NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Annals of Invention

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Though alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times among several extreme interrogation techniques, he and his CIA captors eventually reached a moderated state. In 2003, though still housed in a "black site" in Romania, "KSM" asked permission to design a household vacuum cleaner, and the highest echelons of the agency co-operated, according to a former senior CIA analyst, speaking to the Associated Press in July. In reality, when a detainee exhausts his intelligence value, the agency's main mission is to keep him "sane," in case he's later put on trial, and the vacuum cleaner project was thought likely to engage KSM, who, 15 years before the murders of nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, had earned a mechanical engineering degree from North Carolina A&T State University.

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