Thursday, 2 December, 2021
HomeWorldFor first time in public, a detainee describes torture at CIA black...

For first time in public, a detainee describes torture at CIA black sites

A suburban Baltimore highschool graduate turned al-Qaida courier, chatting with a navy jury for the primary time, gave an in depth account Thursday of the brutal pressured feedings, crude waterboarding and different bodily and sexual abuse he endured throughout his 2003 to 2006 detention within the CIA’s abroad jail community.

Showing in open courtroom, Majid Khan, 41, grew to become the primary former prisoner of the black websites to overtly describe, wherever, the violent and merciless “enhanced interrogation methods” that brokers used to extract info and confessions from terrorism suspects.

For greater than two hours, he spoke about dungeonlike circumstances, humiliating stretches of nudity with solely a hood on his head, generally whereas his arms had been chained in ways in which made sleep unimaginable, and being deliberately almost drowned in icy chilly water in tubs at two websites, as soon as whereas a CIA interrogator counted down from 10 earlier than water was poured into his nostril and mouth.

Quickly after his seize in Pakistan in March 2003, Khan stated, he cooperated along with his captors, telling them every thing he knew, with the hope of launch. “As an alternative, the extra I cooperated, the extra I used to be tortured,” he stated.

The dramatic accounting capped a day wherein eight U.S. navy officers had been chosen to serve on a jury, which is able to deliberate Friday on his official sentence within the vary of 25 to 40 years, ranging from his responsible plea in February 2012.

However the sentence is basically symbolic, a navy fee requirement

Unknown to the jurors, Khan and his attorneys reached a secret deal this 12 months with a senior Pentagon official wherein his precise sentence might finish as early as February and no later than February 2025 as a result of Khan had turn out to be a authorities cooperator upon pleading responsible.

Jurors had been advised that in 2012 Khan pleaded responsible to terrorism prices, together with homicide in violation of the legislation of conflict, for delivering $50,000 of al-Qaida cash from Pakistan to an al-Qaida affiliate in early 2003. The cash was utilized in a lethal bombing of a Marriott lodge in August 2003, whereas Khan was a prisoner of the CIA. He has stated he didn’t understand how the cash can be used.

He additionally admitted to plotting various different crimes with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 assaults, notably by carrying a suicide vest in a failed effort in 2002 to assassinate the president of Pakistan on the time, Pervez Musharraf, a U.S. ally within the conflict on terrorism.

Sentencing was delayed for almost a decade to offer Khan time and alternative to cooperate with federal and navy prosecutors, to this point behind the scenes, in federal and navy terrorism instances. Within the intervening years, prosecutors and protection attorneys clashed in courtroom filings over who can be referred to as to testify about Khan’s abuse in CIA custody, and the way.

In courtroom Thursday, Khan learn from a rigorously worded 39-page account that didn’t establish CIA brokers or the nations and international intelligence companies that had a task in his secret detention at black websites — info that’s protected on the nationwide safety courtroom. He expressed regret for hurting folks via his embrace of radical Islam and al-Qaida, but additionally discovered a manner round a labyrinth of U.S. intelligence classifications to appreciate a decadelong ambition to inform the world what U.S. brokers had completed to him.

“To those that tortured me, I forgive you,” he stated, noting that whereas he was in custody he had rejected al-Qaida, terrorism, “violence and hatred.”

“I hope within the day of judgment that Allah will do the identical for you and for me. I ask forgiveness from these whom I’ve wronged and I’ve harm.”

It was an emotional day for Khan. His father, Ali, and a sister, each U.S. residents, sat behind the courtroom in a gallery, seeing him in particular person for the primary time since he left america and joined al-Qaida after the Sept. 11 assaults. They had been 50 toes from him and didn’t appear to acknowledge the now balding middle-age man with a grey goatee when he first entered the courtroom.

After many minutes he caught their eyes, then waved. His father appeared startled. Khan craned his neck incessantly throughout the proceedings to see his household — and at one level shaped a coronary heart along with his arms.

He juxtaposed his remarks of contrition with beforehand unheard particulars of what occurred to him by the hands of america, the nation his dad and mom and siblings adopted by changing into residents whilst he didn’t.

