Surprise! More Suppressed Torture Tapes

Would it surprise you to know that the government just admitted to another torture tape, this one of Mohammed al-Qahtani’s treatment? The Obama Administration has continued the Bush Administration’s attempts to stonewall on release of this material.

The government never disclosed the existence of these tapes as exculpatory information in Mr. al Qahtani’s habeas case. CCR had filed a motion in February 2009 to compel the government to turn over exculpatory evidence in their client’s case and to hold the government in contempt for it’s “flagrant violation” of a judge’s November 2008 order to do so. Judge Thomas F. Hogan issued an order in November 2008 (amended in December 2008) requiring the government to turn over promptly any exculpatory evidence it had on the men detained at Guantánamo to their attorneys.  The government filed what was essentially a second motion for an extension of time on  January 30, 2009. Since the original filing in June 2008, the government has twice delayed its compliance with the court’s orders, engaging in what CCR attorneys described as “improper self-help by granting itself an indefinite extension of time.”

Finally, CCR and co-counsel, Sandra Babcock, filed a motion for discovery in March 2009 seeking any video tapes of Mr. al Qahtani’s interrogation and numerous other records.  After seven months of discovery disputes, the court issued the publicly-filed order today.

The videotapes the government is required to produce will reveal the time period at the end of three months of intensive solitary confinement and isolation that immediately preceded the implementation of the “First Special Interrogation Plan,” a regime of systematic torture techniques approved by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for use against Mr. al Qahtani.  In a letter to his superiors reporting possible abuse of men in U.S. custody, T.J. Harrington, Deputy Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division, FBI described Mr. al Qahtani during this time as “evidencing behavior consistent with extreme psychological trauma (talking to non-existent people, reportedly hearing voices, crouching in a corner of the cell covered with a sheet for hours on end).”

Here’s the order.

I’m wondering. Did Susan Crawford admit the government had tortured al-Qahtani because she knew these videotapes might come out?

40 replies
  1. Garrett says:

    The tape is from the end of the period of isolation under the FBI, and before the military took over with the program described in the log?

  2. Mary says:

    And as a sidelight – Powow has a great diary up right now on one of the GITMO cases
    (btw, I’m pretty sure this is a case of one of the people specifically named in the CIA’s Aug 2002 memo as being wrongfully at GITMO – and I’d really like to see that memo have to be released)

    but the diary goes way beyond just that case. Included towards the ends is this:

    FY 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill amendment to H.R. 2892, passed 84-6, and now in secret conference with the House:

    Sec. 567. (a) Detainee Photographic Records Protection-

    (1) Short title- This subsection may be cited as the ‘Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009′.

    (2) DEFINITIONS- In this subsection:
    (A) COVERED RECORD- The term ‘covered record’ means any record–
    (i) that is a photograph that–
    (I) was taken during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, through January 22, 2009; and
    (II) relates to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States; and
    (ii) for which a certification by the Secretary of Defense under paragraph (3) is in effect.
    (B) PHOTOGRAPH- The term ‘photograph’ encompasses all photographic images, whether originals or copies, including still photographs, negatives, digital images, films, video tapes, and motion pictures.

    (A) IN GENERAL- For any photograph described under paragraph (2)(A)(i), the Secretary of Defense shall issue a certification, if the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, determines that the disclosure of that photograph would endanger–(i) citizens of the United States; or
    (ii) members of the Armed Forces or employees of the United States Government deployed outside the United States.


    (4) NONDISCLOSURE OF DETAINEE RECORDS- A covered record shall not be subject to–
    (A) disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act); or
    (B) disclosure under any proceeding under that section.


    (6) EFFECTIVE DATE- This subsection shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act and apply to any photograph created before, on, or after that date that is a covered record.

    Ah, yes, the smell of OVERSIGHT cover up complicity.

    So I’m guessing that want to push that through fast so that the courts will have that layer on the exculpatory evidence issue. Such a God damned, in the most literal of senses, mess.

    • bobschacht says:

      Thanks, Mary!

