Patterico's Pontifications

9/11/2020

September 11

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:07 am



[guest post by Dana]

It’s hard to believe that it was 19 years ago today that 3,000 innocent Americans were killed by radical Islamic terrorists. It’s strange, but I’m pretty certain that everyone remembers exactly what they were doing when they heard the news. And I think the vast majority of us, upon hearing it, went through a succession of reactions to varying degrees and rates of speed: shock, disbelief, denial. Finally, when the bizarre and horrible reality flooded our guts and made it impossible to avoid looking it straight in the eye, we accepted it. With that, I’m posting the opening to the hauntingly eloquent essay, The Falling Man because it’s a powerful reminder about the fragility of life, the physical finality of death, courage and desperation, and ultimately, the complicated soul of humanity. In other words, it’s about something we should, indeed, never forget:

In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying. He appears relaxed, hurtling through the air. He appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion. He does not appear intimidated by gravity’s divine suction or by what awaits him. His arms are by his side, only slightly outriggered. His left leg is bent at the knee, almost casually. His white shirt, or jacket, or frock, is billowing free of his black pants. His black high-tops are still on his feet. In all the other pictures, the people who did what he did—who jumped—appear to be struggling against horrific discrepancies of scale. They are made puny by the backdrop of the towers, which loom like colossi, and then by the event itself. Some of them are shirtless; their shoes fly off as they flail and fall; they look confused, as though trying to swim down the side of a mountain. The man in the picture, by contrast, is perfectly vertical, and so is in accord with the lines of the buildings behind him. He splits them, bisects them: Everything to the left of him in the picture is the North Tower; everything to the right, the South. Though oblivious to the geometric balance he has achieved, he is the essential element in the creation of a new flag, a banner composed entirely of steel bars shining in the sun. Some people who look at the picture see stoicism, willpower, a portrait of resignation; others see something else—something discordant and therefore terrible: freedom. There is something almost rebellious in the man’s posture, as though once faced with the inevitability of death, he decided to get on with it; as though he were a missile, a spear, bent on attaining his own end. He is, fifteen seconds past 9:41 a.m. EST, the moment the picture is taken, in the clutches of pure physics, accelerating at a rate of thirty-two feet per second squared. He will soon be traveling at upwards of 150 miles per hour, and he is upside down. In the picture, he is frozen; in his life outside the frame, he drops and keeps dropping until he disappears.

Related: We are reminded that the masterminds behind 9/11 still have not been tried for their crimes:

The case’s progress came to almost a complete halt amid the pandemic due to travel and quarantine restrictions on the Caribbean island. The war court permits the five alleged 9/11 plotters to meet with their lawyers only face to face and not by phone or video conference. No hearings have been held since late February, and the trial, which had been slated to begin Jan. 11, 2021, has been postponed for a few months, if not longer, raising questions of whether jury selection will even begin before the 20th anniversary.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, dubbed “KSM” and described as “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks” in the 9/11 Commission Report, was a close ally of Osama bin Laden and will be on trial alongside his nephew, Ammar al Baluchi, alleged hijacking trainer Walid bin Attash, facilitator Ramzi bin al Shibh, and al Qaeda money man Mustafa al Hawsawi.

Air Force Col. Shane Cohen, who had sent the January 2021 trial date, added to delays when he announced in March that he was retiring from the military and was thus leaving the case after presiding over it for less than a year. Cohen had taken over for Air Force Col. Vance Spath, whose undisclosed conflicts of interest led an appeals court to toss out many of his rulings.

“Our client, this nation, deserves a reckoning,” prosecutor Edward Ryan told the court last July in pushing for a trial, but the reckoning is yet delayed

You can read more about it here.

–Dana

114 Responses to “September 11”

  1. Good morning.

    It seems incredibly long ago that this happened. So much has happened since. I think I feel that way too because Americans just seem weary and worn out these days.

    Dana (292df6)

  2. “Just a few days ahead of the 19th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority has decided to remove American flags from highway overpasses. The flags had been displayed on the overpasses ever since hijackers flew into the Twin Towers and killed nearly 3,000 people.“
    __

    Can’t have shows of patriotism while Orange Man up for re-election.
    __

    “ UPDATE: Gov. Phil Murphy has just stepped in to block the removal of the flags, overturning the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s decision.

    “They’ve suspended that for the time being,” Murphy said at a Tuesday press conference.”

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/cortneyobrien/2020/09/08/new-jersey-officials-remove-september-11-flags-n2575792
    __

    The people spoke, the govt. backed off.

    They did not riot or destroy, they just spoke their minds, the way it’s supposed to work.
    _

    harkin (cd4502)

  3. We kind of gave up on trying the people who plotted 9/11 in court when we decided conducting a war meant we got to torture them to obtain evidence. We have dirty hands.But what’s America except the perpetual insistence on having it both ways.

