Waterboarding Update

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Torture apologists are fond of telling us that “only” three prisoners have ever been waterboarded.  Two of those three were Abu Zubaida and Khalid Sheik Mohammed.  Today, documents released in response to an ACLU lawsuit shed some new light on both of them:

An al-Qaeda associate captured by the CIA and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques said his jailers later told him they had mistakenly thought he was the No. 3 man in the organization’s hierarchy and a partner of Osama bin Laden, according to newly released excerpts from a 2007 hearing.

“They told me, ‘Sorry, we discover that you are not Number 3, not a partner, not even a fighter,’ ” said Abu Zubaida, speaking in broken English, according to the new transcript of a Combatant Status Review Tribunal held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

….Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times […] said he lied in response to questions about bin Laden’s location.

“Where is he? I don’t know,” Mohammed said. “Then he torture me. Then I said yes, he is in this area.”

I’m exaggerating when I say that this is really “new” information, but it is more extensive information than we’ve had before.  And it’s not exactly a great advertisement for either the efficacy or the morality of waterboarding.  Adam Serwer has more here.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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