His father wept via lengthy stretches of the descriptions, at occasions hiding his head in his arms, whereas his sister, additionally tearful, tried to consolation him. The jury of Marine, Navy and Military officers watched and listened soberly, however displayed no emotion.

He obtained beatings whereas nude and spent lengthy stretches in chains — at occasions shackled to a wall and crouching “like a canine,” he stated, or along with his arms prolonged excessive above his head and chained to a beam inside his cell. He was stored in darkness and dragged, hooded and shackled, his head slamming into flooring, partitions and stairs as he was moved between cells.

Earlier than the CIA moved him from one jail to a different, he stated, a medic inserted an enema after which put him in a diaper held in place by duct tape so he wouldn’t want a rest room break throughout flights. Guards shifting him would hood him, except for the time he had his face duct taped.

Whereas held in a Muslim nation, he stated, his captors allowed him to wish. However at occasions the Individuals didn’t.

Earlier accounts launched by his attorneys stated he was so sleep disadvantaged for a time that he started to hallucinate. He described the expertise: photos of a cow and a large lizard advancing on him inside a cell whereas he was chained to a beam above his head. He tried to kick them away however misplaced his stability, inflicting his chains to jerk him.

Khan gained consideration with the discharge of a 2014 examine of the CIA program by the Senate Intelligence Committee that stated, after he refused to eat, his captors “infused” a puree of his lunch via his anus. The CIA referred to as it rectal refeeding. Khan referred to as it rape.

The CIA pumped water up the rectum of prisoners who wouldn’t comply with a command to drink. Khan stated this was completed to him with “inexperienced backyard hoses. They related one finish to the tap, put the opposite in my rectum they usually turned on the water.” He stated he misplaced management of his bowels after these episodes and, to today, has hemorrhoids.

He spoke about failed and sadistic responses to his starvation strikes and different acts of rise up. Medics would roughly insert a feeding tube up his nostril and down the again of his throat. He would attempt to chunk it off and, in a minimum of one occasion, he stated, a CIA officer used a plunger to drive meals inside his abdomen, a method that prompted abdomen cramps and diarrhea.

The intelligence company declined Thursday to touch upon the descriptions provided within the listening to however famous that the CIA’s detention and interrogation program resulted in 2009.

Attorneys sought permission to deliver Khan’s spouse and daughter, who was born after his seize, to the courtroom, however the commander of the navy’s Southern Command, which oversees jail operations, opposed their attendance. Like Khan, who acquired everlasting resident standing as a boy in america however by no means grew to become a U.S. citizen, his spouse and daughter are residents of Pakistan.

Khan started by telling the jury that he was born in Saudi Arabia and was raised in Pakistan, the youngest son of eight siblings, till his father acquired a gasoline station in Maryland and moved the household to america when he was 16. He went on to graduate from a highschool in suburban Baltimore and was working for a telecommunications contractor that managed the Pentagon telephone system on the time of the Sept. 11 assaults.

He described the assaults and the demise of his mom months earlier in 2001 as a turning level in his life.

Till then, he stated, he had straddled two worlds: his conventional Pakistani household life and that of an American teenager who “smoked weed often and had my share of girlfriends,” each of which he hid from his mom. After she died, he stated, he was drawn to working towards Islam.

He rejected the reason that Muslims had carried out the assault, “pondering that this was simply one other manner the universe was kicking me whereas I used to be down, making me query my religion in Islam.”

Throughout a household journey to Pakistan in 2002 — wherein each he and his sister discovered spouses in organized marriages — he encountered family, cousins and an uncle who had in earlier years joined the jihad in Afghanistan and had ties to al-Qaida.

“I used to be misplaced and susceptible, they usually went after me,” he stated, together with by displaying him “propaganda movies” in regards to the detention operation at Guantánamo, the bottom the place he can be transferred for trial in 2006.

“I went willingly to al-Qaida,” he stated. “I used to be silly, so extremely silly. However they promised to alleviate my ache and purify my sins. They promised to redeem me, and I believed them.”

Most Popular

English English हिन्दी हिन्दी ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