Abu Zubaydah: Tortured for Nothing


Abu ZubaydahThe story of Abu Zubaydah — a Saudi-born Palestinian whose real name is Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn — has always been absolutely central to the “War on Terror.” Seized in a house raid in Faisalabad, Pakistan on March 28, 2002, he was immediately touted as “al-Qaeda’s chief of operations and top recruiter,” who would be able to “provide the names of terrorists around the world and which targets they planned to hit.” He then pretty much vanished off the face of the earth for four and a half years.

In September 2006, he resurfaced in Guantánamo, when President Bush announced that he was one of 14 “high-value detainees,” previously held in secret CIA prisons, whose existence had been resolutely denied by the administration until that point.

In a speech on September 6, 2006, Bush finally conceded that “a small number of suspected terrorist leaders and operatives captured during the war [on terror] have been held and questioned outside the United States, in a separate program operated by the Central Intelligence Agency,” and claimed that when Abu Zubaydah, who he described as “a senior terrorist leader and a trusted associate of Osama bin Laden,” became “defiant and evasive” after his capture, “the CIA used an alternative set of procedures. These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful.”

This was a reference to the CIA’s torture program for “high-value detainees,” which was first publicly revealed when a memo that purported to redefine torture so that it could be used by the CIA, written by Justice Department lawyer John Yoo and issued in August 2002, was leaked in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004.

However, another narrative had already appeared to challenge the one put forward by the President. In June 2006, Ron Suskind’s book The One Percent Doctrine was published, which explained, as I described it in an article a year ago, that:

Zubaydah “turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be,” in the words of Barton Gellman, who reviewed Suskind’s book for the Washington Post in 2006. He “appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations,” and was, instead, the “go-to guy for minor logistics — travel for wives and children and the like” …

Suskind described how, through a close scrutiny of his diaries, in which FBI analysts found entries in the voices of three people — a boy, a young man and a middle-aged alter ego — which recorded in numbing detail, over the course of ten years, “what people ate, or wore, or trifling things they said,” Dan Coleman, the FBI’s senior expert on al-Qaeda, told his superiors, “This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality.”

Since then, more and more compelling evidence has emerged to demonstrate that Abu Zubaydah was indeed nothing more than a “safehouse keeper” with mental health problems, who “claimed to know more about al-Qaeda and its inner workings than he really did,” and a “kind of travel agent” for would-be jihadists, who “was not even an official member of al-Qaeda.” This included Abu Zubaydah’s own testimony at his Combatant Status Review Tribunal at Guantánamo in 2007, when he stated that he was tortured by the CIA to admit that he worked with Osama bin Laden, but insisted, “I’m not his partner and I’m not a member of al-Qaeda.”

Moreover, following on from Ron Suskind’s explanation of how “The United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered,” further confirmation was also provided that his torture yielded no significant information and led only to vast amounts of the intelligence agencies’ time being wasted on false leads. A year ago, summing up the results of Zubaydah’s torture, a former intelligence official stated, bluntly, “We spent millions of dollars chasing false alarms.”

In addition, the details of the torture program that was specifically developed for use on Abu Zubaydah have also been revealed — primarily through a leaked International Committee of the Red Cross report (PDF), based on interviews with the “high-value detainees,” including Abu Zubaydah, and also through other Justice Department “torture memos” released by the Obama administration last April. The grim list of techniques includes waterboarding (a form of controlled drowning), confinement in tiny, coffin-like boxes, prolonged sleep deprivation, prolonged isolation, and the use of violence and stress positions, sustained nudity, loud music and noise.

Given all these facts — that the Bush administration implemented torture for use on a man whose importance was hideously overstated, which led to no useful intelligence and a hideous waste of the agencies’ time — Abu Zubaydah’s story is one of the most distressing examples of hubris in the whole of the Bush administration’s brutally inept “War on Terror,” but his story has not come to an end, of course, and his continued detention, and the Obama administration’s attempts to justify it, continue to throw up new revelations, as was made clear just last week when a court submission filed by the government in September 2009 was unclassified.

In response to 213 requests by Abu Zubaydah’s lawyers for discovery in his habeas corpus petition, the government itself provided the most comprehensive rebuttal to date of the kind of claims put forward by the Bush administration in defense of its torture program, and, specifically, its claims regarding Abu Zubaydah, on the basis that requests for discovery are only relevant when they refer to claims made by the government.

