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. Here’s a quote from JT via Glenn Greenwald. Important and stong words. Pressure, pressure and more pressure is the only answer here.

    “As law professor Jonathan Turley put it on Rachel Maddow’s show Monday night:

    The president refuses to allow the investigation of war crimes. And we just found out the international Red Cross, also the definitive body on torture, found that this was a real torture program. And yet, the president is having a debate with the guy [Cheney] over whether it was good policy. . . .

    It is just as bad to prevent the investigation and prosecution of a war crime as its commission because you become part of it. There‘s no question about a war crime here. . . .

    You know, some people say, what do you need, a film? We actually had films of us torturing people. So this would be the shortest investigation in history. You have Bush officials who have said that we tortured people. We have interrogators who have said we tortured people. The Red Cross has said it. A host of international organizations have said it. . . .

    He should be appointing a special prosecutor. There is no question about that. This is the most well-defined and publicly known crime I have seen in my lifetime. There is no debate about it. There is no ambiguity. It is well known.”

  2. I agree mespo, Ciroc is lovely for ‘vodka’ because it is eau de vie – made from grapes as are grappa and brandy.

    But I must agree that potato vodkas are infinitely better than
    pure grain alcohol!

    I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Cold River potato vodka which has been recently introduced, produced, and distilled in Maine and has received many awards already.

    I think it’s good. I also think it’s probably a little too expensive for most Mainers.

  3. Gyges,

    Sorry man, missed that post, but once again great minds think alike. 😀

  4. Buddha,

    Already recommended those two, plus Pravda (A Polish Rye Vodka). To my eternal shame I did however leave out Ciroc.

  5. To my fellow Hedonists and Epicureans,

    Vodka can a beautiful drink. Like a gulp of cold air. I suggest Chopin ($45 bottle) or Monopolova (about $17, but almost as good as Chopin, harder to find). Both are potato vodkas. Stoli works in a pinch or for mixing. I should warn you ahead of time, mixing with Chopin is probably a sin and most certainly a waste. Bad vodka, as Mike has pointed out, is truly heinous. Asahi makes a rice based vodka I got loaded on in Japan once that will make you pray for death.


    I will defer to Bron’s excellent conjugation for frustrafunkadelic.

  6. Gyges,
    Just having a little fun is all. Also while the spirits may be grain neutral, the distillation process can make a big difference between heartburn and heaven. I can talk from experience having had it with some rotgut vodka and I’m not talking about heaven.

  7. Feel free to put the words “Top Shelf” in a place that makes more sense.

  8. Mike,

    I do enjoy the occasional Tequila, but you’re doing Vodka a disservice. The difference between Everclear and an import from Poland or Russia (last I looked all domestic and most EU Vodka has to be flavor neutral) Top shelf Vodka is huge.

  9. CCD,
    signed the petition, thanks.

    Vodka Aficionados,
    Look up the definition of “grain neutral spirits” which is on all your non flavored vodka bottles and then try Tequila Patron Gold or Silver, neat never mixed.

  10. Jill and Johnny2xs, your concerns and postings on this issue are reflective of my own concerns. I still have hope that justice will be done but the sheer magnitude of the undertaking is stupefying. The prospect of placing what would become almost an entire Administration on trial is on a par with the Nuremberg trials. I fear that no American politician has the cojones to do it.

    I’ll still write my letters to the White House and various Congress persons but I’m not holding my breath. It would sure do me proud though to see a dedicated wing of Leavenworth prison reserved for the Bush Administration and any Democratic enablers that could be convicted also.

  11. I refuse to accept the possibility that the President’s ears are deaf to these pleas. This may be, that one thing too many to handle at this time, given the scope of things being attended to at this time.

    I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, at this point, but it won’t last forever. I believe it will have to be faced before the year is out. I think he may be looking for people, like Professor Turley, and others including us, to help gin up concern, interest, and furor, to make the case such that it looks less like a partisan attack, and more like a populist ground swell which demands immediate attention. Once it gets to that point, it will be impossible to avoid. Not even the Rethuglicans will be able to dampen the ire.

    At least, that’s what I hope.

  12. Gyges:


    Which is harder? I should think the drinking, with brewing you have the anticipation of the drinking but with drinking you have the anticipation of the brewing. Although I wont count out the reciprocal.

  13. Bron,

    Basically it’s a national certification program that most home-brew and commercial-brew contests require you to pass before they’ll hire you to judge their event. You get tested, in depth, on: knowledge of styles, beer history, the brewing process, etc. It’s pretty hard work to pass, but it’s hard work that involves drinking and brewing beer.

  14. Gyges:

    what is a BJCP? I have made some home brew and it turned out pretty good, it is a fun time to brew but the cleaning is a wicked bitch. Is the BJCP a commercial brewers license? In Fairfax we have a couple of good restaurants that make their own beer. The last couple of decades have been good to beer, when I was younger I always wondered what all the fuss was about and then I had my first microbrew and I have not been the same since. I even go so far as to say that beer is much more complex than wine and harder to make a good batch. Although I can hear the oenophiles gasping as they suck air into their mouths to “taste” the vin.

  15. Bobesq:

    assuming it is a verb I offer for the past tense:

    frustrafunkadamus (my personal favorite)

  16. Bron,

    Stoly is your problem. If you can find it try Monopolowa for mixing. If you’ve got Blini and caviar try Chopin or Pravda, they are my two favorite for the Top Shelf. I like Pravda more for dry Martinis, and Chopin more for drinking straight.

    If you want to get me started on beer, then we’ll be here for a long long time. I’m currently studying for my BJCP test in Aug.

  17. I could say it, but I won’t…! ;P

    FROM: March 21, 2009 – Three (3) days ago…

    “…According to the administration official, ex-CIA director Michael Hayden was “furious” about the prospect of disclosure and tried to intervene directly with Obama officials. But the White House has sided with Holder. Faced with a court deadline in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit regarding the memos filed by the ACLU, Justice lawyers asked for a two-week extension “because the memoranda are being reviewed for possible release.” (White House, Justice and CIA spokesmen all declined to comment.)…”

    FROM: yesterday 3/23/09

    “…The ACLU is suing, under the Freedom of Information Act, for release of the memos. Several were put out last month. It’s unclear exactly when the new ones will be released.

    Newsweek also has fresh reporting on a related controversy. As we noted last week, a secret 2007 report compiled by the International Committee for the Red Cross, and revealed last week by the New York Review of Books, contains accounts of CIA officers using extremely harsh techniques on three high-value al Qeada targets, including Khaled Shaik Mohammed, at secret CIA prisons.”

  18. “If you add vodka and George Clinton to that you get “frustrafunkadelic”.”


    Great word; but how does it break down when you conjugate it?

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