Bush Era Ends With Guantánamo Trial Chief’s Torture Confession

20.1.09

Forget the outgoing President’s lame, reality-defying farewell speech, and Dick Cheney’s last-ditch attempts to claim that the administration in which he served as Vice President never engaged in torture. The Bush era came to an end last Wednesday when, in one short interview, Susan J. Crawford, the senior Pentagon official overseeing the Military Commissions at Guantánamo — the novel system of trials for terror suspects that was conceived in the wake of the 9/11 attacks — condemned the Bush administration’s “War on Terror” detention policies, and paved the way for criminal proceedings against senior administration officials, more acutely than anyone had managed before her.

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 defense secretary for George W. Bush’s father, has served as the Convening Authority for the Commissions since February 2007. In the interview, with Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, she explained why, last May, she had decided in the case of Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi accused of trying and failing to become one of the 9/11 operatives, that she would not refer his case for prosecution.

“We tortured Qahtani,” she told Woodward. “His treatment met the legal definition of torture.”

The admission was extraordinary for a number of reasons, not least because it was the first time that a senior official in the administration had admitted that a prisoner had been tortured at Guantánamo (or anywhere else, for that matter). Last February, Gen. Michael Hayden, the director of the CIA, admitted in a Senate hearing that three “high-value detainees” — the supposedly senior al-Qaeda operatives Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri — had been waterboarded in secret CIA custody, but although lawyers and torture experts are well aware that use of the technique — a form of controlled drowning — is torture, and that the Spanish Inquisition had explicitly referred to it as “tortura del agua,” senior government officials either equivocated or continued to deny that US forces had ever engaged in torture.

For the outgoing administration, Susan Crawford’s confession means that equivocations and denials are no longer feasible, and for Barack Obama’s new government it is difficult to see how criminal proceedings can be avoided. As Dahlia Lithwick and Philippe Sands explained in an article for Slate, under the terms of the UN Convention Against Torture (to which the United States is a signatory), all 146 countries who have signed up to the treaty

are under an obligation to “ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law.” These states must take any person alleged to have committed torture (or been complicit or participated in an act of torture) who is present in their territories into custody. The convention allows no exceptions, as Gen. Pinochet discovered in 1998. The state party to the Torture Convention must then submit the case to its competent authorities for prosecution or extradition for prosecution in another country.

They added, “For the Obama administration, the door to the do-nothing option is now closed,” and any lingering doubts that this is the case should have been dispelled two days after Crawford’s interview was published, when, at his Senate confirmation hearing, Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s choice for Attorney General, stated unambiguously, “Waterboarding is torture” (reiterating the position Obama had taken on ABC News on January 11), and proceeded to explain that it had been used as a torture technique during the Spanish Inquisition, by the Japanese in World War II, and in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, adding, “We prosecuted our own soldiers for using it in Vietnam.”

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However, despite Eric Holder’s decisive contribution to the torture debate, the impact of Crawford’s confession does not end with its application to the torture of one particular prisoner or to the use of waterboarding. Although the administration attempted to redefine torture, in its notorious “Torture Memo” of August 2002, as the infliction of pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death,” Crawford was clearly more inclined to support the definition in the Torture Convention, which declares torture to be “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person.”

In describing al-Qahtani’s treatment as torture, for example, Crawford did not object to the use of waterboarding (to which, as far as we know, al-Qahtani was not subjected), but to “a combination” of other interrogation techniques, “their duration and the impact on Qahtani’s health,” as she explained to Woodward.

“The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent,” she said. “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,” and to conclude that it was torture.

Al-Qahtani’s treatment was severe, of course. As Time magazine revealed in an interrogation log (PDF) that was made available in 2005, he was interrogated for 20 hours a day over a 50-day period in late 2002 and early 2003, when he was also subjected to extreme sexual humiliation, threatened by a dog, strip-searched and made to stand naked, and made to bark like a dog and growl at pictures of terrorists. On one occasion he was subjected to a “fake rendition,” in which he was tranquilized, flown off the island, revived, flown back to Guantánamo, and told that he was in a country that allowed torture.

