"Categorically" Torture

That's the Red Cross' analysis of what Bush and Cheney sanctioned in Gitmo, according to Jane Mayer's new book. I've read some summaries of the book's key points but haven't gotten a hold of the galleys yet. But suffice to say: it's as bad as we feared:

The book says Abu Zubaydah told the Red Cross that he had been waterboarded at least 10 times in a single week and as many as three times in a day.

The book also reports that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the chief planner of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, told the Red Cross that he had been kept naked for more than a month and claimed that he had been “kept alternately in suffocating heat and in a painfully cold room.”

The report says the prisoners considered the “most excruciating” of the methods being shackled to the ceiling and being forced to stand for as long as eight hours. Eleven of the 14 prisoners reported prolonged sleep deprivation, the book says, including “bright lights and eardrum-shattering sounds 24 hours a day.”

This is what we know from the history of torture. Some of the least superficially awful techniques - such as the Gestapo-perfected "stress positions" and "hypothermia" - can actually be the worst in terms of suffering. There is no doubt at this point that the president of the United States is a war criminal. The only question is whether he will ever be brought to justice. I'll be blogging the book in detail as soon as I get my hands on it.