      Ron Paul and the Libertarians, I hate to say, are beginning to look better as the Democrats look worse and worse, and the Republicans look Lost Beyond All Hope.

      Bob in AZ

    • Hmmm says:

      So if this is enacted, all torture images will not be subject to release in any FOIA process… which sucks especially since the rationale (others may seek to punish us for the evil we’ve done) is so puerile… but is there any additional/incremental penalty for leakers of such images? Because it sounds like the FOIA cork would increase the pressure to just plain leak ‘em instead.

    • joanneleon says:


      Question: What does the paragraph below mean? There were dates in the previous paragraph that said that pictures from 9/11/01 to 1/22/09 were covered. Does this paragraph change the previous one?

      (6) EFFECTIVE DATE- This subsection shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act and apply to any photograph created before, on, or after that date that is a covered record.

      My God, what is this doing in a Homeland Security budget bill?

      And if the detainee pictures created from ‘07 forward are covered and only requires a certification from the Sec. of Defense, that means that Gates can cover pictures of incidents that happened while he was Sec. of Defense. He would be able to legally cover for himself.

      This makes me sick. It really does. I can hardly remember how it felt to be excited that we would have Democrats in control of the WH, Senate and House and the anticipation of some justice.

  3. DWBartoo says:

    Thanks, Marcy.

    My ‘puter does not, or will not, bring up the order.

    After hearing Mary’s tale of an uncooperative computer that decided that the letter “e” was an -xtravaganc- that Mary could well do without, I am not surprised that mine has decided to choose what is best for my blood pressure, or something.

    Do you imagine that there will be any reluctance or even foot-dragging by DOJ before such tapes are actually “produced”?

    If so, how long might the kabuki go on?

    Realizing, of course, that time is of no moment to anyone in this case except for Mr. al Qahtani, and those who support the notion of the essential humanity of all people, as well as insist upon actual and real justice for all.

    Even for those who believe they are above the law.


    • BoxTurtle says:

      I am as certain as I can be that those tapes will never be produced in an unredacted form. The government simply can’t afford to release tapes that might directly implicate elected or appointed officals from prior administrations. Further, I suspect people might be shocked at the questions asked during the torture.

      Boxturtle (How long has AQ been working on WMD with Iraq? And have you stopped beating your wife?)

    • Mary says:

      See no _vil
      Hear no _vil
      Speak no _vil. *g*

      Sideways to topic. Also at that very good powow diary, there is a link to a piece by Sullivan from last week – basically Sullivan just reprinting something sent to him semi-anonymously by a reader.


      That reader says that he/she is a DOJ litigator with some familiarity with the al-Rabiah case. The atty antes up that in discussions with DOJ colleague of differing political ilks, they all agree

      … that the detention and interrogation programs the United States implemented in the months and years following 9/11 is not only a complete abrogation and violation of international law and, in many cases, federal law – it is also fundamentally immoral. We also agree that the al-Rabiah case is by far the most egregious yet to come to light. To repeat: yet to come to light. I can only guess that there are other, far worse cases.

      The Sullivan reader then proceeds to reference the “you will not leave this place innocent” reference incorporated by the court in the al-Rabiah opinion, and follows with this:

      To those of us who read that passage and who vowed and make it our vocation to serve and protect the Constitution of the United States, that fact is a gut-punch. For me and my colleagues, it literally took our breath away. It makes one wonder how far down into the abyss we have allowed ourselves to drop. And whether there is the political will to find our way out.

      emph added

      All done with a wide-eyed font of “golly gee-ism” that never references the culpability of DOJ, over and over and for years and years and on case after case after case and through lie to the court after lie to the court after cover up after scapegoated prosecution after abuse of process after (did I mention lies to the court?) lies to Congress (as if they were needed – with people like Rockefeller and Roberts and Graham and DiFi and Sessions etc. running the show)

      Sullivan wraps it with this:

      It took my breath away as well. I used to wonder how democracies became tyrannies. I know now. Because good men like Obama do nothing.

