Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Torture at Gitmo

A senior Bush Administration official in charge of the Military Commissions trials has determined that indeed the U.S. has tortured, at the very least, one prisoner at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. This means that someone we believe and/or know to be guilty cannot be tried because of evidence of the fruit of the poisonous tree?

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.

Crawford, a retired judge who served as general counsel for the Army during the Reagan administration and as Pentagon inspector general when Dick Cheney was secretary of defense, is the first senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at Guantanamo to publicly state that a detainee was tortured.

Judge Crawford’s interview with Woodward makes it very difficult for the Bush administration’s rhetoric about “We don’t torture” to ring true. It also brings into questions what do we do about it.

Now it isn’t as if we didn’t know this was a fact. That said, where do we go from here?

Dahlia Lithwick and Phillipe Sands have some thoughts on this.


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