The Face of an American Torturer

December 10, 2007 at 9:56 pm | Posted in America, American politics, Torture | Leave a comment

Take a good look America.

This is an American torturer. This is a war criminal. He admitted it on tape. He tortured a man, and he knew it was torture, and he knew it was wrong. But he did it anyway, because, as he says, he could not forgive himself if another attack were to have occurred and he could have stopped it, the old ticking-time-bomb justification. It is what he uses so he can sleep at night. The trouble for this torturer is that he tortured an insane man. Kevin Drum quotes from Ron Suskin’s book:

The guy is insane, certifiable, split personality,” [Dan] Coleman told a top official at FBI after a few days reviewing the Zubaydah haul….There was almost nothing “operational” in his portfolio. That was handled by the management team. He wasn’t one of them….”He was like a travel agent, the guy who booked your flights….He was expendable, you know, the greeter….Joe Louis in the lobby of Caesar’s Palace, shaking hands.”

….According to CIA sources, he was water-boarded….He was beaten….He was repeatedly threatened….His medication was withheld. He was bombarded with deafening, continuous noise and harsh lights.

….Under this duress, Zubaydah told them that shopping malls were targeted by al Qaeda….Zubaydah said banks — yes, banks — were a priority….And also supermarkets — al Qaeda was planning to blow up crowded supermarkets, several at one time. People would stop shopping. The nation’s economy would be crippled. And the water system — a target, too. Nuclear plants, naturally. And apartment buildings.

Thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each flavor of target. Of course, if you multiplied by ten, there still wouldn’t be enough public servants in America to surround and secure the supermarkets. Or the banks. But they tried.

Kevin Drum then adds:

Sometime later, Zubaydah finally provided some actionable intelligence: the name of Jose Padilla and the news that “Mukhtar,” a code name that had popped up multiple times on NSA sigint, was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But that information didn’t come because Zubaydah had been tortured. It came only after a CIA interrogator slipped under Zubaydah’s skin by convincing him, with the help of some ideas from the Koran, that Zubaydah was predestined to cooperate with them

Imagine that. Being nice to them works. Huh…

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