Court: United States Offered to Release Detainee If He Would Not Reveal His Own Torture

200px-flag_of_the_united_statessvgEngland flagTwo British High Court judges have released a very disturbing decision that finds that ormer detainee Binyam Mohamed was offered his freedom by the United States in exchange for his promise not to reveal his own torture at Guantanamo Bay. Equally disturbing is the statement from the English government that it cannot release proof of the torture because of objections from the United States government. If the Obama Administration is continuing this position, it is not only blocking prosecution of war crimes but the release of evidence of such war crimes to other nations. I discussed this and other developments on this segment of Rachel Maddow’s show.

Mohamed is an Ethiopian who moved to Britain as a teenager and was arrested in Pakistan in 2002. He claims he was tortured Pakistan and in Morocco. He was then transferred to the United States, which also tortured him.

All charges against him were dropped last year. He refused our Faustian bargain.

Lord Justice John Thomas and Mr. Justice David Lloyd Jones said that there was evidence to show Mohamed was tortured, but that the documents could not be made public because of the objections by the United States. Presumably, if the Obama Administration lifted such objections publicly, the British government would not have a basis to withhold the material.

For the full story, click here and here.

47 thoughts on “Court: United States Offered to Release Detainee If He Would Not Reveal His Own Torture”

  1. Gyges:

    Vodka goes well with any fruit juice, vegetable juice, bullion (bullshot or maybe even a chicken shot for our Hindu friends), fruit, filling a cold watermellon with a hypodermic is always good on a lazy summer day, just make sure the kids dont get hold of a piece. I have had frozen Stoly which has the consistancy of glycerin and is pretty tasty but I do agree with you that the brown spirits are best. Brown beer is good too, the pilsners are just ok although some of the Belgians are very good.

    So I dont know if I can be classified as a philistine or just plebian.

  2. Jill and Patty,

    I would say that even working under the same assumptions as Patty (and others) someone as politically savvy as our current President can make use of a surge of public pressure to do what he was going to do anyways. If however Jill’s side is right, then the pressure is necessary to bring about the change, so either way it’s effect is positive.

  3. Jill,
    You are correct that pressure is the answer. I expect that Obama will “do the right thing”. However, I don’t understand why he hasn’t done more. In response to tfgray, what makes you think that there is public opposition to criminal investigations and prosecution of the Bush administration? All the polls that I have seen have shown a majority in favor of investigating.

  4. Buddha,

    Wouldn’t that make it a funktini?

    Bron,

    I know we’re mostly brown liquor people here, but what sort of philistine adds cranberry juice to Vodka? Or maybe the question should be, what sort of philistine drinks cheap enough Vodka that they want to add cranberry juice?

  5. Obama has affirmed bush administration positions against detainees. This post describes an affirmative action to deny justice to a victim of torture. He has been asked to turn over documents and refused. He is repeting some of the worst presidential abuses of the bush administration. We need to stop making excuses for this behavior.

    Likewise, there is no excuse not to prosecute for war crimes as JT pointed out so strongly. Obama himself has stated several times that he can do more than one thing at a time as president. He is not doing the right thing on many matters. The only way he will do the right thing is if every person of conscience quits worrying about his motives and acts on their own conscience. Torture is wrong. War crimes should be investigated. Pressure, pressure and more pressure is needed from our citizens.

  6. Buddha:

    “frustrafunkadelic”? WTF LOL!

    the antidote – Vitamin D, you aint gettin enuff sunshine. Although vodka and cranberry juice is good to.

  7. I want to applaud Mr. Turley for his comments on Rachel Maddow’s show. 3/23/ 09 Excellent! I agree — bring in a special prosecutor. Torturing people is so despicable. Thank you. Come on Mr. President, do the right thing.

  8. I too watched you on Rachel’s show explaining the Bush Administration crimes as you have done for so many years now. What seems odd to me now is that President Obama is a Constitutional lawyer like yourself so certainly he should also have essentially the same legal opinion that Bush et al failed to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.

    Perhaps my eternal hope that the law will prevail and giving him the benefit of doubt, I wonder if given the short time he has been in office and the horrible state the economy he is trying to deal with has put this problem on the back burner for the moment. I would hope that he intends to let AG Holder loose (he may have already done so), and he’s letting the perps hang themselves a bit more so the indictments are truly a slam-dunk.

    Lets hope so. Keep the pressure on whenever you can.

