Abu Zubaydah

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Gitmo Detainee Seen Publicly for 1st Time in 14 Years

Abu Zubaydah has been held at Gitmo since 2006

(Newser) - Between his capture by the CIA in Pakistan in 2002 and his appearance at a US government hearing Tuesday, Abu Zubaydah lost his left eye. How remains unclear (Dexter Filkins dedicates an entire piece to the question at the New Yorker ), but other details of what happened to him... More »

Report: CIA Sends Fake Memos to Own Agents

'WaPo' exposes agency 'eyewashing'

(Newser) - CIA agents shouldn't believe everything they hear from the CIA, according to the Washington Post , which says current and former officials have spilled the beans on "eyewashing." The Post's sources say that from time to time, higher-ups at the agency circulate memos with fake information as... More »

Report Likens Secret CIA Facility to 'Dungeon'

Site had buckets for waste and cold, isolated cells with shackled prisoners

(Newser) - Reporters are picking through the details of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's use of torture , and the details aren't pretty. Some examples:
  • Dungeon: The Week highlights one passage comparing a CIA black site to a dungeon. "CIA detainees at the COBALT detention facility
... More »

Ex-Operative Admits Leaking CIA Agent's Name to Media

John Kiriakou gets 2-plus years in jail

(Newser) - A former CIA agent who soured on waterboarding has pleaded guilty to leaking the name of a secret agent to a journalist, reports Reuters . John Kiriakou admitted to the single count today as part of a deal that will send him to prison for 30 months. Kiriakou leaked the CIA... More »

Feds Charge Ex-CIA Man With Leaking Terror Secret

John Kiriakou allegedly talked about an agent who used waterboarding

(Newser) - The federal government charged a former CIA agent today with leaking secrets related to waterboarding, the AP reports. Authorities say John Kiriakou, 47, told a New York Times journalist about a covert agent who had helped interrogate al-Qaeda financier Abu Zubaydah 10 years ago. Asked by FBI agents last week... More »

No Charges in Destruction of CIA Videotapes

Agency destroyed 92 tapes of suspects being waterboarded

(Newser) - A special prosecutor cleared the CIA's former top clandestine officer and others today of any charges for destroying videotapes showing waterboarding of terror suspects. He did, however, continue an investigation into whether the interrogations went beyond legal boundaries. The decision not to prosecute anyone in the videotape destruction came five... More »

Gitmo Prisoners: We Lied to CIA to Stop Torture

Khalid Mohammed 'made up stories' on bin Laden's whereabouts after torture

(Newser) - Guantanamo prisoners fabricated information to give CIA interrogators after being physically and mentally abused, they told a 2007 military tribunal in transcripts released yesterday under the Freedom of Information act. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and one of the prisoners who was repeatedly waterboarded, said he... More »

CIA Told Pelosi About Waterboarding: Report

Newly released documents show speaker was briefed in 2002

(Newser) - Nancy Pelosi and other Congressional leaders received multiple briefings on the CIA's use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques, according to new information released by the Obama administration. Records suggest that Pelosi learned of the CIA's interrogation of Abu Zubaydah in a September 2002 briefing that covered the "... More »

Waterboarding Isn't Easier 2nd Time, or 183rd

Turns out the body never gets used to simulated drowning

(Newser) - Like many other forms of torture, waterboarding doesn’t get any easier with repeated exposure. After multiple sessions of the simulated drowning technique, accused al-Qaeda plotters Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah would at best have been able to slightly modify their response, explains Brian Palmer in Slate. The experience... More »

Did Brutal Questioning Pay Off? The Battle Heats Up

(Newser) - President Obama says the harsh interrogation methods used by the CIA both compromised American values and provided unreliable information. “Those are a convenient pair of opinions,” notes Scott Shane of the New York Times. But it's not going to be that easy for the new administration to defend... More »

Condi Was First to OK Waterboarding

Condi gave go-ahead before Rumsfeld, Powell even knew about it: Senate

(Newser) - Condoleezza Rice played a greater role than she has acknowledged in the CIA's harsh interrogation program, and approved the use of waterboarding, according to a newly released report from the Senate Intelligence Committee. The report finds that Rice, as national security adviser, verbally approved the CIA's request to waterboard a... More »

CIA Waterboarded Gitmo Detainee 183 Times in a Month

That's twice CIA's max, challenges efficacy

(Newser) - A Department of Justice memo that detailed interrogation techniques used on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay notes that in August 2002, suspected al-Qaeda official Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 82 times, while the following March, 9/11 suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. But as the blog Emptywheel points out, there's... More »

Psychologists, Doctors Helped With Interrogations

Role of medical professionals in CIA program angers peers

(Newser) - Psychologists and physicians who assisted the CIA's harsh interrogation program are being accused of violating the most basic principles of their professions, the Washington Post reports. The newly released CIA memos confirm that on-site psychologists—generally contract workers with the agency—took an active role in the program, offering ideas... More »

CIA Pushed Brutal Tactics on Interrogators

Captors felt al-Qaeda suspect had already told all he knew

(Newser) - Higher-ups in the CIA pressed for harsh interrogation methods to be used on a captured al-Qaeda member despite his interrogators' assurances that he had nothing more to tell, the New York Times reports. Abu Zubaydah had already yielded important information, including tips that led to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shiekh Mohammed,... More »

US Ends Trials of 5 Gitmo Prisoners

Though charges are dropped, men are still held, may be retried

(Newser) - The war crimes tribunal at Guantanamo Bay has dropped charges against five suspects that the Pentagon has called al-Qaeda operatives, reports the Los Angeles Times. All of the men were fingered by Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi-born militant whom the Bush administration concedes was waterboarded. The charges were dismissed after one... More »

Lawyers Declare Innocence of Waterboarding Victim

Gitmo detainee 'was never in al Qaeda'

(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,... More »

New Claims of Taped CIA Torture

Lawyers to present evidence to Senate panel

(Newser) - Evidence that another CIA detainee was videotaped allegedly being tortured by interrogators is expected to be presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow, reports Time magazine. A former suburban Baltimore high school student underwent unspecified "systematic torture" that may have involved waterboarding in a secret CIA prison in 2003,... More »

Senate Grills Mukasey Today on Waterboarding

Mukasey warns he'll stonewall on questions about legality

(Newser) - A high-noon face off is looming today between Attorney General Michael Mukasey and the Senate Judiciary Committee over waterboarding, the simulated drowning interrogation technique that many consider torture. Committee chair Patrick Leahy said Mukasey faces "serious questions" on the issue at today's hearing. But Mukasey has warned Leahy in... More »

CIA 'Gulled' Court on Torture Tapes, Says Judge

May quiz officials himself

(Newser) - A federal judge said he suspects the CIA lied to his court about tapes showing the harsh interrogations of two al-Qaeda leaders, the New York Times reports. The CIA claims no records exist concerning the tapes, which were destroyed in 2005. But the judge, currently deciding a Freedom of Information... More »

CIA Tapes Were Made—and Destroyed—for PR

Interrogations filmed to counter mistreatment accusations; stopped when techniques grew harsh, reports NYT

(Newser) - Concern over its image prompted the CIA to first secretly create—and later destroy—tapes depicting the harsh interrogation of detainees, the New York Times reports. In spring 2002 the agency decided to document every moment of senior al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah's custody so that perceptions of mistreatment—by prosecutors,... More »

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