US military tortured Saudi national - Washington Post

The Pentagon official overseeing the tribunals for Guantanamo Bay detainees has admitted that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

US military tortured Saudi national - Washington Post
"We tortured [Mohammed al-] Qahtani," Susan Crawford said in an interview with the newspaper. 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 also worked in the Reagan administration, is the first senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing treatments at Guantanamo to publicly state that a detainee was tortured.

Crawford told The Post the techniques used in Qahtani's case were "authorized".

"This was not any one particular act; this was just a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his health. It was abusive and uncalled for. And coercive. Clearly coercive. It was that medical impact that pushed me over the edge to call it torture", Crawford told the newspaper.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told the Post in an e-mail that the agency's reviews of the interrogation of Qahtani, concluded the interrogation methods at Guantanamo, including the special techniques used on Qahtani in 2002, "were lawful at the time".

Crawford dismissed war crimes charges against Qahtani in May 2008 but he remains at Guantanamo. Crawford said he is dangerous and that she would be hesitant to say 'Let him go.'

Qahtani was kidnapped in Afghanistan in January 2002 and transported to Guantanamo.

President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office next Tuesday, is expected to issue an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison. Defense Secretary Robert Gates also favors shuttering Guantanamo.

But the prison is unlikely to shut until after U.S. officials settle a myriad of legal and logistic issues, including a solution on where to house its prisoners.


Reuters

Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2009, 16:00
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