Tortured in George W Bush’s USA


This 2009 video from the USA says about itself:

This is part 1 of a documentary about terror suspect Ali al-Marri, who’s been held at the Charleston Navy Brig for 7 years without a trial. We went to the Mideast to film this right after the Presidential election in 2008. Our story highlights this case as a prime example of how the law and the Constitution can easily be ignored in a time of war. In February 2009, al-Marri learned he will finally have his case heard in court.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant:

New evidence shows that Americans also used torture methods in the United States itself. The Qatari Ali al-Marri tells for the first time how he was treated in the aftermath of 9/11.

by Maud Effting, Tom Kreling and Huib Modderkolk

Ali al-Marri looks at the door of his American cell that swings open. ‘Pack your things’, the guard says in the doorway. “We’re leaving.” He looks up. Al-Marri – dark eyes, long black hair and a beard – has been trapped in the US for almost a year and a half, where he has come from Qatar to study. Now he is suspected of involvement in the attacks of September 11, 2001.

When he has gathered his things together, his hands and feet are chained. Then guards chain his hands to his waist. He gets ski goggles on which the glass is made black. A pair of headphones goes over his ears. This is how he shuffles behind his guards. In the past year he has been waiting in prison for something to happen with his case. Waiting for a formal charge, a conviction, a punishment. Sometimes he was moved. He was suddenly put in another cell. He waited there again. But this time it is different. Outside he hears the rotors of an aircraft turning. He peeks along the side of his glasses and then he sees them. Soldiers. He knows bad things will happen. He has never seen soldiers in prison. “Am I declared to be an enemy combatant?” He asks. “Yes”, says a soldier. It is June 23, 2003 and Ali al-Marri disappears in the plane that will take him to the military prison: the Navy Brig in South Carolina. From now on, other rules apply.

Because of his new status as enemy combatant- President George W. Bush signed the papers – he will disappear into a black hole from today on. He will not have contact with his lawyers for nearly a year and a half. His family has no idea where he is. And if he still lives at all. A week after the September 11 attacks, Bush was given the power by Congress to “use all necessary and appropriate means” in the fight against terrorism. For so-called enemy combatants, this meant that they could be held indefinitely and without trial. Most of the enemy combatants were detained at Guantánamo Bay after 2001. Only three were jailed on US American territory. Ali al-Marri was one of them.

For the first time, Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri (52) is telling his story. He is a Qatarese banker who came to the US with his wife and five children just one day before September 11, 2001, to study information technology . He previously earned his bachelor’s degree in the US. He was arrested after the attacks. Initially he was seen as an important witness. He refused, however, to say something and gradually the accusations became more serious. Members of Al Qaeda in Guantánamo Bay were supposed to have said – maybe after torture – that he had ties with them: al-Marri supposedly belonged to a sleeping cell of Al Qaeda, waiting for instructions. After that, the FBI treated him for years as an important terrorism suspect.

Al-Marri denies to this day that he had anything to do with Al Qaida … Now he is here in a room in Amsterdam, and he wants to tell how he was treated in prison. How they tried to break him spiritually. And what total isolation did to him. How he was slowly dehumanized. On US American territory. His story is supported by new documents that show that the methods used in al-Marri are inhuman or torture according to international law.

… The log says that a senior officer of the Navy Brig passes. “Do I have any rights?” asks al-Marri. “No”, the man says. …

In December 2003, the interrogations seem to change: FBI agent Ali Soufan comes to the jail. He is one of the few Arabic-speaking agents at the service, famous for confessions he extracted from terrorist suspects. …

The atmosphere changes, al-Marri says. “Soufan said he could have my family imprisoned and tortured. He threatened that he would rape my wife in front of me, that he would put my children in the cell next to me so that I could hear them cry. He could make me disappear to black sites where they could do what they wanted with me. “Soufan said he had homosexual soldiers who wanted to have fun with me. …

They screamed that I had to keep my mouth shut. At one point I saw someone gesturing that this did not work. One interrogator walked out. “After a minute he was back, he says. “In his hands he had duct tape and a pair of white sports socks. They stuck my mouth shut with tape. “It does not work: the tape gets loose because he pushes it away with his tongue.” They try again. “Soufan pushed my jaws to open my mouth – he knew exactly what to do. Then he pushed the socks in. He shouted: stop singing, you will listen. Then he closed my mouth – one hand under my chin, the other on my head – while the other interrogator closed my head with tape. He went four, five times, horizontally and vertically. “Al-Marri begins to hum. They push his head towards the photos, shout close to his face, hit his cheeks with two hands, sit on his lap: they want him to listen. With two fingers they push his chin up. “I breathed through my nose. But from one moment to the next I suddenly got no air. I choked. It felt like you were trying to breathe under water. I could not do anything. The only thing I wanted was to take out those socks. But my hands were shackled. “I do not know where I was suffocated. The socks? My saliva? My tongue? It was as if I was drowning. I struggled, my body was shocked. I tried to pull my hands out of the shackles. I remember seeing two men sitting quietly beside me and thinking: they just let it happen. “How long does everything take – he does not remember. He only knows that at a given moment he no longer perceived anything. “I have never been closer to death”, says Al Marri. According to documents, the incident takes 15 minutes, until someone removes the tape. “I started coughing, throwing up.” His description is largely supported by documents. The Defense Department only deviates over the socks. …

He has been in total for thirteen years, until he is released in 2015 and expelled to Qatar. ‘I call on people who have experienced the same thing to also go out and tell their story about this man. It will become clear what he has done. I want justice.”

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6 thoughts on “Tortured in George W Bush’s USA

  1. Pingback: Trump’s pseudo-feminism to make torturer CIA boss | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: ‘Investigate British government’s torture’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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