The Case of Lahcen Ikassrien: Torture in Kandahar and Guantánamo

1.3.11

In a recent article, Spanish Court Gives Go-Ahead for Guantánamo Torture Investigation to Continue, I explained the significance of the recent decision by the Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional) to proceed with an investigation into torture at Guantánamo. The case is based on the country’s universal jurisdiction laws, and the court’s decision was described by the Center for Constitutional Rights (which is working on the case) as initiating “the first real investigation of the US torture program.”

Following amendments to Spain’s universal jurisdiction laws in November 2009, so that cases must have a “relevant connection” to Spain, the Guantánamo torture case (which will hopefully involve a subpoena being issued to Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the commander of Guantánamo at the time of the worst abuses, between 2002 and 2004) focuses on allegations made by a Moroccan-born Spanish resident, Lahcen Ikassrien, that he was tortured at Guantánamo, where he was held from 2002 to 2005.

As I mentioned in my recent article, to provide some background to the kind of information that can be expected to emerge in connection with Lahcen Ikassrien’s detention, I’m posting below highlights of his story, as told to El Pais in December 2006, and translated into English for Cageprisoners in 2007, plus additional information that I included in an article in November 2007.

Lahcen Ikassrien: Torture in Kandahar and Guantánamo

When Lahcen Ikassrien was flown from Guantánamo to Spain on July 18, 2005, after three years and eight months in US custody, he was not a free man, but had been extradited at the request of anti-terror judge Baltasar Garzón, who claimed that he was linked to the Syrian-born Spaniard Imad Yarkas, serving 12 years in prison for belonging to al-Qaeda.

In June 2006, however, the Spanish Supreme Court threw out Yarkas’ conviction for conspiracy to commit murder in the 9/11 attacks, and, with the case against Ikassrien demolished, he was finally freed on October 11, 2006. The Associated Press reported that the court concluded, “It has not been proved that the accused, Lahcen Ikassrien, was part of a terrorist organization of Islamic-fundamentalist nature, and more specifically, the al-Qaeda network created by Bin Laden,” adding that wire-tapped conversations between Ikassrien and another suspected al-Qaeda member in Spain had also been considered invalid.

A former gardener, cook and construction worker, who had spent three years in prison for dealing hashish, Ikassrien’s journey to Guantánamo began when he traveled to Afghanistan after separating from his Moroccan wife. According to the El Pais reporter he spoke to after he was finally cleared of all terrorism charges, he “seemed fascinated by the Taliban government,” and explained, “I wanted to know how it was to live there, if what was said about the Taliban was the truth. For me, Taliban was synonymous with Muslim, good Muslim.”

Struggling to reach Afghanistan, Ikassrien was expelled from Istanbul and spent two months in Turkey before managing to catch a bus through Iran to the western Afghan city of Herat. There, he said, the Taliban “interrogated me in a police station for six hours. They wanted to know everything. Where I went and what I wanted to do. These people did not trust anyone. I told them that I came from Europe to live like the true Muslims. They sent me to Kunduz, near Mazar-e-Sharif, and there I bought a taxi and a butcher shop that was run for me by two Afghans. I could not run it because I understood neither Pashto nor Arabic.”

Denying allegations that he trained in an al-Qaeda camp and fought alongside the Taliban, he explained that he was captured by men serving under the Northern Alliance warlord General Rashid Dostum, after fleeing Kunduz in a convoy of trucks, and taken to Qala-i-Janghi, an ancient fort, with hundreds of other captured men. Most of these men died after some staged an uprising, which was put down with savage force, and the survivors, like Ikassrien, huddled underground in a basement, as the Northern Alliance and their US allies bombed them, attempted to set them on fire, and finally flooded the basement. Ikassrien, who was wounded in the arm and hand by shrapnel from a US bomb, said, “My group was in an underground trench and they were throwing gasoline at us. Many died burnt. Then Dostum’s men flooded us with water and it went up to my neck. It was horrible. I left alive by a miracle.”

From Qala-i-Janghi he was taken, via Dostum’s vile and overcrowded prison at Sheberghan, where, he said, he was questioned at gunpoint, told that he had been sold for $75,000 and described as an “important terrorist,” to the US prison at Kandahar airport, where an American soldier fastened a plastic bracelet on his wrist, which stated, simply, that he was “Animal Number 64.” Treated with a brutality that is familiar from other prisoners’ reports — “They burned my legs with cigarettes, they hit me over the head with gun butts, and repeated time and time again that a person like me did not have the right to live” — he was then transferred to Guantánamo.

