Zubaydah Thanked His Interrogators for Waterboarding Him


And essentially made it clear that it was both effective and necessary, telling the CIA interrogators that “You must do this to all the brothers.”

This past Valentine’s Day….

Former VP Cheney’s ABC This Week:

KARL: But you believe they should have had the option of everything up to and including waterboarding?

CHENEY: I think you ought to have all of those capabilities on the table. Now, President Obama has taken them off the table. He announced when he came in last year that they would never use anything other than the U.S. Army manual, which doesn’t include those techniques. I think that’s a mistake.

From VP Biden’s appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation:

Schieffer: “Can you Mr. Vice President envision a time where waterboarding can ever be used on anyone?”

Biden: “No, no, it’s not effective”

Schieffer: “It’s not effective?”

Biden: “It’s not effective”

Abu Zubaydah disagrees with Joe Biden. He is living proof that waterboarding worked. Not only that, but he endorsed waterboarding with a personal stamp of approval.

Last April, I posted an excerpt from Ron Kessler’s The Terrorist Watch, regarding the chapter detailing Abu Zubaydah:

Abu Zubaydah mentioned that KSM used the moniker “Mukhtar,” which allowed analysts to comb through previously collected intelligence and develop leads that eventually led to his capture.

Soon after that, Abu Zubaydah stopped cooperating.

When Zubaydah gave up KSM, he did so unwittingly (detailed in my link to the excerpt from Kessler’s book) while in his hospital bed, recovering from injury sustained in his capture. As he regained his health, he grew resistant to questioning.

Propelled by fear that another attack was in the works, the CIA began developing coercive interrogation techniques- water-boarding high value terrorists or subjecting them to ear-splitting music or to icy temperatures and forcing them to stand for hours.

“We weren’t getting very much from him at all,” Grenier says. “And that’s when we began the process of putting together a properly focused interrogation process. It was refined a good deal subsequently, but he was the test.”

Before the interrogation procedures were employed, the Justice Department reviewed them and determined that they were legally permissible. After a few months, the CIA began using some of the techniques on Abu Zubaydah. As the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and other detained terrorists progressed, the agency briefed the chairs, ranking members, and majority and minority staff directors of the House and Senate intelligence committees on the details of the procedures used.

Marc Thiessen has an important new book out, Courting Disaster that clears up some of the mystique and mythologizing about the CIA program that has successfully kept America safe since 9/11. Former CIA Director Hayden writes (thanks Missy!):

I opposed the release of the Office of Legal Council memos on the CIA interrogation program last April. I opposed the release of additional memos and the report of the CIA inspector general on the interrogation program last August. But whatever their release did to reveal American secrets to our enemies, it did inject something into the public debate on this program that had been sorely missing—facts.

Thiessen has taken these documents, as well as his own extensive interviews and research, and created for the first time a public account of a program previously hidden from public view. Prior to this, some opponents of the program could create whatever image they wanted to create to support the argument of the moment. And those who were in government at the time were near powerless to correct the record. No longer.

There will still be those who remain adamantly opposed to the interrogation effort, but now they must be opposed to the program as it was, not as they imagined or feared or—dare I say, for some—expected it to be.

I’m about 300 pages into the book. A book that Thiessen describes as one that he should not have been able to write and we should not have been able to read. Obama’s declassification of internal documents and media leaks have made this book possible, out of the necessity of setting the record straight. Because it isn’t such things as Guantanamo and so-called “torture” that has made America “less safe” and created more terrorists; but rather, the wild, irresponsible distortions and fabrications.

America’s image abroad wasn’t damaged by President Bush, but by his political opponents.

By Thiessen’s account,

the first terrorist to be subjected to enhanced techniques, Zubaydah, told his interrogators something stunning. According to the Justice Department memos released by the Obama administration, Zubaydah explained that “brothers who are captured and interrogated are permitted by Allah to provide information when they believe they have reached the limit of their ability to withhold it in the face of psychological and physical hardship.” In other words, the terrorists are called by their religious ideology to resist as far as they can — and once they have done so, they are free to tell everything they know.

Several senior officials told me that, after undergoing waterboarding, Zubaydah actually thanked his interrogators and said, “You must do this for all the brothers.” The enhanced interrogation techniques were a relief for Zubaydah, they said, because they lifted a moral burden from his shoulders — the responsibility to continue resisting.

