What about Abu Zubaydah?

While I’m glad that Susan Crawford has acknowledged publicly what we all know–that Mohammed al-Qahtani was tortured (see Spencer’s take here)–I’m just as interested in the questions that "crack reporter" Bob Woodward didn’t ask.

Such as, "Is that the same reason Abu Zubaydah was not charged along with the other 9/11 plotters?"

The answer to that question might raise all sorts of uncomfortable answers, though. After all, Qahtani was not in the same category as the other 9/11 plotters, in either the treatment he received (since it came at Gitmo rather than in black sites overseas, and came while under DOD custody rather than CIA custody), or in his actions (that is, he was stopped short of participating in 9/11, if that was indeed his intent). 

But Abu Zubaydah’s treatment resembles Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s: while in CIA custody at a black site, he was waterboarded, not just once, but a bunch of times.

So if you admitted that Abu Zubaydah had been tortured–and therefore could not be tried–then it would raise questions about why KSM can be charged.

And if those questions were asked, you might have to differentiate between KSM and Zubaydah. KSM–as was made clear in his appearance in the Gitmo show trials–still has his wits about him. Zubdaydah, from all reports, does not.

Or, just as importantly, KSM will happily admit to having done the things we accuse him of. But Zubaydah appears to have been over-sold as the mastermind of the attacks. In fact, if you admitted that Abu Zubaydah admitted to stuff he didn’t really do after having been broken through torture, then you’d have the beginning of the pattern–with Qahtani and Zubaydah–proving that torture doesn’t work.

I’m glad Susan Crawford has finally admitted that we tortured Qahtani and because of that he can’t be charged. But will she have the courage (and the clearance) to admit that about Abu Zubaydah, too?

  1. scribe says:

    The point of the article is not in the admission of torture, which everyone with eyes knew had occurred, nor in the admission he cannot be charged because of it.

    The point of the article is contained in the brief background bio included in it. Note that this wench was the DoD Inspector General when Cheney was SecDef. That the information comes from her mouth – that of a person who is a Cheney loyalist if nothing else – is confirmation that this is all part of the recent “normalizing torture” media offensive which Cheney himself has led.

    In other words, it’s a message to the Obama administration: “Yeah. We broke the law. Let’s see you do something about it. Fuck you.”

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Although I might use different terms, I think scribe is exactly right. The outgoing administration trying to establish the idea that there is nothing that can be done about the torture. They know that it will soon be impossible to maintain the ‘we didn’t torture’ fiction. They’re trying to make it old news so that the media will ignore the coming revelations.

      • klynn says:

        Well, when 70,000+ readers vote for further action… Trying to make “it” old news just falls flat. The blogespere has the will and the power to make IT news everyday…

        Truth is never old news and justice is timely and factual especially when our Constitution is a living document.

        Their pathetic “old news” attempts are simply confirmation to citizens to uphold the rule of law.

      • wavpeac says:

        totally agree…and totally shocked at how well this issue can split the nation. Their is a split in philosophy here that is a mile wide. The only way to counter this is with the law. I think that we all do the nation a favor if we stay out of the argument about the morality of torture and stick to the law, and stick to whether or not it works. Make them prove it worked. Make them prove they saved a single life. Make them prove that it didn’t cost lives with bad intel. And that is going to be the only way to counter this current media blitz. And they are workin’ it. Clips from “24″ on the O really? show, bush reminding us of “the fear”, Cheney reminding us of “the terrorists”.

        That’s why the right loves morality. It’s so damn easy to use.

      • drational says:

        I don’t think normalization is a central goal. Rather I think this is part of the each man (and woman) for himself mentality of a sinking ship. Crawford is speaking about her participation in the crimes, leading with “exculpatory” evidence. Resembles Jack Goldsmith. Those who tell their stories before the indictments are handed out (or the full truth is apparent) end up getting plea bargains in the eyes of the public.

      • Margot says:

        I’ve already been told this is old news because of the School of the Americas and how “everybody knew what went on there.” Very weak excuse.