    Victor (661f31)

  4. they had already plead guilty, but holder who’se firm represented 17 terrorists, decided to stretch it out till today, giving ksm his wish,

    what the hell do you care, victor, you’re right with the urban terrorist that took over seattle, who have an allegiance to a faction against what America stands for,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  5. Victor opines about how sausage gets made, from the comfort of his keyboard.

    Maybe ponder the fate of those prisoners if in the hands of just about any other country at just about any other time in history.

    beer ‘n pretzels (85f108)

  6. cuomo and diblasio, did what bin laden couldn’t do, kill a great city,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  7. 2.

    Can’t have shows of patriotism while Orange Man up for re-election.

    I have to admire the chutzpah of playing a Trump-victim card in connection with 9/11, his response to which was, paraphrasing, “Now I own the tallest building in southern Manhattan!” (He didn’t.)

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  8. ksm was at least put out of circulation, and many of his trainees were rounded up, this led to preventing the attack on the library tower by gemaa islamiya, he had been sheltered by qatar at a critical period, by their black prince,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  9. As someone who worked there, the image of firemen going up the stairs, climbing to their deaths, strikes a counterpoint to the falling man. Two figures preserved in their unreality. May all their souls be at peace.

    John B Boddie (bd03e4)

  10. we rarely show those images, they are imprinted on the back of my eye lids, as if they happened yesterday, it shows the manifest failure of govt at all levels, except the firefighters on the ground and the passengers on flight 93, which fate would have it was short one of the hijackers, otherwise it would have turned dc into a charnel house,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  11. I have to admire the chutzpah of playing a Trump-victim card”
    __

    Feel free to provide a reason for the tone-deaf decision to remove the flags right before the Anniversary.

    And don’t say they were old and tattered, they were maintained by veterans group. The vets even asked the transit authority for return of some new ones that had just replaced some older ones.
    _

    This reminded me of federal Dept of Interior workers closing turnouts and view vistas on State Hwys, where they had no authority near Mt Rushmore during a govt. shutdown, everything is politics.
    _

    harkin (cd4502)

  12. “you’re right with the urban terrorist that took over seattle,”
    __ _

    But but that rioting and looting, arson and destruction of public and private property prompted a discussion on racism on a couch in the zone!
    _

    harkin (cd4502)

  13. we must flaggelate ourselves, even more than the shia on ashura, for the bad habits we took from ashanti and songhai tribesmen,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  14. “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US was the title of the President’s Daily Brief prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and given to U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday, August 6, 2001. The brief warned, 36 days before the September 11 attacks, of terrorism threats from Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, including “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for a hijacking ” of U.S. aircraft. The President’s Daily Brief (PDB) is a brief of important classified information on national security collected by various U.S. intelligence agencies given to the president and a select group of senior officials. On August 6, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency delivered a President’s Daily Brief to President Bush, who was vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

    President Bush’s response of “All right. You’ve covered your ass.” has been erroneously linked to this PDB. This response, however, came from a separate PDB linked to Bin Laden from several months earlier. During 2001, CIA analysts produced several reports warning of imminent attacks by Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Senior officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney and staff from Donald Rumsfeld’s office at the Department of Defense, questioned whether these reports might not be deception on the part of al-Qaeda, purposely designed to needlessly expend resources in response. After reevaluating the legitimate risks of these recent reports, CIA analysts produced a report titled “UBL [Usama Bin Laden] Threats Are Real”. It was after this report that the president gave that now-infamous response.

    The content of the memo was kept secret, as with all but a handful of PDBs, until it was leaked in 2002. CBS Evening News reported on the document on May 15.

    The PDB was declassified and approved for release to the 9/11 Commission on April 10, 2004, and reported in the 9/11 Commission Report on July 22, 2004. According to the National Security Archive, President Bush was the first sitting president to release a PDB to the public.

    In response to accusations that the Administration failed to act on the contents of the briefing, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and General Richard Myers emphasized that the CIA’s PDB did not warn the President of a specific new threat but “contained historical information based on old reporting”.

    President Bush later claimed that if he had “had any inkling whatsoever that the people were going to fly airplanes into buildings we would have moved heaven and earth to save the country.” The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) conducted a training exercise in the two years prior to September 11, 2001, in which it simulated a civilian airliner being hijacked and used as a missile to crash into buildings in the United States, including the World Trade Center.[9][10] In October 2000, the U.S. Department of Defense had conducted exercises rehearsing a plane crashing into the Pentagon. The National Reconnaissance Office had scheduled an exercise for September 11, 2001 simulating the crash of a jet into one of its own buildings in northern Virginia” – source, Wikipedia.org

    They knew.

    Some POTUS don’t read; others need read to them; still others running for the gig only read from a teleprompter.