In addition, as I explained in my book The Guantánamo Files,

The sessions were so intense that the interrogators worried that the cumulative lack of sleep and constant interrogation posed a risk to his health. Medical staff checked his health frequently — sometimes as often as three times a day — and on one occasion, in early December, the punishing routine was suspended for a day when, as a result of refusing to drink, he became seriously dehydrated and his heart rate dropped to 35 beats a minute. While a doctor came to see him in the booth, however, loud music was played to prevent him from sleeping.

However, although the techniques that were applied to al-Qahtani were specifically approved for use on him by defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, after senior officers at Guantánamo had requested approval for the use of harsher interrogation techniques, it’s clear that at least two other prisoners at Guantánamo were singled out for particularly abusive treatment: Abdullah Tabarak, a Moroccan regarded as one of Osama bin Laden’s bodyguards, who (before his unexplained release from Guantánamo) was repeatedly prevented from seeing representatives of the International Red Cross due to “military necessity,” and Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian who had met the 9/11 hijackers in Germany, whose torture (which was arguably even more severe than that endured by al-Qahtani) was most recently reported in an article in Der Spiegel.

Moreover, as was made clear in a Senate Armed Services Committee report published last month (PDF), the techniques to which al-Qahtani, Tabarak and Slahi were subjected — which included “stripping detainees of their clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, disrupting their sleep, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud music and flashing lights, and exposing them to extreme temperatures” — were not techniques reserved solely for use on a handful of supposedly significant prisoners.

Instead, they were part of a deliberate policy of reverse engineering techniques taught to US military personnel “to withstand interrogation techniques considered illegal under the Geneva Conventions,” and “based, in part, on Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean war to elicit false confessions,” which effectively became part of Guantánamo’s standard operating procedure during 2003 and 2004. According to a former interrogator who spoke to the New York Times for an article that was published in January 2005,

While all the detainees were threatened with harsh tactics if they did not cooperate, about one in six were eventually subjected to those procedures …The interrogator said that when new interrogators arrived they were told they had great flexibility in extracting information from detainees because the Geneva Conventions did not apply at the base.

To get some sense of perspective, the maximum number of prisoners that Guantánamo held at any one time was around 660, which means that, according to the former interrogator’s estimate, around 110 prisoners were subjected to these techniques. And while they may not have been applied quite as harshly as they were to al-Qahtani (although the many accounts I report in The Guantánamo Files are almost as harrowing), what Susan Crawford’s confession makes abundantly clear is that, when examining the use of torture, it is not appropriate simply to look at the application of each technique in isolation (when they may not have crossed the torture threshold), but to consider that in most cases their use was combined, as it was with al-Qahtani.

Nor is this the end of the story. In response to a question from Woodward about whether she believed that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other prisoners charged in connection with the 9/11 attacks were tortured, Crawford stated, “I assume torture,” even though, as Woodward explained, she “declined to say whether she considers waterboarding … to be torture.” She then attempted to explain that she “let the charges go forward” in the 9/11 trial “because the FBI satisfied her that they gathered information without using harsh techniques,” using so-called “clean teams” who gained fresh confessions without using torture.

However, although she also attempted to make a distinction between Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Mohammed al-Qahtani by stating that “Mohammed has acknowledged his Sept. 11 role in court, whereas Qahtani has recanted his self-incriminating statements,” it is, frankly, disingenuous to claim that torture can be magically written off if a tortured prisoner apparently confesses of his own free will at a later date.

As a result, it is also apparent that Crawford’s confession infects the majority of the 19 cases currently scheduled for trial by Military Commission, and, moreover, that it has disturbing implications for the rest of the administration’s detention policies over the last seven years, including the widespread torture of prisoners in the US prisons at Kandahar and Bagram, before they were transferred to Guantánamo, the dozens of prisoners who were tortured in the “Dark Prison” and the “Salt Pit” (two secret CIA prisons in Afghanistan), the rest of the 14 “high-value detainees” transferred to Guantánamo from secret CIA prisons in September 2006, and the unknown number of other prisoners held in secret prisons run by the CIA or rendered for torture to prisons in third countries (PDF).

