Lawyers Declare Innocence of Waterboarding Victim

Gitmo detainee 'was never in al Qaeda'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2008 11:40 AM CDT
John Kiriakou, former leader of the CIA team that captured Abu Zubaydah, speaks during a December interview on ABC's World News. Kiriakou said waterboarding got Zubaydah to talk in under 35 seconds.   (AP Photo/ABC News)
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(Newser) – Guantanamo detainee Abu Zubaydah isn’t a member of al Qaeda or the Taliban, his lawyers contend, and he’s never tried to harm American citizens. Held in CIA secret prisons and waterboarded, Zubaydah wasn’t given anything “that would satisfy even the most basic notions of due process,” his lawyers wrote in a deposition unsealed yesterday, arguing that the native Saudi should go free.

The US maintains that Zubaydah was a key logistics operator for al Qaeda, but it has deemed all evidence to that effect classified, forcing his lawyers to rely on the public record. Their report includes a quote from an FBI agent describing Zubaydah as an al Qaeda travel agent who “knew very little about real operations,” CNN reports.