    “I’m still convinced they’re going to attack us.” – Colonel Rufus Bratton [E.G. Marshall] ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ 1970

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  15. there is such a thing as too much flagellation,

    https://deadline.com/2020/09/nfl-ratings-down-season-kickoff-kansas-city-chiefs-coronavirus-houston-texans-nbc-1234575251/

    shut up and play, would be a valuable guideline,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  16. yes that was a less informative pdb than a year and a half later, before we went into kosovo

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  17. @16.Only if you lack reading comprehension. You outta run for the Senate. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  18. we come to a point where flying the flag, is a controversial act, where the founders are derided so much, that they are decapitated in some quarters, where christianity is downgraded and islam is exalted, where law enforcements must be denigrated at every turn, based on some unfortunate encounters taken out of context,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  19. it had no actionable intelligence, where does one focus attention, the one data point of note, was the self same abu zubeydah, who was treated as a victim in some circles, al queda mounted how many plots out of afghan territory in the ensuing 19 years, thanks to wilhelm, they disbanded the surveillance unit,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  20. Just a couple weeks ago…..

    “ Frontier Airlines has some explaining to do after refusing to allow a Federal Air Marshal to board a flight because his facial covering showed an American flag. Black Lives Matter masks are acceptable, but Frontier banned the flag because it might offend some people.

    The Frontier gate agent told the Marshal that he needed to remove the flag gaiter as its presence made other passengers uneasy. The Marshal is there to protect people on the flight. He works for the United States government.“

    https://www.themix.net/2020/08/air-marshal-denied-boarding-on-frontier-flight-because-of-american-flag-mask/
    _

    harkin (cd4502)

  21. #14 — Thank you for the reminder that Presidents used to be held to a higher standard.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  22. How the sausage got made? You mean torture of course. Don’t be shy, it’s become the major issue in the KSM trial:

    https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-01-20/ksm-guantanamo-trial-torture

    Would other countries, e.g. UK, Sweden, France, Canada, ones we used to consider our peers, have tortured suspects intensively to gain knowledge and then attempted to use that knowledge as evidence in trials? I don’t know. Perhaps. But it’s something we did and are doing. I am not going to argue about whether the torture was necessary – I don’t think so based on histories I’ve seen but I understand it’s an argued point. I just don’t think you should be able to torture people and then use the resulting information in a “trial”. It feels kind of non due processy.

    Though the LA Times article also points out that one reason it’s been a 20 year delay is that Obama tried to bring KSM over to a regular federal court for trial but Congress and Republicans were horrified at the thought of KSM in a regular courthouse on U.S. soil. Perhaps they thought he had cooties.

    And finally, Harkin, as for Seattle. I was there not too long ago. Capitol Hill seemed ok to me. The major problem remains as usual the virus and currently horrendous smoke. But I understand how you’d prefer it to be an urban wasteland

    Victor (661f31)

  23. any reasonably competent mayor, neither wheeler nor durkin could have prevented this sanctuary,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  24. Perhaps they thought he had cooties.

    Not really a good indicator that you put much thought into it.

    It’s the same reason why captured spies generally never go to trial, which is that classified intelligence sources and methods become grounds for a defense and get exposed at trial.

    Victor, best if you avoid reading about what we and the allies did in WWII, else you’ll wonder if we were actually better than the Nazis. Maybe you already do.

    beer ‘n pretzels (3aaedc)

  25. we often handed off the tough stuff to moroccans, (the technique that bond was subject to in casino royale, was their doing) egyptian, they hung you on a rusty nail, and well syrians lets not belabor the point,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  26. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fWyzwo1xg0

    The thing I remember most about that horrific day, watching it terribly unfold on the morning news, was thinking, “Oh my God, it’s happening.” Then I went to work, and as I walked down the hall of the high school, the other teachers stared at me in disbelief.

    This was because a few weeks earlier we had attended conferences to prepare for the academic year. One of the subjects under discussion was, what should we do in the event of a mass shooting or terrorist attack? How should we, as teachers, respond to protect our students, what is district policy, and so on. The other teachers took it all lightly, as if it were a waste of time, and dismissively said, “Oh, something like that can’t happen here.” Finally, when it came my turn to speak, I said, “You know what scares the hell out of me? Terrorists hijacking planes and crashing into buildings all across the country. What do we do in that situation?” Then I talked about an article I had read in the summer of 1995, six years before.

    Yeah, it was in the Austin American-Statesman, when I was in graduate school. I was on campus at UT, planning to do library research for my thesis, and I stopped for coffee and picked up a copy of the newspaper. I believe from distant memory it was the Sunday edition.

    There it was, in full detail–front page headline, an article that continued for pages and included a two-page centerfold map of the United States, in full color, illustrating hijacked planes crashing into buildings in at least twenty cities–sites of cultural, economic and governmental significance. It was basically the entire attack plan for 9-11 laid out in full.

