Tortured Detainee Zubaydah, Used As Lab Rat by Our Govt

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

There isn’t much I can add to this.  Just go read it.

Abu Zubaydah’s Drawings by emptywheel, aka Marcy Wheeler,  Monday, March 29, 2010

Marcy Wheeler at FDL, who has established that the Bush administration had the Yoo/Bybee “permission” memos were written after the fact to legitimize the use of torture, quotes a new Jason Leopold story at about Guantanamo detainee Abu Zubaydah.  

Torture Diaries, Drawings, and the Special Prosecutor 3/29/2010

While the CIA claims to have destroyed the tapes of the torture experiments conducted on Abu Zubaydah,  his attorney, Brent Mickum, says

“…. he learned that the special prosecutor had obtained drawings during the course of his probe that Mickum believed were Zubaydah’s. In addition to the diaries, Mickum had previously sought from the Justice Department drawings Zubaydah made while in CIA custody. But the Justice Department told Mickum they could not locate the drawings.

“When I met with John Durham (note: the US Attorney and Special Prosecutor from Connecticut, who is investigating the CIA’s destruction of the tapes)   I discovered he had drawings, which, based on my review I believed were my client’s,” Mickum said. “The drawings were ultimately produced to us in late 2009.”

The Justice Department would not discuss the drawings, diaries, or other issues related to Zubaydah’s case.

Mickum said in lieu of the torture tapes, the drawings Zubaydah made contain the best description of the torture techniques CIA interrogators used against Zubaydah while he was being held at the agency’s black site prison facilities “

According to Jason Leopold, his sources at the CIA, FBI, DOD, NSA, State Dept, DOJ, and former govt. officials, are only speaking on the condition of anonymity, but claiming that the CIA made the tapes to study Zubaydah’s reactions to the “techniques” used on him.  When a particular type of torture made him break down completely, anything less severe was considered “legal” and therefore was okayed to be classified as legal interrogation techniques in the Yoo/Bybee memos.  The tapes were subsequently destroyed.

One of Leopold’s sources referred to him (A.Z.) as an experiment and a “guinea pig.”  

The tapes were destroyed. The personal diaries untranslated. The self portraits….  conveniently misplaced.

 Wheeler @ FDL

This suggests two things. First, that until some time last year, DOJ claimed not to be able to locate drawings that had already been turned over to Durham for his investigation. And that those drawings may be detailed enough to clarify precisely what the torturers did to him when.

There’s just one catch.

The 12 diaries of Abu Zubaydah are written in Arabic, and classified “top secret,” of course.  Volumes 7, 8, and 9 are untranslated, the ones written between the years 2002 and 2006, after his arrest, while he was in CIA custody and be subjected to over 80  waterboardings and sleep deprivation lasting up to 2 weeks.  And US District Judge Richard Roberts only ordered volumes 1 thru 6 translated.

“Frankly, it’s just another, in a long litany of classification abuses that the judicial system, for whatever reason, refuses to address,” Mickum said.

“The cost of translating these volumes is exorbitant,” Mickum said. “I’m talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is only one translator who has top-secret security clearance and he is working on 30 other cases and goes to Guantanamo every week. It would cost us about $1,300 for a six-hour day, a cost that does not include travel expenses.”

It is probably just another funky coincidence that the military has lost 58 Arabic linguists since “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was begun in 1993 and the year 2007.…

Searching google “news” for Abu Zubaydah brings up no American MSM stories and only a few blog posts.

UPDATE, Breaking I was about to hit “publish” on this when another blog post by Jason Leopold came up on my last search.…      (see link update below)

US Recants Claims on “High Value” Detainee Abu Zubaydah

The Justice Department has quietly recanted nearly every major claim the Bush administration had made about “high-value” detainee Abu Zubaydah,
a Guantanamo prisoner who at one time was said to have planned the 9/11 attacks and was the No. 2 and 3 person in al-Qaeda.

But court documents unclassified last weekend debunk Thiessen’s assertions as well as those made by, among others, George W. Bush, who said Zubaydah was one of al-Qaeda’s “top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States.”

For the first time, the government now officially admits that Zubaydah did not have “any direct role in or advance knowledge of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,” and was neither a “member” of al-Qaeda nor “formally” identified with the terrorist organization.

Oh, my, THIS IS HUGE, please go read the entire thing, tremendous implications here for the 9/11 Commission Report.   Zubaydah was supposedly  a “major figure” in the “Millenium Plot”  who was planning a series of attacks on Israeli and US targets with Osama Bin Laden.  Now all of this narrative is changed.

OMFG.  Marcy Wheeler and Jason Leopold just changed history.  


edit update. url changed for last link, apparently they edited it after publication

New url:   US Recants Claims on “High Value” Detainee Abu Zubaydah 3/30/2010…

In this latest version the redacted name continues to be redacted, previously, it was a given name.


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  1. ….  keep making noise until the ***** damned MSM picks up this story.

    We look better as a nation when fringed.

  2. Waterboarding triggers the involuntary reflex of humans that only happens when death is possibly imminent.

    You have no choice except to experience the initial psychological and physical aspects of dying.

  3. Sharia law prohibits ‘idolatry’ .

    If he had no connection, then maybe the guy isn’t even a muslim, or at least a strict one.

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