in my mouth. Unlike him, I know exactly where the line is, but isn’t that always the way with evil minions too eager to please the boss? Always overreaching.

    Also, I’m about half way through Cryptonomicon. Excellent read. Very dense in detail. One of the blurbs on the cover called Stephenson “the hacker Hemingway” but he’s far too verbose for that description. Hemingway was verbal minimalist. Stephenson is more like “the hacker Dostoevsky” (but admittedly more readable). I’ll touch base again on it once I’ve finished.

  18. Here ya go, Neocon bdman . . . this is what a real patriot looks like. Norman Lear from his article posted to HuffPo.

    Dear Mr. Perkins:

    I was initially delighted to see that you had joined so many other American Christians in responding to the Born Again American campaign. But your recent “Last Word” column makes it clear that you have misunderstood the campaign, and I’d like to give you a better sense of our goals.

    In your column, you say that our theme song, “Born Again American” by songwriter Keith Carradine, misuses themes of God and country to “lure” people into a “big government, anti-family agenda.” You seem to be particularly disturbed by the line, “My country ’tis of me.” You even call it “humanist dogma.” I think of it another way entirely. I hear and feel “My country ’tis of me” as an assertion of the responsibilities of citizenship. It’s a patriotic anthem, like “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land,” which so many Americans joined in singing during the pre-inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial in January.

    I’m glad that you find the refrain hopeful and instructive: “I’m a Born Again American, conceived in liberty. My Bible and the Bill of Rights. My creed’s equality.” I’m just sorry that you cannot overcome your unwillingness to believe that someone you disagree with politically might just be motivated by genuine patriotism, or your cynical insistence that we view the Bible and the Bill of Rights as mere props.

    The Born Again American campaign encourages Americans to recommit to the principles in the Declaration of Independence, to commit themselves to staying engaged in our civic life. If you go to our website,, you will see the pledge that we have asked Americans to sign:

    I am a Born Again American
    I am my Country’s Keeper
    My President and My Congress report to me
    And so –
    I will stay informed and involved
    I will make my voice heard
    And not just at election time
    I can make a difference
    I matter
    I am an American, Born Again

    Could not members of the Family Research Council sign that pledge in good faith as easily as members of People For the American Way?

    The Born Again American campaign grows from the same impulse that led me to send an original printing of the Declaration of Independence around the country so that people in small communities could thrill to this piece of history in which our founders risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to declare a free nation. I disagree with your assertion that America’s greatness has never been from the will of man. I believe our greatness derives from many factors, including the will of generations of men and women to stand up for the principles in our founding documents and help our country live up to them. I believe that is still our work as Americans.

    Millions of people have viewed the Born Again American video, and many thousands have signed the pledge. We’ve heard from many Christians who don’t necessarily share all my ideas about politics and policy, but who sent the video to their friends because it tapped into their love for this country, their faith in its future, and their desire to be part of building our shared home.


    Norman Lear


    For the record, Born Again American is a project of Declare Yourself, a nonpartisan civic engagement organization that has registered millions of young voters without interrogating them about their political or religious views.

    I am my Country’s Keeper
    My President and My Congress report to me
    And so –
    I will stay informed and involved
    I will make my voice heard
    And not just at election time

    You got a problem with that?

  19. Buddha,
    you’ve got to understand I grew up on books like Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, so I’m a fan of verbose and arcane. I love his use of words. I’m just finishing up reading his Baroque Trilogy and loving it more the 2nd time around. In a weird way it is a prequel to Cryptonomicom set in the late 17th and early 18th century’s. Try it you’ll like it. By the way I realize you live in the home town of one of my faves the great Bill James. I’ve read everything he’s written on baseball and in the 80’s was also a member of SABR. I gave it up when I realized that my use of baseball statistics and analysis had been far surpassed by Bill and his acolytes.

    However, back to the topic. Reading korn and bdaman would be akin to torture if their drivel wasn’t so damn funny and their attempts to upset so puny and obvious.

  20. 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?””

  21. 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.

  22. 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).

  23. 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.


  24. 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?

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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?

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

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