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January 14, 2009

Man Who Wanted To Slit The Throats Of Airline Passengers And Burn People To Death In Their Office Was Tortured Roughed Up A Bit

Since they won't have George Bush to kick around much longer (though you know they will try), the left has a newly minted hero today. Susan Crawford, who is the person appointed by the administration with charging Gitmo detainees, used the 'T' word. There will be much rejoicing in across the leftyshpere today no doubt.

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, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense 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.

..."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.

The interrogation, portions of which have been previously described by other news organizations, including The Washington Post, was so intense that Qahtani had to be hospitalized twice at Guantanamo with bradycardia, a condition in which the heart rate falls below 60 beats a minute and which in extreme cases can lead to heart failure and death. At one point Qahtani's heart rate dropped to 35 beats per minute, the record shows.

My 'Give 'O Shit' meter doesn't even budge on this one, never has, never will.

You want torture? I'll give you fucking torture. How about this...you are at work and suddenly there is a tremendous crash and fire. After huddling with your co-workers you realize you are 80 stories up and cut off from rescue by an out of control fire below you. The heat is becoming so intense that you can't stand it much longer. So you you try and call your loved ones and if you're lucky you get through. Maybe you get to say goodbye to them directly or you leave leave a voice mail that will haunt them forever. Then you break a window, hang hundreds of feet above the ground and let go.

That's torture.

Any government that had in their custody someone who might have information that could prevent that scenario from playing out again and didn't do every damn thing they could to prevent it wouldn't be doing its damn job.

And let's not pretend this was some rogue operation designed simply to amuse Dick Cheney and his dinner guests. Top Democrats, including now Speaker Pelosi, were briefed on these methods in 2002. What did she or one of her colleagues ask, were "the methods were tough enough"?

So don't come crying to me because a handful of murderous Islamists have been roughed up over the years. They chose to live in the shadows as international men of mystery and this is what they get for it. If they had a sense of honor to put on a uniform and attack us directly, well that's the way it supposed to be done and they should have and would have been treated accordingly. But they didn't. Life is equal parts choices and consequences. Qahtani made his and that's that.

I can't believe that we are going to spend the next couple of years gazing at our navels wondering if in the aftermath of 3,000 people being killed on our soil if we were gentlemanly enough in how we went about ensuring it never happened again. Yet here we are.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:26 AM

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