Agents Say Waterboarding Turned Around Terrorist

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 29, 2009 2:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – After being waterboarded 183 times and deprived of sleep for a week, self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Kalid Sheikh Mohammed transformed from an avowed enemy of the US into a sort of CIA guest lecturer, the Washington Post reports. Two anonymous sources, looking to build the case that harsh interrogation worked, say that in 2005 and 2006, KSM gave what CIA officers called “terrorism tutorials,” expounding on al-Qaeda’s structure and even reprimanding his “class” for poor note-taking.

“He'd even use a chalkboard at times,” said one source. “What do you think changed KSM's mind?” added a former intelligence official of waterboarding. “Of course it began with that.” KSM’s own recollection of his interrogation is different: “During the harshest period of my interrogation I gave a lot of false information,” he told the Red Cross.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2003.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2003.   (AP Photo)
A sketch of 9/11 co-defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2009.
A sketch of 9/11 co-defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2009.   (AP Photo)
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Once the harsher techniques were used, they could be viewed as having done their duty to Islam or their cause, and their religious principles would ask no more of them. After that point, they became compliant. - Former US official

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