The importance of this revelation cannot be overstated: Zubaydah had given the CIA the secret code for breaking al-Qaeda detainees. CIA officials now understood that the job of the interrogator was to give the captured terrorist something to resist, so he could do his duty to Allah and then feel liberated to speak. So they developed techniques that would allow terrorists to resist safely, without any lasting harm. Indeed, they specifically designed techniques to give the terrorists the false perception that what they were enduring was far worse than what was actually taking place.

Much of the power of waterboarding and the other approved enhanced interrogation techniques was psychological. Such as the belief that drowning was taking place, as was the case of waterboarding; or that one was getting shoved hard (“walling”) by hitting a flexible, false wall that made a loud sound to give the illusion that what was happening was worse than it actually was. As Thiessen puts it in an interview he did on the Dennis Prager Show, “Most of the techniques are psychological tricks, for the most part. They didn’t depend upon physical pain to get the people to cooperate.” They were like mentalist/magic tricks whose effectiveness, once revealed, loses their power.

This is why, since President Obama (selectively) released the OLC “torture” memos (more properly identified as “how not to torture” memos) last April, a couple of things have occurred:

1)It’s basically provided al Qaeda with valuable intell information. Now they know what to train specifically against (were the CIA program still in operation).

2)It’s made the enhanced interrogation techniques described in detail in the declassified documents obsolete.

Waterboarding (performed on only 3 terrorists in the program) is now pretty much useless as a psychological tool; making Obama’s EO banning its use rather redundant (especially since waterboarding had been suspended already, under the Bush Administration). It’s just gratuitous PR that “Obama banned torture” (Bush and Cheney were against torture, too). What he did was ban the tools that provided the CIA with valuable intell that would not have been gained through standard interrogation procedures. KSM, especially, was described by one official as “superhuman” in his resistance to traditional interrogation. It was clear that he had received extensive training in counter-interrogation. And he was smart: He figured out exactly how long his interrogators were allowed to pour the water shortly after only being waterboarded a few times, and would count off on his hand the number of seconds that would elapse, “1…2….3…”

Under the Obama Administration, the business of intelligence-gathering has taken a back seat in favor of prosecuting terrorists or simply killing them rather than capturing.

Thiessen’s entire Prager interview is excellent, and you can listen to it here:

[audio:https://floppingaces.net/wp-content/uploads/ab198bf4-927e-44f7-bae2-004c80ea5876-Prager_Feb_11_Thu_Hr_3.mp3|titles=Thiessen interview on Prager_Feb_11_Thu_Hr_3]
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“Miss me yet?”

It should be Cheney’s picture instead of Bush.

Thank God we had an adult like Dick Cheney at Veep.

God bless him.

Biden is such a chump.

I’m sorry but ….

If water boarding is ineffective, then surely Biden SHOULD NOT mind having the military experts do it to him.

“CIA officers who have subjected themselves to the technique have lasted an average of 14 seconds before capitulating”

I’d pay good money to watch Biden voluntarily subjected to waterboarding “to show just how ineffective it is.”

I don’t think they’d get to pour the first drop before he’d spout any and everything!

This is LITERALLY put your money where your mouth is!

Waterboarding is torture. It’s torture when the Vietnamese did it; it’s torture when we do it.

There is case after case after case where people captured by police give information and implicate themselves and others under duress that does NOT include torture. So if you torture someone, you should not be surprised to get information and plenty of it false. THAT is the problem with torture . . . not to mention the whole illegal, immoral and inhumane part. Like Jessie “The Body” Ventura said, “Let me waterboard Dick Cheney for five minutes and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.” THAT is why it is ineffective.

You’re right, B-Rob.

When we catch a high-value terrorist and we suspect that there are more attacks on the way, and we know he trained with the people who are planning more attacks, we should use the VULCAN MIND-MELD to get the life-saving information we need.

First, we need to find us some Vulcans.

I’m done. Goodnight, all, and God Bless ya’s greatly and continually.

“But that facts speak otherwise. Waterboarding the 3 high-value detainees worked, and gained valuable intell that led directly to plots foiled, cells disrupted, operatives killed and captured, etc.”

Cheney has frequently asserted as much, with absolutely no evidence to back the claim up.

I can’t think of any good reason why I should believe what Cheney says on the topic. I can think of a number of reasons why I shouldn’t.

Come to think of it, based on the shows and movies, I’d probably take waterboarding over the Vulcan Mind-Meld. That looks real uncomfortable whenever it’s done. Libs would certainly consider it torture, not to mention all the invasion-of-privacy issues – and hey, terrorist wannabe mass-murderers caught red-handed (or -nutted, as the case may be, which in one case it was) have rights too, you know.

