You all now have permission to gnash the rest of your teeth out, but here's the news.
In testimony before Congress on Tuesday, both the CIA Director, General Michael Hayden, and the Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, confirmed that water-boarding was used only on three high-ranking detainees, previously linked to the controversial interrogation technique. They are: Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who led the attack on the USS Cole in 1999; Abu Zubaydah, leader of the foiled "Millenium Plot" aimed at Los Angeles International Airport (and other transportation targets), and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, architect of the 9-11 attacks.
Do I believe this? I give it 80% confidence. It means that whatever else is known, since this is Congressional testimony, it is as well-protected and compartmentalized as can be. Obviously if these two are caught in a lie, it's doomsday. So there was surely more than a cursory investigation into the matter. How could anyone in the interrogations departments not know? I mean you and I both remember when the interrogator interviewed on NPR was talking about stress positions and the naked pyramid.
Now here's something to test your memory, all ye of little faith. Can you recall when it was reported that there was an old man who had come in contact with a hot trunklid of a US military vehicle upon his arrest and detention at Abu Graibh? Of course you do, because you were outraged. Outraged! Well, you were probably right to be outraged because, in light of this testimony, that was about as bad as it got, with these few exceptions.
Anyone who followed the chronicles of Staishu at Patterico's blog understands that interrogations have not been generally harsh. My position is and has been that the US has the right to employ violently stressful techniques of interrogation so long as we keep that Monster on a short leash. I do not consider waterboarding to be torture and I condone its use primarily because I understand it to leave no permanent physical or psychological damage and we apply it to our own soldiers in training.