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KSM’s children tortured with insects

KSM’s children tortured with insects

Raw Story
April 17, 2009

Bush Administration memos released by the White House on Thursday provide new insight into claims that American agents used insects to torture the young children of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

In the memos, released Thursday, the Bush Administration White House Office of Legal Counsel offered its endorsement of CIA torture methods that involved placing an insect in a cramped, confined box with detainees. Jay S. Bybee, then-director of the OLC, wrote that insects could be used to capitalize on detainees’ fears.

The memo was dated Aug. 1, 2002. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s children were captured and held in Pakistan the following month, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.

While an additional memo released Thursday claims that the torture with insects technique was never utilized by the CIA, the allegations regarding the children would have transpired when the method was authorized by the Bush Administration.

At a military tribunal in 2007, the father of a Guantanamo detainee alleged that Pakistani guards had confessed that American interrogators used ants to coerce the children of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed into revealing their father’s whereabouts.

The statement was made by Ali Khan, the father of detainee Majid Khan, who gave a detailed account of his son’s interrogation at the hands of American guards in Pakistan. In his statement, Khan asserted that one of his sons was held at the same place as the young children of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

“The Pakistani guards told my son that the boys were kept in a separate area upstairs and were denied food and water by other guards,” the statement read. “They were also mentally tortured by having ants or other creatures put on their legs to scare them and get them to say where their father was hiding.” (A pdf transcript is available here)

Khan’s statement is second-hand. But the picture he paints of his son’s interrogation at the hands of American interrogators is strikingly similar to the accounts given by numerous other detainees to the International Red Cross. The timing of the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s son — then aged seven and nine — also meshes with a report by Human Rights Watch, which says that the children were captured in September 2002 and held for four months at the hands of American guards.

“According to eyewitnesses, the two were held in an adult detention center for at least four months while U.S. agents questioned the children about their father’s whereabouts,” the report said.

The use of insects isn’t mentioned in a recently leaked International Red Cross report, in which Red Cross officials questioned detainees about their treatment at the hands of US forces and ultimately judged them to have been tortured. A second memo released Thursday, dated May 10, 2005, says the CIA told the White House insects were never actually used in interrogations.

“We understand that — for reasons unrelated to any concerns that it might violate the [criminal] statute — the CIA never used the technique and has removed it from the list of authorized interrogation techniques,” Steven Bradbury, a principal deputy assistant attorney general, wrote in a footnote.

It’s worth noting, however, that the Red Cross was denied access to individuals held at CIA black sites. Khan’s son, Majid, was among those President Bush moved from the CIA’s secret prison network to Guantanamo Bay.

The techniques Khan says were employed against his son also match those approved in the Bybee memo.

“What I can tell you is that Majid was kidnapped from my son Mohammed’s [not related Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] house in Karachi, along with Mohammed, his wife, and my infant granddaughter,” Khan said in his military tribunal statement. “They were captured by Pakistani police and soldiers and taken to a detention center fifteen minutes from Mohammed’s house. The center had walls that seemed to be eighty feet high. My sons were hooded, handcuffed, and interrogated. After eight days of interrogation by US and Pakistani agents, including FBI agents, Mohammed was allowed to see Majid.

“Majhid looked terrible and very, very tired,” Khan continued. “According to Mohammed, Majid said that the Americans tortured him for eight hours at a time, tying him tightly in stressful positions in a small chair until his hands, feet and mind went numb. They re-tied him in the chair every hour, tightening the bonds on his hands and feet each time so that it was more painful. He was often hooded and had difficulty breathing. They also beat him repeatedly, slapping him in the face, and deprived him of sleep. When he was not being interrogated, the Americans put Majid in a small cell that was totally dark and too small for him to lie down in or sit in with his legs stretched out. He had to crouch. The room was also infested with mosquitoes. The torture only stopped when Majid agreed to sign a statement that he was not even allowed to read.”

Later in his statement, Khan alleges that the Pakistani guards revealed other abuses by American agents.