  2. dqueue says:

    Late 2007, Mark Levey raised some pertinent questions regarding the United States use of torture, specifically water boarding. He asserted there was a historical aspect to water boarding not for coercion but for brainwashing… so, perhaps not for gathering of evidence, but eradication of evidence.

    It seems far out there; however, to deny the possibility is to deny the existence of the Deep State… uncomfortable territory, to be certain.

    Review some of his diaries on DailyKos. I feel they’re well worth the read. His analysis is thorough.
    TORTURE VIDEO: What The CIA Doesn’t Want You to Know
    Torture Tapes Weren’t The Only Thing Erased by The White House
    CIA Detainee Torture, Memory Loss, and the Bush Administration’s Falsification of History
    Who Got Water Boarded and Why: What Tortured CIA Detainees Had In Common
    CIA Used Banned Cold War “Brainwashing” Techniques on Detainees

  3. Mary says:

    On a micro level, that has nothing to do with the macro ‘of course he was tortured too’ al-Qhatani’s torture was primarily if not exclusively a military affair, directed by the orders of Jim Haynes (yoo hoo, if Crawford says al-Qhatani was tortured, what does that mean for Beaver, Haynes and Rumsfeld and for that matter, where did Goldsmith fit in that chain, pre-OLC when he was Haynes’ special asst?)

    Zubaydah’s torture was initially and in its more egregious forms a black op, handled by the CIA. As a matter of the evidentiary record already existing, Crawford probably has ‘all the evidence’ on Q’s torture. What kind of evidence they have actually in a file on Z might be different, what with the rush to destroy evidence by the Bush DOJ and Bush agencies.

    But guess what? If Obama is going to transfer people to civilian courts, we have this nifty precedent, courtesy of people like Comey. It’s that you can put someone into military torture for years, to where a military commission may not be able to do anything, but then you can pull them out, put them in a civilian court, and just tra la la down the path to conviction. Heck, there’s even also some kewl precedent from Fitzgerald’s Saleh trial, where you can bring in any outsourced torturers with hoods and have them testify away about what THEIR interrogations revealed, then leave the court’s jurisdiction so there will never be any perjury possiblities hanging over their heads.

    I’d like to know, not so much about Q & Z, but what about the torture of people like Kurnaz and Errachidi? People for whom there were never any charges to make?

    • bmaz says:

      Crawford probably has ‘all the evidence’ on Q’s torture.

      Or not.

      And if I recall correctly (am not sure of this part) they also are missing the “frequent flier” logs and other written detail logs on al-Qahtani.

  4. bmaz says:

    I wonder why crack master reporter Woodward didn’t go into the fact that all the records on al Qahtani and over a thousand hours if not thousands of hours of videotape, but specifically of the alleged 48 days of torture of al Qahtani, were all destroyed.

    Maybe he could have asked about that. If he were a good reporter you know.

  5. skdadl says:

    Could a lawyer advise about the meaning of “withdrawal and re-referral”? That has just happened to charges against all current defendants at GTMO, according to this story:

    Lt.-Cmdr. William Kuebler tells the CBC that charges against all defendants were recently withdrawn, and then re-issued.

    Kuebler says in an email the procedure – known as “withdrawal and re-referral” – has the legal effect of nullifying all prior proceedings.

    He says the directive withdrawing charges calls for a new arraignment the day before U.S. president-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

    Khadr’s military trial was set to begin six days after Obama is to take office.

    What are they trying to do here? Is this aimed at Obama? And does anyone think that Thomas Hartmann is behind it? Sheesh: the guy is set to retire in February, but he just never quits.

    • bmaz says:

      They dismissed the charges without prejudice, which means they can refile them later, then they covered up and/or fixed some of the errors and bad shit they were going to get hammered with originally and now are refiling the charges and starting the new prosecution.

    • MarkH says:

      What are they trying to do here? Is this aimed at Obama?

      Withdraw charges and rearraign?

      I’d guess they’re going to find there is insufficient evidence to hold them and send the ones with damaging information home. That way Obama can’t use those individuals against Bush & Co. Still, that’s cutting it very close to do it the day before Obama takes office.

