“KSM, an accomplished resistor, provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard, and analysis of that information revealed that much of it was outdated, inaccurate or incomplete,” according to newly unclassified portions of a 2004 report by the CIA’s then-inspector general released Monday by the Justice Department.
[F]or defenders of waterboarding, the evidence is clear: Mohammed cooperated, and to an extraordinary extent, only when his spirit was broken in the month after his capture March 1, 2003, as the inspector general’s report and other documents released this week indicate.
Over a few weeks, he was subjected to an escalating series of coercive methods, culminating in 7 1/2 days of sleep deprivation, while diapered and shackled, and 183 instances of waterboarding. After the month-long torment, he was never waterboarded again.
“What do you think changed KSM’s mind?” one former senior intelligence official said this week after being asked about the effect of waterboarding. “Of course it began with that.” …
Mohammed was an unparalleled source in deciphering al-Qaeda’s strategic doctrine, key operatives and likely targets, the summary said, including describing in “considerable detail the traits and profiles” that al-Qaeda sought in Western operatives and how the terrorist organization might conduct surveillance in the United States.
Tortured question. I don’t think there’s any doubt that pressure can persuade someone to reveal a secret, especially if there is a way to check on key elements of the story. The only real controversy is whether the waterboarding that U.S. interrogators applied to three terrorists, with the full knowledge of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, was torture.
It sure looks like torture, but KSM reportedly is fine today, and the interrogation method remains in a gray area. If most of us agree it is torture and that it should be illegal, why doesn’t Congress pass a law clearly making it illegal?