In seeking to turn down the lawyers’ requests, the government revealed that it “has not contended … that Petitioner was a member of al-Qaeda or otherwise formally identified with al-Qaeda” and “has not contended that Petitioner had any personal involvement in planning or executing either the 1998 embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, or the attacks of September 11, 2001.”

Instead, the government now claims that the ongoing detention of Abu Zubaydah “is based on conduct and actions that establish Petitioner was ‘part of’ hostile forces and ‘substantially supported’ those forces,” and that he “facilitat[ed] the retreat and escape of enemy forces” after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001.

In response, as Jason Leopold reported for Truthout:

Zubaydah’s attorneys claim that “the persons whom [Zubaydah] assisted in escaping Afghanistan in 2001 included ‘women, children, and/or other non-combatants’” and that the government has evidence to support those assertions. The lawyers also questioned the government’s history of falsehoods about their client.

“The Government’s accounts frequently have been at variance with the actual facts, and the government has generally been loath to provide the facts until forced to do so,” said Zubaydah’s attorney, Brent Mickum, in an interview. “When the Government was forced to present the facts in the form of discovery in Zubaydah’s case, it realized that the game was over and there was no way it could support the Bush administration’s baseless allegations. So it changed the charges.”

Mickum continued, “I’m not surprised at all that the Government has dropped the old charges against our client and is alleging new charges against him. That is their tried-and-true modus operandi … [W]hen their case falls apart, they re-jigger the evidence, and come up with new charges and [say] ‘we will defend the new charges with the same zeal we defended the earlier bogus charges.’”

Since taking up Abu Zubaydah’s case and filing a habeas corpus petition in February 2008, his lawyers have always maintained not only that their client was not a member of al-Qaeda, but also that Khaldan, the training camp for which he was the “safehouse keeper,” was closed down by the Taliban in 2000 after the camp’s leader refused to allow it to come under the control of Osama bin Laden. Even the government now accepts that Khaldan was “organizationally and operationally independent of al-Qaeda,” and as Brent Mickum told Jason Leopold, reviewing all of the above, “We have never deviated from that position, and now the government admits that we were correct all along.”

These extensive concessions on the part of the government seem only to reveal that the Justice Department is painting itself into a corner with Abu Zubaydah, engaged in a slow-moving legal process, which senior officials must be hoping can be strung out indefinitely. Otherwise, profoundly difficult truths will emerge — about the extent of Abu Zubaydah’s torture, its particular futility, and, it should be noted, his relationship to Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the emir of Khaldan who turned down Osama bin Laden.

Rendered to Egypt after his capture at the end of 2001, al-Libi was tortured until he confessed that Saddam Hussein was helping al-Qaeda obtain chemical weapons, a wildly improbable scenario, which, nevertheless, was used to justify the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. What makes the revival of al-Libi’s story particularly unappealing for the US government is that, after years of detention in secret prisons, he was returned to Libya, where, last May, he conveniently died in prison — reportedly by committing suicide — just three days before the US embassy reopened in Tripoli after being closed for 40 years.

When it comes to dealing with Khaldan, the stories of Abu Zubaydah and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi not only demonstrate the Bush administration’s legacy at its most toxic and self-defeating, but also at its most cruel and pointless, from which, it seems clear, there is no easy way out.

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 (and I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in January 2010, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and launched in October 2009), and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

As published exclusively on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation. Cross-posted on The Public Record, Eurasia Review, Uruknet and New Left Project.

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), Six in Guantánamo Charged with 9/11 Murders: Why Now? And What About the Torture? (February 2008), The Insignificance and Insanity of Abu Zubaydah: Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner Confirms FBI’s Doubts (April 2008), Guantánamo Trials: Another Torture Victim Charged (Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri, July 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), Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney’s Iraq Lies Again (And Rumsfeld And The CIA) (all May 2009) and WORLD EXCLUSIVE: New Revelations About The Torture Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (June 2009), The Logic of the 9/11 Trials, The Madness of the Military Commissions (November 2009), UK Judges Compare Binyam Mohamed’s Torture To That Of Abu Zubaydah (November 2009), UN Secret Detention Report Asks, “Where Are The CIA Ghost Prisoners?” (January 2010), Binyam Mohamed: Evidence of Torture by US Agents Revealed in UK (February 2010). Also see the extensive archive of articles about the Military Commissions.