  6. Palli says:

    The repeated offences of torture against so many individuals goes well past information gathering. It is:
    1.) santioned sociopathetic behavior enjoyed as “fun” by torturers & their clients, i.e. Ashcroft, Cheney, Bush (there was a reason for those pictures ,folks, and torture is next to pornographiness)
    2. torture, like bullying by the mean boot camp sergeant, is people management, and tolerated as “blowing off steam” by some people in groups when the “commoners get restless”;
    3. the removal of evidence – in this many of these cases it eleminates the capacity of the tortured individual to ever again defend or prove innocence. It is in effect another Bush/Cheney coverup.

  7. Mary says:

    11 – And did he ask about whether or not Rumsfeld actually watched some of the interrogations?

    I think it is interesting that Crawford buy into the “clean team” concept for the KSM prosecutions, but not for Qhatani. On Z, I think one reason they will avoid proceeding is bc if he started nuts, by now he is probably so wildly nuts that no one will want to produce him.

    I’ll grant her that she also says the Congressional approval (thank you Harry Reid) of “coerced” testimony isn’t something she thinks should be allowed, despite the MCA’s embrace of it (I think in the section titled, Star Chamber)

    But the guts of what she was really trying to highlight, imo, was:

    “What do you do with him now if you don’t charge him and try him? I would be hesitant to say, ‘Let him go.’ ”

    She’s heading into Goldsmith territory, with “let’s just lock people up forever bc there’s a ‘war’ on ‘terror’ that won’t ever end, but they haven’t done anything we can try them for”

    Oh, and the fact that we have no process whatsoever to prevent or seek recourse against the torturers who might decide to continue the torture of detainees in their private little holes – oh well, golly shucks durn, I guess as long as Obama isn’t having a bad day he might not actually order more torture, even if he’s not going to put a stop to it by jailing torturers.

    IIRC, a soldier who had his dog lick peanut butter off another soldier’s breasts, voluntarily offered up – was actually punished. As opposed to the people who have frozen a human to death and dumped the body in an unmarked grave, disappeared children, waterboarded, beaten and killed helpless (even if disgusting) detainees, etc.

    If there was one question that I think Woodward should have asked, but one I know he never would have asked, it would be:

    Q: So what do we do with the torturers?

  8. Mary says:

    13/14 – tie it with Crawford’s interview and they are going to pull out the torture info and pretend none of the torture exists, then only use the ‘clean team’ info going forward.

    Bc, of course, the fact that you were tortured for years by people who claim a birthright to torture you, all goes away when the man in the clean suit sits down and asks you to repeat a confession you’ve had tortured out of your for years now. It’s not like you might worry about what might happen to you if you say the wrong thing, is it? After all, it’s not like anyone would take you out and …

    • skdadl says:

      But but but … I thought that the one good thing we knew about the FBI (from leakers and reporters first, and then from the IG’s report last year) was that their agents sent to GTMO and elsewhere began sending back intelligent questions about the context they were working in, which they suspected right away was going to invalidate their own interrogations, however disciplined they kept them.

      If the FBI know you can’t go to trial on evidence gathered after torture, or in a process where you are just slotted in, however “cleanly,” among the torturers, then how can any of this stuff go anywhere?

      • LabDancer says:

        “how can any of this stuff go anywhere?”

        Not anywhere?

        Well, maybe not into a real courtroom, but they can probably still pump it full of antibiotics & point it out the door to limp over to Drudge, & have enough left to crawl over to the Weekly Standard – & thence to & out the usual amplifiers.

        Andrew MacCarthy at the National Review can act like one o’ them oh-piners & give out a ex-spurt oh-pinion that there’s no reason on God’s green earth these cases had to be dumped & not only does it prove all of ‘em in Gutmo are terrorists but it proves that Holder & that new bunch of pillow fighters at the Obama DOoJ don’t know squat about lawyeree stuff & you can figger Obama’s new strategy to purrtect the nation involved hugging Osama bin Laden.

        Greta can do a week-long special on Fauxnoose with Victoria & hubby & bring in the entire police line-up on Bushie lawyers to pronounce it all cleansed & court ready.

