About That Waterboarding

If you are wondering why the release of the Senate Intelligence Report has become a titanic death-struggle in the Beltway, this may help:

The CIA brought top al-Qaeda suspects close “to the point of death” by drowning them in water-filled baths during interrogation sessions in the years that followed the September 11 attacks, a security source has told The Telegraph. The description of the torture meted out to at least two leading al-Qaeda suspects, including the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, far exceeds the conventional understanding of waterboarding, or “simulated drowning” so far admitted by the CIA.

“They weren’t just pouring water over their heads or over a cloth,” said the source who has first-hand knowledge of the period. “They were holding them under water until the point of death, with a doctor present to make sure they did not go too far. This was real torture.”

These, of course, are second-hand sources and we await the real thing. But how this democracy will handle these war crimes in plain sight in an age of a surging ISIS will be deeply telling.