      IMO, that’s basically crap. The problem was and is that all the lawyers at DOJ lock arms and go forward on this, despite knowing how wrong it is, how evil, how fundamentally immoral and unjust, how abusive to the rule of law. For the “anonymous” reader to even attempt that trite pass of the buck to say “wowser, where’s *our* POLITICAL will” when he/she is a damned officer of the court and a tool who has been complicit for years in providing backup and support to such a system, all without ever so much as making a peep – – that’s wherein the problem lies.

      I’ve said it before, but if, when the Gonzales memo came out, telling the then-President that yes, he was engaging in things that could be deemed to be war crimes under the US criminal statutes, but it would all be ok if he just made up a terminology to use, “illegal enemy combatant” and claimed that created a class of persons against whom war crimes could not be committed – – if a few god damned lawyers at DOJ had stood up then, threatened to resign or publically resigned with letters to editors, etc. — or if they had done so at any one of a number of other of the most egregious of times — if they had refused to issue affidavits to cover up crimes under state secret rubrics; if they had produced info like the August 2002 CIA memo on the innocences of people at GITMO, if they had filed ethics complaints themselved against the likes of Bradburyites, if they had ever acted like they had one ounce of respect for the law and the powers of branches other than the Executive; if they had acted like officers of the court and professionals – – if they had ever quit washing their hands in Pilate’s spare bowles and taken responsiblity for their department, their cases, their responsbilties, for themselves – then we’d have had a different situation.

      For a lawyer with DOJ to say that they wonder if “we” have the POLITICAL will, as if there is no actual issue of duty to that law inherent on that whole damned department, just floors me.

      I can tell you that over and over when I have conversations with people about what has happened, they all have similar reactions – one, that “if that kind of thing was going on, we’d be hearing about it non-stop on the press” and two, “why would the lawyers go along with that and why would the courts let them” – those are offered up for why I must be “wrong” and when I do things like give them links to cases and transcripts, there’s this almost fearful “how did you get this” response; they really can’t believe that info is very available, just not used for decision making or reporting.

      So to that DOJ lawyer, if they exist, who just now got the gut punch that the Gonzales memo and the Maher Arar lawsuit and the Abu Ghraib reports by Taguba and the … well, whatever. If they just now got that gut punch, I can’t really imagine the layers of self-interest and collegiality that it had to get through.

      You don’t have tyranny’s created when “good men do nothing” you have tyranny’s created when the Executive branch is put above the law and the proseuctors and courts acquiesce with a mewling servitude that ponders whether or not “political will” can be found to rescue them from having to make the hard decisions that come with the rule of law.

      • bobschacht says:

        I emailed some of this kind of this sort of thing to my brother the lawyer and his lawyer wife, and she responded that it was “too intense” for her. Well, golly Miss Molly, I’m sorry to disturb your day, but there’s GRAND FUCKERY going on, and the country you thought you lived in is being stolen by knaves and thugs, and pretty soon it will be too late to do anything about it.

        Am I wrong in this assessment?

        Bob in AZ

        • Mary says:

          I dont’ think your assessment is off. (BTW, I did have a dream the other night about campaigning for Ron Paul, it was weird – I’m guessing it has something to do with his son running here in KY for Bunnings’ seat).

          People are very herd animals IMO and one thing that happens is that they do, despite how much they say they don’t, look to the “herd leaders” to set certain courses. The fact that the media and entertainment industry and Congress and Justice system have been so complicit and mealy mouthed, for so very very long now, has basically changed herd behaviour. If an institution like DOJ had stood up, even just bits and pieces of it, and made very public denouncements of torture, if bits and pieces of the MSM had done that, if we had been shown pictures of Dilawar’s body and autopsy and given the story in its vivid details as someone like Carlotta Gall broke it … well, there’s just way to many what ifs, but I really do believe, and have for a long long time, that the failure of institutions and individuals who serve as “herd leaders” to act in any way, has changed the herd. What is acceptable is a point that has been moved now, and it’s not going to get moved back very easily. And not only that, but the way it has been moved has all kinds of ripple effects through the very foundations of law.

