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Judge Confirms an Innocent Man Was Tortured to Make False Confessions

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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 06:03 AM
Original message
Judge Confirms an Innocent Man Was Tortured to Make False Confessions
Torturing a prisoner to produce a false confession, I thought that was only something the Nazis' Gestapo secret police or those, amoral, godless, satan-inspired commies would do. "Land of the free and home of the brave," what a sad joke.

A Truly Shocking Guantanamo Story: Judge Confirms That an Innocent Man Was Tortured to Make False Confessions


In four years of researching and writing about Guantnamo, I have become used to uncovering shocking information, but for sheer cynicism, I am struggling to think of anything that compares to the revelations contained in the unclassified ruling in the habeas corpus petition of Fouad al-Rabiah, a Kuwaiti prisoner whose release was ordered last week by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (PDF). In the ruling, to put it bluntly, it was revealed that the U.S. government tortured an innocent man to extract false confessions and then threatened him until he obligingly repeated those lies as though they were the truth.

The background: lies hidden in plain sight for five years

To establish the background to this story, it is necessary for me to return to my initial response to the ruling a week last Friday, before these revelations had been made public, when, based on what I knew of the case from the publicly available documents, I explained that I was disappointed that the Obama administration had pursued a case against al-Rabiah, alleging that he was a fundraiser for Osama bin Laden and had run a supply depot for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountains, for two particular reasons.

The first was because a CIA analyst had interviewed al-Rabiah at Guantnamo in the summer of 2002 and had concluded that he was an innocent man caught at the wrong time and in the wrong place; and the second was because, although al-Rabiah had said that he had met bin Laden and had been present in the Tora Bora mountains, he had provided an innocent explanation for both occurrences. He had, he said, been introduced to bin Laden on a trip to Afghanistan to investigate proposals for a humanitarian aid mission, and he had been at Tora Bora -- and compelled to man a supply depot -- because he was one of numerous civilians caught up with soldiers of al-Qaeda and the Taliban as he tried to flee the chaos of Afghanistan for Pakistan, and had been compelled to run the depot by a senior figure in al-Qaeda.

snip

The judge also noted the significance of the evidence in the record indicating that al-Rabiah "subsequently confided in interrogators that he was being pressured to falsely confess to the allegations discussed above," and also the significance of the fact that, although "al-Rabiah's interrogators ultimately extracted confessions from him," they "never believed his confessions based on the comments they included in their interrogation reports."

After noting -- again with a palpable sense of incredulity -- that "These are the confessions that the Government now asks the Court to accept as evidence in this case," Judge Kollar-Kotelly proceeded to demolish them all, breaking them down into three periods: the first, when "there were no allegations directed toward al-Rabiah and al-Rabiah provided no confessions"; the second, when the supposed eyewitnesses "made their now-discredited allegations and al-Rabiah was told of the allegations against him, but al-Rabiah nevertheless made no confessions"; and the third (which, shockingly, continued "until the present"), when "al-Rabiah confessed to the now-discredited allegations against him, as well as to other 'evidence' that interrogators told him they possessed, when, in fact, such evidence did not exist."


Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-worthington/a-truly-...


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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 06:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. Prosecuting the crimes that are in plain sight seems to be very
very hard for us.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. Reminds me of the witch trials in the 1500s and 1600s.
If a witch confessed before she (the majority were women) was tortured, it was considered a trick to avoid torture. Only torture could bring out the truth in a witch.
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bullimiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 07:28 AM
Response to Original message
3. of course many prisoners bushco had were tortured and compelled to produce false confessions
this is the evidence they kept trotting out as they raised the terror alerts.


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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
4. "The Obama Department of Justice, with Attorney General Holder
piously proclaiming that this Administration repudiates torture, and follows the rule of law, in fact is following the Bush playbook to the letter."

That quote should scare the hell out of all of us. How often do we have to hear that Obama is lying when he said that we no longer torture? What else are they lying about.

We keep hearing that Obama is continuing so many of Bush's policies in foreign policy, in corporate bailouts and the supposed economic recovery, in free trade, and in the "war on terror." When do we finally get the guy who campaigned against so much of this stuff? :(

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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. Time for Bush, Cheney and the rest of goons
to be arrested.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
6. Wouldn't this be considered a war crime???
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
7. K&R
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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
8. hey, if we can execute innocent people in texas, why not this?
:sarcasm:


K&R

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