Fox News: Khalid Sheik Mohammed Not Waterboarded THAT Much

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Media, The War On Terrorism, Torture, Transparency

Just for future reference, what you’re seeing above is considered a “pour.” You’ll need that information to weave your way through the mine field presented here by Fox News.

Let the apologizing begin…

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.”

“The water was poured 183 times — there were 183 pours,” the official explained, adding that “each pour was a matter of seconds.”

The Times and dozens of other outlets wrote that the CIA also waterboarded senior Al Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah 83 times, but Zubayda himself, a close associate of Usama bin Laden, told the Red Cross he was waterboarded no more than 10 times.

The confusion stems from language in the Justice Department legal memos that President Obama released on April 16. They contain the numbers, but they fail to explain exactly what they represent.

So Fox doesn’t believe that a pour is considered being waterboarded.

Does it really matter?

We tried to induce the feeling of drowning in somebody 183 times. Whether or not it was 1 attempt during 183 separate sessions or 10 attempts during 18 sessions is irrelevant.

Torture is torture is torture.

Still, these last two sentences of the story tell you pretty much all you need to know about where Fox is coming at this from…

And the precise number of waterboarding sessions is still not known. What is known is that Mohammed was not waterboarded 183 times.

Ugh.

Moving on…


This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 and is filed under Media, The War On Terrorism, Torture, Transparency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Fox News: Khalid Sheik Mohammed Not Waterboarded THAT Much”

  1. Rob Says:

    I may be wrong, but I thought I read at the beginning of all this that he was waterboarded 183 in one month.

    Does that mean that the 183 is all there was, or does that mean that other months may have more “pours”.

    Also, even though this means there was less than 183 sessions and that is better, one is too many.

  2. Agnostick Says:

    I can see “Saturday Night Live” having all sorts of fun with this one…

    O’REILLY: “You’re in the no-spin zone here on The Factor. Joining us now is Colonel Sam Flagg, a former interrogator with the CIA. Thanks for joining us on the program, Colonel Flagg.”

    FLAGG: “I’m here for America, Mr. O’Reilly–and don’t you forget it!”

    O’REILLY: “Colonel Flagg, about this ‘waterboarding’ we keep hearing about. I’m holding a one-gallon water jug. Is this considered a ‘pour’…?”

    FLAGG: “Well, Bill, a liberal commie traitor would probably consider that whole jug an entire pour–but God-fearing, red-blooded Americans know that the jug you’re holding, that would probably be considered several pours…”

    O’REILLY: “Okay, well here’s a pint sized milk bottle–”

    FLAGG: “We don’t use milk, Mister–only water. We won’t waste good American milk on terrorists. They don’t need strong bones to fight for the American dream, like our American children do.”

    O’REILLY: “Okay, well then, how about this 12-ounce bottle of Crystal Light? How many pours is that?”

    FLAGG: “Crystal Light? Sounds like some kind of Commie elixir!”

    O’REILLY: “Well, it’s strawberry-kiwi flavor, so… it is pink in color…”

    FLAGG: “Pink?!?! I knew it!! Damn COMMIES!! They’re in cahoots with the terrorists!!”…

  3. J. Harden Says:

    Don’t quit your day job Agnostik.

    Torture is torture is torture.

    Really? You mean you’d be no more outraged had we disembloweled him or given him a blowtorch enema? I’m not suggesting torture works or is morally or legally acceptable, but surely the calm, rational voice of moderation & centrism recognize the fundamental difference between poking someone in the chest with their finger and cutting off fingers. You’re talking about a difference in pain by orders of magnitude. I don’t see how you lose any ground in the argument by recognizing the obvious.

  4. TerenceC Says:

    Harden

    I don’t disagree with the point your making. However, it isn’t the point. Torture as defined by the US government, International Law, The Geneva Convention, and even the US Army Field Manual was inflicted on these people. It’s against the law whether it’s a poke in chest, an insect enema, water-boarding, or having to listen to Barry Manilow (maybe that one’s my own definition of torture). It isn’t a question of the degree of torture, that only helps obfuscate the issue and allow those responsible to avoid responsibility for their actions. That’s the real issue, and no amount of “deflection” should be allowed to minimize what was done in the name of the people of the USA.

  5. Justin Gardner Says:

    Rob, it means that he was made to feel like he was drowning 183 times in one month. Because each pour is meant to induce that feeling.

    J. Harden, clearly the torture that results in horrible disfigurement and death is worse. But, as TerenceC points out, waterboarding is still torture and we’re not supposed to do ANY of it.

  6. J. Harden Says:

    Okay, no waterboarding. Check.

    Does torture include any psychological discomfort?

  7. Justin Gardner Says:

    Some psychological discomfort in included in torture if it profoundly disrupts the senses or the personality. Waterboarding is thought to be included in this given that is literally tricking the body into feeling like it is dying and triggers an automatic response that the person being waterboarded can’t control.

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