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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

 The uselessness of torture

A graphic and sickening first-person account of "extraordinary rendition":
"One of them," al-Habashi’s statement says, "took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once, and they stood still for maybe a minute, watching my reaction. I was in agony, crying, trying desperately to suppress myself, but I was screaming ... They must have done this 20 or 30 times in maybe two hours. There was blood all over ... They cut all over my private parts. One of them said it would be better to just cut it off as I would only breed terrorists … there were even worse things. Too horrible to remember, let alone talk about."

In total, al-Habashi spent 18 months in Moroccan detention. He was tortured with the scalpel once a month. He once asked a guard why they were doing this to him and was told: "It’s just to degrade you, so when you leave here you’ll have these scars and you’ll never forget. So you’ll always fear doing anything but what the US wants."

What was it good for? Nothing. It was useless:

It didn’t take long for al-Habashi to start confessing to anything his torturers accused him of: that he’d met Osama bin Laden six times; that he’d suggested targets to bin Laden; that he was close to 25 leading al-Qaeda figures; that he was the al-Qaeda "ideas man".

I am absolutely ashamed to be an American. This is not my America.


Blogger Dave S. said...

Did you RTFA? You should be ashamed to be British.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

Of course I did. Didn't you?

The Pakistanis then gave al-Habashi to masked American soldiers. A report by Stafford Smith reads: "They stripped him naked, took photos, put fingers up his anus and dressed him in a tracksuit. He was shackled, had earphones put on, and was blindfolded. He was put into a plane." He landed in Morocco eight hours later.

"I was not of this world. I did not believe this was real, that this was happening to me. It never, never crossed my mind that I’d end up being hauled half-way across the world by the Americans to face torture in a place I had never been – Morocco."

He was off to a US-controlled holding centre in Kabul, Afghanistan. There, he was beaten by the Americans and dumped in a cell.... He was hung up from a pole and allowed to sleep only every second day. His legs swelled and his hands became numb....

"The CIA worked on people, including me, day and night," he says. "Plenty lost their minds. I could hear people knocking their heads against the walls and the doors, screaming their heads off."

12:15 PM  

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