“I can’t think of any good reason why I should believe what Cheney says on the topic.”

Because Cheney, in all his life, political life or otherwise, to my knowledge has never shown a propensity for guile or deceit, and has always shown, by more than his words, a sincere desire to protect Americans. He is not what anybody with any discernment whatsoever would consider a dishonest or untrustworthy man.

Is that good enough? Not many politicians can fit that mold, but he’s one, I know it in my bones.

Ummm greg, asked and aswered.

Left Gleeful Over Absurd Article Claiming Waterboarding Didn’t Work

“Marc Thiessen, author of Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack, explains further:

I have spoken to the people who — unlike Kirakou — were in the room for the interrogations of Zubaydah, KSM and other terrorists held by the CIA. And in Courting Disaster, I meticulously document the evidence for the efficacy of the CIA interrogation program — based not on Kirakou’s claims, but on the testimony of the actual interrogators, interviews with top CIA and other intelligence officials, the evidence presented in the CIA inspector general’s report, and other top-secret documents declassified by the Obama administration. I urge you to read it and judge for yourself. The evidence is overwhelming.

Before these documents were released, there was room for debate on the efficacy of CIA interrogations — because the facts had not been declassified. No longer. Yet the critics will continue to attempt to muddy the waters and use Kirakopu as “proof” of their claim the interrogations did not work. They will do so because if they admit that the interrogations worked, that means that the consequence of their position would have been another 9/11. They have to argue that a) enhanced interrogation is wrong and b) it did not work, because if the latter is not true then the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women, and children would have been the price of their approach.

Braindead rob, ventura is a liar and a loon which is why the left loves him. He claims to have been a Navy S.E.A.L. He never was. He is a way out there Truther. This is in addition to being a misogynist. So if you think he’s someone worth quoting, you aren’t helping your cause.

As for torture, it does work. By torture I don’t mean the hazing KSM got in the way of waterboarding. I mean the real kind of torture. The kind the Vietnamese used.
I read a book or two by POWs and the majority them were broken by their captors. These were very determined men, but even they gave in after torture the mere description of which would make a lefty wet themselves. As for their version of waterboarding? NO COMPARISON to ours. We cared about not killing or actually harming the combatant. The Vietnamese had no such qualms.
More proof that torture worked would be found during WWII. The Nazis vs. the French Resistence. They were especially effective at wiping out entire cells after catching just one person then torturing information out of them.
In one of the unusual instances where it wasn’t working, they took a more horrible tack. They brought in the man’s brother. Then they began to dismember him……with a blowtorch. They started with his hands, then moved to his forearms. He eventually died, but only after suffering unimaginable agony. Then they brought in his wife and said they would do the same to her unless he talked. He did.

Just to be clear, I am against torture.

Thiessen? That would be the former Bush administration speech writer, who recently threw out this comment?

“Today, the Obama administration is no longer attempting to capture men like these alive; it is simply killing them. This may be satisfying, but it comes at a price. With every drone strike that vaporizes a senior al Qaeda leader, actionable intelligence is vaporized along with him. Dead terrorists can’t tell you their plans to strike America.”

I suspect his views differ from my own on a great many points. For example, I’m perfectly content to see some slim chance for future interrogation summarily vaporized along with a senior al Qaeda leader. (I trust the target’s Miranda rights have been printed on the side of the missile. We progressives are very sensitive about such things.)

This bears repeating. Again and again.

Because Cheney, in all his life, political life or otherwise, to my knowledge has never shown a propensity for guile or deceit, and has always shown, by more than his words, a sincere desire to protect Americans. He is not what anybody with any discernment whatsoever would consider a dishonest or untrustworthy man.

Is that good enough? Not many politicians can fit that mold, but he�s one, I know it in my bones.

“You do understand Thiessen’s criticism, don’t you?”

I understand the point and agree that there’s underlying sense to it. I’m just not sure it’s a valid basis for criticism. I imagine many situtations that offer drones a target of opportunity don’t also offer an opportunity for capture. Mr. Thiessen surely knows that well enough, so I considered his comment misleading.

