I want to highlight two paragraphs of Bradbury’s May 30 torture memo to show how self-referential his argument is. The paragraphs (on pages 6 and 7) use Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as examples of the type of people that have been–or might be–waterboarded, so Bradbury is trying to fluff up their importance and danger. My comments are interspersed with his idiocy.
We understand that Abu Zubaydah and KSM are representative of the types of detainees on whom the waterboard has been, or might be, used. Prior to his capture, Zubaydah was "one of Usama Bin Laden’s key lieutenants." CIA, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn ABU ZUBAYDAH at 1 (Jan. 7, 2002) ("Zubaydah Biography")
Remember, Bradbury is writing this in 2005, even after the 9/11 Commission report came out referring to AZ with such descriptions as "a longtime ally of Bin Ladin," "worked closely with the al Qaeda leadership," "had an agreement with Bin Ladin," "associate," and twice, "lieutenant," but not "key lieutenant" and not "member of." But to make the case that waterboarding will only be used with the worst of the worst, Bradbury reverts back to a pre-capture biography of Zubadayah that was proven wrong by facts collected during Zubaydah’s capture to make the claim Zubaydah was a key al Qaeda figure.
Indeed, Zubaydah was al Qaeda’s third or fourth highest ranking member and had been involved "in every major terrorist operation carried out by al Qaeda." Memorandum for John Rizzo, Acting General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency, from Jay S. Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Re: Interrogation of al Qaeda Operative at 7 (Aug. 1, 2002) ("Interrogation Memorandum:); Zubaydah Biography (noting Zubaydah’s involvement in the September 11 attacks).
So once again, Bradbury cites a 2002 document that was proven to be erroneous by AZ’s own interrogation testimony. But to make things worse, Bradbury cites a passage of the Bybee Two memo. That passage was almost certainly known to be false when Rizzo made it to Yoo in 2002. But Bradbury, as if wallowing gleefully in the fraudulent representations of that prior memo, cites it again, in 2005, when it was definitely known to be false.
Upon his capture on March 27, 2002, Zubaydah became the most senior member of al-Qaeda in United States custody.
Seeing how Sheikh al-Libi ran the Khaldan camp for which AZ served as tour guide, even this is an arguably false claim. Read more