lod (oldhen) wrote,

The Gitmo Confessional Booth

So, the evil Al-Qaeda honcho Khaled Sheikh-Mohammad has 'confessed' to being responsible for 31 different terrorist plots, 23 of which are listed here in the NYT. The list includes plotting the 9/11 attacks from A to Z, Richard Reid the shoe bomber, plotting to assassinate numerous people from Jimmy Carter to Pope John Paul.

Wonder why they stopped there, they might as well have gone the whole hog and had him responsible JFK's assassination (so maybe KSM was a kid in '63, but kids can be evil too), and being the father of Anna Nicole's baby (cheap shot). Given the US interrogators reputed charming ways, I'm sure everything gleaned from Gitmo is absolutely trustworthy. To quote an ABC news report from a year and a half back:
The CIA sources described a list of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" instituted in mid-March 2002 and used, they said, on a dozen top Al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques:...

...6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.

"The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law," said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch.

The techniques are controversial among experienced intelligence agency and military interrogators. Many feel that a confession obtained this way is an unreliable tool.
KSM is no saint in all likelihood, but this whole episode is so farcical, it's hard to believe it's not a scene from Monty Python..
Tags: empire, politics, terrorism
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