As if this were not enough, Crawford’s confession also affects the many thousands of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq, who have endured wartime detention policies in which the Geneva Conventions were replaced by the reverse engineering of “Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean war to elicit false confessions,” and, of course, has disturbing ramifications for investigations into the as-yet unknown number of prisoners who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq (PDF) and in secret prisons as a result of the unfettered exercise of these techniques.

As the implications of all this percolate slowly through the nation’s consciousness, the only outstanding question that remains unanswered is why Susan Crawford chose to make her confession to Bob Woodward just days before the Bush administration leaves office, having never granted an interview before.

As a protégée of Vice President Dick Cheney, and a close friend of Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington (the prime architects, with Rumsfeld, of the Bush administration’s torture regime), it seems unlikely that she would have had some kind of Damascene conversion, but her interview was peppered with statements that appear, both on the surface and on closer inspection, to constitute a genuine confession. “I sympathize with the intelligence gatherers in those days after 9/11, not knowing what was coming next and trying to gain information to keep us safe,” she explained. “But there still has to be a line that we should not cross. And unfortunately what this has done, I think, has tainted everything going forward.”

If Crawford had an ulterior motive, it is not readily apparent. Elsewhere in the interview, for example, she complained that the Military Commissions should not have been empowered to accept coerced testimony, and complained about how “unprepared” the prosecutors were to bring cases to trial, and how she had had to force them to provide exculpatory evidence to the defense. She also complained about Donald Rumsfeld’s role in authorizing torture, and complained that the torture of al-Qahtani directly endangered US forces abroad. “It did shock me,” she said. “I was upset by it. I was embarrassed by it. If we tolerate this and allow it, then how can we object when our servicemen and women, or others in foreign service, are captured and subjected to the same techniques? How can we complain? Where is our moral authority to complain? Well, we may have lost it.”

She also said that, although she believed that President Bush was “right to create a system to try unlawful enemy combatants captured in the war on terrorism,” the implementation of the policy was flawed. “I think he hurt his own effort,” she explained. “I think someone should acknowledge that mistakes were made and that they hurt the effort and take responsibility for it. We learn as children it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission. I think the buck stops in the Oval Office.”

And although she called al-Qahtani “a very dangerous man,” pointedly asked, “What do you do with him now if you don’t charge him and try him?” and handed the responsibility for dealing with him over to Barack Obama, this would have happened anyway. Perhaps — though this may be a naïve interpretation, and is certainly not meant to excuse her demonstrably poor performance as the Commissions’ Convening Authority — she had looked to the future and was establishing her position accordingly, in case, one day, a Special Prosecutor for war crimes comes knocking.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed.