    That information came from a laptop seized in a special forces raid on a terrorist cell in Yemen. I naively thought, “Wow, it’s a good thing we know about this, so we can prevent it.”

    Bill Clinton was president at the time. George Bush was governor at the time; he lived just a few blocks from UT. You cannot tell me that they didn’t know. It was in the freaking newspaper for crying out loud! I knew about it, and I was just a graduate student on my way to the library, who stopped for coffee and an early morning read.

    There is absolutely no way county, state, and federal officials did not know. They all had briefings, more detailed than any newspaper report, and it was all in the newspaper! And I’m not just talking about officials here; I’m talking about the NSA, CIA, FBI, DHS, add the alphabet.

    Yet, they all dismissed it. Thinking that this was all just talk, nothing to see here, let’s move on.

    They allowed Arab terrorists entry on immigrant visas. They allowed Arab terrorists to take flight lessons, without landing instructions. What did they think was going to happen?

    They had the whole attack plan laid out before them in briefings and newspapers, six years before. Yet they did nothing to prevent it? In fact, they enabled it.

    I’m walking down the hall, and all of these teachers are staring at me, like “Dude, how did you know?” And I was like, “How did you not?”

    The events leading up to 9-11 were not only avoidable but preventable. If not for governmental incompetence. And that goes to both parties.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  27. There’s a good video here of the photographer who took the Falling Man photo. Yes, I got a little emotional watching it.

    Paul Montagu (ad6b35)

  28. They knew.

    They knew something could potentially happen, but they didn’t have specific actionable intelligence, per the 9/11 Commission.

    Paul Montagu (ad6b35)

  29. that’s largely true, there were snippets from bojinka, which was gathered through rough means, the phoenix memo that wasn’t incorporated into the pdb,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  30. I can close my eyes and still see the smoke coming off the towers. Still see the gaping hole where the towers stood. Still remember why we stood tall on 9/12 and said never again.

    Look at us now.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  31. The thing is, we did execute six German saboteurs during WWII after a hurried military trial, but so far as I know none of it was based on torturing them.

    I’ve yet to see anybody here address the basic point. Should the U.S. countenance trials in which the principle evidence was obtained by torture? If that’s going to be the rule henceforward, just say so and be clear about it.

    Victor (661f31)

  32. NFL
    @NFL

    We will #NeverForget. Today we honor and remember the lives lost on September 11, 2001.
    __ _

    Pinny Skete
    @_skinnypete_
    ·
    only the firefighters tho, none of those racist cops

    _

    harkin (09d352)

  33. Anyone opposed to torture as a way of gathering terrorist intel (as I am) should also be against torturing American cities as a way of fighting racism.
    _

    harkin (09d352)

  34. from another post

    The gitmo whitewash is interesting like fusion, the levick group created an echo chamber to exonerate every detainee apriori, funded from monies in the gulf states, it was deborah burlingame who uncovered this a much more obvious version of foreign interference in our national security. it was this public relations campaign that painted every detainee as some disgruntled soul, and the us military as killers, this was what was the average fare on qatar funded al jazeera and russian tv, where russian battlefield practice, let us say leave a lot to be desired,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  35. for what they did, a little swallowing of water, is small beer, a full trial would have been not only a security nightmare, but a platform for the terrorists to defend their crime,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  36. Should the U.S. countenance trials in which the principle evidence was obtained by torture?

    No. I don’t think the principal evidence against KSM was obtained by torture and, as I noted before, there are legit concerns about putting him on trial.

    So long as he’s not freed, I really don’t care what happens to him. He’s playing with house money.

    beer ‘n pretzels (97f8c4)

  37. It’s hard to believe that I completely forgot the importance of this date. But I did.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  38. Happy patriots day when the patriots in the white house said we would need a “second pearl harbor” before the american people will allow us to attack iraq. (progress for a new american century 1998) In august 2001 c.i.a. gave dubya a briefing entitled bin ladin determined to attack in america with aircraft. Dubya’s answer “Alright you have covered your a*s I will tell ashcroft (attorney general) not to fly commercial. I am off to the ranch!” Never forget? already forgotten.

    shoot back (455522)

  39. Congolissa rice said no one could imagine terrorists flying aircraft into buildings. When shown a picture of her walking past an anti-aircraft missile battery ready to shoot down any aircraft attacking the building she was walking into in milan italy in august 2001 Her answer Huh?

    shoot back (455522)

  40. Rest in peace Ace Bailey.
    The look of joy you gave kids will never be missed.

    mg (8cbc69)

  41. I think we can do without racists like shoot-back.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. if we had detained al midhar and al hamzi, that might have compromised one cell, but not the rest, there was a rather extensive support structure, set out in the 28 pages that were excised from the 9/11 report,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  43. #14:

    Oddly, it was not a Bush memo that Sandy Berger snuck out of the National Archives in his pants, so that the 9/11 investigators could not see Bill Clinton’s comments on another briefing on bin Laden. The same Bill Clinton who decided against an attack on bin Laden in 1998.

