Bloggers Uncover Torture Memo Scoop: Waterboarding Used 266 Times on Two Suspects!

April 20, 2009

(ChattahBox)—President Obama’s recent release of four additional Justice Department “torture memos,” prepared by former Bush administration lawyers with the Office of Legal Counsel or OLC, have at once horrified and sickened most Americans, at the utter depravity and contempt administration lawyers showed for the U.S. Constitution and rule of law to provide the CIA with legal cover to engage in torture. The New York Times and other major news outlets reported at length on the content of the four memos as they were released.

However, it took Internet bloggers to uncover the largest scoop to come from the memos, including Marcy Wheeler of the blog emptywheel, who carefully scanned the interrogation memo authored by OLC lawyer Steven Bradbury, dated May 30, 2005, which stated that CIA interrogators waterboarded two prisoners held at Guantanamo, a total of 266 times, a startling revelation unknown until now.

The may 30, 2005 Bradbury memo, indicated Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, September 11 mastermind, was subjected to waterboarding 183 times in just one month during March 2003. Abu Zubaydah, described by the Bush administration as a high-level Al Qaeda operative, (but it has since been established he was not even a member of Al Qaeda), was waterboarded at least 83 times in just one month during August, 2002.

The obscenely high number of instances of waterboarding is much higher than previously reported by administration officials, and more than anyone could have predicted, given the supposed “safeguards” in place to limit the use of waterboarding as an interrogation method of last resort.

John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent, told numerous news outlets in 2007 that waterboarding was only used on Abu Zubaydah for a total of 35 seconds before he spilled all his secrets. The top secret Bradbury memo now exposes Kiriakou’s assertions as contrary to the facts.

Ms. Wheeler also noted that CIA agents in the Bradbury memo admitted to violating the allowed procedures for “safe” waterboarding outlined by the Department of Justice and used in SERE training of interrogators. This revelation raises the issue of criminal prosecution of CIA interrogators who went beyond legally sanctioned waterboarding methods.

These latest revelations, torturing just two prisoners with a near-drowning torture method, a startling 266 times, will certainly be taken into consideration by the Senate Intelligence Committee, as it conducts an investigation into Bush administration claims that torture was necessary to extract information to keep America safe from further terrorist attacks.

Former CIA officials have come out anonymously to debunk Bush administration claims that waterboarding and other methods of torture were successful in obtaining information that kept America safe. Instead, the use of torture elicited false leads, sending CIA agents on world-wide goose chases, especially in the case of Abu Zubaida.

Former CIA officials say any useful information obtained from Abu Zubaida was given up during normal interrogation methods, and not one useful piece of intelligence was obtained from the use of waterboarding.

You have to wonder how successful waterboarding was as a method of interrogation if it was used 183 times on just one prisoner.

Kudos to the Internet bloggers for scooping the major news outlets, and shining the spotlight on yet another depraved detail of our government’s descent into condoning a method of torture used during the Spanish Inquisition in the 15th century.



3 Responses to “Bloggers Uncover Torture Memo Scoop: Waterboarding Used 266 Times on Two Suspects!”

  1. Watch Journalist Who Bets He Can Endure 15 Seconds Of Waterboarding | ChattahBox News Blog on April 21st, 2009 7:40 am

    […] (ChattahBox) — Just to put into perspective what it’s like to get waterboarded once for mere seconds, journalist Mike Guy underwent the torture by a trained member of the U.S. military in the site’s new Lab Rat feature. Guy bet that he could endure 15 seconds of the interrogation technique used by the Bush administration on al Qaeda chief Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah.  Imagine that CIA interrogators waterboarded Mohammed and Zubaydah held at Guantanamo, a total of 266 times!! […]

  2. Rice and Cheney Approved Waterboarding: They Have Some Explaining to Do | ChattahBox News Blog on April 23rd, 2009 1:37 pm

    […] released by the Obama administration revealed Zubaydah was subsequently waterboarded at least 83 times during a one-month […]

  3. Playboy Waterboarding Experiment « Unkategorized on May 2nd, 2009 11:33 pm

    […] I may be wrong (and today I haven’t the patience to sift through the Interwebs for a conclusive answer) but I believe our policy is that those who use this technique must be trained in this technique.  I do know the military trains soldiers both to use and to withstand this kind of treatment, and worse.  The CIA, who along with Special Forces are the only folks authorized to use more controversial techniques, also trains agents both to survive and to implement these tactics. [One more quick factual note: Waterboarding was only used against two particular subjects, ostensibly to “break” them into submission; here are two more more explicitbut way less reputable sources.] […]

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