Friday, April 24, 2009

The Obama administration has indicated that the intelligence professionals who actually did the torture should not be prosecuted so long as they acted according to the guidelines in the torture memos.

Let's look at the May 30, 2005 memo

The waterboard may be authorized for, at most one 30-day period, during which the technique can be applied on no more than five days...

Futher there can be no more than than two sessions in any 24-hour period ... there may be six applications of water lasting 10 seconds or longer, and water may be applied for a total of no more than 12 minutes during any 24-hour period.

Let's assume that these standards were applicable during the interrogation of KSM. If my math is correct, then there may be no more than 30 sessions involving "applications of water water lasting 10 seconds or longer. But KSM was waterboarded 183 times in one month. Assuming that this represents 183 "applications of water" may we conclude that the other 153 applications of water must have been less than 10 seconds? The Playboy journalist who was waterboarded once, with one application of water, lasted about five or six seconds. Perhaps Sean Hannity will fare better.


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