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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Of Course We Don't Behead Them (or Their Children) 

Via our distinguished colleagues at Cursor: A new report from Human Rights Watch claims that the U.S. is holding at least eleven high-value "ghost detainees" in a torture facility so secret that President Bush has instructed the CIA not to tell him where it is. From Haaretz:
Haaretz has learned from international intelligence sources that the CIA is running a top-secret interrogation facility in Jordan, where the detainees - considered Al-Qaida's most senior cadre - are being held . . . .

Their detention outside the U.S. enables CIA interrogators to apply interrogation methods that are banned by U.S. law, and to do so in a country where cooperation with the Americans is particularly close, thereby reducing the danger of leaks.

The CIA's prisoners at the facility in Jordan include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, considered Al-Qaida's head of operations and number three in the Al-Qaida hierarchy after Osama bin Laden and Aiman al-Zawahiri, who have eluded capture.

Also at the secret facility are Abu Zubaydah, described as Al-Qaida's "recruitment officer," and Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, who was captured in Thailand a year ago . . . .

[The 46-page Human Rights Watch report] charges that the U.S. thereby is in breach of all international conventions, including the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war, by refusing prisoners access to the Red Cross or their families.

The report contends that American operatives detained Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's children to serve as "hostages" through which to pressure their father into cooperating.

The prisoners were subjected to severe torture, the report states.

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