Expert testifies accused USS Cole bomber was tortured
By Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald
Dr. Sondra Crosby offered the diagnosis in open court during carefully choreographed testimony that never once mentioned that the accused al-Qaida terrorist, Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, 49, got to Guantánamo from four years of CIA captivity during which he was interrogated with waterboarding, a revving power drill and threats to his mother.
“I believe that Mr. al Nashiri has suffered torture – physical, psychological and sexual torture,” Crosby said.
(T)he judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, accepted her expertise and allowed her to describe in some detail the basis for the diagnosis. Prosecutors then chose not to challenge the expert finding through cross examination.
It is prison policy not to comment specifically on what goes on at Camp 7, the secret prison with its own medical clinic where Nashiri and other former CIA captives are clandestinely kept.
In presenting her credentials, Crosby said she twice made presentations to a subcommittee on ethics of the Pentagon’s Defense Health Board. The board was considering the military’s forced-feeding policy of Guantánamo prisoners during a hunger strike by an undisclosed number of the 154 captives. The military now does not reveal any information regarding the number of captives considered to be hunger-strikers or the number getting forced feedings.
Crosby said the forced-feeding policy provided a window into the restrictions that Navy medical staff work under at the prison, saying commanders, not medical professionals, determine the so-called involuntary enteral feed policy of systematically renourishing hunger strikers who resist in a restraint chair.
“Doctors are instructed to force-feed competent hunger strikers when it is against medical ethics and the rest of the Western World,” she said.
In a separate description of non-medical command control of health care, she said an officer initially insisted that she conduct a physical exam of Nashiri while he was in shackles. She refused, citing a court order by Pohl that Nashiri be unshackled.
The officer, a “representative from camp leadership,” relented as a “favor.”
Yup, going on today, courtesy of Barack Obama.