I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions. ~ Lillian Hellman
The Plight of Abu Zubayduh
The story of Abu Zubayduh is a horrendous tale of torture of a man by the USA during the post hysteria 9/11. Although the true details may not be known for many years the facts go like this: Zubayduh, born in Saudi Arabia, suffered a tramatic head injury fighting the communists in Afghanistan many years before his capture. At one time, like many Al Qaeda members he would’ve been considered an ally. He was captured by FBI and CIA agents with the help of Pakistani Intelligience Forces in March 2002. At that point it was believed that he was a high ranking and potential #3 Al Qaeda member by the most upper echelon of US leadership even including leaders within the White House and ultimately President Bush who publicly mentioned him in multiple speeches over the years. At the time of his arrest he was 32 years old and possessed a 10,000 page goofy diary of sorts written in three different personalities and two debit cards that where not, so to speak, terrorist approved. Some professionals who interviewed him and read the diary have said he was just writing to try to retain the memories he lost to injury to being downright mentally unstable. On the night of his arrest he was shot in the leg, the groin and the stomach and had two eyes. Today he has one. He was treated in a Pakastani hospital where he made his first mistake, he survived. There was so much confidence that he was who we believed him to be and his health was so tenuous that the CIA and FBI flew in a Doctor from Johns Hopkins University to travel with him outside of Pakistan to make sure he survived. From here on the tale takes on an ominous path and seems like something that might have come from some unspeakable place and not the United States of America.
Whats known as fact is that his participation in terrorism was dubious at best. He was an administrator of safe houses and thought to be training camps of sorts and he may have admitted to having Al Qaeda knowledge even though it is unlikely he had any. Some of his ill fated confessions may have contributed to the equally ill fated Invasion of Iraq. Extravagant stories about dirty bombs and chemical weapons cited by the Bush administration publicly. In actuality he wasn’t accepted into Al Qaeda because he couldn’t remember how to fire a weapon, wasn’t caught with one and never took up arms against the USA. It is also fact that he was shipped through the the CIA’s Black prison sites for 4 years and was waterboarded 83 times in one month, he was also subjected to all 12 types of enhanced interrogation techniques legalized by Bush adminstration officials. After FBI and CIA members jointly interogated him one FBI agent reported back to his superiors that he considered the CIA’s treatment to be torture and from that day forward the FBI abstained from anymore cooperative interrogation with the CIA fearing criminal and likely civil repercussions. His torment was so brutal that during his time in a dungeon in Thailand his CIA interrogaters sent cables back to superiors in Langley, Virginia that should Zubayduh expire during interrogation his body should be cremated immediately. He was also known to cry a lot. Video tapes of his interrogation were destroyed fearing criminal repercussions to those doing the torturing. Exhaustive research of his bank accounts was conducted and then that evidence completely destroyed. During his time in a Polish Black Site the Poles were found in 2014 to be in violation of the European Human Rights Commission and were ordered to pay him €100,000 euros which he then donated to victims of torture and an additional €30,000 euros for attorney fees.
He finally landed in Guantanamo Bay where he has been kept for 15 plus years and never charged with a single crime. He was not seen publicly until mid ’17 when he appeared at a Guantanamo Bay hearing and viewed by 20 members of the press via video connection. Many motions by his counsel were filed and all but ignored by the presiding Judge who has now retired. President Bush claimed this abuse was from a small group of ‘bad apples’ but Office of Legal Counsel members stated that the rules were drawn up with guidance of the Justice department and then invoked as if they where law prior to legal review. Ultimately this behavior by members of our own nation was reviewed and ended by a Bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committe that stated in a nutshell that detainees subject to legalized enhanced interrogation ‘techniques’ led directly to abuse and killing at US facilities and other places as well as damaging the international image of the USA.
In December of 2014 the Senate Intelligience Committee wrote a more comprehensive report of 6000 pages of which only 525 have been made public. The reality is this report is so dirty that the public, Joe Taxpayer aka you and I, is only allowed to read less than 9% of its entirety.
My Opinion, Position and Interest
The USA has a longstanding history of principles, one of the most precious is Justice. We are a nation of laws. Equal Justice unto all, friend or foe. Any slight desecration of the common principles derides our national spirit, there can be no fluidity without the proper flow of Justice. In many ways it is like science, ultimately it can be boiled down to an algabraic equation and put on a chalkboard where each side equals the other.
In WW2 we tried Nazi’s in an international tribunal where some where found guilty sentenced to death, prison or released for time served. Others were aquitted of their charges and set free. If we are to remain Americans we need to keep the motto of Equal Justice alive. Unfortunately it seems that maybe this time around mistakes, reprehensible mistakes of humanic proportions were made.
I have no position, I have no idea whether the man is guilty innocent or a combination of the two. I do believe though that an injustice of epic proportions has been perpetrated and I’d like to find out what the truth is. I believe whatever hes done its somewhere in the middle of what both sides would tell you and his crimes certainly never fit the punishment. If its possible to find out, interview him with my counsel if need be. If he need an advocate at the legislative level and I find him to be believable then I’d like to be that man. To set a precedent he needs to be tried for his crimes by the militrary tribunal found inncocent or guilty and sentenced or released; holding him in limbo perpetually is not American and its not something I can stand for. Leadership is not about taking positions that are popular it is about taking on tough positions and even unpopular causes.