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), When Torture Kills: Ten Murders In US Prisons In Afghanistan (July 2009), US Torture Under Scrutiny In British Courts (July 2009), What The British Government Knew About The Torture Of Binyam Mohamed (August 2009), Torture in Bagram and Guantánamo: The Declaration of Ahmed al-Darbi (September 2009), UK Judges Order Release Of Details About The Torture Of Binyam Mohamed By US Agents (October 2009), “Model Prisoner” at Guantánamo, Tortured in the “Dark Prison,” Loses Habeas Corpus Petition (December 2009), Dark Revelations in the Bagram Prisoner List (January 2010), 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), The Trials of Omar Khadr, Guantánamo’s “child soldier” (November 2007), Former US interrogator Damien Corsetti recalls the torture of prisoners in Bagram and Abu Ghraib (December 2007), Guantánamo’s shambolic trials (February 2008), Torture allegations dog Guantánamo trials (March 2008), Sami al-Haj: the banned torture pictures of a journalist in Guantánamo (April 2008), Former Guantánamo Prosecutor Condemns “Chaotic” Trials in Case of Teenage Torture Victim (Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld on Mohamed Jawad, January 2009), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child (Mohammed El-Gharani, January 2009), Bush Era Ends With Guantánamo Trial Chief’s Torture Confession (Susan Crawford on Mohammed al-Qahtani, January 2009), Forgotten in Guantánamo: British Resident Shaker Aamer (March 2009), A Child At Guantánamo: The Unending Torment of Mohamed Jawad (June 2009), Torture In Guantánamo: The Force-feeding Of Hunger Strikers (June 2009), As Judge Orders Release Of Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner, Government Refuses To Concede Defeat (Mohamed Jawad, July 2009), Torture And Futility: Is This The End Of The Military Commissions At Guantánamo? (September 2009), A Truly Shocking Guantánamo Story: Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions (Fouad al-Rabiah, September 2009), UK Court Orders Release Of Torture Evidence In The Case Of Shaker Aamer, The Last British Resident In Guantánamo (December 2009), Shaker Aamer: UK Government Drops Opposition To Release Of Torture Evidence (December 2009), Afghan Nobody Faces Trial by Military Commission (January 2010), Murders at Guantánamo: Scott Horton of Harper’s Exposes the Truth about the 2006 “Suicides” (January 2010), Two Algerian Torture Victims Are Freed from Guantánamo (January 2010), and the extensive archive of articles about the Military Commissions.

33 Responses

  1. Will Shirley says...

    I’m getting damn tired of people making excuses for the Obama administration covering up facts, fighting in the courts and doing whatever they can to protect Cheney and Bush. Personally I have never been able to believe that America would have been able to elect a truly independent candidate after the Republicrats fixed the last two elections. Why would they stop at just 2? So I can’t in my heart take Obama at his word; I think he is a front man for Cheney, seriously. The sad thing is that I am horny as hell for somebody to prove me wrong, but Obama just keeps covering Bush’s ass. It makes sense only if we assume he’s in on the deal. He gets his name in the books as the first mostly black President and Cheney stays out of the Hague. What real hold could they have on him? Well I can think of at least 3: Michelle and the kids. No doubt, even if only from the history books, Obama knows what bigots do to little black girls and everybody knows where the girls go to school. So as a father I can forgive him but as a progressive American I am furious that even now we have to put up with this crap. There is no valid excuse for allowing America to continue it’s slide through fascism. In the end the history books will most likely have to report that towards the final years of it’s existence the republic of the United States followed the traditional path of Republic-Empire-Fascism-disintegration. It’s like watching a marriage break up. Nobody wants to tell the wife about the girlfriends, but he keeps bringing them home for cocktails and then drives them back to their apartment. In other words we need to face the facts and ask what the inhabitants of a fascist nation should do while waiting for WW3 to break out or for the final collapse of the facade of democracy. I plan to get really good at gardening. Since everything now comes from China I’d like to at least eat American vegetables.

  2. arcticredriver says...

    Andy, thanks for this important article. I agree that the lies about the importance of Abu Zubaydah and Ibn Sheik al-Libi were central to the failed Bush war policy.

    I have participated in lots of discussions where many of the respondents are willing to ignore Benjamin Franklin’s advice about those who sacrifice Liberty for Security will end up with neither. I have participated in lots of discussions where respondents argued that ALL the captives should be subjected to the kind of treatment Abu Zubaydah and al-Libi were subjected to, because they have been convinced torture was necessary to preserve public safety.