        You know what? Mad magazine riffs aren’t nearly as much fun when they also qualify as sober forecasts.

  9. Mary says:

    15 – plus a lot of the tortured aren’t mentally normal by now, and many probably didn’t start that way. How is anyone going to be able to have accurate ‘evidence’ to give after the treatment they’ve had for years? They won’t be able to point to identities, times, places, exact descriptions, etc.

    Re: you 1 -IIRC, the evidence was that the soldiers striking Dilawar were getting a kick out of how he would scream to Allah with each blow. Like he was a squeaky toy for their amusement.

  10. Mary says:

    18 – You’re right on that I was trying to make the point on military maintained v. CIA maintained and that the CIA wouldn’t likely be real “share-y” but yeah, the military managed to lose Padilla logs too, remember? And Qhatani. Interestingly, within hours of the horrible beating of Sean Baker at GITMO, which was required to be taped as a ‘training exercise’ that tape was “lost” too. Amazing how that happens, isn’t it?

    • klynn says:

      Mary, my memory fails me. Has anyone asked the military what they mean by lost and if “lost” in military terms has ever held meanings beyond the Webster’s definition which does not hold “intentional act” as part of the definition? I know this question sounds stupid, but I cannot find any documentation that shows whether the “obvious” has been asked.

  11. wavpeac says:

    I just feel sick to my stomach at this discussion. And yet on some level it feels like this issue is connected to a bigger issue that is fundamental to the evil that is the bush administration. Is it not in the end a complete disregard for human life? For human rights? For all that is good about the human capacity? The pro lifers cannot see this irony. They are blind to it. And if they are not blind to it…they are the ultimate definition of sociopath.


    • Palli says:

      I know my postings are irrelevant because I am not a lawye or think like one. But I read you because I am the people you are thinking for…
      I can’t see past the inhumanity of it all…my body has a visceral genetic memory of my father’s experiences and I listen to the minor offenses that have been hurled against my humanity. I can’t even look at the colors of orange and black without a shiver! The cheney/bush administration is evil: the 21st Century extension of the slave-holders pathology. America should have, but hasn’t, learned that hypocrisy does not make change. Without public exorcism America is evil – despite the camoflauge of red, blue and white bunting.

  12. Mary says:

    In some ways, Crawford’s “what do you do” musing is the heart of pretty much all of the Bush administration. For example after Goodling we knew there was a problem with politicizing hiring, after the Schlozman report, we know a whole dept, voting rights, was pretty much turned into an RNC/Federalist wing of ideologues who have now learned that even if they lie to Congress and break the law themselves, there are not going to be consequences. They’ve seen the real world dynamic in action.

    21 – you mean like asking what the meaning of “is” is? Or whether President means King? I don’t think they have.

    • klynn says:

      That’s what I thought. So it would be most probably that the order “lose it” (intending: destroy it/bury it/get rid of it) was given, yet all involved can stand up looking earnest when stating that they “lost” the tapes.

  13. JThomason says:

    The meta-question is significant too. From Boumediene we know that as a matter of Constitutional principle the protections of the bill or rights extend to non-citizens and extra-territorially. The context exists as the conscious fundamental establishment of a legal principle against the acknowledged brutalities of tyranny and despotism.

    The principle is the transcendent expression of the possibility that despotism and tyranny are not necessary to political union. And that the principle applies in the expansion of the national interest is more firmly established in the Nuremberg precedents.

    If the basic necessity of the maintenance of these principles to the union is not made clear in action and process the historical progress they represent is lost and we are cast out again into the darkness. Mere survival in this context, the context of neo-feudalism, is of little consolation.

  14. Mary says:

    26 – Some FBI (the ones who weren’t planning on ways to render an uncooperative suspect from GITMO elsewhere for even more enhanced interrogations) initially sent to GITMO did what you said. However, when faced with the “bad guys” who were all tortured, the FBI was offered up as a “fixer”

    I actually loved the NYT Propagandized title for the story, “U.S. Acts to Avert Tactic Expected in Qaeda Trial”

    Load the words “avert” “tactic” etc. and you bury the “US Tortured Defendants” behind a ‘durn those terrorists, using tactics against us that we have to avert.

    officials confirmed that the Justice Department and the Pentagon, aware of probable legal challenges involving possible mistreatment of prisoners, began an extensive effort in late 2006 to rebuild the cases against the six men using what officials called “clean teams” of agents and military investigators.

