December 13, 2014 9:00 pm -

Mohamed Bashmilah, left, in 2008.

Mohamed Bashmilah, left, in 2008.

[su_right_ad]Here is one story of a man who was tortured and how he suffered. As it turns out, he was falsely imprisoned.

One quiet consequence of this week’s sensational release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the C.I.A. detention program was a telephone call that a human rights lawyer, Meg Satterthwaite, placed to a client in Yemen, Mohamed Bashmilah.

For eight years since Mr. Bashmilah, 46, was released from C.I.A. custody, Ms. Satterthwaite and other advocates had been trying without success to get the United States government to acknowledge that it had held him in secret prisons for 19 months and to explain why. In the phone call on Wednesday, she told him that the Senate report listed him as one of 26 prisoners who, based on C.I.A. documents, had been “wrongfully detained.”

“Na’am,” he answered simply in Arabic. “Yes.” He said he had had faith that someday his ordeal would be acknowledged. Then he thanked the lawyers who have taken up his case over the years, Ms. Satterthwaite said.

[su_r_sky_ad]Mr. Bashmilah has told them of being tortured in Jordan before he was handed over to the C.I.A., which at times kept him shackled alone in freezing-cold cells in Afghanistan, subjected to loud music 24 hours a day. He attempted suicide at least three times, once by saving pills and swallowing them all at once; once by slashing his wrists; and once by trying to hang himself. Another time he cut himself and used his own blood to write “this is unjust” on the wall.

After learning the news, Mr. Bashmilah pressed Ms. Satterthwaite, who heads the global justice program at New York University Law School, to tell him what might follow from the Senate’s recognition. Would there be an apology? Would there be some kind of compensation?…

The C.I.A. told the Senate in its formal response that the real number of wrongful detentions was “far fewer” than 26 but did not offer a number. Human rights advocates who have tracked the C.I.A. program believe that considerably more than 26 were wrongfully detained. Another Yemeni client of Ms. Satterthwaite, for instance, Mohammed al-Asad, was left out of the Senate’s count, even though he languished for months in C.I.A. prisons without being questioned, was sent home to Yemen and was never charged with a terrorism-related crime.
“The U.S. caused a great deal of suffering to people who posed no threat,” said Anne FitzGerald, director of research and crisis response at Amnesty International, who visited Yemen eight times to talk to Mr. Bashmilah, Mr. Asad and others who appeared to be former C.I.A. detainees. “International standards are there for a reason — they protect everyone.”…

Among the others mistakenly held for periods of months or years, according to the report, were an “intellectually challenged” man held by the C.I.A. solely to pressure a family member to provide information; two people who were former C.I.A. informants; and two brothers who were falsely linked to Al Qaeda by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the 9/11 planner, who “fabricated” the information after being waterboarded 183 times.

In addition, the report says, “C.I.A. records provide insufficient information to justify the detention of many other detainees.”

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

18 responses to Torture Report: 26 Detainees Held In Error

  1. Anomaly 100 December 13th, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    UNPossible! Republicans told me they all deserved it.

    • StoneyCurtisll December 13th, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      Nuremberg war trials…
      There were unrepentant Nazis..
      Just like Richard ‘D’ Cheney..

  2. tracey marie December 13th, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    We, as a Nation should be ashamed, alas we have fox slop and others like them defending and doubling down on hate. We devolded to the lowest common denominator and we embarrassed and debased ourselves with our reprehensible behavior. Shame on us and shame on those who continue to defend and make excuses for such behavior

  3. Guy Lauten December 13th, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    How do you “un-torture” someone? How do you take it back?

    • StoneyCurtisll December 13th, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Pull the mop handle out of their rectum?
      (not my idea, this is what they did)..
      And we are supposed to be “the good guys”

  4. tiredoftea December 13th, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Darth said they were all guilty. He wouldn’t lie about this, would he?

    • StoneyCurtisll December 13th, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Yes he would…

      • tiredoftea December 13th, 2014 at 10:24 pm

        I’m shocked! Are you sure, really sure? He did take an oath, after all, to uphold the Constitution.

        • StoneyCurtisll December 13th, 2014 at 11:11 pm

          Liars take ‘oaths’..
          That’s what makes them liars..

  5. burqa December 13th, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    This reminds me, has Hannity kept his word and been waterboarded yet?

    It wasn’t the case with the guy highlighted, but IN THE INTERROGATORS Task Force 500 and America’s Secret War Against al Qaeda, by Chris Mackey and Greg Miller (Little, Brown, 2004), Mackey describes prisoners his team interrogated in Afghanistan in 2002. There were times when they cleared a prisoner of being involved with al Qaeda or the Taliban, but the military did not want to possibly make a mistake and turn the wrong person loose. So they would just send them down the line to Gitmo, where they figured if the prisoner was sent from Afghanistan, they must be a bad guy. So these prisoners would get caught in a vicious circle.

    Remember, we went into a dirt poor country offering bounties for al Qaeda and Taliban members. So there were times when an Afghan would rat on a business or personal rival and kill 2 birds with one stone.

  6. StoneyCurtisll December 13th, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    26 Detainees Held In Error…
    Is it to late to say we are sorry?..(for torturing you).
    Or maybe you should be happy some other country didn’t torture you…(as if there is a difference).
    But America stands proud on it’s human rights stance, and it’s abhorrence to other nations violations..(I almost gagged typing that).

  7. StoneyCurtisll December 13th, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    I have it all figured out…

    America only uses Torture in defense of its own national interest…(for good)

    Other countries use torture in defense of their own national interest..(for evil)

    Waiting to hear back from Fox on my job interview..:)
    (maybe Alan can put in a good word for me)

    • Guy Lauten December 13th, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      You forgot to use the word “Awesome”. Close… work on it.

      • StoneyCurtisll December 13th, 2014 at 11:46 pm

        Just trying to figure out where to insert ‘awesome’ into the comment..
        before or after the word torture?..:)
        help me out here..

        • Guy Lauten December 14th, 2014 at 11:37 am

          I think the Faux Standards (ha!) book says the first and every third mention of the word “America” has to have “Awesome” in front of it. You’re so close. Totally.

    • fancypants December 14th, 2014 at 3:04 am

      you might have to explain the mug shot ( avatar ) to roger ailes

  8. rg9rts December 14th, 2014 at 3:35 am

    A genuine “Ooops no hard feelings ” moment??

  9. Guy Lauten December 14th, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I tried, but I just couldn’t bring myself to ruin my Sunday morning by allowing the visage of Mr. Death into my living room.