    So I am going to take the liberty of repeating how torture in general, and the torture of these two men in particular, was not only monstrously unjust, but it escalated the threat to public safety.
    For narrow reasons of political partisanship the Bush administration chose to take every tortured confession at face value. For narrow reasons of political partisanship the Bush administration was willing to squander resources on wild-goose-chases. The result was those resources weren’t available to guard against real threats.

  3. arcticredriver says...

    Were Abu Zubaydah and ibn Sheikh al-Libi “jihadists”? I think the answer is that they were — according to Abu Zubaydah’s CSR Tribunal testimony some of their Khaldan camp trainees travelled to Chechnya and Palestine. Consequently Russians and Israeli security officials would see them as enemies.

    But the best thing for public safety in general would have been for American security officials to consider the possibility that they were telling the truth, that they weren’t followers or allies of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda — they were rivals. I think we now know that they told the truth, and they were rivals, not followers. From his testimony it seems key points were the Khaldan administration differed from al Qaeda were that (1) it was not their policy to target the USA, or any other nation they didn’t regard as trying to subjugate muslims; (2) it was not their policy to target civilians.

    There is no doubt in my mind that public safety would have been enhanced if their initial denials of ties to al-Qaeda had been believed. I can’t help wondering whether, if their denials had been believed, they could have served as allies in the fight against al-Qaeda. Or, barring that, as a propaganda tool, if they were offered a prompt release to house arrest, and parole, and they were able to tell al-Qaeda’s potential sympathizers and supporters — “The Americans don’t hate all muslims. They initially suspected us of being followers or allies of al-Qaeda. But when we convinced them we weren’t their enemies, they released us, and never resorted to torture.”

  4. Channing Brechlin Jr. says...

    Very well done article that needs much greater exposure particularly in the US Press. My reply here would only like to mention a reference to something far more serious than this case. Your final comment:

    “”When it comes to dealing with Khaldan, the stories of Abu Zubaydah and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi not only demonstrate the Bush administration’s legacy at its most toxic and self-defeating, but also at its most cruel and pointless, from which, it seems clear, there is no easy way out.””

    A thorough review of the vast archive of publicly available evidence on the Bush administration’s involvement in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 reveals that 9/11 itself was “the Bush administration’s legacy at its most toxic and self-defeating”. It is the Official Lies of the 9/11 attacks that gave the Bush administration the free hand to break all norms, laws and conventions at every level both in and out of government militancy.

    Those of us in the international 911truth movement have every foundation for proposing that the use of torture on such as Abu Zubaydah and many others was in fact to Coerce False Confessions in order to aid the Official Propaganda the Bush administration used to unleash massive military-industrial Plunder and Murder on the oil-rich non-aligned States in the ME. Since at least WWII, it has long been known and proven that that is the result of these illegal torture and detention procedures.

    I know this was not the focus of the research and article, but how long will Americans go on ‘straining at gnats and swallowing camels’? We must at some point get down to the real dirt underneath the torture and the criminal organization that was willing to kill its own citizens for Exxon and Halliburton. It’s no longer an illusion for those who actually look at the public facts.

    Thank you for your fine work.

  5. Free Blog Syndication says...

    […] Abu Zubaydah: Tortured for Nothing | Andy Worthington […]

  6. kabuli says...

    Tortured for Nothing.

    Tortured for no guilt.
    Tortured for no purpose.
    Tortured for no sense.

    Tortured by our own -supposedly civilised- democratically elected governments.
    Tortured by the apathy and neglect of the citizens of those ‘civilised’ societies.
    Tortured by proxy by all of us who choose to look the other way.

    A terrifying litany for thousands of defenceless human beings, whose bad luck was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or in the worst case to have had contacts with ‘wrong’ people. And to be a Muslim. These ‘crimes’ made them the perfect scapegoats for our irrational panic and thirst for revenge.

    Thank you once more Andy, for giving the tortured a face, a history, a voice, for preventing them from being reduced to an anonimous digit in statistics, presumed guilty, slandered without a chance to defend themselves.

    Thank you for continuously reminding us that we do have a choice, that we all have a responsibility in this mess, that we must act in whatever small way we can, because doing nothing amounts to being co-responsible.
    We all grew up thinking that inhuman atrocities and war crimes were invariably perpetrated by ‘others’, never by us, and suddenly finding ourselves on the wrong side of the fence is a painful experience.
    Ignoring that will not make it go away, it is not merely a nightmare that will vanish all by itself. Our democracies are being eroded faster than we care to realise, and it’s up to all of us to do something about it before it is too late.

