“Some of the first questions asked of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed upon his capture and during the time during which he was water boarded were about possible connections between al-Qaeda and Iraq. KSM as he is called is the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. He was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003. According to Office of Legal Counsel (Bush’s legal office) memos released, he was water boarded 183 times that same month.
“The substance of the intelligence that was being sought from him has been an object of some speculation, with several defenders of the interrogation practice arguing that the goal was to prevent an impending attack on America. But a line buried on page 353 of the July 2004Select Committee on Intelligence report (523 pages) on pre-Iraq war intelligence strongly suggests that the interrogation was just as centered on a possible Iraq-al-Qaeda link as terrorist activity (thus a foundation for the invasion of Iraq).
“CTC [Counter Terrorist Center] noted that the questions regarding al-Qaida's ties to the Iraqi regime were among the first presented to senior al-Qaida operational planner Khalid Shaikh Muhammad following his capture. Revelations that KSM was questioned about possible al Qaeda ties to Iraq at roughly the same time that he was undergoing water boarding provides some key insight into the purpose of the CIA interrogations.
“A de-classified Senate Armed Services Committee report quoted army psychologist Maj. Paul Burney as saying that a large part of his time on a Behavioral Science Consultation Team was “... focused on trying to establish a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq.” McClatchy newspapers then published an article citing a former intelligence official acknowledging that the Bush administration had pressured interrogators to use harsh techniques to produce evidence connecting the terrorist organization and Iraq's regime.
“All those efforts at establishing that link never bore fruit. KSM was unaware of any collaborative relationship between al-Qaida and the former Iraqi regime as he cited ideological disagreements as an impediment to closer ties.
“In addition, he was unable to corroborate reports that al-Qaeda associate Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi had traveled to Iraq to obtain medical treatment for injuries sustained in Afghanistan (another Bush team lie).
“All the reports shows that water boarding would be used as a means of establishing a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda also diffuses the Bush team notion that so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques (torture)” were only being used in the so-called “ticking time bomb” scenarios.
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