The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a "life-threatening condition.""We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani," said Susan J. Crawford (at right), in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions byDefense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case" for prosecution.[snip]
"For 160 days his only contact was with the interrogators," said Crawford, who personally reviewed Qahtani's interrogation records and other military documents. "Forty-eight of 54 consecutive days of 18-to-20-hour interrogations. Standing naked in front of a female agent. Subject to strip searches. And insults to his mother and sister."
At one point he was threatened with a military working dog named Zeus, according to a military report. Qahtani "was forced to wear a woman's bra and had a thong placed on his head during the course of his interrogation" and "was told that his mother and sister were whores." With a leash tied to his chains, he was led around the room "and forced to perform a series of dog tricks," the report shows.
This detainee, who is an alleged conspirator to murder, will likely go free after years of imprisonment without due process. The Bush administration has condoned activity that achieves no purpose but to undermine our status as the purveyor of any moral authority. We have emboldened the enemy, allowed bin Laden a safe haven, and have helped him to recruit extremists in a holy war. Not only is this illegal, but it is in direct conflict with our national interests.
Where are the indictments?