Recalling his arrival at Guantánamo, he noted that he was weighed, and that “the scale marked 55 kilos, 23 less than when I was seized in Afghanistan.” He added, “My arm had gangrene, and they gave me a paper to sign to authorize an amputation. A volunteer of the Red Cross advised me not to do it, as he thought that it was possible to save my arm, and thanks to him I kept it.”

The hospital in Guantánamo was “a tent,” and he remained there for about three months, seated in a folding chair and tied at his feet and hands, in the company of 20 other prisoners, most of them Arabs, Afghans and Pakistanis. “The soldiers entered the infirmary with dogs that barked wildly at us,” he said, adding, “We went on a hunger strike so that they would not enter anymore.”

In May 2002, Ikassrien received his first visit from a Spanish delegation, which included a diplomat from the Spanish embassy in Washington D.C. and Spanish police officers. He explained that, after the visit, the Americans began to treat him worse, and torture and threats followed one another. “They said that, according to the information provided by the Spaniards, I was an international drug trafficker and I financed jihad inside and outside Spain.”

He explained that the interrogations in Camp Delta, which opened in May 2002 to replace the animal cages of Camp X-Ray, were held in a special room, which reminded him of his experience in Kandahar. There, he said, interrogators showed him hundreds of photographs of alleged jihadists and spoke of tens of groups close to al-Qaeda. As he also explained, referring, in all probability, to the regime introduced by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller later in 2002:

They came to the cell, they used a spray that made you cry, you turned around, went down on your knees with your hands intertwined over your head, and they tied your hands and feet with chains. They led you to a room with plastic walls, and there they left you alone for hours. Hours of anguish waiting for them to arrive. They put ventilators so that you were freezing cold.

The Spanish police officers visited again in early 2003. Again, there were several agents led by the same commissioner and a representative from the embassy. Ikassrien was played tapes of a conversation about jihad in which he was supposedly one of the speakers, but he denied that the voice was his. “They offered to make me a protected witness,” he explained. “They said that they would give me money, work and a house if I collaborated. They offered to let me speak to my mother the following morning. I said yes to this, as I had no news from her for three years.”

The next day a US captain and an interpreter prepared to let him call his mother in Alhucemas in front of Spanish police officers. “You can speak for two minutes,” they said to him. “Tell her that you are alive and well, but do not say where you are.” Ikassrien said, “I told them that if I could not tell my mother where I was, I would not accept the call, and they went away angry. Soon the Americans returned and gave me a beating. They undressed me and threw me into a container where there were rats. I remained alone for three days, naked, without food or water. Like an animal. People from the Red Cross came to visit to me and asked me why I was there.”

Although the Spanish police stated in a report presented at Ikassrien’s trial that they did not return to see him in Guantánamo, he was adamant that they visited him again in June or July 2003. “They came with more photos,” he said. “I told them that I was Moroccan and that they did not have the right to interrogate me. They replied that they wanted to help me.” Ikassrien added that he also told them, “Every time you come, the Americans torture me.” He also explained that he had been interrogated by Moroccan agents.

After this third Spanish visit, as Ikassrien anticipated, the Americans again subjected him to torture, in an attempt to persuade him to identify alleged terrorists in photographs. “Again I was naked for several days and without food,” he said. “An interrogator who called herself Anna came and began to show me more photos. I refused to answer. They brought black dogs with muzzles, they hooded me and the animals barked and they struck me with their legs. I only felt the shoves, I did not know if they were loose. My companions heard everything and struck with their fists on the cell walls.”

The last visit of the Spanish police took place in March 2004, and in July Ikassrien was moved to the solid-walled isolation cells of Camp Five, where a psychiatrist who looked oriental subjected him to sustained psychological mind games, and told him, ‘If you do not collaborate you will be here all your life.” Ikassrien added, “To eat, I got a piece of bread and a little bit of onion. It was hell. You could not hear any noise, you did not know if it was day or night .”

A year after he was moved to Camp Five, Ikassrien was taken to the infirmary, where he was given a check-up and read a document in Arabic, which stated that the US government “did not have anything against him, but if they found he was linked to al-Qaeda they had the right to take him to Guantánamo again.” He added, “They wanted me to sign it, but I refused.” He was then hooded and taken to a plane that returned him to Spain on July 18, 2005, where he was imprisoned in Soto del Real and Palencia prisons for another 15 months, until he was finally freed in October 2006.

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) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. 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 July 2010, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, on tour in the UK throughout 2011, and available on DVD here), my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

This article, and the previous article, Spanish Court Gives Go-Ahead for Guantánamo Torture Investigation to Continue, were published exclusively on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation as “Spanish Torture Investigation into Gitmo to Continue.”

