Pentagon Redacted Statements of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Discussing Torture

Think Progress
Friday, March 16, 2007

According to a Pentagon transcript released yesterday, Khalid Sheik Mohammed confessed to masterminding 9/11 and “more than 30 other terror attacks or plots” at a military hearing held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Known among CIA officers as “Al-Qaeda’s toughest prisoner” in Guantanamo Bay, Mohammed has long been the subject of extreme interrogation techniques, including water boarding. “CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in…KSM won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half-minutes before begging to confess.” The CIA also reportedly abducted his seven- and nine-year-old sons and flew them to the United States for interrogation.

In his remarks to a military tribunal, Mohammed raised objections to the treatment he received, but his statements on torture were redacted by the Pentagon in their publicly released transcript:

I know American people are torturing us from seventies. [REDACTED]. I know they are talking human rights. And I know it is against American constitution, against American laws.

Mohammed claimed that CIA interrogators warned him he would be subjected to illegal treatment, calling it “bad luck”:

They said every law, they have exceptions, this is your bad luck you have been part of the exception of our laws.

Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch questioned the legality of the closed-door sessions and whether Mohammed’s confession was actually the result of torture. “We won’t know that unless there is an independent hearing,” he said. “We need to know if this purported confession would be enough to convict him at a fair trial or would it have to be suppressed as the fruit of torture?”

See the full Pentagon transcript HERE.

UPDATE: Danger Room and Talk Left have more.

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