Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Torture

According to the Washington Post, a Bush administration official has admitted that a Guantanamo detainee was actually tortured.

"We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani," said Susan J. Crawford, in an interview. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture."

Qahtani is alleged to be 9/11's 20th hijacker. He was denied entry to the US by a suspicious customs inspector at the Orlando airport in August of 2001. Mohammed Atta, the murderer who piloted one of the planes into the World Trade Center, was at the airport that day to meet him. Qahtani was later captured in Afghanistan by US forces and has been a guest at the Guantanamo facility since January of 2003.

So--electrodes to his nether regions? Bamboo shoots under his fingernails? A little light flogging with the knout?

No. Qahtani "was forced to wear a woman's bra and had a thong placed on his head during the course of his interrogation" and "was told that his mother and sister were whores."

Wait--is this torture, or was he pledging a fraternity?

Okay, okay--I'm just an insensitive boob. And anyways, now that Obama is in charge we won't be having any more of these torture shenanigans, right?

Not exactly.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the policy of rendition predates the Bush administration. This policy of course brought howls of protest, and Obama promised to end the practice.

So, when questioned by the Senate as part of his confirmation process to head the CIA, Leon Panetta clarified that the US will still hand over foreign detainees for questioning, but only "with assurances they will not be tortured" (according to the AP).

You know, pinky swear. And no crossing fingers.

But apparently, that assurance was ALREADY part of US policy. Some former prisoners picked up during the war on terror alleged that they were nevertheless vitims of torture. When Panetta was asked about those allegations, he responded "I am not aware of the validity of those claims."

So, exactly what will be different with Obama's administration about this whole rendition thing?

"I will seek the same kind of assurances that they will not be treated inhumanely," Panetta said (emphasis added).

Hope and, umm, change?

6 comments:

Petronia said...

Well, we can hope...

Sean said...

You are so right, my brother. If you read more than just Drudge and Putz, you might find out that the Guardian just released some information:

The 25 lines edited out of the court papers contained details of how Mr Mohamed's genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding, the controversial technique of simulated drowning, "is very far down the list of things they did," the official said.

We've all been to those kind of parties! Just remember now that Obambi is in office, discussing these details is no longer unpatriotic, and all spending is something to be against. Did you hear that Diaper David Vitter came out against the contraceptive part of the stimulus bill?

See you at CPAC!

Small Town Doc said...

And if your major news source is Democraticunderground or crooksandliars, well, elite scientists say that it can cause your brain to leak out of your ears.
Real elite scientists--I'm not joking.

Haven't been able to find the Guardian story with the unedited 25 lines. Point me in the general direction and I will stand corrected.

I did hear that Diaper Dave's next opponent may be a porn star--it's over on Nola.com.

A true family values battle.

Sean said...

Here you go (the one I could find this morning is from the Telegraph);

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/defence/4551441/UK-government-suppressed-evidence-on-Binyam-Mohamed-torture-because-MI6-helped-his-interrogators.html

Small Town Doc said...

From the article:

"Mr Mohamed, 30, an Ethiopian, was granted refugee status in Britain in 1994. He was picked up in Pakistan in 2002 on suspicion of involvement in terrorism, rendered to Morocco and Afghanistan, tortured and then sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2004. All terror charges against him were dropped last year."

So what I gather is that he was tortured either in Morocco or Afghanistan, not at Club Gitmo. I think that would have been front page news if he had been actually tortured by US officials on US soil.

He did get to participate in the rendition program--the same one that Obama will be continuing is that correct?

Small Town Doc said...

Upon further review, the Telegraph article isn't even referring to the same guy.

Hmmmm . . .