This is an amazing post that Marcy wrote after digging through the DOJ memos to discover Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in a month. I’m just proud to be associated with her.
One thing. I’ve seen some people mock the idea that what the memos show is actually indicative of a torture regime. Caterpillars in a box? C’mon… Let’s cede that objection for the sake of argument. What the 2005 memos show — and really, it’s what the 2004 CIA Inspector General report shows — is that once you relax the restrictions on torture, it’s extremely difficult in practice to not cross the subsequently-established lines. If it’s acceptable to waterboard someone once, why not twice, and three times, and so forth. But the Senate Armed Services Committee report in 2008 found that the torture techniques for the exceptional cases of Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed wound up in use at Guantanamo Bay; and the Schlesinger report on Abu Ghraib in 2004 found that the torture techniques "migrated" from Guantanamo Bay (Geneva Conventions-free) to Iraq (Geneva Conventions-required).