67 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Shared on return from a monthly Science Fiction pubmeeting.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Hope it was good, George. My apologies if I brought you back to the evils of everyday life with a bump!

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Not after 2 Guinnesses, fish ‘n chips, and good cheer:)

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Willy Bach wrote:

    Thanks Andy, I am so glad he is suing in a respectable jurisdiction. The US system is so corrupted with politically aligned judges. I hope he sues them for punitive damages.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    I’ve heard over and over again that orders for torture came straight from DC. But I wonder if Miller is responsible for going an extra length in the torture arena at Gitmo.
    If you’ve written about that already Andy, I apologize. I’m always playing catchup with reading. But I wonder if Miller has anything to say for himself.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Mui–If memory serves, I heard something else about Miller. I think he went from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib, in order to in his words “Gitmoise” the place. So 1. you might be right, and 2. I am probably right too.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    I remember that too. I would be nice to get that guy under oath with no BS, non? But interviews will serve in the meantime.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Under oath is the only way, actually. People like Miller lie routinely in interviews and other kinds of announcements. Miller’s remark wasn’t just a reflection of his feelings, I think. I am pretty sure he meant that the quite specific techniques used in Guantanamo should be applied (or applied more rigorously) at Abu Ghraib. I do not know if he got orders to go there.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    He did get orders to go there. I think that may be Rumsfeld. And look at that guy in interviews. He appears like a dotty out of sorts kind of guy. He’s really pretty malevolent.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Many of them are evil. If I was a psychiatrist I might be able to attach some medical term to such thoughts and actions. But the notion of “evil” has been hotly discussed in philosophy, my former profession. I haven’t followed that. The place to start is H. Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” Main questions: Is evil a psychiatric category, or is it so strange that we cannot categorise it now? Is evil so basic a tendency that, say, a manager (Eichmann) can do evil reflexively, while just working normally? Ms Arendt’s term for the latter was “The banality of evil.”

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Eichmann sums it up in terms of the defense the torture cabal is already coming up with. I have a problem with the term “evil” partly because for example, it’s been used on prisoners like Khadr, who are basically malleable defenseless teenagers. I prefer to think of “evil” as a class, less as a psychiatric category: “despicable, corrupt politician.”
    Oh, another very very frightening parallel: I read an interview with republican Buck McKeon; he’s talking numbers and capacity of Gitmo to hold 800 more prisoners. Like Eichmann. It’s about the numbers.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    I see what you mean. I never thought of it that way. If it is routinely applied to both Eichmann types and Khadr types, then your problem with the term is real indeed. Good point.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Evil is a faux psychiatric category. I think there’s social disorder or something like that. Borderline may be a cathcall. i think mental health experts don’t like “evil” because mentally ill, major bipolar, depression, schizophrenic and even epliectics are probably brain or nerve disorders and patients are already stigmatized. Maybe partly thanks to movies like Halloween.
    Also stigmatized because all disabilties are stigmatized. And some of the stigma comes from patients looking “like retards” as well. Because all mental disabilities are stigmatized.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Alas, this is something I have too much experience with. It’s not just functionaries like Eichmann and McKeon. That banality also covered the ordinary transport workers in Holland, the Dutch cops, and others (I lived in Amsterdam for 36+ years). I have no idea how to explain this.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Was it because they couldn’t reconcile morality and humanity with job description: numbers?

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Mui–That’s a complex question, at lease in the Dutch situation. There one had an occupying power that scared everyone except the resistance, and an extremely absolute form of respect for any authority that happened to be in power. The latter was derived from an absolutistic interpretation of Paul’s Letter To The Romans, Verse 13.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote (in response to 12):

    Thanks, George. I prefer to think of the forensic psych who testified against Khadr as the evil one. He’s bent his profession to a place where no professional should go if they still want to call themselves “doctor.”

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Mui–If he was American, the forensic psychologist had the, uh, moral backing of the American Psychological Association. A bad story indeed.

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Yes. They are complicit. APA.

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    One very ex friend is an APA member who was somehow involved in the discussions about how to treat the torture matter. This person proudly told me that he said nothing, because science must be “objective” (his term).

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    There’s nothing objective about complicity to torture. And it seems both psych and MDs were involved with that in Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Camp Bucca etc.

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    They sure were. In recent examples involving waterboarding, they were used to monitor prisoner’s responses to test the limits of what could be done.

  23. Andy Worthington says...

    Fascinating exchange, my friends! I think the best analysis of the role of Miller — a man with 20 years’ experience with artillery, and absolutely zero experience of intelligence operations — is that he impressed Rumsfeld and the Pentagon with his dedication and his willingness to implement the torture program under the guise of efficiency. Miller features prominently in David Rose’s book about Guantanamo, where his favourite word is “enormously” — he constantly talks about the “enormously valuable intelligence” extracted from the prisoners, but only analyzes it in terms of yield, as in increasing the yield of “intelligence” by 600 percent. He was obviously too dumb to realize that quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality, and although I credited him with independent action in my book, I’ve since concluded that he was a useful idiot.

  24. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    The APA’s final statement was that torture is not ok, unless it’s done on command by a proper authority. I don’t have the exact wording, but it was that slippery and wrong.

  25. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    And the absolute profanity of it is that MDs know that waterboarding is drowning which causes pulmonary edema, infection etc.
    And these MDs and psychs have explanations that try to divert form the bottom line. Don’t let them. They’re BSing.

  26. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Add brain damage, severe, to drowning.

  27. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Oh those APA folks have judgement day coming. Hopefully in the form of a warrant, but I’ll settle if they’re stripped of credentials and sued into a paper bag.

  28. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    That’s the banality of evil, Andy. It’s all about the numbers for Rumsfeld, Miller, Eichmann and Buck Mckeon.

  29. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Andy–I don’t know what is worse, independent action (which implies thinking it out) and useful idiocy (which implies being so thick that one doesn’t know how bad what one is doing is, or that one is being used by someone else).

  30. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Or numbers plus George’s statement on Dutch during occupation. I guess he knows more.

  31. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Mui. Two points. One reason (I hear) for APA complicity at the top, was fear of losing gov funding and grants for more legit projects of its members. Another point. Well, having a partner who was arrested by ordinary Dutch cops, and who bravely escaped with her Resistance-Member mom, certainly influenced my thinking.

  32. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    I bet there’s a combination of duty (to torture), plus innovative thinking (regarding torture, especially if it’s rewarded), plus being a team player (thorougly home grown American corporate evil of never nay saying the consensus) plus some.
    As for the APA, that’s just too bad. The evil of ruining so many lives v. the evil of losing funding is the greater evil. IMHO.

  33. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    PS. About the APA. Since about 1985, US funding for the behavioural sciences was drastically reduced, since (I hear) psychology had produced too few scientifically accurate results. This does not excuse them one bit.

  34. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Mui–Innovative thinking indeed. I read somewhere that one of manuals about how to torture has lists of techniques and clauses like “use your imagination.”

  35. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote (in response to 33):

    Nope. And as for MDs. Just ask any MD. This is not arcane knowledge: Is waterboarding drowning? They say yes. And then ask what are the medical consequences of drowning? They will list.

  36. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Indeed. I really cannot explain such misbehaviour.

  37. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    I think this country needs a thorough denazification, or something like that. When torture is accepted by medical professionals it just goes so thick, I almost feel despair.

  38. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Mui–It’s the whole world! This goes deep. I was once having lunch with a non-Dutch friend in Amsterdam. He could think clearly. When I mentioned torture he started distinguishing between several kinds of torture, some of which he approved of. I changed the subject.

  39. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Yikes. Like I said denaziifcation. or defascisiszation. or whatever.

  40. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Mui–BTW, in the Summer of 1982 a very, very, ex friend wrote an op-ed piece in Newsweek advocating torture. He is very smart. The article contained the phrase “sometimes it’s time to bring out the electrodes.” I never wrote to him again.

  41. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    So this ex-friend advocates killing people by inches. Doesn’t matter if they committed a crime of not. He’s okay with screwing with the heart, the brain, the lungs and all those vital organs, *as long* as there is no blood. I think that’s what these people think: As long as there is no blood, it’s okay. Even if the body is bleeding internally and shutting down, and there’s massive brain damage and sometimes blood comes out the nose and the mouth.

  42. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Mui–Excuse the misinformation. I am a Dutch citizen of American birth, am retired, and now live in Sweden.

  43. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    It’s okay George. I have a tendency to think everyone I’m talking to is American. I’m that provincial.

  44. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote (in response to 41):

    Mui–Strictly speaking, the criterion was no visible signs left behind.

  45. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Except all these methods leave tons of marks inside the body.

  46. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote (in response to 43):

    Mui—LOL! I correct that almost every day. America is so large and yet so monolithic that such reactions are usually automatic until someone points it out.

  47. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    They’re criminals and barbarians. I think Jane Mayer reported in her book that an interrogator in Abu Ghraib said something like: no blood, everything okay.

  48. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Mui–Inside the mind too. It’s amazingly easy to acquire PTSD from any of a number of types of experience.

  49. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Mui–I don’t know. I haven’t read much about this in about one year. I do know that the most ethical medical practitioners no longer distinguish leaving scars (or whatever) from leaving mental scars (like PTSD). It’s all torture.

  50. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Extensive brain damage shows up as well with waterboarding, blunt force injuries, smothering and all that. I’m going to have to friend you. A friend has me doing data entry on ACLU FOIA autopsies, fentanyl and other weird stuff is appearing in the toxicology. In addition, the autopsies themselves are infuriating because it looks like the pathologists (at least one consultation and a name in DC) plus coroners of the military are busy explaining deaths as heart failure, when heart faliure wasn’t the primary cause of death. it was the final outcome. I’m pretty sure of that. Especially when they mention extensive brain damage within the report and all sorts of hemmoraging, fractures, swelling, you name it.

  51. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Mui–The neocons think that everyone should think and speak like their kind of American.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2003/may/04/20030504-113713-9420r/
    This article might well have had some influence in justifying torture, by claiming that certain others are in need of improvement. When I read this, my partner and I thought about it, and answered the email with this link, using terms like Untermensch (subhuman) at strategic points.

  52. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    That’s OK, just friend me. I got interested in this crap when I learned about Rendition one evening in 2002 or 3, on a program on BBC Radio 4.

  53. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    I’ll make of a note of that MD in that link.

  54. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Good. I’m a philosopher but no ethicist or medical ethicist. At best a clear thinker who despises torture and torturers

  55. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Thanks George. I can use the input. Plus it gets just plain scary recording deaths well . . .

  56. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Clear thinkers are in short demand.

  57. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    I can’t handle it. There was this article recently, which I could not bear to read. http://www.truth-out.org/cries-from-past-tortures-ugly-echoes59738

  58. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    OK. I’d be glad to help with any input that I can. That’s of course one reason why I am here these days.

  59. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Thank you. Like I said, just plain clear thinking on the big picture is good. I’ll deal with the ugliest of details. I’m trying. It’s not fun.
    It’s certainly not what I envisioned myself ever doing at any point in my life. Arts and humanities, yes. Medical profession of the family, no.

  60. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Right. That’s one reason these issues are so troublesome to me. Any clear thinker can understand the basic issues in five minutes. Yet humans often have some sort of blindness about them

  61. Andy Worthington says...

    Mui J. Steph wrote:

    Too true.

  62. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    I must go now Mui. Thanks for the good conversation. Thanks to you, Andy, for making it possible.

  63. Andy Worthington says...

    I’m very glad to have friends like you. We’re obviously in a world where far too many people find themselves unable to think clearly — in large part, I think, because America’s leaders opened the floodgates to a kind of voracious and insatiable vengeance after 9/11.

  64. Andy Worthington says...

    On Digg, wanacare wrote:

    Pres. Bush & Obama is this torture? Would it be torture if it were your child? I don’t know what my test scores are, but think it is torture for everyone. Andy Worthington reports on Lahcen Ikassrien in Guantanamo, “Tell her Ikassrien’s mother] that you are alive and well, but do not say where you are.” Ikassrien said, “I told them that if I could not tell my mother where I was, I would not accept the call, and they went away angry. Soon the Americans returned and gave me a beating. They undressed me and threw me into a container where there were rats. I remained alone for three days, naked, without food or water. Like an animal. People from the Red Cross came to visit to me and asked me why I was there.”

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

    [...] [...]

  66. Mike McDonald says...

    I am here with Lahcen in Madrid today. He is as decent as the best of men. Thank you.

  67. Andy Worthington says...

    Good to hear, Mike. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Back to the top

Back to home page

Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
Email Andy Worthington

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

RSS

Posts & Comments

World Wide Web Consortium

XHTML & CSS

WordPress

Powered by WordPress

Designed by Josh King-Farlow

Please support Andy Worthington, independent journalist:

Archives

In Touch

Follow me on Facebook

Become a fan on Facebook

Subscribe to me on YouTubeSubscribe to me on YouTube

Andy's Flickr photos

Campaigns

Categories

Tag Cloud

Abu Zubaydah Afghans Al-Qaeda Andy Worthington Bagram British prisoners CIA torture prisons Clive Stafford Smith Close Guantanamo David Cameron Guantanamo Habeas corpus Hunger strikes Lewisham London Military Commission NHS NHS privatisation Photos President Obama Reprieve Save Lewisham A&E Shaker Aamer Torture UK austerity UK protest US Congress US courts WikiLeaks Yemenis