As published exclusively on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

See the following for a sequence of articles dealing with the stumbling progress of the Military Commissions: The reviled Military Commissions collapse (June 2007), A bad week at Guantánamo (Commissions revived, September 2007), The curse of the Military Commissions strikes the prosecutors (September 2007), A good week at Guantánamo (chief prosecutor resigns, October 2007), The story of Mohamed Jawad (October 2007), The story of Omar Khadr (November 2007), Guantánamo trials: where are the terrorists? (February 2008), Six in Guantánamo charged with 9/11 attacks: why now, and what about the torture? (February 2008), Guantánamo’s shambolic trials (ex-prosecutor turns, February 2008), Torture allegations dog Guantánamo trials (March 2008), African embassy bombing suspect charged (March 2008), The US military’s shameless propaganda over 9/11 trials (April 2008), Betrayals, backsliding and boycotts (May 2008), Fact Sheet: The 16 prisoners charged (May 2008), Four more charged, including Binyam Mohamed (June 2008), Afghan fantasist to face trial (June 2008), 9/11 trial defendants cry torture (June 2008), USS Cole bombing suspect charged (July 2008), Folly and injustice (Salim Hamdan’s trial approved, July 2008), A critical overview of Salim Hamdan’s Guantánamo trial and the dubious verdict (August 2008), Salim Hamdan’s sentence signals the end of Guantánamo (August 2008), High Court rules against UK and US in case of Binyam Mohamed (August 2008), Controversy still plagues Guantánamo’s Military Commissions (September 2008), Another Insignificant Afghan Charged (September 2008), Seized at 15, Omar Khadr Turns 22 in Guantánamo (September 2008), Is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Running the 9/11 Trials? (September 2008), two articles exploring the Commissions’ corrupt command structure (The Dark Heart of the Guantánamo Trials, and New Evidence of Systemic Bias in Guantánamo Trials, October 2008), Meltdown at the Guantánamo Trials (five trials dropped, October 2008), The collapse of Omar Khadr’s Guantánamo trial (October 2008), Corruption at Guantánamo (legal adviser faces military investigations, October 2008), An empty trial at Guantánamo (Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, October 2008), Life sentence for al-Qaeda propagandist fails to justify Guantánamo trials (al-Bahlul, November 2008), Guilt by Torture: Binyam Mohamed’s Transatlantic Quest for Justice (November 2008), 20 Reasons To Shut Down The Guantánamo Trials (profiles of all the prisoners charged, November 2008), How Guantánamo Can Be Closed: Advice for Barack Obama (November 2008), More Dubious Charges in the Guantánamo Trials (two Kuwaitis, November 2008), The End of Guantánamo (Salim Hamdan repatriated, November 2008), Torture, Preventive Detention and the Terror Trials at Guantánamo (December 2008), Is the 9/11 trial confession an al-Qaeda coup? (December 2008), The Dying Days of the Guantánamo Trials (January 2009), Former Guantánamo Prosecutor Condemns Chaotic Trials (Lt. Col. Vandeveld on Mohamed Jawad, January 2009), Torture taints the case of Mohamed Jawad (January 2009), Chaos and Lies: Why Obama Was Right to Halt The Guantánamo Trials (January 2009), Binyam Mohamed’s Plea Bargain: Trading Torture For Freedom (March 2009).

And for a sequence of articles dealing with the Obama administration’s response to the Military Commissions, see: Don’t Forget Guantánamo (February 2009), Who’s Running Guantánamo? (February 2009), The Talking Dog interviews Darrel Vandeveld, former Guantánamo prosecutor (February 2009), Obama’s First 100 Days: A Start On Guantánamo, But Not Enough (May 2009), Obama Returns To Bush Era On Guantánamo (May 2009), New Chief Prosecutor Appointed For Military Commissions At Guantánamo (May 2009), Pain At Guantánamo And Paralysis In Government (May 2009), My Message To Obama: Great Speech, But No Military Commissions and No “Preventive Detention” (May 2009), Guantánamo And The Many Failures Of US Politicians (May 2009), A Child At Guantánamo: The Unending Torment of Mohamed Jawad (June 2009), A Broken Circus: Guantánamo Trials Convene For One Day Of Chaos (June 2009), Obama Proposes Swift Execution of Alleged 9/11 Conspirators (June 2009), Obama’s Confusion Over Guantánamo Terror Trials (June 2009).

