Bush Official: US Tortured Gitmo Inmate

9/11 suspect nearly died from interrogation, says Pentagon honcho
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2009 7:21 AM CST
A guard stands at a gate at the Camp Delta detention compound, which has housed foreign prisoners since 2002, at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba.    (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
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(Newser) – The US military tortured a Saudi national suspected of attempted participation in the 9/11 attacks, according to a top Bush administration official. In an interview with Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, Susan J. Crawford says the suspect endured sustained isolation, nudity, humiliation, and exposure to extreme temperatures that left him "in a life-threatening condition." For Crawford, the top official for deciding whether to bring Gitmo detainees to trial, "his treatment met the legal definition of torture."

Crawford is the first official in the Bush White House to state publicly that a detainee suffered torture at the hands of the American military. She has dropped the charges against Mohammed al-Qahtani, who had to be hospitalized twice during his detention, although he remains imprisoned at Guantanamo. "We tortured Qahtani," the Gates appointee tells Woodward. "And that's why I did not refer the case" for prosecution. Qahtani was forced to wear a bra and a thong on his head, told his mother and sister were whores, and forced, on a leash, to do dog tricks. Crawford told Woodward that she does not know the full details of the other interrogations of detainees connected to 9/11, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, but said, "I assume torture."