Regarding Mr. Cheney’s “propensity for guile or deceit”… Well, I’ve not trusted him since certain details about available intelligence during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq came out. Cheney’s connection to Haliburton and Haliburton’s Iraq contracts bothered me. The unanswered questions concerning the Valerie Plame incident certainly didn’t help. Nor did the peculiar jurisdictional goings on having to do with the unfortunate hunting incident. All past issues at this point, but they’ve left me with a lingering impression. I also take a dim view of Cheney being so outspoken regarding the successor administration. GWB’s restraint seems far more proper, and my respect for W increased enormously when he gave his reason for it. I’d be lying if I didn’t confess that I just don’t like Cheney, and that this has undoubtedly prejudiced my view of the man. His personality probably punches a button with me much as Obama’s punches a button with others.

Well, in a joint operation the ISI and CIA captured a big one in Pakistan, the CIA was allowed to accompany the ISI on the raid.

The Taliban’s top military commander was captured several days ago in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces, according to American government officials. The commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is an Afghan described by American officials as the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the American-led war in Afghanistan started more than eight years ago. He ranks second in influence only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s founder and a close associate of Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks.

KSM, Zubayda, bin al Shibh? ahh, but they are al Qaeda, doesn’t count. Or, what about the Taliban commander, Mullah Khairullah Kahirkhawa? Former Mayor of Kabul and later the Interior Minister of the Taliban government, then appointed by Mullah Omar to be the administrative head of Spin Boldak? Ever hear of him? Of course not. The SEALs nabbed him in an operation…. they planned, designed and executed his capture in less than an hour coordinating 40 U.S. and Danish Special Forces to get it done. This all happened back when our forces were babysitting the on the ground media personnel, but none of this has ever made it into the pages of the NYTimes.

Interesting that the NYTimes honored a WH request and kept their mouth shut….this time:

The New York Times learned of the operation on Thursday, but delayed reporting it at the request of White House officials, who contended that making it public would end a hugely successful intelligence-gathering effort. The officials said that the group’s leaders had been unaware of Mullah Baradar’s capture and that if it became public they might cover their tracks and become more careful about communicating with each other.

And, what have we here?

The officials said that Pakistan was leading the interrogation of Mullah Baradar, but that Americans were also involved. The conditions of the questioning are unclear. In its first week in office, the Obama administration banned harsh interrogations like waterboarding by Americans, but the Pakistanis have long been known to subject prisoners to brutal questioning.


Yep, our guys are now limited to the Army Field Mannual but other countries will not tie their hands. Makes you wonder what the Pakistanis will do to get what they want out of the number 2. But, since Obama didn’t do away with rendition, any terrorist that is actually captured, not blasted to smitherines will be sent away for interrogation leaving this administration’s hands clean. We will depend on others for information to protect our troops and country.

Have they sent a captive out for rendition as of yet? possibly. Maybe when the NYTimes gets permission from the WH to reveal such information, we will find out. Maybe.

Now that this is known perhaps we can pick off some of the taliban bigwigs because they will be on the move. Another dreadful thing that may happen is that planned attacks may be stepped up. Hope they find the english speaking cohorts that are known to be in country…..somewhere….. before they decide to take out a mall. It took over a month and family members to get the Fruit of the Loom bomber to get this information. Let’s see how long it takes the Pakistanis to get Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to tell them where, in Karachi, Mullah Omar is, if Omar hasn’t already split by now.

I can understand how Joe can feel that “it’s not effective”. He knows firsthand how pressures can cause a man to run his mouth like a Lamborghini. However his own bizarre utterances have not kept him from becoming Vice President and presiding over the Senate. His experience has in fact reinforced his belief in how effective a brazen lie can be.

@ BRob

You’re a genius! And citing Jesse Ventura, sheer brilliance. I forwarded your post to the CIA, becuase I’m sure this is the first they’ve ever heard that things like water-boarding could illicit false information. I personally believe they had no idea or any way of knowing whether or not the information they receive during interrogations is quantifiable. I’ll let you know what they say. You may even be nominated for a Nobel. If AlGore and Obama can get one, you will surely be put on the short list.

Aqua, you are the poster child for birth control. You wrote the following:

“I personally believe they had no idea or any way of knowing whether or not the information they receive during interrogations is quantifiable.”

So how do you think this works? CIA waterboards guy, then he tells them something they already “know”? The why waterboard him in the first place? Makes no sense. But it gets better.

You waterboard the guy and he tells you something. You do what? Just act on it? Or do you try to confirm it?

Cheney keeps saying they got lots of “information” from the people they tortured. Yeah. But how much of it was FALSE because they wanted the torture to stop?