    Thank you for giving such an inspiring example yourself and for providing links to others who listen to their conscience, like courageous lawyers who risk their careers to defend ‘terrorists’, other journalists who refuse to let themselves be ’embedded’ in our governments’ propaganda machines, or simply the anonimous members of local civil committees who support the victims of various kinds of torture, including less obvious ones like the control orders.
    This active solidarity may well be the only balm that might soothe some of the pain of the tortured.

  7. Bilal says...

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Hi Will,
    Good to hear from you as always. Perhaps if I make it over to the States again I can drop by for some of your home-grown vegetables. I’d like to sample something genuinely American that hasn’t been sold for the profit of the few, and to do so with one of the many Americans I admire – though all, of course, are kept far away from the corridors of power.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Hi arcticredriver,
    First of all, thanks for reminding us of Ben Franklin’s advice, and secondly, thanks for the important analysis of AZ and al-Libi and Khaldan’s rivalry with al-Qaeda. What’s most apparent to me is that, had the FBI been allowed to continue with its torture-free interrogations based on rapport-building, many of the men who are now unprosecutable would indeed have been persuaded to provide usable evidence in courts, and some, no doubt, would have entered witness protection programs, as happened so successfully before 9/11.
    As I have mentioned before, it could all have been so different …

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Channing. Though we disagree on certain things, it interests me immensely that those of us seeking accountability for those who responded so disgracefully to 9/11 and those who believe that they were pursuing a plan that they themselves set in place are agreeing more and more about the use of torture to produce false confessions to justify the invasion of Iraq. I think we should all come together on this, and use the strength of both our movements to continue exposing Dick Cheney as the torturer-in-chief, and to demand his prosecution.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Hi Kabuli,
    As ever, your words leave me wondering whether a response is actually needed, other than to thank you (in return for your thanks to me) and also to thank you for finding the words to express in language that has a deep meaning how cruel is the world in which we find ourselves, and how we must never give up fighting it. You remind me that those of us who care are all attempting to ensure that we will one day emerge from this withering darkness. It is a great pleasure to know you.

  12. New Report Reveals How Bush Torture Program Involved Human Experimentation « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] related to the torture and experimentation the Bush administration’s first high-value detainee, Abu Zubaydah, was subjected to after he was captured in March […]

  13. On Bush’s Waterboarding Claims, UK Media Loses Its Moral Compass « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] technique,” to which three supposed “high-value detainees” — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — were subjected, and “denied that waterboarding, which simulates […]

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Copy of court filing here, btw: http://www.truth-out.org/files/memorandum.pdf

  15. Algerian in Guantánamo Loses Habeas Petition for Being in a Guest House with Abu Zubaydah « Eurasia Review says...

    […] October 2009, the government officially conceded that Zubaydah was not a member of al-Qaeda. In response to 213 requests by his lawyers for […]

  16. On Becoming Torturers | deliriumliberty says...

    […] Zubaydah, whose importance in any terrorist network was “hideously overstated” was unfortunately not privy to the psychologists’ assurances that the techniques used […]

  17. Hiding Horrific Tales of Torture: Why The US Government Reached A Plea Deal with Guantánamo Prisoner Noor Uthman Muhammed « Eurasia Review says...

    […] glorified travel agent for the Khaldan camp. In a court submission in October 2009, the government abandoned its claims that he was a member of al-Qaeda, or had any inside information about the 9/11 attacks or other […]

  18. CommonDreams.org | The Hidden Horrors of WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files | Anti-War Committee says...

    […] with certain figures appearing over and over again. They include “high-value detainees” like Abu Zubaydah, waterboarded 83 times and held for four and a half years in secret CIA prisons, and Ibn […]

  19. The Hidden Horrors of WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files | Amauta says...

    […] with certain figures appearing over and over again. They include “high-value detainees” like Abu Zubaydah, waterboarded 83 times and held for four and a half years in secret CIA prisons, and Ibn al-Shaykh […]

  20. The Hidden Horrors of WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files | Common Dreams « 2012 Indy Info says...

