As Predicted, Government “Finishes” Latif Autopsy after Election

Thirty-five days ago, I predicted the government would hold Adnan Latif’s body on ice until after the election.

So are they going to hold Latif on ice until the election? Is that the idea?

Not long after, Jason Leopold revealed they did, indeed, have Latif on ice–at Ramstein Air Base–purportedly because the Yemeni government refused to accept the rotting corpse until they also got an autopsy report. I noted,

Tick tock.

Tick tock.

Latif died 40 days ago. Just 19 days remain before the election. Between them, the US and Yemeni governments have forestalled the time when the US has to admit a man–the sole evidence against whom was a flawed intelligence report written while Pakistanis were trying to convince us to pay a bounty for Latif–died of unnatural causes in their custody.

Surprise surprise! Leopold reports today that the government has now finished the autopsy and may turn it over to Yemen today (after which presumably they will finally accept Latif’s body, too).

The US government plans to turn over a long-awaited and recently-completed autopsy report to Yemeni Embassy officials in Washington, DC as early as today, but no one will say when or if the results will be made public.

An official at the Yemen Embassy, who declined to be named, said the embassy will not comment on the autopsy report’s conclusions or whether it determined how Latif died. Instead, the report will immediately be forwarded to government officials in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. Someone there will decide “what the next step” will be, the embassy official said.

Not surprisingly, the delay pisses off Latif’s family.

Latif’s brother, Muhammed, said his family is distraught because they have been unable to properly mourn his older sibling and they are desperate to learn about the details of his death.

He questioned whether the delay was due to the presidential election.

“When will America apply the principles it claims to uphold?” Muhammed asked. “When will the American people demand the US government uphold the law? America is playing politics with a dead person. America doesn’t care about our rights, my brother’s rights or human rights. Yet, America claims they are favoring human rights all over the world. It’s hypocrisy.”

This is all so predictable it really raises questions about what kind of unnatural causes killed Latif.

What caused a death at Gitmo that was scandalous enough it had to be buried until after the election?

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

4 replies
  1. News Flash says:

    GENERAL BETRAYUS RESIGNS AS HEAD OF CIA

    do you think he was asked to step down after Benghazi fiasco ????

    or is he setting up for 2016 prez run ???

  2. EH says:

    I’m just getting through the first season of the TV show “Boss,” and, well…it speaks to things like this.

  3. thatvisionthing says:

    Was watching for this shoe to drop. Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of this man.

    Yeserday I chanced on this quote from a 1949 Christopher Frye play and thought of Latif’s “release.” A soldier comes to a small market town circa 1400 and requests to be hanged for murder:

    As he says of his military service, however, “I’ve been unidentifiably/Floundering in Flanders for the past seven years,/Prising open ribs to let men go/On the indefinite leave which needs no pass./And now all roads are uncommonly flat, and all hair/Stands on end.”

    (very long url… https://creativeshadows.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/fear-of-serious-injury-cannot-alone-justify-suppression-of-free-speech-and-assembly-men-feared-witches-and-burned-women-it-is-the-function-of-speech-to-free-men-from-the-bondage-of-irrational-fe/)

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