For a sequence of articles dealing with the use of torture by the CIA, on “high-value detainees,” and in the secret prisons, see: Guantánamo’s tangled web: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Majid Khan, dubious US convictions, and a dying man (July 2007), Jane Mayer on the CIA’s “black sites,” condemnation by the Red Cross, and Guantánamo’s “high-value” detainees (including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) (August 2007), Waterboarding: two questions for Michael Hayden about three “high-value” detainees now in Guantánamo (February 2008), The Insignificance and Insanity of Abu Zubaydah: Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner Confirms FBI’s Doubts (April 2008), Secret Prison on Diego Garcia Confirmed: Six “High-Value” Guantánamo Prisoners Held, Plus “Ghost Prisoner” Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (August 2008), Will the Bush administration be held accountable for war crimes? (December 2008), The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part One) and The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part Two) (December 2008), Prosecuting the Bush Administration’s Torturers (March 2009), Abu Zubaydah: The Futility Of Torture and A Trail of Broken Lives (March 2009), Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part One), Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part Two), 9/11 Commission Director Philip Zelikow Condemns Bush Torture Program, Who Authorized The Torture of Abu Zubaydah?, CIA Torture Began In Afghanistan 8 Months before DoJ Approval, Even In Cheney’s Bleak World, The Al-Qaeda-Iraq Torture Story Is A New Low (all April 2009), Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Has Died In A Libyan Prison, Dick Cheney And The Death Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, The “Suicide” Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi: Why The Media Silence?, Two Experts Cast Doubt On Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi’s “Suicide”, Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney On Use Of Torture To Invade Iraq, In the Guardian: Death in Libya, betrayal by the West (in the Guardian here) (all May 2009), Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney’s Iraq Lies Again (And Rumsfeld And The CIA), and WORLD EXCLUSIVE: New Revelations About The Torture Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (June 2009).

For other stories discussing the use of torture in secret prisons, see: An unreported story from Guantánamo: the tale of Sanad al-Kazimi (August 2007), Rendered to Egypt for torture, Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni is released from Guantánamo (September 2008), A History of Music Torture in the “War on Terror” (December 2008), Seven Years of Torture: Binyam Mohamed Tells His Story (March 2009), and also see the extensive Binyam Mohamed archive. And for other stories discussing torture at Guantánamo and/or in “conventional” US prisons in Afghanistan, see: The testimony of Guantánamo detainee Omar Deghayes: includes allegations of previously unreported murders in the US prison at Bagram airbase (August 2007), Guantánamo Transcripts: “Ghost” Prisoners Speak After Five And A Half Years, And “9/11 hijacker” Recants His Tortured Confession (September 2007), Former US interrogator Damien Corsetti recalls the torture of prisoners in Bagram and Abu Ghraib (December 2007), Sami al-Haj: the banned torture pictures of a journalist in Guantánamo (April 2008), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child (Mohammed El-Gharani, January 2009), Forgotten in Guantánamo: British Resident Shaker Aamer (March 2009).

38 Responses

  1. 9-11 Conspirator Trial on Hold | THE WEEKLY POINT says...

    [...] Bush Era Ends With Guantánamo Trial Chief’s Torture Confession at andyworthington.co.uk. Share and Enjoy: [...]

  2. Frances Madeson says...

    “May have” lost our moral authority? Is she kidding? Is there any doubt? We have lost it. It is absolutely lost. Gone. Thanks in part to her.

    I would be interested to learn if Mr. Woodward, or any other member of the press, had approached her for interviews prior to the final days. Perhaps she was never forced to confront these issues, confront her own culpability, her own acquiescence to and fostering of a corrupt system?

    What a career this woman has had, start to finish. Unenviable to the nth degree. Her performance shames our flag she has the nerve to pose with.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    After this article was cross-posted on Lew Rockwell’s site, I received the following message:

    You write, “Crawford was clearly more inclined to support the definition in the Torture Convention, which declares torture to be ‘any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person.’”

    I would say that was not true, because that definition is also inadequate and also because she appears from your description to have used a sounder test. The thing is, technically, none of the things done were intentionally inflicting “severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental”, but only doing so incidentally.

    For instance, there is a common practice throughout history of beating prisoners prior to interrogation not to cause them pain but to cause them fatigue, which is a side effect of the body’s response to the physical damage; the torturers seek this to make interrogation easier and to prevent prisoners being able to cope with it or “game” it, and they do not, for instance, trade talking for stopping (though they might offer to).

    In fact, theoretically it would be possible to get much the same effect without pain or suffering by beating an anaesthetised prisoner, though it would take more beating without the psychosomatic effects (there would be no enduring pain but only fatigue, if done right, as “pain has no memory”, i.e. you can’t relive it although it can still cause dread etc. later).

