18 Apr KSM Waterboarded 183 Times in One Month
More evidence that the CIA interrogators did not rely in good faith on the OLC memos: Bradbury’s 30 May 2005 memo acknowledges (p. 37) that the CIA Inspector General’s report found that the CIA waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah 83 times in August 2002. That regime far surpasses the CIA’s own internal guidelines for the use of waterboarding, as they are summarized by Bradbury’s memo:
[W]here authorized, it may be used for two “sessions” per day of up to two hours. During a session, water may be applied up to six times for ten seconds or longer (but never more than 40 seconds). In a 24-hour period, a detainee may be subjected to up to twelve minutes of water application. Additionally, the waterboard may be used on as many as five days during a 30-day approval period.
I’m not particularly good at math, but even I can figure out that these guidelines do not permit a detainee to be waterboarded 83 times in one month — much less 183 times. The maximum number of waterboarding applications is 12 per day (two sessions, six applications per session), so the maximum number of waterboarding applications in a month is 60 (12 applications per day, five days during the month). The CIA’s waterboarding of KSM thus exceeded what the OLC authorized by more than 200%. (Zubaydah by 38%.)
There is also no question that the CIA’s excessive use of waterboarding was not authorized by the OLC. Bybee’s 1 August 2002 memo was the only one issued before the CIA waterboarded KSM and Zubaydah. And that memo makes clear (see particularly pp. 4-6) that Bybee’s authorization was based on representations by the CIA that its waterboarding regime followed the guidelines summarized above, which were based on the use of waterboarding for training purposes at the SERE school. Yet the CIA completely ignored the SERE guidelines when it waterboarded KSM and Zubaydah. (See also the footnote from the 10 May 2005 memo I quoted yesterday.)
Is there any remaining doubt that the CIA interrogators who waterboarded KSM and Zubaydah should be prosecuted?