Posted by: Lister | May 15, 2008

How To Build A Human Bomb

George Monbiot writes on the effects of Gitmo:

In his book Torture Team, Philippe Sands describes the treatment of Mohammed al-Qahtani, held in Guantanamo Bay and described by the authorities (like half a dozen other suspects) as “the 20th hijacker”. By the time his interrogators started using “enhanced techniques” to extract information from him, al-Qahtani had been kept in isolation for three months in a cell permanently flooded with light. An official memo shows that he “was talking to non-existent people, reporting hearing voices, [and] crouching in a corner of the cell covered with a sheet for hours on end.”(7) He was sexually abused, exposed to extreme cold and deprived of sleep for a further 54 days of torture and questioning. What useful testimony could be extracted from a man in this state?

His article begins with al-Ajmi, who blew himself up in Mosul. The argument made by the US government is that this proves they were right to arrest him.

The other possibility is that the men who became involved in armed conflict after their release had not in fact been involved in any prior fighting, but were radicalised by their detention. In the video he made before blowing himself up, al-Ajmi maintained that he was motivated by his ill-treatment in Guantanamo Bay. “Twelve thousand kilometers away from Mecca, I realized the reality of the Americans and what those infidels want,” he said(8). He claimed he was beaten, drugged and “used for experiments” and that “the Americans delighted in insulting our prayer and Islam and they insulted the Koran and threw it in dirty places.”(9) Al-Ajmi’s lawyer revealed that his arm had been broken by guards at the camp, who beat him up to stop him from praying(10).

[…] As a senior official at the US Defense Intelligence Agency says, “maybe the guy who goes into Guantanamo was a farmer who got swept along and did very little. He’s going to come out a fully fledged jihadist.”(12)

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