Thursday, March 15, 2007


Today on The View, Rosie O'Donnell criticized the treatment of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in U.S. custody. You don't like that. Fine.

And yes, she garbled some details. But Deb? If you're going to give Rosie a hard time for not having some of her facts straight with regard to KSM, you might try getting your facts straight with regard to KSM.

This is you, Deb:

Then, there is the fact that in the book "Why America Slept: The Reasons Behind Our Failure to Prevent 9/11" by Gerald Posner, the details of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's capture and interrogation were described and widely publicized in many mainstream news sources. U.S. forces captured KSM, and he wouldn't talk--specifically because we WOULDN'T torture him. But, then, the U.S. enlisted Arabic-speaking Arab interrogators, who pretended to be Saudis. Then, KSM opened up, expressing thanks that the "Saudis" were there to rescue him. He admitted a lot and told them to call his friend and patron saint, a Saudi prince (who later died at a young age of a mysterious heart attack).*

Here's the problem, Deb. That wasn't KSM. It was Abu Zubaydah:

On August 31, 2003, Time published the first review of my book Why America Slept, and focused on the final chapter about the capture and interrogation of an al Qaeda terrorist, Abu Zubaydah. It revealed an American intelligence scheme to dupe Zubaydah into disclosing whatever he knew about imminent terrorist attacks. Using a room in a CIA-linked Afghan facility that was hastily converted to resemble a Saudi Arabian prison, U.S. officials concocted an elaborate ruse. Two Arab-American Special Forces soldiers pretended to be Saudi interrogators.... The thinking behind the Mission Impossible-type deception was that Zubaydah would be so frightened he would either divulge critical information to avoid torture or prefer to be handed over to, and cooperate with, American questioners to avoid the tougher fate with the Saudis....

The subterfuge backfired. Zubaydah seemed relieved rather than frightened when confronted by the fake Saudi interrogators. From memory, he rattled off two telephone numbers and told the startled U.S. Special Forces agents, "He will tell you what to do." The numbers were private home and cell phone lines of Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the nephew of Saudi king Fahd....

And then, according to Posner, Zubaydah came up with the numbers of two more Saudi princes and the head of Pakistan's air force.

Zubaydah. Abu Zubaydah. Not KSM.

Oh, you don't care, do you? All those ragheads look alike to you.


*UPDATE: Welcome, Tbogg readers. And yes, I see that Debbie's post no longer contains the passage about Posner. But Google Blog Search remembers:

(Click on screenshot to enlarge.)


UPDATE: Ah, here's the Google cache version, plus a screenshot (click to enlarge):

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