    By interviewing the prisoners again, and reassembling other evidence against them, the prosecutors could present evidence in court that would be harder for defense lawyers to challenge.

    See, it works like this. Give your rape victim a morning after pill, a little reconstructive surgery if she was a virgin, a nice round of antibiotics, and voila – the rape won’t tinge anything going forward. Especially not if she’s left chained in the rapsit’s basement with no way to get away from the rapist and nothing other than the whims of will standing between her and the decision to rape again. After all, she’s “clean” now. Nothing to worry about.

    It’s why we don’t allow torture victims to recover damages, bc, it’s not like there are long term effects from torture. Right?

    So leave them in the torturer’s custody, but send in someone different for them to recite their torture rehearsed lines to, and it’s all better.

    So nice that the lawyers and FBI agents in DOJ have found Blagojevich to really, truly, shock them beyond what they thought their ability to be shocked was.

    The FBI is a part of the Bush DOJ and after years of knowledge of torture and the voluntary decision to work for years for torturers, I think oddest use of the language I’ve seen to date would be calling Bush enabler’s “clean” in any context.

  15. BoxTurtle says:

    All the marks of a Cheney info op.

    DING! We have a winner.

    Boxturtle (Expect a similar data drop to another tame reporter)

  16. wavpeac says:

    yep. INAL and I can’t participate in that part of the discussion, but my irrelevant comments serve to say…this is important. This site has helped prepare this idealist brain more than once. For that i am so grateful! I would have thought the America I thought I knew and loved would have been able to stop this somewhere around 2004, but it didn’t happen. And only the hope that a group of people who think like I do might have the means and resources to make a difference. I do what I can but feel so grateful to witness these discussion.

    • Palli says:

      Glad I’m not alone. (sorry but I’m collecting shorthand to share with other non-texting readers..what does INAL mean? It’s hard enough for me to keep up with all the unaffectionate nicknames!)

      • pdaly says:

        Welcome Palli. To answer your question INAL and IANAL “I’m not a lawyer” and “I am not a lawyer”

        To save you time compiling a list, here’s a long list of abbreviation definitions. You should be able to find most of the meanings here.

        The nicknames used at the Lake are more homegrown, but sometimes they catch on widely.

  17. Mary says:

    30 – the quote should have stopped at the end of two paragraphs, with “… harder for defense lawyers to challenge.” Sorry.

    36 – on that “maybe not in a real courtroom” thought, remember that Padilla did go in a “real” courtroom after his torture, ditto Saleh, with the inimitable Judy Miller as witness for the prosecution.

  18. JohnLopresti says:

    Some of the 2007 commentary from academia about the torture scandals of 2004 already seemed to strike a balance of interpretations, the link is to a genderized series of contrasts based on psychology.

  19. FreedomNow says:

    I personally think someone should just go out back and shoot these terrorists and be done with the problem.

      • FreedomNow says:

        Not likely…they are all guilty of something…the Pentagon wouldn’t have kept them there if they didn’t have either intel value or danger to American forces.

        • skdadl says:

          Horsefeathers. The Pentagon keeps them there because the Pentagon has kept them there and knows how bad the U.S. would look if anyone admitted that any of those victims was an innocent victim. Jim Haynes admitted as much to Morris Davis: “Acquittals? We can’t have acquittals.”

          • macaquerman says:

            I think you’re misquoting him. What Hayes said was actually

            “Acquittals? We don’t need any steenking acquittals!”

        • rwcole says:

          Many of these “detainees” were kids- grown up now of course. Many ended up in custody on the say so of their enemies-.

          How the hell would you know that they’re all guilty of something?

          • FreedomNow says:

            Because they were picked up on the battlefield. There is no time for a “trial” in the middle of combat; never has and never will be; and these folks are illegal combatants. It’s just too bad that they even bothered with litigation. I’d have told the Courts like Andy Jackson did, “you made your decision, now go enforce it.”

