Black Holes and Mock Burial

The other day, I posted on black holes in Bagram and Somalia. This important story, describes the plight of Tanzanian fisherman Suleiman Abdallah, who was kidnapped and sold for bounty in Mogadishu then rendered to three different American prisons, ultimately to Bagram, before he was freed five years later.

In addition to the portraying yet another innocent disappeared into our prison system, the story provides a few important details.

In fact, Suleiman was thousands of kilometers from his familiar Indian Ocean reefs, in an underground prison in central Afghanistan.

“It was pitch black, with constant noise and not enough food,” he recalled. His American interrogators would pour freezing cold water on him and beat him, saying, “We know you are a sea man, but here we have more water than out there in the sea. It never stops raining here.” Suleiman also describes being hung from the ceiling in the “strappado position,” slung in chains so that his toes just touched the floor. He also says American interrogators would take the ablution jug (used by Muslims for ritual cleansing before prayer), and stick its long spout up his rectum.

[snip]

The litany of abuses described by Suleiman included severe beatings, prolonged solitary confinement, forced nakedness and humiliation, sexual assault, being locked naked in a coffin and forced to lie on a wet mat, naked and handcuffed, and then rolled up like a corpse. It was extremely tough. There were times when both of us clinicians, and the patient, broke down in tears.” [my emphasis]

While Clare Gutteridge doesn’t say it, the underground prison in Afghanistan sounds like the Salt Pit (Cage Prisoners says it was a different prison, but that he was then transferred to the Salt Pit). He was transferred to the relatively better Bagram in mid-2003.

In any case, that means the prisons in Afghanistan were using dousing after it may have contributed to Gul Rahman’s death the previous year, and after the CIA IG investigation into torture started.

Then there’s the mock burial–the only treatment John Yoo ever deemed torture. While Abdallah’s torturers might call the coffin “small box confinement,” between that and the funeral shroud, the intent of the treatment seems fairly clear.

And remember: top Bush officials had reason to know this treatment would elicit false confessions. It sounds like CIA and FBI interrogators learned fairly early on Abdallah was not who they had thought he was (they originally believed he had a role in the 1998 Embassy bombings).

Were we using the methods that even John Yoo found to be illegal to invent some justification for kidnapping Abdallah?

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9 Responses to Black Holes and Mock Burial

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @FallenJPAngel I keep saying this country will start doing something about climate change when Lockheed figures that out @kenvogel @tedcruz
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emptywheel Cruz isn't stupid. He knows what the Kochs are purchasing, and he's all too happy to self himself as that product. https://t.co/LJhwZC5Pdj
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bmaz @MonaHol @rcjparry @walterwkatz @PolicingWatch @mattapuzzo Jesus would clearly shoot anybody that doesn't supplicate themselves to a cop.
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bmaz @rcjparry And as I said ass licking cop troll.
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bmaz @PhilPerspective @walterwkatz Three weeks is too long dammit! Can't wait for the Belgian!
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bmaz @rcjparry Go fuck yourself
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bmaz Which is not to say that those people can't be cravenly neutered by paid, arguably fraudulent, shills like Lewinski https://t.co/YYmtpMZtjU
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bmaz @walterwkatz @rcjparry Not because they are right, but because the field has been fouled with total disingenuous crap.
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bmaz @walterwkatz @rcjparry right. certainty and smooth presentation of BS that, even when countered, turns into expert battle that cops win.
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bmaz No, jackass, I am stupefied that there are recalcitrant apologists like you for abuse of force and murder by cops. https://t.co/kqcgaxn0de
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bmaz @rcjparry @walterwkatz @PolicingWatch @mattapuzzo How about you find one "actual scientist" who DOES agree. And, btw, Lewinski isn't one.
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bmaz @rcjparry @PolicingWatch @mattapuzzo @walterwkatz Also. no maybe after 30yrs of watching this fraud Im "not classy". Screw that Uncle Albert
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