THE official in charge of the military commission process at Guantanamo Bay has become the first senior Bush Administration figure to publicly admit that a detainee was tortured.
Judge Susan Crawford, who was in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees — beginning with Australian David Hicks — to trial, has concluded that the US military tortured a Saudi Arabian who allegedly planned to take part in the September 11, 2001, attacks.
She said Mohammed al-Qahtani was interrogated with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, public nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a “life-threatening condition”.
“We tortured Qahtani,” Judge Crawford said in her first interview since her appointment by Defence Secretary Robert Gates in February 2007. “His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case (for prosecution).”
So how is the Bush administration going to spin this one? When you spend you’re entire presidency saying “we don’t torture,” to have this admittance come out days before your term is up is really a slap in the face. It’s good that someone finally had the guts to come out on record and tell the truth about what’s been going on. We’ve spent too many years with the spin doctors in power. It’s really refreshing to have someone finally step up and speak honestly, no matter how late in the game it is.
This really pushes forth the case to charge these neocons with war crimes. Everyone from John Yoo to George Bush is now on the hook, and it’s only a matter of time before Obama starts bringing them in. Hopefully congress has the balls to actually DO SOMETHING about this. If nothing is done and people like Rumsfeld get away with detaining people for years without a charge or access to lawyers, Obama is going to have a world turn on him so fast he’ll wish Hillary Clinton was president.
This just goes to show that depite the rhetoric that “enhanced toture techniques” are necessary, the information gained isn’t even usable to convict possible terrorists anyway. Did Bush & Cheney really think they’d be able to pull this off? Maybe this was just a grand scheme to disenfranchise the world? The States are supposed to be the good guys, aren’t they?
Thank goodness for people like Bob Woodward. If he wasn’t around, we’d never hear the truth.