            • rwcole says:


              Pretty silly thing to say. Most were taken from their homes and fields and offices on someone’s say so. No one had enough information to know who was reliable and who was not…

              Battlefield my ASS!

        • foothillsmike says:

          There were several CHinese that were swept up and were not guilty of anything. Their membership in that group meant that the Chinese did not want them.
          139 hrs & 55 min

          • FreedomNow says:

            How does it happen that China doesn’t want them back? The Pentagon can’t find anyone who wants them…except the American Left.

  20. Mary says:

    43 – , “even these provisions, expressed in such plain English words, that it would seem the ingenuity of man could not evade them … “

  21. THATanonymous says:

    Re-commented because I realized that I had first commented at the end of a very long thread that was ancient (about 24 hours old), and because it applies here as well.

    Pardon me if this has already been asked/answered.

    … according to the 9/11 Commission Report, at page 38
    September 11, 2001

    “At 9:59, an Air Force lieutenant colonel working in the White House Military Office joined the conference and stated he had just talked to Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. The White House requested (1) the implementation of continuity of government measures, (2) fighter escorts for Air Force One, and (3) a fighter combat air patrol over Washington, D.C.”

    Shortly thereafter, the recently installed non-President declared a State of Emergency. Since that declaration, over 50 NSC directives have been issued, the vast majority without publicly known title or description. That State of Emergency has been extended, annually, to the present day.

    So, here are my questions. If we are still in a state of emergency (we are), and if the COG plans and statutes are still in force (we haven’t been told otherwise), isn’t this a de facto state of martial law? If you can’t ascertain that you are not living in a condition of martial law, how can you assert that you are not? If you are, then opinions of any kind or strength don’t count, unless you are the non-President.

    This leads to the following rumination: If I’m a leader and I’m not completely dumb (I know, I know, but , can you say who the ‘leader’ really is?), I would want to rule with as little fuss as possible. Fuss, that is, that might otherwise have blowback. Fuss that would raise troublesome objections. You know, fuss. So why tell anyone more than they absolutely need to know? Why not pretend that, in some instances, we are back to ‘normal’ life, and then I can sleep soundly with the knowledge that all of the rules, laws, procedures and the constitution have been completely put into suspended animation? Then, I could allow people to argue endlessly over fine points (or not so fine points) of law, the constitution, etc., while doing whatever I damn wanted to, people (my people) could write faux justifications for various courses of action without reference to reality, other people (my people) can loot the country freely, and legal and financial experts can trip all over themselves trying to untangle my actions and intents, because ultimately I am protected by the ongoing declaration of a State of Emergency and the (essentially) unlimited power granted by the COG statutes. Sound familiar?

    Isn’t that how it really is these days? Can anyone set me straight here?
    Please don’t bother with the butterfly dreaming it’s a human argument. I am unfortunately not dreaming.

    –TA (The law is NOT the law)

  22. NorskeFlamethrower says:


    Citizen emptywheel and the Firepup Freedom Fighters:

    Investigations and prosecutions of torture, rendition, and war crimes must be carried out in the next two years by an office of special prosecutor funded and staffed by legislation of this new Congress for that specific purpose. Nothing, including actions in response to the economic crisis, is more important not only to America’s future but to the ability of the US to participate in ending the terrorism of international corporate capitalism.

    And the torture and war crime prosecutions should be reserved for those who planned and ordered the actions with clemency for those who followed orders but cooperate in the investigations and prosecutions.

    The congress can then pass the buck to a special prosecutor and keep it’s focus on legislation goin forward while the corporate press is sent off screamin’ at unelected prosecutors who have total control of the information and process…I’d love ta see Fitzgerald in charge of a budget of $50 million and 50 lawyers…he’d have real fun with the corporate press and talkin heads.


  23. rwcole says:

    Those responsible for torture in the US are:

    Bush, Cheney, Addington, and Rumsfeld.

    If they aren’t going to be prosecuted, then it is a grave injustice to prosecute ANYBODY.