    So Crawford was quite right to apply a test that did not allow the technicality of only counting intentional pain or suffering, although it renders empty her acceptance of the practice of using separate clean teams for later interrogation, since – as you note – the effect of prior treatment is continuing.

    Yours sincerely,

    P.M.Lawrence

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  18. roger hollander says...

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    [...] that these allegations were produced by a number of prisoners who were tortured — including Mohammed al-Qahtani, for whom Guantánamo’s version of the CIA’s torture program was devised in the fall of 2002, [...]

  27. Why Obama Must Continue Releasing Yemenis From Guantánamo by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] array of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which “met the legal definition of torture,” according to Susan Crawford, the Convening Authority for Guantánamo’s Military Commissions, who explained to Bob Woodward in [...]

  28. Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld. You Are Under Arrest | COTO Report says...

    [...] Susan Crawford, senior Pentagon official overseeing the Military Commissions at Guantánamo — told Bob Woodward that the Bush administration had “met the legal definition of [...]

  29. Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld. You’re Under Arrest « EXTREME PREJUDICE says...

    [...] Susan Crawford, senior Pentagon official overseeing the Military Commissions at Guantánamo — told Bob Woodward that the Bush administration had “met the legal definition of torture.” As Rumsfeld continues [...]

  30. Alchemy of Light » Blog Archive » Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld. You Are Under Arrest by Ralph Lopez says...

    [...] Susan Crawford, senior Pentagon official overseeing the Military Commissions at Guantánamo — told Bob Woodward that the Bush administration had “met the legal definition of torture.” As Rumsfeld continues [...]

  31. War Crimes: Insanity Of The Sane | Opinion Maker says...

    [...] Crawford, senior Pentagon official overseeing the Military Commissions at Guantánamo — told Bob Woodward that the Bush administration had "met the legal definition of torture.” [...]

  32. Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld. You Are Under Arrest | nsnbc says...

    [...] Susan Crawford, senior Pentagon official overseeing the Military Commissions at Guantánamo — told Bob Woodward that the Bush administration had “met the legal definition of torture.” As Rumsfeld continues [...]

  33. Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld. You Are Under Arrest. | The Global Realm says...

    [...] legally bulletproof. Andy Worthington noted that the case for prosecutors became rock solid when Susan Crawford, senior Pentagon official overseeing the Military Commissions at Guantánamo — told… that the Bush administration had “met the legal definition of [...]

  34. Alchemy of Light » Blog Archive » UPDATED: Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld. You Are Under Arrest. by Ralph Lopez says...

    [...] Susan Crawford, senior Pentagon official overseeing the Military Commissions at Guantánamo — told Bob Woodward that the Bush administration had “met the legal definition of [...]

  35. Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld. You Are Under Arrest. « roger hollander says...

    [...] Crawford, senior Pentagon official overseeing the Military Commissions at Guantánamo — told Bob Woodward that the Bush administration had “met the legal definition of [...]

  36. Is Bagram the new Guantanamo? by Andy Worthington | Dandelion Salad says...

    […] abusive “enhanced interrogation techniques” — or, in other words, to techniques that may well meet the legal definition of torture — until he falsely confessed that he had met Osama bin Laden and was involved with […]

  37. GUANTANAMO: GUILTY EVEN AFTER PROVEN INNOCENT | Caravan Daily says...

    […] accuse him, but all are suspicious — Sanad al-Kazimi, Sharqawi Abdu Ali al-Hajj, Ahmed al-Darbi,Mohammed al-Qahtani, Hassan bin Attash and Mustafa al-Hawsawi (a “high-value detainee”), who were all tortured, […]

  38. The Full List of Prisoners Charged in the Military Commissions at Guantánamo | MasterAdrian's Weblog says...

    […] charges were dropped on May 12, 2008 after the commissions’ convening authority, Susan Crawford, concluded that he had been tortured at Guantánamo. “We tortured Qahtani. His treatment met the legal […]

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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