          Things like avoiding torture prosecutions bc of a “good faith reliance” (a made up political phrasing, not a legal defense) on the ability to torture and OLC opinions on torture that no one will denounce as completely unreasonable and unreliable – at some point those have to be reconciled in a system where the Burge victims are being released from jail bc they were tortured and are possibly pursuing civil claims and Burge “may” (I’ll believe it when I see it really happen) get tried, but will have a boatload of formal DOJ memos establishing why HE may have, in what likely were more exigent circumstances, believed he wasn’t torturing. When you begin to reconcile those things to get a politically acceptable set of results, you divorce law from reality. Once that happens, there’s no going back.

          I know over and over here (and elsewhere) I hammer on the point that you need to have the facts to know what “the law” really is, bc the law is always central to the facts. When you have a system that says “here are the facts we need or need to expunge, so go torture & coerce until you get those statements and go destroy evidence until you expunge the contrary, and do it bc you have the political might to do it – the political connections to pull it off – bc you own the prosecution or bc the prosecutors are in your pocket for reasons of comaradery or self interest – then you have a nation changed.

      • Garrett says:

        I’ve gotten resistance for expressing it this way, maybe because it comes across as fixed or ideological, maybe because it comes across as hopeless about restoration through rule of law, but torture is always illegal and extra-legal, in authoritarian regimes and democracies alike.

        More open societies rely on leave-no-marks methods. Closed societies need not bother.

        That we have seen leave-lots-of-marks methods, particularly from the military special forces, is a diagnostic sign that we are not so open. Our special forces did not have to bother.

        On the other hand and stronger, we have an extraordinary amount of documentation, from the government itself, thanks mostly to the efforts of the ACLU and some similar organizations. What other nation has ever had so much undeniable and irrefutable information about what happens in its secret prisons?

        At one in the morning on Wednesday December 11, 2002, Muhammad Ma’ana al-Qahtani was under pride and ego down technique. He was reminded that he was less than human. He was shown that rats are much better treated than he was. This was long after he had been “broken”. They/we just kept it up, in an inconceivable way.

        • Mary says:

          What other nation has ever had so much undeniable and irrefutable information about what happens in its secret prisons?

          WWII Germany? I dunno.

          OT, but from the Sunday WaPo, a story that digs back to the battle at Wanat in July of 2008


          It uses the approach of taking the platoon leader who was killed, a young man named Jonathan Bostrum, and setting the story around him.

          Shortly after he became platoon leader, his unit was sent to recover the bodies of six U.S. soldiers and a Marine who were gunned down while returning on foot to Bella.

          When Bostrum went home, to visit with his parents (father retired from the Army) he showed some videos

          In one video, Brostrom’s battalion fired artillery and white phosphorus, an incendiary weapon, at a distant campfire in the mountains where it had killed insurgents earlier that day. Someone had come to collect the bodies. The soldiers were determined to kill them.

          “Here comes a mighty big explosion on this little candlelight ceremony that the Taliban is having for their buddies that died there earlier,” one of the soldiers says on the video. “This is going to be glorious. It is going to be a bloodbath.”

          A few seconds later, the mountainside exploded with fire, and the soldiers let up a raucous cheer.

          Human rights groups have criticized the United States for employing white phosphorus to kill enemy fighters, but this type of use is permitted under military rules. The elder Brostrom weighed his words carefully before he spoke. “How do you know those people dragging the bodies away weren’t villagers coming to get their relatives?” he asked.

          “They are all [expletive] Taliban up there,” the son replied.

          The father continued to press his doubts. The son maintained that the hard-nosed approach was the only thing keeping him alive in a hopeless corner of Afghanistan. Finally, the young lieutenant snapped. “You don’t understand,” he said.