    I suspect that the nation doesn’t have the stomach for that much justice.

    • FreedomNow says:

      These folks are terrorists. I suspect if you lost someone in 9/11 you would think the same. If you had relatives being rocketed by Hamas, you would agree. I am so tired of sympathy for terrorists.

      • JThomason says:

        To me that is a simplistic approach. It is not about the morality of the action in Afghanistan or the addressing of Hamas’s attack. Its about how we are different in protecting the innocent.

      • rwcole says:

        So if one lost someone during 9/11, they receive the gift of being able to tell magically who is a terrorist and who isn’t?

        How does that work?

        • NorskeFlamethrower says:

          Citizen rwcole:

          For as long as you’ve been a member of the FDL community, I’ve never seen ya indulge fools fascists and trolls with yer precious time and attention before…why now?

        • foothillsmike says:

          Well first you go to Afghanistan with more money than they had ever seen in their lives and ask them and if they point out someone they are guilty. Now isn’t that easy.
          139 hrs & 29 min

      • JThomason says:

        A primer in neo-fascists logic:

        1. First argue evidence until it is clear none exists.
        2. Next argue utility until it appears that it is dark, morally adrift and fanciful.
        3. Name call.

  24. rwcole says:

    An eight-month McClatchy investigation in 11 countries on three continents has found that Akhtiar was one of dozens of men — and, according to several officials, perhaps hundreds — whom the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned in Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments.

    McClatchy interviewed 66 released detainees, more than a dozen local officials — primarily in Afghanistan — and U.S. officials with intimate knowledge of the detention program. The investigation also reviewed thousands of pages of U.S. military tribunal documents and other records.

    This unprecedented compilation shows that most of the 66 were low-level Taliban grunts, innocent Afghan villagers or ordinary criminals. At least seven had been working for the U.S.-backed Afghan government and had no ties to militants, according to Afghan local officials. In effect, many of the detainees posed no danger to the United States or its allies.

    The investigation also found that despite the uncertainty about whom they were holding, U.S. soldiers beat and abused many prisoners.

        • macaquerman says:

          Setting aside my ignorant, uninquiring self and my too-fanciful imaginings, let me ask again, what is it about a McClatchy investigation that makes it so much more trustworthy than that of the government?

          • JThomason says:

            Your talking about a government that went to war first because of the imminent threat of WMD including nukes and the effort to purchase “yellow cake” from Niger, then because Iraq was connected to 9/11, and then because regime change made sense, right? A government that has “lost” most of its internal communications, “lost” evidence of how it treated its prisoners. right? A government that declared that it would not wiretap citizens without a warrant, right?

            Inquiry must start somewhere. McClatchy at least had the courage to assert what it considered facts after inquiry. They are there for all to test. Its not the standing as government that gives rise to bona fides. Its the light.

            • macaquerman says:

              Good answer. I would point out that the opportunity for a thorough investigation probably wasn’t there for McClatchy and that the “government” agents investigating the detainees were far larger than administration appointees and zealots. With the administration leaving, you’re going to hear more information coming from official sources, even if in unofficial ways.

              • JThomason says:

                I think its fair to say that DOD torture tactics emanated from “administration appointees and zealots.” The CIA issues are of course more complex.

                I look forward to an increased understanding and accountability. I am not convinced that is what we will get.

      • rwcole says:

        That would depend, I suppose, on the nature and credibility of the evidence rather than on who sponsored the investigation.

  25. Mary says:

    58 – less than 10%, using very “aggressive” measures of what constitutes a “battlefield” of GITMO detainees were picked up on a “battlefield.”

    You had a boatload of people kidnapped from Pakistan, where we were paying the Bin Laden affilitated intel forces all kinds of money for anyone ‘they said’ might be Taliban or al-Qaeda. You had a boatload of Afghans who belonged to tribes that were crossways with Northern Alliance warlords like Dostum. Actually – you had railroad cars of those guys, until Dostum suffocated or shot into the containers to kill most of them. But some of the survivors.

