04 April 2007

Isn't THIS Precious

Because Terrorists Should Always Be Trusted
Guantanamo Detainee Makes Torture Claims

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Saudi terror suspect says U.S. interrogators tortured him for five years and he confessed to involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole just to satisfy them and "make the people happy," according to a Pentagon transcript of a military hearing at Guantanamo Bay.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi of Yemeni descent, is the second "high value" detainee to contend he was tortured while being held in secret CIA prisons prior to transfer to the detention site in Cuba last September.

In a transcript released Friday by the Pentagon, he said he made up the stories linking him to the Cole attack, which left 17 U.S. sailors dead and nearly sank the $1 billion destroyer in Aden harbor in 2000.

"From the time I was arrested five years ago, they have been torturing me. It happened during interviews. One time they tortured me one way, and another time they tortured me in a different way," al-Nashiri said, according to the transcript of a hearing at the Guantanamo detention center on March 14. "I just said those things to make the people happy. They were very happy when I told them those things."

Interrogators do tend to be happy when you admit to being a scumbag murdering terrorist. Fancy that.

And how were they torturing him, exactly? Because specifics were redacted from the Pentagon press release, we don't know exactly, but the article does note this general discussion of torture allegations we've all heard before:

CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield wouldn't respond to al-Nashiri's allegations, but said Friday that the agency's interrogation program is conducted lawfully—"with great care and close review, producing vital information that has helped disrupt plots and save lives."

Soon after the capture of a key terror suspect in 2002, the CIA decided it should hold high-value captives for extended periods to extract information, using "enhanced interrogation techniques."

Those widely reported practices include openhanded slapping, cold, sleep deprivation and—perhaps most controversially—waterboarding. In that technique, a detainee is made to believe he is drowning.

Sounds like some of the best parties I attended in college.

Seriously, this is nothing worse than Navy SEAL BUD/S training. During Hell Week, which is 5 and 1/2 days of, um, Hell, they are allowed only 4 hours of sleep. Total. They have to endure hours of hypothermia endurance testing in the ~55° waters of the Pacific Ocean. Try that sometime and let me know how comfortable you are. All during this, they are getting alternatively yelled at and encouraged to quit with offers of nice hot coffee and donuts waiting for them, if they like. Hey, that's emotional abuse!

I suppose waterboarding doesn't happen on purpose, but I'd wager that it is not possible to go through 6 months of Navy SEAL training and never once feel like you are drowning due to fatigue. In fact, this picture is from the BUD/S site above. Doesn't look like a lot of fun.

And don't even get me started on the Christina Aguilera tunes played at brain-seizure-incuding levels.

But back to al-Nashiri. Try reading the charges against him, and his testimony before the tribunal. Go here and scroll to page 6 for the charges, and page 24 for the testimony. He allegedly supplied the passport to the guy, now convicted and serving time, who blew up the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. When he was arrested in 2002, he held "several forged passports, from several countries", using several identities. He just happens to know Osama Bin Laden, and receives money from him to fund "projects", which then conveniently turn into military (ie "terror") operations. He just happens to have supplied the boat that blew up the USS Cole, and to have purchased a vehicle used in support of that operation using one of his aliases. He just happens to have needed forged passports because the one he had was forged too, and he needed to travel quickly. He needed explosives because his friend Rub'i in Yemen was a fisherman and had a rich father who needed explosives. Via the black market. To "dig wells".

Oh, please. This is a big steaming pile of bullshit. He needs a big neon sign flashing "GUILTY" over his head, 24x7.

And if we had to waterboard him to get him to admit it, well, good.

Why would anybody have a problem with any of this? Anybody who wants us to win, that is?