          “You’re right, son. I don’t,” the father replied. “I don’t understand it. But I am worried. I am really worried.”

          emph added

          Um, I’d like to know how WaPo came up with the statement that using white phosphorus to kill enemy fighters is a “permitted” use under “military rules” In any event, after this trip home, Bostrum and his platoon move from Bella to Wanat, per the orders of Bostrum’s battalion commander, Lt. Col. William Ostlund. Wanat’s population was one that Ostland didn’t understand and didn’t respect, per his own words, but he thought that the American troops could set up in the vicinity and make the residents “better people.”

          Once Bostrum got onsite and while he was encountering disasters in getting equipment and water to establish his base, the “not good people” showed up with “a list of Afghans who had been killed in a helicopter attack the previous week. The dead included insurgents but also several local medical personnel who had worked closely with U.S. soldiers. The incident had infuriated people throughout the valley.”

          Yeah – isolated area, some of the only medical people around, and they get taken out. And the military in the area led by a guy who avowedly doesn’t respect the local people. Still, it’s all going to turn out ok, isn’t it, bc Ostland “believes” that, even with his lack of respect for the locals and even with killing off their medical support,

          …that U.S. troops could win the allegiance of the people there. “Americans are hard to dislike for an extended period of time,” he said. “I really believe that.”

          And in the end, there is a horrible Taliban attack (no doubt tolerated if not supported by the furious locals – who are maybe having trouble respecting the killing of medical personnel and burial crews) and Bostrum and 8 other members of his platoon are killed and others are injured and in the end, what was it for? Maybe Ostlund, who has been a teacher at West Point (maybe the “winning hearts and minds by doing nothing but jus cuz it’s hard to dislike us over the long haul” class?) has that answer. Maybe Obama has it. Maybe Jones, or Mullen, or DiFi, or Biden or some frickin person has it.

          I’m fairly certain McChrystal and Petraeus don’t.

        • MadDog says:

          I wish we could get our hands on that “report” that the NYT, WaPo and CBS News all have.

          That’s just one more irritant by the TradMed. They all squirrel away their source information as if it were the Holy Grail. Yes, I’m sure they’re concerned about competitors using their ill-gotten material for their competitors’ benefit, but nothing stays secret once the tales begin to be told.

          So, NYT, WaPo and CBS News, how about making that “report” publicly available and let us ignorant serfs do our own analysis?

  4. bmaz says:

    How does Collyer distinguish between the tapes of 8-2-02 through 8-13-02 which do not have to be produced and those after 8-13-02 which do have to be produced? The minor redactions don’t look long enough to make this distinction other than arbitrary.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Yeah, the dates in that order don’t appear to make sense. So much so that I wonder if there is a typo. The government had to respond to ‘how burdensome’ for tapes made:

      August 8, 2002 through January 15, 2003

      The judges said that was too burdensome, but that:

      the tapes created at the end of the period from August 13, 2002 to November 22, 2003 likely have some value to Petitioner. To justify Petitioner’s detention, the Government relies on Petitioner’s statements made from April 2003 through March 2004. Petitioner challenges the veracity and reliability of the statements.

      [my bold]

      Was that supposed to say November 22, 2002? Because the judge goes on to say:

      Thus, the audio/video recordings made later would be more likely to contain information relevant to Petitioner’s challenge on voluntariness grounds than those made earlier. To provide relevant information to Petitioner and yet to ease the burden on the Government, the Court will order the Government to produce only those audio/video recordings of Petitioner created between November 15, 2002 and November 22, 2002.

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah. I buggered up the first date in my comment, should have been 8-8-02 not 8-2-02. But that said, the whole discussion portion, and not just a brief one sentence portion either, seems completely disjointed from the later Order portion.

  5. DWBartoo says:

    Replying to Leen @ 1

    Ginsburg’s painting is sure to outrage the sensitive souls who would protect us from such disgusting sights.

    Where on earth could Ginsburg have gotten such perverse images?

    And the Christ-like pose of the hooded figure …?

    The howling! The outrage! … the teachable moment?

    Thanks, Leen.


