Charges Dropped Against Guantanamo Detainee

A military judge today dismissed the charges against Guantanamo detainee Mohammed al-Qahtani. The Pentagon had claimed al-Qahtani was the "20th hijacker" for 9/11. He had been subjected to harsh interrogation techniques.

The charges against five other detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed were approved. They face a possible death penalty.

Here are some of the techniques used on al-Qahtani, from the interrogators' log : [More...]

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.

Time Magazine published the 83 page log here (pdf).

Will Bunch has more.

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  • Display: Sort:
    The whole Guantanamo detainee (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by independent thinker on Tue May 13, 2008 at 12:27:03 PM EST
    fiasco is a blight on America. On this I think all of us can agree, regardless of which Dem candidate we prefer.

    Yes, we can! (none / 0) (#7)
    by madamab on Tue May 13, 2008 at 12:52:36 PM EST
    We do not need to be torturing suspected terrorists and pretending they don't have civil rights under the Constitution.

    Apart from the obvious moral issues, evidence that is not obtained lawfully is usually thrown out in court.

    What, then, is the point of keeping these people under these conditions? What are Bush-Cheney trying to hide?


    Man (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Steve M on Tue May 13, 2008 at 12:28:10 PM EST
    There are almost as many 20th hijackers as there are al-Qaeda #3's.

    no kidding (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Tue May 13, 2008 at 12:58:15 PM EST
    What has Obama said about (none / 0) (#1)
    by Stellaaa on Tue May 13, 2008 at 11:34:18 AM EST
    Guantanomo, Hillary clearly said she would close it in her first 100 days.  

    Back to supporting Center for Constitutional Rights.  

    All Three Candidates (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Tue May 13, 2008 at 12:56:19 PM EST
    have said they would close it (Hillary, Obama and McCain.)

    He said it needs to be closed (none / 0) (#4)
    by CST on Tue May 13, 2008 at 11:55:32 AM EST
    And he has been endorsed by the Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay Defendants.

    Here is an interesting article comparing all three candidates on this issue.  It's from the Boston Globe.



    This is crazy. (none / 0) (#2)
    by DJ on Tue May 13, 2008 at 11:36:24 AM EST
    Bush, Cheney and others should face criminal charges.

    America will not be cleansed (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Stellaaa on Tue May 13, 2008 at 11:50:02 AM EST
    with just having a "transcended figure as president".  The cleansing will only happen if we can show the world that we have rule of law.  Until this is cleansed, Obama alone will not make us loved.  So patronizing to thing that people in other nations are simple enough to fall for a false symbol.  

    Torture Makes Prosecution Impossible (none / 0) (#10)
    by john horse on Tue May 13, 2008 at 05:59:29 PM EST
    The word I heard was that the charges were dropped because the the prosecutors did not think they could get a conviction given that the evidence against Mohammed al-Qahtani was obtained under torture.  Outside of the immorality of it, torture makes prosecution difficult, if not impossible.  And he wasn't the only one who was tortured.  The Bush administration may have blown it big time by sanctioning torture.  Heck of a job George.

    Not Sure (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Tue May 13, 2008 at 06:22:41 PM EST
    These military trials have rules that are secret. I am not so sure that they do not allow evidence gotten by torture. Hearsay and secret evidence is fine, it is basically a kangaroo court. The deduction that  Mohammed al-Qahtani will not be tried because he was tortured is speculative. I am not sure how anyone in a civilized society would allow this kind of evidence to be used but then again civilized societies should never use torture to begin with.

    So much for being a civilized counrty...


    But WHY were the charges dropped? (none / 0) (#11)
    by ItsGreg on Tue May 13, 2008 at 05:59:44 PM EST
    It probably wasn't because of the torture. We know that five other detainees received the same treatment, and the charges haven't been dropped against them. So there must be some other reason...or at least some additional reason...for the charges to have been dropped.

    Considering how little these folks care about the rule of law, there must be something significantly wrong here for them to dismiss those charges.