WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An al Qaeda suspect at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. military prison said he was tortured until he confessed to involvement in the USS Cole attack and other plans, according to a hearing transcript released on Friday.
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the suspected mastermind of the 2000 attack on the U.S. warship, also said he told interrogators Osama bin Laden had a nuclear bomb. He said he made up that and other statements because he was being tortured, according to a transcript of a March 14 hearing held at Guantanamo Bay.
"From the time I was arrested five years ago, they have been torturing me," Nashiri, a Saudi Arabian national of Yemeni descent, said through a translator.
"I just said those things to make the people happy," he said. "They were very happy when I told them those things.
Do we have any reason not to believe his claims considering the Bush administration's track record?
It is still utterly unbelievable that there hasn't been a rebellion in the United States to take the country back from the torturers and those who make and condone the torture policies. The silence is absolutely deafening.
It's not enough to just sit in front of your television or computer screen, cringing whenever another tale of alleged torture appears. It's not enough to just fire off a few e-mails in disgust when there's proof that your president endorses torture and has taken it upon himself to even itemize what's acceptable. A man who also authorized torture flights and makes no apology for them whatsoever. And, when victims have sued the government, their cases are blocked on "state secrets" grounds because, apparently, protecting the security of the United States means covering up torture methods and locations.
That is something everyone should keep in mind.
The CIA operatives involved in torture have been giving immunity from congress.
Somewhere, in some secret US torture prison, someone is most likely being tortured as you read this - in the name of the United States.
And, let's not forget that Canada's government is doing absolutely nothing to have Gitmo prisoner Omar Khadr, who has also reported being tortured returned to our country - a move that many other countries have made regarding their nationals. Why have we washed our hands of him? Has he ceased being a Canadian?
When did that become acceptable? When was it decided that it's okay to push the issue of torture to irrelevance behind whatever other concerns of the day may be competing for the nightly news audience? Why aren't more people talking about it? Why isn't there an investigation by this Democratic congress into the use of torture? Why, in relation to the attorney scandal which surrounds Alberto Gonzales right now, aren't more people screaming that his endorsement of torture via his legal justifications made as Bush's counsel shows exactly what kind of so-called character he has? Why is he considered to be a moral authority on anything related to the concept of "justice"?
Tortured. That's what all of this is. And let's never forget the victims. They will live with their physical scars and the scars of indifference forever. They deserve more than that.