  6. DWBartoo says:

    To BoxTurtle @ 7

    BoxTurtle, I am not inclined, in any way, to dispute your view of the future and I certainly would not bet, even a half pence, against your predictions …


  7. Garrett says:

    Tapes of both the FBI isolation period and the military period exist.

    As compromise, the judge is allowing tapes from the end of the FBI period, because those show how bad shape he was in, but hide the military torture.

    Al-Qahtani says the period of isolation in the navy brig was “the worst place I was taken to.” Constant light, very cold, and the guards were not allowed to talk to him, or even let him see their face.

    The military interrogation starts soon after General Miller takes over. In some ways, Miller’s military talk (intelligence exploitation through overwhelming application of force, field artillery attitudes directed on a captive in a cell) shocks the conscious more than the psychological talk (learned helplessness techniques, as learned from experiments involving electric shocks to dogs) does.

  8. maryo2 says:

    “Did Susan Crawford admit the government had tortured al-Qahtani because she knew these videotapes might come out?”
    According to Woodward, she says
    1. she does not know if the other 5 detainees were tortured
    2. (and even if they did torture) the FBI satisifed her that they had evidence from non torture
    3. (and even though 1. is a lie regarding one detainee) he admitted his guilt in court

    2 and 3 are both rationalizations about why it’s okay to lie in 1.

    The 1/14/2009 Bob Woodward WaPo article says:

    Crawford said she does not know whether five other detainees accused of participating in the Sept. 11 plot, including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, were tortured. …
    The five detainees face capital murder charges, and Crawford said she let the charges go forward because the FBI satisfied her that they gathered information without using harsh techniques. She noted that Mohammed has acknowledged his Sept. 11 role in court, whereas Qahtani has recanted his self-incriminating statements to the FBI.

  9. DWBartoo says:

    To Mary @ 13

    A hell of a mess!

    “And there is no innocent person here.”

    Would that sentence apply to Congress, to certain lawyers, perhaps at DOJ for whom “expediency” is always a “pragmatic” virtue, and to Presidents for decades?

    There is a severe, deadly, and ongoing crisis in your profession, Mary, and it is sorely afflicting the rest of us, who, not being lawyers, do not know the “magic” words …

    I do not wish to belabor this … but that cosmic joke, masquerading as mere coincidence, that the majority of the members of Congress are lawyers, WHO SHOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD what was going on, continues to annoy me most worryingly … that we have a “Constitutional” scholar as President who seems totally willing to destroy that Constitution quite as blithely as his predecessor, borders on the unbelievably appalling.

    But the “law”, really, is “subjective” being always a matter of “interpretation”, and lawyers are known, in gangster flicks, as “mouthpieces’ … I wonder why?

    I maintain that many, in Congress, did (and do) know full well what was (and is)going on (or, at least, many must have had some damned good ideas and, one hopes , suspicions about what was and is going on) and their only concern was (and continues to be) how it might benefit them. I doubt that few, if any, imagined that it could end up harming them, as they are a most well-protected class.

    I suspect you lawyers are going to have to “have it out” amongst yourselves; however, you must not be surprised if there are more of “them” (considering what law schools seem to be turning out as “product”, if Yoo know what I mean), than there are of you.

    Here’s hoping, that you, bmaz, and all the other stellar legal minds encountered here shall, finally, prevail. The future depends upon it.

    The rest of us? We got your back!


  10. skdadl says:

    Like EW and bmaz and so many others here, you are a human treasure, Mary. I so often wish we could index you somehow, because the words don’t often come to me when I need them.

  11. Mary says:

    @22 – and yet way too many words come to me and kind of slither out, with redundance and lack of self-editing. Yin meet Yang.

    The Kevin Ring case has gone to the jury…..r_friendly
    Not that DOJ bothered to include any of the more egregious activities plainly spelled out in the Abramoff emails regarding Ring, Ashcroft and the suppression of the Marianna’s report from Congress.

  12. tjbs says:

    Once again we’re told the constitution has been overridden by a ACT.
    1st Amendment Congress shall make no law……..abridging freedom of speech or of the freedom of the press. This stupid act can’t override our bill of rights.

