The Evidence Explaining Latif’s Death? “Now Badly Decomposed”

On October 4, I asked with disgust whether the government planned to hold Adnan Latif’s body until after the election.

Latif died on September 8–26 days ago, or 44% the period until the election. if the sole explanation for the delay is that the US is unwilling to turn over an explanation of how Latif died, it makes it far more likely that Latif died of something other than suicide.

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

On October 18, when Jason Leopold explained the delay in revealing the cause of Latif’s death, I suggested any delay in repatriating Latif’s would prevent an independent assessment of why he died.

Meanwhile, no one can perform independent analysis on Latif’s body, because the government has stashed it at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The US and Yemeni governments continue the same story shared with ProPublica: the Yemenis won’t accept the body until they get a report on why he died, the US hasn’t provided that, so the body decays in US custody.

[snip]

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.

And when, 3 days after Obama’s reelection and 62 days after Latif’s death the government finished (but did not release) the autopsy results, I repeated my suspicion that the delay was designed to obscure the real cause of death.

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?

With utterly predictable timing, Leopold reports the government has told Yemen–but not the American people, officially–how Latif died.

Suicide, they say, in seeming contradiction to early reports that said there were no signs of self-harm.

But here is the even more predictable kicker. No one can check their claims, because Latif’s body has been decomposing during the entire 79 day delay since he died.

Latif’s body has been held for nearly three months at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. US officials have said Latif’s remains have been handled according to Muslim precepts, which precluded taking steps to preserve his body and organs, now badly decomposed. Therefore, his family will not be able to seek an independent autopsy.

“This will be very tough for [Latif's] family,” the Yemeni government official said about the condition of Latif’s remains. [my emphasis]

To prevent any accounting for the death of a probably innocent man imprisoned for over 10 years, the most advanced government on earth has just let that man’s body rot.

And rot.

And rot.

For over one fifth of a year.

Until no one could prove or disprove that the US government’s own treatment (or prior head wounds the government insisted, in an effort to continue to detain him in spite of a dearth of real evidence against him, were never that serious) killed this man.

Rotten. Rotten. Rotten.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @walterwkatz @mtracey @kgosztola Even McCulloch would be better served if he was replaced, but understand why he doesn't voluntarily recuse
9mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @mtracey @kgosztola ie I'd at least think about letting him testify to GJ. But wouldn't let him chat w/prosecutor at this point
11mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @mtracey @kgosztola Not nearly enough info to have opinion on that. If he struck me as a really good witness, Id think about it
12mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @mtracey @kgosztola I have real issue wi appearance of bias/distrust of McCulloch, think he should be bounced but timing fine.
18mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @mtracey @kgosztola Yep, pretty familiar w/Garrity statements; but that is one thing, forced chatting w/prosecutor quite anothr
20mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MasaccioFDL No, he made a full statement to investigators; cooperating w/prosecutor is not only not grounds for firing, it is fairly normal
23mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @mtracey @kgosztola Anybody but a cop, and defendant is indicted already; but given it is a cop, the time frame is not that off
34mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @mtracey @kgosztola Right. Wilson has a police union/PBA lawyer, there is a protocol for this. Even in Ferguson.
38mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @walterwkatz: @bmaz @mtracey @kgosztola they could have obtained med records with a search warrant but subpoena now is more likely. No i…
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bmaz @MasaccioFDL Would depend on a lot of factors, but my inclination is I would not let him be chatted up by prosecutor.
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bmaz @MasaccioFDL Wilson was interviewed for and participated in the departmental report; his job doesn't hinge on talking to prosecutor.
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bmaz @carwinb And I was sure the Vulcan response was a winner....
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