The New York Times reported last week that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, was waterboarded 183 times in one month by CIA interrogators. The “183 times” was widely circulated by news outlets throughout the world.
It was shocking. And it was highly misleading. The number is a vast inflation, according to information from a U.S. official and the testimony of the terrorists themselves.
A U.S. official with knowledge of the interrogation program told FOX News that the much-cited figure represents the number of times water was poured onto Mohammed’s face — not the number of times the CIA applied the simulated-drowning technique on the terror suspect. According to a 2007 Red Cross report, he was subjected a total of “five sessions of ill-treatment.” [continued…]
Editor’s Comment — So there we were — we torture scaremongers — hyperventilating that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had been waterboarded an excessive 183 times and it turns out he was only brought close to drowning 183 times during a mere five sessions of waterboarding. It turns out that the CIA torturers studied the rules very carefully and realized that water poured for less than 10 seconds didn’t “count.” It did of course count as far as diligent torture bookkeeping is concerned — hence the carefully recorded 183 fleeting glimpses of death. Thanks goes to Fox News for helping set the record straight.
Since Sean Hannity recently agreed to submit himself to waterboarding “for charity” (is he going to raise money for Amnesty International’s fight against torture?), perhaps when he gets waterboarded he’ll be man enough to take a dozen 9-second pours — the ones that don’t really count. And once he’s graduated from this kiddy torture he’ll be ready to show us he can handle the real thing — Jay Bybee-approved waterboarding, that is.