Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More on Torture

Over the weekend I read the majority of the four torture memos that were released last week and will finish them at some point today. There have been a lot of good analysis and important reaction coming out and I while I will write my own this week, it is important to keep the conversation going.

Over the weekend we learned that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) was waterboarded 183 times in March, 2003 by the CIA and that Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August, 2002. At the blogger emptywheel pointed out:

So: two two-hour sessions a day, with six applications of the waterboard each = 12 applications in a day. Though to get up to the permitted 12 minutes of waterboarding in a day (with each use of the waterboard limited to 40 seconds), you'd need 18 applications in a day. Assuming you use the larger 18 applications in one 24-hour period, and do 18 applications on five days within a month, you've waterboarded 90 times--still just half of what they did to KSM.

The CIA wants you to believe waterboarding is effective. Yet somehow, it took them 183 applications of the waterboard in a one month period to get what they claimed was cooperation out of KSM.

That doesn't sound very effective to me.

The figures that emptywheel used above, came directly out of the torture memos dictating how waterboarding was to be implemented. As Andrew Sullivan points out:

Moreover, it is worth pointing out that even if you accept the preposterous notion that waterboarding isn't torture - something no legal authority in human history ever has before Dick Cheney came along - and even if you accept the amazingly detailed limits that Bradbury placed on the frequency and severity of waterboarding to make it "legal," even then, we now know that the CIA violated those standards.


So even by the Bush-Cheney standards of legality, the waterboarders far exceeded what was allowed. They broke the law even by Bush's standards. And why, pray, is breaking the law in such a grave matter as a war crime no longer subject to prosecution or even investigation in the United States?

More to come on all of this. Meanwhile, the Daily Show takes on torture apologists:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
We Don't Torture
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

No comments: