'20th Hijacker' Recants, Alleges Torture at Guantanamo
Mohammad al-Qahtani was touted by the U.S. as being a top-notch informant. Imprisoned at Guantanamo, the U.S. said he was the planned 20th hijacker (of course, the U.S. also believed at one time that Zacarias Moussaoui was the planned 20th...and at another time that Ramzi Binalshibh was the 20th hijacker.)
After spending more than 30 hours talking with him through an interpreter, [his lawyer] told TIME that al-Qahtani today appears to be a broken man, fearful and at times disoriented -- someone who has "painfully described how he could not endure the months of isolation, torture and abuse, during which he was nearly killed, before making false statements to please his interrogators."
Will the detainees who claim they were tortured ever have their claims heard in a court of law? Perhaps not, thanks to Sen. Lindsay Graham and Carl Levin's amendment to McCain's torture amendment...which I warned about here and here.
Here are some of the things they did to al-Qahtani--according to reports by interrogators and others:
In the log, U.S. interrogators describe how they ratcheted up techniques on their captive during 50 days starting in November 2002 to extract a confession - by using sleep deprivation, leaving him strapped to an intravenous drip without bathroom breaks and having him strip naked....A special Guantanamo investigator, Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt, subsequently told Congress that al-Qahtani was also forced to wear a woman's bra, dance with a male guard, "perform dog tricks'' and was smeared with fake menstrual blood to lower his self-esteem - techniques the general described as "degrading and abusive'' but not inhumane.
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