A New York Times report says that CIA interrogators used waterboarding, the simulated drowning of terror suspects, on two high profile prisoners. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah were reportedly waterboarded 266 times. Read more, see photos and video.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

New information has surfaced in classified memos released by the Obama administration on Thursday. This memo states that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was waterboarded 183 times, all occurring in March of 2003.

Waterboarding is a controversial technique used by interrogators to gain information from terror suspects. Waterboarding simulates drowning, the subject is strapped to a board while their face is covered by a cloth and water poured onto the face for a number of seconds. Human rights organizations have long been against the technique used by the CIA.

President Obama signed an executive order banning the use of waterboarding and other “harsh” techniques deemed to be torture. The Bush administration has said that techniques like waterboarding were necessary in gaining vital information from terror suspects.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured on March 1, 2003 by the Pakistani ISI, and the waterboarding technique was subsequently used on him 183 times that month. Intelligence officials maintain that information was garnered through the use of this technique on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. The debate continues as to whether or not this constitutes torture.

A description of the so called “harsh” techniques, or as some would call torture techniques, can be found here. I have also posted a video below that describes the torture techniques as well. The debate over waterboarding will continue, the right and the left in this country rarely agree on much, and whether torture of any kind, or just harsh treatment should be used is one subject that we are likely to disagree about for the remainder of our time on Earth.

I guess the question you need to ask yourself is this; did the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and others save lives? I contend that it did; did it save the lives of countless innocent people? The only sure way to know that would be if officials had not used those techniques; at that point all you would need to do is count up the bodies. I have a hard time finding sympathy for a man like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, whether he was waterboarded 1 time or 183 times as claimed in the report.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed after capture
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

Torture Video