    Philip D. Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 report, actually identifies nine key moments in Clinton’s presidency when a different decision might have led to bin Laden’s death. “On every one of these nine choices there are people who believe the President could have made a different choice,” Zelikow said.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/02/16/bill-clinton-and-the-missed-opportunities-to-kill-osama-bin-laden/

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  44. Note also where Tenet (who was they guy covering his ass with W) was instrumental in killing operations against bin Laden in the Clinton administration.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. if we had detained al midhar and al hamzi, that might have compromised one cell

    Yes, but they may have known there were other cells, and they would have made the threat to US aircraft concrete. Not sure how that would have played out, as the airlines would have been aghast at anything that would scare off passengers.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  46. in my novella, i assume, that the al queda mole was involved in several of these operation from sudan to yemen, tipping off the relevant parties

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  47. It’s the same reason why captured spies generally never go to trial.

    During WWII, there was a short, quick trial and execution followed. THEN they told the press.

    Later, the CIA just killed them.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  48. We have some of these arguments every year. It’s like Thanksgiving dinner.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  49. @21. It’s a low bar; reading comprehension is taught in elementary school. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  50. Anecdote- true story; February, 1993. Cold. Snow flurries outside. Was in the WTC – underneath- big mall there w/banks, shops and so forth. Had business to conduct. Was a Friday; finished up near lunchtime and decided to grab a PATH train over to Hoboken and catch the first early train home- one stop. Commuters caught PATH train to Jersey; PATH arrives in Hoboken; riders exit cars walk up to enter station at street level– see choppers, hear sirens across the river around the Towers. Routine city cacophony; WTF… riders boarded their trains; many, including myself, put headsets on and plugged into our Walkmans– local radio still broadcasting– reported bomb exploded underneath the WTC. We’d all lucked out safely and caught the last train out. Later that year Colin Ferguson boarded a LIRR train and shot several commuters. It could just as easily have been a NJT train. It was the final straw- that was the day I realized the authorities couldn’t couldn’t keep NYC safe and time to think about leaving.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  51. “It’s a low bar; reading comprehension is taught in elementary school.”

    https://twitter.com/SBakabella/status/1304145796137451521

    Davethulhu (f891f1)

  52. KSM is probably not fit to go to trial. He suffered too much brain damage from the torture. In the end, they were waterboarding him for the fun of it. He had no more information to give them and no volition left to resist. That’s on the record, and from the same sadistic freak with a PhD who wrote the Gitmo torture manual.

    nk (1d9030)

  53. On the day in question, I was vacationing in Taiwan. I had arrived in a quaint town on the east coast called Hualien. I took a cab from the station to a hotel. As soon as I got in the cab, the driver started foaming at the mouth about something that sounded like world trade. I didn’t give him much thought, as sometimes Taiwanese get very emotional about things.

    It was only after I checked into the hotel and turned on the TV that I saw what he was talking about.

    norcal (a5428a)

  54. Mercy for the bastard who planned the deaths of at least 3,000 americans, the numbers could gave been much higher.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  55. Trump yesterday

    Were getting along very very well with the Taliban.

    Three of the six prisoners transferred to Doha are accused of involvement in what are known as insider attacks against U.S. troops. The assaults, conducted by Taliban infiltrators of the Afghan security forces against foreign forces, sowed deep distrust and undermined the U.S.-led military and training missions there.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  56. He suffered too much brain damage from the torture. In the end, they were waterboarding him for the fun of it. He had no more information to give them and no volition left to resist. That’s on the record, and from the same sadistic freak with a PhD who wrote the Gitmo torture manual.

    Not true.

    According to KSM and the Red Cross, he was waterboarded five times, all during the first month of interrogation:

    Mr. Khaled Shaik Mohammed gave the following description of this method of ill-treatment, used in his third place of detention: “I would be strapped to a special bed, which can be rotated into a vertical position. A cloth would be placed over my face. Water was then poured onto the cloth by one of the guards so that I could not breathe. This obviously could only be done for one or two minutes at a time. The cloth was then removed and the bed was put into a vertical position. The whole process was then repeated during about one hour.” The procedure was applied during five different sessions during the first month of interrogation in his third place of detention. He also said that injuries to his ankles and wrists occurred during the suffocation as he struggled in the panic of not being able to breathe. Female interrogators were also present during this form of ill-treatment, again increasing the humiliation aspect. Mr. Khaled Shaik Mohammed described a device attached to one of his fingers, the reading of which was checked regularly by a person he assumed to be a doctor. From the description, this appears to have been a pulse oxymeter, a medical device for measuring the saturation of oxygen in the blood.

    KSM was never in any danger.