    You had the cab fares from Dilawar’s cab, when he was seized and beaten over days, with his beaten legs turning from bruised to pulpified and unable to stand on them, and his Palestinian hanging wildly “successful” Meanwhile, the warlord who turned him in was actually the one probably responsible for the missile attacks they were trying to find out about, and the witnesses to his torture killing by the US were shipped out to GITMO.

    You had students taken in their non-Afghan dorm rooms; British citizens arrested for having a current converter in Africa and then disappeared to GITMO, you had prisoners of the Taliban who were turned over for cash.

    You had a British chef in Pakistan sent to years of solitary confinement and other torture as an “al-Qaeda General” based on paid for “info” that he ran a terrorist training camp (when it was clear to anyone who looked at anything that he was making souffles in Mayfair when he was supposed to be running the camp.

    You had assortements of children, also kidnapped and handed off for cash, including one who was treated as a funding mastermind for al-Qaeda bc – – – he used to be sent to the market to buy tomatoes for the local Taliban.

    Then there were the Chinese Uighurs who had fled to Pakistan and were sold to us there. Not to forget the Algerians that we kidnapped, in violation of a court ruling there, and shipped off to GITMO bc a disgruntled relative of one of them spoke nonsense. There was also the German, Kurnaz, on whom we had compiled a couple of hundred pages of info – all exculpatory, except for the torrid observations in one memo that he prayed.

    You had a top CIA analyst, sent to GITMO for the purpose of finding out what the intel coming from it was so crappy, who explained that at least a third were not even not al-Qaeda, not Taliban, but not even any kind or form of mujahadeen (pretty staggering in a country full of mujahadeen) and that was briefed to the White House in 2002. You had the then Commander of the base concurring with the analyst, except putting the percentage at closer to 50%.

    And despite the full throttled abuse for years, and the release of hundreds and hundreds who, as innocents kidnapped and sold into a slavelike existence filled with abuse and often with family members who disappeared or died without them, almost none of them took up arms against us on release.

    BTW, Freedom Now, does your flow chart look anything like this one?


  26. bigbrother says:

    Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex.
    He was talking about the balance of security while protecting our liberties. Turture, spying on citizens and removal of habeus corpus are all losses of liberty to the MIC of which telecoms have joined with MIC in providing Hubs centers with download hardware to monitor “All” communication in the USA and elsewher. Big Brother likes to operate in the shadows.
    Watch the 2.5 minute speech..Ike knew a bit about defense and security. He also knew over a million Americans died for our freedoms.

  27. Mary says:

    68 – Gosh, we used to love folks that China didn’t want back. Just like Rumsfeld used to love Hussein. And we used to love the Taliban and their precursors when they were battling the Soviets.

    Good to know that people who protest against China are “terrorists” But to get your facts right, China does want them back. To torture them more, bc they are part of a despised sect within the Chinese nation. You may have heard of Tibet as well???? I’m guessing you think we should invade Tibet and torture all the monks there until they have no value, then kill them? Bc after all, China has problems with them and I guess that’s your standard?

    the Pentagon wouldn’t have kept them there if they didn’t have either intel value or danger to American forces OR people in the Pentagon and White House were guilty of stupid and irresponsible, depraved war crimes in their handling of the innocent people there and after years of abusing them and utilizing them as fodder human experimentation, people want to cover up their crimes.

    I’m guessing you thought that the 2 yo toddler, climbing out of the kill pits at My Lai until tossed back in, wouldn’t have been killed except that he was really a big time illegal combatant as well.

    Bull on the 61 – that’s simply false. And EXTRA bull on the “rejoined” as opposed to “joined, based on their treatment and lack of any other options” Bc after you disappear someone for years, engage in crippling mental and physical abuse, have them lose their families, then dump them back in a country that you have turned into nothing but a narco state, they end up, like many others, feeding themselves by working for those who pay and provide. In most cases (and they are less than 61), narco warlords, not al-Qaeda.

    OTOH, some real true kilers of Americans and American soldiers (as opposed to Mayfair souffle makers) in Iraq ended up being doing what “the surge” didn’t and couldn’t, once we started paying them to work for us instead. Sons of Iraq – ring a bell? Is it on the flow chart?