Bob Woodward, the WaPo hack of Watergate fame, writes in today’s column:
The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a “life-threatening condition.”
“We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani,” said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. “His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case” for prosecution.
Crawford, a retired judge who served as general counsel for the Army during the Reagan administration and as Pentagon inspector general when Dick Cheney was secretary of defense, is the first senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at Guantanamo to publicly state that a detainee was tortured.
Crawford, 61, said the combination of the interrogation techniques, their duration and the impact on Qahtani’s health led to her conclusion. “The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent. . . . You think of torture, you think of some horrendous physical act done to an individual. This was not any one particular act; this was just a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his health. It was abusive and uncalled for. And coercive. Clearly coercive. It was that medical impact that pushed me over the edge” to call it torture, she said.
……”For 160 days his only contact was with the interrogators,” said Crawford, who personally reviewed Qahtani’s interrogation records and other military documents. “Forty-eight of 54 consecutive days of 18-to-20-hour interrogations. Standing naked in front of a female agent. Subject to strip searches. And insults to his mother and sister.”
At one point he was threatened with a military working dog named Zeus, according to a military report. 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.” With a leash tied to his chains, he was led around the room “and forced to perform a series of dog tricks,” the report shows.
In San Francisco they call that foreplay.
You want torture? Try being trapped in a burning sky-scrapper 90 stories high thanks to a crash caused by Islamic thugs who used planes like human-filled missiles. There’s no escape except the choice of being incinerated to death or jumping out of a window.
That is torture.
The American public has to tear itself from the fantasy that we are fighting an enemy that plays by the Marquis of Queensbury Rules, or can find Geneva on a map. They don’t, and they can’t. They understand our way of thinking better than we ourselves. They don’t hesitate to use children as suicide bombers or human shields.
They’ve got considerable occupational experience at torture, mutilation, and gratuitous executions. Feeling sorry for these shit bags is tantamount to weeping over a little humiliation meted out to former Nazis.
Whomever makes the decision to release any of them to pick up where they left off; planting IEDs that kill American troops, targeting the West, and slaughtering innocent civilians, has a crap factory for a brain. (Read: B. Hussein Obama) He wants to ‘negotiate without preconditions’. The Islamofasicts and the rest of the world’s malefactors are salivating for a ‘change they can believe in’.
If connecting a terrorists’ testicles to a 12 volt battery will save American lives, I’ve got just two things to say:
The RED is POSITIVE. The BLACK is NEGATIVE.
Note to Crawford: I won’t lose a minute’s sleep, either.