Bob Woodward scoops another one, this time getting a top Pentagon official to admit, on record, that the United States did indeed torture Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi who allegedly "hoped" to become part of the 9/11 attack.
THE official in charge of the military commission process at Guantanamo Bay has become the first senior Bush Administration figure to publicly admit that a detainee was tortured.
Judge Susan Crawford, who was in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees — beginning with Australian David Hicks — to trial, has concluded that the US military tortured a Saudi Arabian who allegedly planned to take part in the September 11, 2001, attacks.
She said Mohammed al-Qahtani was interrogated with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, public nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a "life-threatening condition".
"We tortured Qahtani," Judge Crawford said in her first interview since her appointment by Defence Secretary Robert Gates in February 2007. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case (for prosecution)."
Take special note of that last part. This is exactly why torture is counterproductive. Not only is it morally reprehensible and of dubious efficacy, it ends up prohibiting us from prosecuting these criminals the real American way.
The GWOT really is a "war of ideas." When we torture and imprison indefinitely those those seek to attack us, we drag ourselves down to their level, all the while showing the world that we don't really stand for what we say we do. This is George Bush's true legacy. He and his cronies may be running around trying to convince you otherwise. But I know you're all smart enough to know better.