    The falsely alleged “183 applications of waterboarding” refer to the number of times water was poured on the towel, not the number of enhanced interrogation sessions.
    “Each pour was a matter of seconds”.

    Dave (1bb933)

  57. 183 divided by 5 (reaches for Texas Instruments 30XIIS) equals 36 and one extra on Christmas suffocations per “application”. Well, okay, then.

    nk (1d9030)

  58. KSM deserved worse than he received.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  59. I read the whole report, BTW, and I saw the other means of “enhanced interrogation” that were used. It’s no different than accounts of have read of captured American soldiers in the hands of the Chinese and North Koreans during the Korean war.

    nk (1d9030)

  60. Link them nk for all to judge.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  61. Dave did at 36. The first link.

    nk (1d9030)

  62. “KSM was never in any danger.”

    I’m disappointed to see that you’re a torture apologist.

    “KSM deserved worse than he received.”

    This however is completely unsurprising.

    Davethulhu (a609dc)

  63. I believe you mean 56 and not 36. Don’t see it. Most claims I’m sure are exaggerated by terrorists and waterboarding given a descriptive experience doesn’t change what it is. I doubt continuous abuse by American guards.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  64. KSM deserved a bullet. Do you disagree Thule?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  65. Little known fun fact: The Manson Family only stabbed Sharon Tate one time! There were 16 knife applications, each one a matter of seconds, and all done in a single session on the same day!

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  66. “KSM deserved a bullet. Do you disagree Thule?”

    KSM deserved a trial, just like anyone else. I have no doubt he would have been found guilty if Bush administration hadn’t permanently spoiled it, after which he could have been properly executed.

    Torture is a blight, and every torturer and torture enabler should have been charged, up to and including Bush.

    Davethulhu (a609dc)

  67. KSM probably did deserve all the torture he got and then some, but no matter how evil he is, does not mean we stoop to his level and deny him due process and violate our own rule of law. We signed onto a treaty that forbade torture, and we have a military code that forbids it.
    So as it is, there’s no way he can stand trial and there’s no way we can release him, so he might as well rot in Gitmo ‘til his last breath, which we can do until hostilities in this War Against Militant Islamism cease, which won’t happen until al Qaeda and the Islamic State surrender, which ain’t gonna happen.

    Paul Montagu (cb9e15)

  68. Apologists for terrorist, maybe an aria for november 17th, how did they stay hidden for 25 years.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  69. KSM was never in any danger.

    He hasn’t been to Poppy’s Diner.

    Try the hamburger.

    “So put him in the mincer, okay?” – Poppy Adams [Julianne Moore] ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ 2017

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  70. ” Most claims I’m sure are exaggerated by terrorists and waterboarding given a descriptive experience doesn’t change what it is. ”

    Waterboarding is “mock execution” and banned under the Geneva Convention.

    Davethulhu (a609dc)

  71. No they dont deserve due process, that is the fallacy that levick group operates under, this is how the imam behind the barcelona attack three years ago was sprung from.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  72. “Apologists for terrorist, maybe an aria for november 17th, how did they stay hidden for 25 years.”

    The rule of law, unless you’re really upset, then anything goes.

    Davethulhu (a609dc)

  73. Terrorists do not wear military uniforms and deserve zero protections accordingly.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  74. “Terrorists do not wear military uniforms and deserve zero protections accordingly.”

    Even if this was true, it doesn’t make torture legal or acceptable.

    Davethulhu (a609dc)

  75. Someone who planned out who 7,000 gallons of jet fuels who burn human bodies to ash, in a high rise, the right temperature to melt the support collumns so the building would pancake and any survivors would be crushed. He got off easy.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  76. Ah yes apologist for those who tried andy ngos skull open, what else can i expect. Some more splc nostrums off the media matters griddle.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  77. KSM gets more sympathy and respect from some than business owners do in Oregon or Wisconsin or Minnesota.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  78. Isnt it striking, now he trained hundreds of operatives and they fanned all over the world.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  79. The distinction between “lawful combatants” and “unlawful combatants” is whether they are viewed as prisoners of war to be detained until the cessation of hostilities, or whether they are viewed as criminals to be tried and punished. That’s all. The UCMJ prohibits the torture of both.

    nk (1d9030)

  80. No they dont deserve due process…

    Yeah, they do, because we have a Constitution, habeas corpus, due process, and the rule of law, even for the barbarians who don’t deserve it. If we’re a nation that is all about American Exceptionalism, then we should conduct ourselves exceptionally, not lower ourselves to their 10th century level.
    I don’t know how the “levick group” has anything to do with it.

    Paul Montagu (ad6b35)

  81. Waterboarding is not torture.

    Dave (1bb933)

  82. Rioters and terrorists you have exquisite sensitivity about, those who defend against both, they must be on their tip toes ‘the constitution is not a suicide pact’ as much youd like it to be.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  83. Also, I’m not convinced that every violent extremist engaged in acts of war against the US deserves a criminal trial, the right of discovery and subpoena against our military and intelligence services, etc.