No one here will even addresses the obvious: people lie all the time and confess to things they have not done in order to end stressful, duressful questioning. The kids in the Central Park jogger case confessed to a gang rape, for God’s sake, that they did not commit. But for some bizarre reason, cons are operating off the baseless assumptions that (a) none of the tortured people lied to end the torture, (b) there was no other way to get information but to torture people, and (c) your government is TELLING THE TRUTH about the value of the information they got from the people they tortured. Hmm . . . you think Cheney might have a motive for claiming they got good stuff from torturing people?

And, please, spare me the “we don’t torture” b.s. People died in interrogation after being beaten, suffocated, etc. If that happened in a small town holding cell, the sheriff would be up on charges. If it happened in a big city jail, they would be facing federal civil rights charges.


Read the post, using Cheney and torture in your blather is nothing but a red herring. Waterboarding broke them, after that they were debriefed and that’s when they gave up the information.

Speaking of “poster children”, I see the Obama talking points parrot head, @billy bob, has been back leaving his droppings amongst new FA threads without cleaning up his excrement from others. So Curt, isn’t there an FA rule that when someone makes huge dumps like billy bob, they have to clean ’em up or get a fine?? LOL

BTW, apologies to all Jimmy Buffett “parrot head” fans out there for the inadvertent linkage with such a social neanderthal, Billy Bob. Truly, didn’t mean to cast aspersions on such a happy lot.

CIA waterboarding techniques, also used in our own military training, bears no resemblence to the Vietnam water torture, billy bob. Nor did it resemble the Japanese water torture in WWII. Your comparisons reveal your stellar ability to absorb headlines instead of facts, and your utter dependence on a good paralegal to get thru your workday and appear even minimally competent.

No one here will even addresses the obvious: people lie all the time and confess to things they have not done in order to end stressful, duressful questioning. The kids in the Central Park jogger case confessed to a gang rape, for God’s sake, that they did not commit.

Aside the fact you’re comparing rigorously trained soldiers, and their equally dedicated enemies, with wet behind the ears street yard thugs like city gangs, you still miss your own obvious fly in the soup. Perhaps you think they’d spit out the truth in exchange for a Mickey D’s happy meal? Not likely. Kissing their butts with friendship has yielded zilch in intel compared to documented more stringent interrogation.

And perhaps, billy bob, you miss another obvious. You seem to think “we cons” deny “torture”. Well…. yes we do because… to quote one of your heroes… it all depends upon what the meaning of “is”… is. I guarantee what you consider torture is not what I consider torture. I’m sure you hold with the other progressive losers that long periods of loud music and sleep deprivation are torture. I don’t. Nor do I consider controlled waterboarding for short segments, and under so many segments a day, torture.

I’d say torture falls more under the heading of maiming, removal of limbs, and beheading. Something those being “tortured” do with nary a thought.

But I will say that listening to you, desperately attempting to make cogent points out of parrot manure, is perhaps one of the most agonizing tortures of all.

So Curt, isn’t there an FA rule that when someone makes huge dumps like billy bob, they have to clean ‘em up or get a fine?? LOL

I actually find it humorous. I will say that most of the intellectually honest lefties that have inhabited FA in the past will stick around on a thread for awhile, answering the counter-arguments they receive….but not this guy. He drops a few posts, gets his arguments torn asunder, and then disappears to a completely different thread to make the same argument. The real funny part is the fact that he probably doesn’t even realize how foolish it makes him look.

@ BRob

Well genius, as someone that has actually been through some of our interrogation techniques, (not water-boarding though) I can tell you that is exactly the way it works. They never start off with a question they don’t know the answer to, EVER.
And BTW, I have friends that were water-boarded in SERE school. They told me it was very effective. From what I understand, the thought of getting caught in a lie and having it repeated is enough to keep you honest. I don’t expect you to believe me nor do I give a rat’s a** whether you do or not.

Curt, I think he laughs at how he posts one moronic post, and gets many responses. People like him think we are his Pavlovian dogs.
I also don’t believe he’s a paralegal or even over 18. He’s too ignorant, gullible, and illogical.

@ Wordsmith

Very nice Word. He’ll never understand it though. He thinks Jesse Ventura knows about interrogation, how are you going to convince him otherwise? He will never understand that there is a whole team watching and listening to the interrogation and the science behind it. The left says we know nothing about science, all the while they run around screaming No Snow=Global Warming, A Whole Lot of Snow=Global Warming. Like Mata said, it’s like debating a parrott.

Thanks for pointing out the related thread. I read it over, but can’t comment on Thiessen’s specific example of a lost intelligence opportunity. I just don’t know enough to second-guess an operational decision.