An American: “Why I Don’t Trust My Government, At All”


Washington’s Blog
by Eric Zuesse

 

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Would you trust your government if it were headed by a President who just now appointed to become the head of the CIA, the very same person who had headed the CIA’s interrogation of a 9/11 suspect whose interrogation consisted of 83 waterboardings (plus other tortures, which blinded his left eye), all in order to get him to say that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks, so as to ‘justify’ invading Iraq?

Current U.S. President Donald Trump has appointed, to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, who, as a CIA official in Thailand, the Chief-of-Base there, or Thai “COB”, in 2002, had headed the interrogation of suspect Abu Zubaydeh, and kept using waterboardings and other means of torture against him until he would implicate Saddam Hussein. He told them what he thought they wanted to hear, but didn’t know that this was what they wanted the most to hear. As Raymond Bonner described it at propublica on 22 February 2017:

chief of base and another senior counterterrorism official on scene had the sole authority power to halt the questioning.

She never did so, records show, watching as Zubaydah vomited, passed out and urinated on himself while shackled. During one waterboarding session, Zubaydah lost consciousness and bubbles began gurgling from his mouth. … At one point, Haspel spoke directly with Zubaydah, accusing him of faking symptoms of physical distress and psychological breakdown. …

The CIA officials in Thailand understood that the methods they were using could kill Zubaydah and said that should that happen, they would cremate his body. If he survived questioning, Haspel sought assurances that “the subject will remain in isolation and incommunicado for the remainder of his life.”

So far, that promise has been kept. Zubaydah is currently incarcerated at Guantanamo. His lawyers filed a court action in 2008 seeking his release, but the federal judges overseeing the case have failed to issue any substantive rulings [after now 16 years]. …

[Ultimately,] the source on whom the CIA had based its assessment that Zubaydah was number three or four in the al-Qaida organization had recanted his testimony, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture released in 2014. The agency would ultimately conclude that Zubaydah was not even a member of al-Qaida.

So, a man who wasn’t even in Al Qaeda, is being hidden from the public because the U.S. Government 17 years ago captured him in Pakistan and tried to get him to say that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 but they didn’t get the false testimony they required from him, and so he’s still hidden at Guantanamo so as to continue still deceiving the American public (such as to support U.S. use of torture), and to continue keeping his case against the U.S. Government away from whatever (laughable) international-law bodies exist.

Buried in a December 2008 Vanity Fair article by David Rose is this:

The tribunal president, a colonel whose name is redacted, asked him: “So I understand that during this treatment, you said things to make them stop and then those statements were actually untrue, is that correct?” Abu Zubaydah replied: “Yes.”

Some of those statements, say two senior intelligence analysts who worked on them at the time, concerned the issue that in the spring of 2002 interested the Bush administration more than almost any other — the supposed operational relationship between al-Qaeda and Iraq. Given his true position in the jihadist hierarchy, Abu Zubaydah “would not have known [about] that [even] if it was true,” says Coleman. “But you can lead people down a course and make them say anything.”

Some of what he did say was leaked by the administration: for example, the claim that bin Laden and his ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi were working directly with Saddam Hussein to destabilize the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. There was much more, says the analyst who worked at the Pentagon: “I first saw the reports soon after Abu Zubaydah’s capture. There was a lot of stuff about the nuts and bolts of al-Qaeda’s supposed relationship with the Iraqi Intelligence Service. The intelligence community was lapping this up, and so was the administration, obviously. Abu Zubaydah was saying Iraq and al-Qaeda had an operational relationship. It was everything the administration hoped it would be.”

Within the administration, Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation was “an important chapter,” the second analyst says: overall, his interrogation “product” was deemed to be more significant than the claims made by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, another al-Qaeda captive, who in early 2002 was tortured in Egypt at the C.I.A.’s behest. After all, Abu Zubaydah was being interviewed by Americans. Like the former Pentagon official, this official had no idea that Abu Zubaydah had been tortured.

“As soon as I learned that the reports had come from torture, once my anger had subsided I understood the damage it had done,” the Pentagon analyst says. “I was so angry, knowing that the higher-ups in the administration knew he was tortured, and that the information he was giving up was tainted by the torture, and that it became one reason to attack Iraq.”

As I documented in my “America’s News Is Heavily Censored”, George W. Bush knowingly lied on 7 September 2002 when he said that the IAEA had just issued a new report that Saddam Hussein was within six months of having a nuclear weapon. When the IAEA denied, several times, that there was any such new report, the press ignored it, and the public impression from the President’s lie remained unchallenged in the press.

Barack Obama was no better, and he continued almost all of the cover-ups and lies from his predecessor. This is not a partisan matter. It is a matter of a bipartisan dictatorship, which rules in Washington.

I give this here as only one of the large number of conclusive, rationally undeniable, reasons why it would be ludicrous to trust the U.S. Government.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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