Thursday, November 16, 2006

Back To Basics

First principles. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Torture just doesn't work. The cost in the end is too high.

Here's a poor Turkish fellow who spent four years in our CIA system before he was released due to "lack of evidence". Not our fault. We tried like heck to get that evidence out of him.

Now a Turkish newspaper, the Khaleej Times, is telling his story. (Turkey has been one of our allies!)

Former prisoner tells of torture at Guantanamo

14 November 2006

ANKARA - A German-born Turk, who was held for four years in the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, has alleged systematic torture in the hands of the US military, from beatings to being chained to a ceiling for days.

Murat Kurnaz, 24, who was released in August because of lack of evidence he was involved in terrorist activities, said he endured ”many types of torture -- from electric shocks to having one’s head submerged in water, (subjection to) hunger and thirst, or being shackled and suspended.”

A burly man with long reddish hair and a thick beard stretching down to his belly, Kurnaz spoke, betraying no emotion, to Turkey’s CNN Turk television from his home in Bremen, northern Germany, in an interview aired here late Monday.

“They tell you “you are from Al Qaed”’ and when you say “no” they give the (electric) current to your feet.... As you keep saying ‘no’ this goes on for two or three hours,” he said, adding he had several times lost consciousness.

He claimed he was once shackled to a ceiling for “four or five days”.

“They take you down in the mornings when a doctor comes to see whether you can endure more,” he said. “They let you sit when the interrogator comes.... They take you down about three times a day so you do not die.”

Kurnaz also alleged prisoners were locked up in cells into which frigid or hot air was pumped.

“I saw several people die,” he said. “Sometimes I thought I could no longer stand it and would also die.”

(more... and a tip of the hat to TPM Muckraker...)

Torture is a pricy hobby. When the victim is innocent, you're damned if you release them and you're damned if you don't. We release seventy to ninety percent of our detainees for lack of evidence. For the rest of their lives, they will now tell their stories about how we discovered their innocence.


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