    […] with certain figures appearing over and over again. They include “high-value detainees” like Abu Zubaydah,waterboarded 83 times and held for four and a half years in secret CIA prisons, and Ibn al-Shaykh […]

  21. Cross and Double Cross With Gitmo Files US Knew Where Osama Was Since 2005 « Piazza della Carina says...

    […] Zubaydah the informer was the subject of intensive research, available here that makes clear: this unfortunate man was tortured by the CIA, with permission of  US medics and […]

  22. US Knew Where Osama Was Since 2005 | PK ARTICLES HUB says...

    […] Zubaydah the informer was the subject of intensive research, available here that makes clear: this unfortunate man was tortured by the CIA, with permission of  US medics and […]

  23. US Knew Where Osama Was Since 2005 « AnarchitexT says...

    […] Zubaydah the informer was the subject of intensive research, availablehere that makes clear: this unfortunate man was tortured by the CIA, with permission of  US medics and […]

  24. مجله هفته » آمریکا از سال 2005 میدانست اوساما بن لادن کجا است! says...

    […] Zubaydah the informer was the subject of intensive research, available here that makes clear: this unfortunate man was tortured by the CIA, with permission of  US medics and […]

  25. The story behind the story: Leaked documents show media and government cover up on Bin Laden | Israel-Palestine: Missing Analysis says...

    […] Zubaydah the informer was the subject of intensive research that makes clear: this unfortunate man was tortured by the CIA, with the permission of US medics […]

  26. WikiLeaks and the Guantánamo Prisoners Released from 2002 to 2004 … » WeNewsIt says...

    […] 2002. Although the Bush administration touted Zubaydah as al-Qaeda’s number 3,  the US has steadily walked back from those lofty claims, as it has become apparent that he was, in fact, the mentally troubled […]

  27. WikiLeaks and the Guantánamo Prisoners Released from 2002 to 2004 (All Ten Parts) – Andy Worthington « freedetainees.org says...

    […] […]

  28. Guantánamo: Las comisiones militares y la ilusión de justicia | Amauta says...

    […] por los documentos a los que había tenido acceso, que oficialmente le describió a él –y a Abu Zubaydah, otro “detenido de alto valor” sometido a torturas- como […]

  29. Ten Years of Torture: On Anniversary of Abu Zubaydah’s Capture, Poland Charges Former Spy Chief Over “Black Site” by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] courts and forced the US Department of Justice to withdraw all such allegations. The United States no longer alleges Abu Zubaydah was ever a member of al-Qaeda or that he supported al-Qaeda’s radical ideology. The […]

  30. The 4th Media » Torture: Bush Administration on Trial says...

    […] Lesley Stahl mentioned well-established claims that Abu Zubaydah’s torture had led operatives on countless wild goose chases, to which Rodriguez replied, “Bullshit. He gave us a road map that allowed us to capture a bunch […]

  31. For false confessions, U.S. learned torture from places like North Korea | Korea and the World says...

    […] As journalist Andy Worthington notes, it turned out that: […]

  32. Hiding Horrific Tales of Torture: How Guantanamo Fuels Injustice (Andy Worthington) says...

    […] glorified travel agent for the Khaldan camp. In a court submission in October 2009, the government abandoned its claims that he was a member of al-Qaeda, or had any inside information about the 9/11 attacks or other […]

  33. US Knew Where Osama Was Since 2005 says...

    […] Zubaydah the informer was the subject of intensive research, available here that makes clear: this unfortunate man was tortured by the CIA, with permission of  US medics and […]

Leave a Reply

Back to the top

Back to home page

Andy Worthington

Writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
Email Andy Worthington

CD: Love and War

Love and War by The Four Fathers

The Guantánamo Files book cover

The Guantánamo Files

The Battle of the Beanfield book cover

The Battle of the Beanfield

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion book cover

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

Outside The Law DVD cover

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo


Posts & Comments

World Wide Web Consortium



Powered by WordPress

Designed by Josh King-Farlow

Please support Andy Worthington, independent journalist:


In Touch

Follow me on Facebook

Become a fan on Facebook

Subscribe to me on YouTubeSubscribe to me on YouTube

Andy's Flickr photos



Tag Cloud

Afghans Al-Qaeda Andy Worthington British prisoners CIA torture prisons Clive Stafford Smith Close Guantanamo David Cameron Force-feeding Guantanamo Hunger strikes London Military Commission NHS NHS privatisation Periodic Review Boards Photos President Obama Reprieve Shaker Aamer Taliban Torture UK austerity UK protest US Congress US courts Video We Stand With Shaker WikiLeaks Yemenis