“The Americans also once stripped and beat two Arab boys, ages fourteen and sixteen, who were turned over by the Pakistani guards at the detention center,” he said. “These guards told my son that they were very upset at this and said the boys were thrown like garbage onto a plane to Guantanamo. Women prisoners were also held there, apart from their husbands, and some were pregnant and forced to give birth in their cells. According to Mohammed, one woman also died in her cell because the guards could not get her to a hospital quickly enough. This was most upsetting to the Pakistani guards.”

One blogger notes, “The first indications the children may have been tortured were reported in Ron Suskind’s 2006 book The One Percent Doctrine.”

“When KSM was being held at a secret CIA facility in Thailand, apparently the revamped Vietnam War-era base at Udorn, according to Suskind, a message was passed to interrogators: ‘do whatever’s necessary,’” Kevin Fenton writes at History Commons. “The interrogators then told KSM ‘his children would be hurt if he didn’t cooperate. However, his response was, ’so, fine, they’ll join Allah in a better place.’”

Fenton has two questions: “Did the Khans invent the allegations or garble them in some way and then ‘get lucky’ two years later, when it was revealed the CIA was, at least, contemplating the techniques they alleged it used at the time in question?” and “Given that nobody heard of the CIA using insects for another two years, why would they invent these specific allegations, which sounded bizarre when they were made?”

Abu Ghraib Prisoners Submerged in Ice-Water

New Gitmo Video: Child Detainee Cries During Interrogation

Tortured Patsies To Take Fall For 9/11

Child Prisoners in Iraq Suffering Same Abuse as Adults

 



White House has its own interrogation room

White House has its own interrogation room

Think Progress
August 8, 2008

In Ron Suskind’s new book, Suskind describes a disturbing case in Washington, D.C., where security officials detained and interrogated Usman Khosa, a Pakistani U.S. college graduate, because he was “fiddling” with his iPod near White House gates. Officials took Khosa to an interrogation room “beneath” the White House:

He turns as a large uniformed man lunges at him. The backpack!” the man yells, pushing Usman against the Italianate gates in front of Treasury and ripping off his backpack. Another officer on a bicycle arrives from somewhere and tears the backpack open, dumping its contents on the sidewalk. […]

Usman is trundled from the SUV, escorted through the West Gate, and onto the manicured grounds. No one speaks as the agents walk him behind the gate’s security station, down a stairwell, along an underground passage, and into a room — cement-walled box with a table, two chairs, a hanging light with a bare bulb, and a mounted video camera. Even after all the astonishing turns of the past hour, Usman can’t quite believe there’s actually an interrogation room beneath the White House, dark and dank and horrific.

“Usman Khosa is a Pakistani national in his early twenties, a graduate of Connecticut College now working for the International Monetary Fund,” Suskind notes.

 

Bin Laden Firm to Build Saudi Arabian Prisons to Replace Guantanamo Bay

Pakistan Daily
August 9, 2008

Saudi Arabia is to build five modern prisons in the kingdom to replace US Guantanamo detention facility, a new report has revealed.

Jordanian daily quoted unnamed sources as saying that US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Saudi officials are cooperating to construct the prisons which are to replace Guantanamo and US secret prisons in Europe.

Riyadh is to spent about two billion Saudi Rials for the project which can accommodate up to 18000 inmates, they added.

Bin laden firm and with the help of German engineers will build the prisons in the Saudi cities of Mecca, Haer, Demmam, and Qasim.

The US has been under pressure due to violating individual rights in its detention camps in Europe and Guantanamo Bay.

UN human rights investigators have urged the White House to shut down the Guantanamo camp.

America’s Iraqi prisoners
http://www.newstatesman.com/middle-east/2008/08/iraq-detainees-held-mnf-rights

 



Cheney Likely Ordered Fake Letter Linking Iraq to 9/11

CIA Official: Cheney Likely Ordered Fake Letter Linking Iraq to 9/11

Raw Story
August 9, 2008

In damning transcript, ex-CIA official says Cheney likely ordered letter linking Hussein to 9/11 attacks

A forged letter linking Saddam Hussein to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks was ordered on White House stationery and probably came from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a new transcript of a conversation with the Central Intelligence Agency’s former Deputy Chief of Clandestine Operations Robert Richer.

