The Public Record
April 22, 2009
CIA Inspector General John Helgerson raised concerns in a 2004 top-secret report his office prepared about the legality of the interrogation techniques agency interrogators used against admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
[efoods]In the report, Helgerson concluded that the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program “appeared to constitute cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, as defined by the International Convention Against Torture” and the interrogation of Mohammed “could expose agency officers to legal liability,” according to a Nov. 9, 2005 report published in the New York Times.
Now, thanks to the release last week of four Justice Department “torture” memos Helgerson’s concerns make sense.
In a footnote to a May 30, 2005 memo issued by Steven Bradbury, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003, the same month he was captured. The of times Mohammed was waterboarded was first reported by blogger Marcy Wheeler over the weekend.
Another footnote said that “in some cases the waterboard was used with far greater frequency than initially indicated” and with larger quantities of water than permitted under written guidelines.