  9. There’s doing the right thing, and you have nailed it, Professor, and there’s doing what can be done at any given time, and that’s politics. If you’ll look at the news, including the show you were just on, (Rachel Maddow) you’ll notice that Obama can’t crack a smile without incurring the wrath of the Right Wing Echo Chamber. My husband works with people who call him the Anti-Christ. I’m with you on the need for war crimes investigations, but I’m also looking at the bigger picture. Obama’s task is to clean out the Augean stables of the Bush legacy. This criminal legacy runs deep and in all directions: war crimes, financial fraud, and that hybrid creature of war crimes and financial fraud known as the Iraq War. I confess to being one of those who fall silent when I hear valid criticism such as yours.
    Here is what I hope is happening: There is a steady drip of released memos on war crimes. The Justice Department, quietly and steadily, is at work, and like water on a stone, that steady drip of memos will eventually wear a hole through the last vestige of public opposition to criminal proceedings. It will wear through the media denial of the seriousness of the charges. Through the threadbare Right Wing notion that burying the corpse in the unmarked grave of National Security is in the best interest of the nation.
    There are reasons to choose battles carefully. Health care and the budget are next on the line. Delaying war crimes prosecutions may not be a morally correct action, in the strictest sense of the word, but from what I have seen, Obama is cautious and careful. Given the Rove/Miers/Libby/Gonzales track record, putting these people under oath will be a waste of time. They will lie, obfuscate, “forget,” clam up, or just refuse to show up. When Obama unleashes the hounds, I think it will be at a time when the prosecution has an airtight case and the public support to see it through. In the meantime, let Cheney talk, let them all talk. Tape them contradicting themselves. Let Obama’s foreign policy bear fruit in lowered international tension. Eventually, his actions will speak louder than their words. Give them, in other words, enough rope to hang themselves.
    If Congressional majorities increase for the Dems in 2010, I’ll look for prosecution to rise to the top of the list. I’ll give him that long. In the meantime, speak your mind Professor Turley, because that is an important part of the battle for the soul of the nation.

  10. Bron,

    I think the technical term is “in a funk”. Or maybe the term is “frustrated”. If you add vodka and George Clinton to that you get “frustrafunkadelic”. Thanks for the offer though!

  11. This torture issue will not die and the left will not let it be forgotten. Obama will have to deal with this now or he will suffer the fate. Jill, you do not have to worry about the regulars on this site. The truth will come out. Prof. Turley’s interview and future interviews will insure the word will continue to haunt the new administration until they are shamed into doing the right thing.

  12. Hi Everyone:

    I just watched Professor Turley with Rachel tonight he is always great but tonight he was outstanding!

    Here is to hoping Obama and Holder get the message; and start to take some action.

    A toast to JT and to All of You for all your continued Good Work!

    Thank-you for being here and keeping it real!

  13. I was listening with interest to your interview on the Rachel Maddow Show and thought of googling for your name to see if you had a website or blog. I always look forward to your commentary and opinion on both Rachel’s show as well as Countdown with Keith Olberman. In today’s interview with Rachel everything you outlined made so much sense. I was wondering if you ever have the opportunity to share your expertise with President Obama. I think he and the White House need to hear more about what you outlined today on Rachel’s show.

  14. Buddha:

    you ok? You seem a little down. Not the usual vim and vigor.

    Would an outrageous right wing comment help get the blood flowing? Let me know and I will think of a good one.

  15. To my fellows on this blog. I posted this exact information about the administration and Binyam Mohamed since early Feb. Each time I received quite a bit of excoriation for questioning what is going on with Obama. This has been both scary and disturbing to me.

    By now there is quite a bit of evidence to suggest that Obama is doing many things he should not be doing. I won’t speculate on his motives but I do know his actions are wrong. (For example he plans to higher more contrators for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan–story today on Common Dreams.)

    What concerns me, is when Bush did these things I could count on people here to react with outrage. Now, these same revelations are often met with silence. That isn’t uniformly true, but too many people who never would have let Bush get away with these things, are letting Obama get away with it. I think of many of you as such good, decent, kind hearted and intelligent people. Yet you aren’t saying anything. All that is needed for bad to flourish is for good people to shut up. Please don’t shut up because this is Obama. That’s all I’m asking people here to think about.

  16. Gerry,

    On the other hand, a little “tough love” from our allies may be the only thing that can get the prosecution ball rolling absent revolution. Think alcoholics and intervention. Sad, but a possibility.

  17. This is not how to win friends and influence countries who are your strongest allies. There will be serious blow back from this, including pressure on the Canadian Government to immediately withdraw all armed forces from Afganistan.

    You can see these despicable comments here:

  18. Here’s what happened, in part to Binyam Mohamed: (from The Guardian, below) This information was sent to Obama at least twice 1. by human rights groups and 2. in a redacted letter via the DOD.
    This conduct cannot be acceptable to any person.

    “A graphic account by former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed of his alleged torture during interrogation sessions has been passed to the high court.

    The account details how he was beaten with a leather strap, held down and punched by masked men, cut with a scalpel on his chest and penis, and subjected to psychological torture by being forced to listen to loud music, including Meat Loaf. It is among documents, including testimony from the US, presented to high court judges by the Guardian and other media organisations challenging the UK and US governments’ refusal to disclose evidence of his ill-treatment.”

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