The transcript was posted Friday by author Ron Suskind of an interview conducted in June. It comes on the heels of denials by both the White House and Richer of a claim Suskind made in his new book, The Way of The World. The book was leaked to Politico’s Mike Allen on Monday, and released Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the White House released a statement on Richer’s behalf. In it, Richer declared, “I never received direction from George Tenet or anyone else in my chain of command to fabricate a document … as outlined in Mr. Suskind’s book.”

The denial, however, directly contradicts Richer’s own remarks in the transcript.

“Now this is from the Vice President’s Office is how you remembered it–not from the president?” Suskind asked.

“No, no, no,” Richer replied, according to the transcript. “What I remember is George [Tenet] saying, ’we got this from’–basically, from what George said was ’downtown.’”

“Which is the White House?” Suskind asked.

“Yes,” Richer said. “But he did not–in my memory–never said president, vice president, or NSC. Okay? But now–he may have hinted–just by the way he said it, it would have–cause almost all that stuff came from one place only: Scooter Libby and the shop around the vice president.”

“But he didn’t say that specifically,” Richer added. “I would naturally–I would probably stand on my, basically, my reputation and say it came from the vice president.”

“But there wasn’t anything in the writing that you remember saying the vice president,” Suskind continued.

Read Full Article Here

U.S. plans surveillance buildup in Iraq, Afghanistan
http://in.news.yahoo.com/137/200..wl-u-s-plans-surveillance-buildup-in-ir_1.html

US-led soldiers kill 5 Afghan civilians
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=65965&sectionid=351020403

Fierce clashes near Afghan border
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7548744.stm

Kucinich: We did it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUuhKJYFUfg

 



Bush Ordered Fake Letter Linking Iraq To 9/11

Bush Ordered Fake Letter Linking Iraq To 9/11

Raw Story
August 5, 2008

A blockbuster new book from investigative journalist Ron Suskind adds another revelation to the growing canon demonstrating the lengths to which President Bush and members of his administration lied, misled and deceived the American people to pursue its invasion of Iraq.

Bush allegedly ordered the CIA to forge a handwritten letter from the head of Iraq’s intelligence service to Saddam Hussein that purported to link the Iraqi dictator to the ringleader of the hijackers who toppled the Twin Towers on 9/11, according to news accounts of Suskind’s new book, The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism. Such use of an intelligence service to influence domestic political debate could be an impeachable offense, Suskind writes.

Politico’s Mike Allen reports:

According to Suskind, the administration had been in contact with the director of the Iraqi intelligence service in the last years of Hussein’s regime, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti.

“The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001,” Suskind writes. “It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq – thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link.” […]

The author claims that such an operation, part of “false pretenses” for war, would apparently constitute illegal White House use of the CIA to influence a domestic audience, an arguably impeachable offense.

The faked letter was first reported as genuine by the conservative London Sunday Telegraph in December 2003. Right-wing commentators and Bush defenders harped on that disclosure as evidence of Saddam Hussein’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks. According to Suskind’s book, the CIA had been protecting Habbush in the early months of the invasion; the agency persuaded the Iraqi intelligence chief to write the letter in his own handwriting and paid him $5 million.

CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante reported Tuesday that Suskind’s sources had seen a draft of the letter written on White House stationary.

The Way of the World is Suskind’s third book on the inner workings of the Bush administration, joining The One Percent Doctrine, which outlined the often extreme anti-terror policies advanced by the likes of Vice President Dick Cheney, and The Price of Loyalty, which painted a picture of the early day’s of Bush’s presidency with the help of ousted former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill.

Predictably, the White House is unhappy with Suskind’s latest offering and the Bush administration is relying on its trademark push-back of insulting the messenger. White House spokesman Tony Fratto insulted Suskind, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work with the Wall Street Journal, as a practitioner of “gutter journalism,” and called the allegations “absurd.”

Suskind appeared Tuesday on NBC’s Today Show for interviews about the latest book.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M7HJnEPBqM

This video is from CBS’ Early Show, broadcast August 5, 2008.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8vTOtGe1cI

CIA Denies Making Fake Iraq/Al-Qaeda Link
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2008080..Aht9ABZiuDR5rD.iWNyG9KMGw_IE