    Dave (1bb933)

  84. “Waterboarding is not torture.”

    Yes it is.

    “Rioters and terrorists you have exquisite sensitivity about, those who defend against both, they must be on their tip toes ‘the constitution is not a suicide pact’ as much youd like it to be.”

    Who else is excluded from constitutional protections? Who gets to decide?

    Davethulhu (a609dc)

  85. Well we have seen what four months of soft measures have yielded, much like the game weve played for 19 years in adghanistan sans drone strikes.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  86. Who else is excluded from constitutional protections? Who gets to decide?

    In this case, Congress decided and the courts later took exception to one provision involving petitions of habeus corpus.

    Dave (1bb933)

  87. Yes it is.

    It’s simulated torture, and was used that way long before 9/11 to train US military personnel how to cope with real torture without harming or endangering them.

    Much like tear gas is used in training to simulate chemical weapons.

    Dave (1bb933)

  88. “Waterboarding is not torture.”

    When ingenuous and disingenuous mean the same thing.

    nk (1d9030)

  89. The distinction between “lawful combatants” and “unlawful combatants” is whether they are viewed as prisoners of war to be detained until the cessation of hostilities, or whether they are viewed as criminals to be tried and punished. That’s all.

    No, that’s not all.

    Use of any type of coercion – physical or otherwise – against prisoners of war (lawful combatants) is always prohibited.

    There is no such protection for unlawful combatants.

    Dave (1bb933)

  90. “It’s simulated torture, and was used that way long before 9/11 to train US military personnel how to cope with real torture without harming or endangering them.”

    Waterboarding has been banned in military training since 2007.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/military-sere-waterboarding-banned-torture-cia-gina-haspel_n_5abd1240e4b06409775e4122

    The reasons why are summarized here:

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/sere_training_and_torture/

    The bottom line, though, is this: SERE is specifically designed to prevent its students from experiencing permanent psychological damage. What makes what happened at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and other places torture is that the intent of the interrogators was to inflict physical and psychological damage to its subjects. That is the very definition of torture as enshrined in the laws of the United States.

    There’s a link to the original source within the article.

    Davethulhu (a609dc)

  91. Yeah, that is particularly disingenuous. People who undergo SERE have not only volunteered for it, they have actually competed, hard, to get into the whatever specialty that requires SERE. For more money, more rank, more perks, more prestige. They were not forced into it.

    nk (1d9030)

  92. Waterboarding has been banned in military training since 2007.

    That may be, but the fact is that tens of thousands of servicemen were routinely subjected to the harmless trick.

    the intent of the interrogators was to inflict physical and psychological damage to its subjects.

    This is untrue.

    Dave (1bb933)

  93. If being interrogated by a woman causes “psychological damage” to one of these Sharia-addled fools, does that make it a war crime?

    Dave (1bb933)

  94. We know it would make Mike Pence wet his pants…

    Dave (1bb933)

  95. “That may be, but the fact is that tens of thousands of servicemen were routinely subjected to the harmless trick.”

    I don’t think you read the article.

    “This is untrue.”

    Are you suggesting that the former head of Psychological Services for the Air Force SERE School is lying?

    Davethulhu (a609dc)

  96. Waterboarding is not torture.

    Waterboarding is torture and a breach of international and domestic law, IMO. It’s a war crime under the US Army Field Manual as of 2006, under the category of “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment”.

    Paul Montagu (ad6b35)

  97. Also, I’m not convinced that every violent extremist engaged in acts of war against the US deserves a criminal trial, the right of discovery and subpoena against our military and intelligence services, etc.

    I would be okay if a trial is held under the UCMJ, not the civilian variety.
    I remember when Obama wanted to have civilian trials for Gitmo detainees, and then winked and nodded that the accused would either be found guilty or sent back to Gitmo if found not guilty, which meant they were just show trials. I’d rather have the UCMJ handle it.

    Paul Montagu (ad6b35)

  98. Screw the rule of law. It’s the rage in all the cool police states. Does Putin let a jury decide what he can do when there are dissidents who need poisoning? Ask Duterte: if a street is teeming with drug dealers, does a man of action give them indictments or bullets? Nobody has to tell Kim Jong Un not to wait for his annoying relatives to blow themselves up. The point is, ad hoc self-certainty is just as reliable as any soy boy elitist criminal trial.

    You don’t get it, do you? The rule of law isn’t a favor we do for people who deserve it. It’s a constraint we put on ourselves because without it we can’t tell our children we’re civilized people. Am I surprised some of the Trump groupies here could be good with that? Not at all.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  99. Are you suggesting that the former head of Psychological Services for the Air Force SERE School is lying?

    The words you quoted, and that I re-quoted, are not the words of the former head of Psychological Services for the Air Force SERE School.

