In March 2003, in a secret CIA prison cell in Poland, a small frog jumped out of a drain and an interrogator caught it.
“No, no,” said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused architect of the 9/11 attacks. “Let it stay.” He asked that the frog be returned to the drain.
Later that day, an unnamed observer included the incident in a CIA cable addressed to “IMMEDIATE DIRECTOR,” calling it “a poignant moment.”
The CIA interrogation program has been well documented. But recently declassified cables, published here for the first time, reveal in new detail interrogators’ attempts to transform detainees into collaborators in the war against Al Qaeda.
The cables chronicle the banal and brutal moments of Mohammed’s so-called enhanced interrogation over a period of almost four weeks in 2003. They display in cold bureaucratic prose the thinking behind torture tactics, including waterboarding, “walling,” and sleep deprivation. And they exhibit a committed belief that enhanced measures always move detainees closer to an imagined breaking point that, once met, force them to produce more accurate information — a belief that the 2014 Senate torture report showed to have been wrong.
“Keep pushing,” a cable urges, “until [Mohammed] reaches his resistance limit, and then exploit his weakness when it occurs.”
If anyone knows where the skeletons are buried contradicting the official 9/11 narrative then it's none other than alleged terror mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The Wall Street Journal and others report that he's ready to spill the beans on Saudi Arabia's involvement in the worst terror attack to ever take place on American soil as part of a victims' lawsuit seeking damages from the kingdom as a state sponsor.
The CIA’s record of torture is front and center in the media again. This time because President Donald Trump’s new CIA Director, Gina Haspel, played a key role in the agency’s program of “enhanced interrogation” (i.e., torture). Haspel was head of station in at least one of the CIA’s black sites in Thailand where torture took place, and also held multiple senior roles at the CIA Counterterrorism Center, which oversaw the torture program.
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