    The press is free to expose the truth shown in these photos which Constitutional professor President Obama and constitutional lawyer Patrick Murphy, Pa-08, along with the other suspects would expose their gross incompetence in civilian control of the military. To pretend this has stopped and the cruelest of the inhumane torturers turned over a new leaf on 1/21/09 is absurd, give me a break. This is the work we paid to have done and we’re entitled, as voters, to see the methods and results of our temporary insanity.

    I’ll believe the lying CIA that all the tapes were destroyed the next time the sun comes up twice in a day. The TAPE COPIES are out there and they’re just as good as the Saddam gallows assassination tapes that didn’t exist at one time too.

  13. MadDog says:

    Perhaps not OT:

    No death penalty for embassy bomb suspect

    The U.S. government has decided not to seek the death penalty against a former Guantánamo detainee charged in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

    A letter released Monday advises a federal judge that Attorney General Eric Holder told prosecutors not to seek the death penalty in the New York trial of Ahmed Ghailani. His trial is scheduled for September 2010.

    Authorities allege he was a bomb-maker, document forger and aide to Osama bin Laden. The attacks at embassies in Tanzania and Kenya killed 124 people, including 12 Americans…

    • klynn says:

      Authorities allege he was a bomb-maker, document forger and aide to Osama bin Laden. The attacks at embassies in Tanzania and Kenya killed 124 people, including 12 Americans…

      Document forger…hmm…

  14. maryo2 says:

    Perhaps Holder/Obama does not want to discuss the location of the CIA black site and identify which country it is in.

  15. Jeff Kaye says:

    I’ll leave any legal discussion to the attorneys. The choice of dates of recordings to be released is interesting. It constitutes the week prior to the beginning of the interrogation log for al-Qahtani, which begins on November 23, 2002. By Nov. 23, al-Qahtani had announced he was on hunger strike. He repeats it numerous times during the interrogation, which speaks to perseveration and already a state of disabled functioning.

    It’s amazing that we are only hearing of these tapes now. Let’s recall what the torturers were saying about videotaping at Guantanamo in October 2002, in the minutes of one major meeting:

    – At this point a discussion about whether or not to video tape the aggressive sessions, or interrogations at all ensued.

    Becker: Videotapes are subject to too much scrutiny in court. We don’t want the LEA people in aggressive sessions anyway.

    LTC Beaver: LEA choice not to participate in these types of interrogations is more ethical and moral as opposed to legal.

    Fredman: The videotaping of even totally legal techniques will look “ugly”.

    Becker: (Agreed)

    Al-Qahtani was also discussed:

    LTC Phifer: Harsh techniques used on our service members have worked and will work on some, what about those?

    MAJ Leso: Force is risky, and may be ineffective due to the detainees’ frame of reference. They are used to seeing much more barbaric treatment.

    Becker: Agreed.

    – At this point a discussion about ISN 63 [Mohammed al-Qahtani] ensued, recalling how he has responded to certain types of deprivation and psychological stressors. After short discussion the BSCT continued to address the overall manipulation of the detainees’ environment.

    BSCT continued:

    * Psychological stressors are extremely effective (ie, sleep deprivation, withholding food, isolation, loss of time)

    COL Cummings: We can’t do sleep deprivation

    LTC Beaver: Yes, we can — with approval.

    Bravo to CCR for all their work on this. Together with ACLU and PHR, the torturers’ crimes and schemes will ultimately be revealed, and I have hope again that accountability will indeed be realized.

    Time again to send a donation to CCR, I’d say.

  16. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Did Susan Crawford admit the government had tortured al-Qahtani because she knew these videotapes might come out?

    When the term ‘videotapes’ is used, do we mean VHS tape? Or do we mean digital video?

    Assuming that someone(s) in the military, FBI, or Blackwater (for use as leverage-extortion) have tapes, it’s impossible not to assume that they’ll come out. Surprise, surprise.

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