    Regardless, the intent of the interrogators was to confuse the detainee, not to damage them.

    Dave (1bb933)

  100. “Regardless, the intent of the interrogators was to confuse the detainee, not to damage them.”

    The intent of torturers is to break the detainee, not confuse them.

    Davethulhu (a609dc)

  101. Yes, it’s to confuse them into thinking they are in danger when they are really just having their face washed repeatedly.

    Dave (1bb933)

  102. “Yes, it’s to confuse them into thinking they are in danger when they are really just having their face washed repeatedly.”

    No it’s not. Waterboarding is literally drowning someone, just in a way that their life isn’t actually threatened. “Trick” or “Confuse” implies that someone could resist, or that their response is under conscious control.

    Davethulhu (a609dc)

  103. I think it’s the equivalent of blind-folding him and putting him on a roller-coaster for an hour.

    Not torture.

    Dave (1bb933)

  104. With a doctor sitting in the next seat to monitor his vital signs the whole time.

    Dave (1bb933)

  105. @71 Who taught you civics? No due process for bad people, democracy only for people whose politics you agree with, businesses can’t work for people you don’t like, can’t understand concerns about a police state. This is really bad Americaning. You actually seem to want a totalitarian dictatorship, as long as it’s one you agree with.

    @101 Dave, waterboarding is psychological torture. If you’ve ever talked to anyone who went through SERE training before it was banned, they’d tell you. It doesn’t cause permanent harm, but while it is going on, you think you are drowning, you get all the physiological and psychological responses a drowning person has.

    Nic (896fdf)

  106. Even a mirror will not show you yourself, if you do not wish to see.

    Breath is the least appreciated gift of the gods. None sing hymns to it, praising the good air, breathed by king and beggar, master and dog alike. But, oh, to be without it!

    — Roger Zelany, Lord of Light

    nk (1d9030)

  107. abide by the rules, terrorists don’t that’s why they put missile launchers, inside apartment complexes, they brainwash women and children, into wearing suicide vests with nails, coated with rat poison, which means you bleed out, because your blood doesn’t clot,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  108. Yes, it’s to confuse them into thinking they are in danger when they are really just having their face washed repeatedly.

    I think it has less to do with the interrogator’s intentions and more to do with treating them humanely. Waterboarding is a not a humane treatment of a prisoner, and we have an Eighth Amendment.

    Paul Montagu (ad6b35)

  109. Read at least the index in Dave’s link in his comment 56. Waterboarding is not the only thing the government’s “San Francisco Palominos” subjected the prisoners to, in Gitmo and in other places “of extraordinary rendition”.

    nk (1d9030)

  110. Ask daniel pearl, oh wait you can’t.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  111. Since it’s now the day after 9/11, it’s appropriate to call out Trump’s lies about that day, and there were a few…

    September 11, 2001: Trump claimed in a TV interview that one of the buildings he owns, 40 Wall Street, became the tallest building in downtown Manhattan after the Twin Towers came down, but it’s actually 25 feet shorter than 70 Pine Street, just one block away.

    November 16, 2015: Trump told campaign rally attendees that he predicted 9/11 orchestrator Osama bin Laden would target the Twin Towers in his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, but reports from as early as 1999 prove a possible bin Laden attack was on the radar for U.S. officials.

    November 21, 2015: Trump said during a campaign rally he witnessed Muslims cheering the towers’ collapse from Jersey City, but an exhaustive investigation by the Washington Post, bolstered by interviews with law enforcement, debunked this ever happened.

    November 23, 2015: During another campaign rally, Trump claimed he witnessed people jumping from the towers, even though he said on the day of the attacks he was at home when the planes hit—and Trump Tower is four miles north of Ground Zero.

    April 12, 2016: Trump told Time magazine his organization received a $150,000 federal grant for 40 Wall Street because he let people impacted by the attacks use the building, but a New York Daily News investigation found the money was intended for small business recovery, and that the Trump Organization said it was used for rent loss, cleanup, and repair—not for helping people.

    April 18, 2016: Trump told campaign rally attendees he “helped a little bit” to clear rubble at Ground Zero with other first responders, though there’s no contemporaneous reports this ever happened.

    July 29, 2019: Before he signed a bill extending the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, Trump claimed he “spent a lot of time down” at Ground Zero with first responders, but was not a presence there according to a former FDNY chief deputy, although Trump did make visits to the New York Stock Exchange and surrounding area in the days after the attack, which is a few blocks east of Ground Zero.

    September 11, 2019: During a commemoration of the attacks, Trump said that he watched the second plane hit the Twin Towers from a building, but he made no mention of this during his 2001 TV interview and, again, his home is four miles away.

    Also that day: Trump repeated his claim that he assisted first responders at Ground Zero.

    Paul Montagu (9cf48a)


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