CIA Waterboarded Gitmo Detainee 183 Times in a Month

That's twice CIA's max, challenges efficacy

By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 19, 2009 11:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Department of Justice memo that detailed interrogation techniques used on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay notes that in August 2002, suspected al-Qaeda official Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 82 times, while the following March, 9/11 suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. But as the blog Emptywheel points out, there's no way to get to those numbers within the CIA's guidelines.

If you do the math, the CIA maximum allowance is still less than half of 183 waterboarding sessions. But aside from the arithmetic troubles, Emptywheel points out that the main problem is that a technique that required 183 applications to work is considered an effective means of interrogation.

In this sketch by courtroom artist Janet Hamlin, Sept. 11 attack co-defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed sits during a hearing on Jan. 19, 2009.
In this sketch by courtroom artist Janet Hamlin, Sept. 11 attack co-defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed sits during a hearing on Jan. 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Janet Hamlin, Pool)
In this 2003 file photo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is seen shortly after his capture during a raid in Pakistan.
In this 2003 file photo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is seen shortly after his capture during a raid in Pakistan.   (AP Photo/File)
This photo provided by US Central Command shows Abu Zubaydah, date and location unknown.
This photo provided by US Central Command shows Abu Zubaydah, date and location unknown.   (AP Photo/U.S. Central Command)
In this June 6, 2008, photo, a guard stands at a gate at the Camp Delta detention compound at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba.
In this June 6, 2008, photo, a guard stands at a gate at the Camp Delta detention compound at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
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