Going After The Family
On April 29, 2003 Waleed bin Attash was arrested by police in Karachi, Pakistan. He is suspected of planning the attack on the USS Cole. He has since been "disappeared" into the secret detention centers of the Central Intelligence Agency. Six months earlier, his 17-year-old brother, Hassan bin Attash was arrested in Pakistan and handed over to American forces. Hassan is currently being held at Guantanamo Bay.
According to his lawyer, Hassan was initially sent to a U.S. run "Dark Prison" in Kabul, Afghanistan for about a week. He was then flown to Jordan on an extraordinary rendition flight. While in Jordan he was severely tortured by Jordan's General Intelligence Directorate, or GID. He was interrogated about his brother, Waleed bin Attash. According to his lawyer, Mark Falkoff, one favorite torture technique of the GID was to "beat the soles of his feet and then placed them in salt water". Ultimately, he signed "whatever was asked of him."
Hassan was moved from Jordanian custody back to the "Dark Prison" in Kabul on January 8, 2004. He was moved again to a prison in Bagram before ultimately arriving in Guantanamo Bay in May 2004. He has been there ever since. To keep it all in the family his 70-year-old father was picked up and detained in Saudi Arabia under U.S. orders.
Of Hassan, his lawyer had this to say:
“I couldn't tell you whether he was guilty or innocent,” Falkoff said. “I have no clue because we haven't been able to talk to him about anything other than the abuse he suffered, and the judge in his case refused to require the government to justify his detention. I don't know what evidence the government claims to have against him or even the charges.”
Regardless of the his innocence or guilt, which apparently the U.S. government does not need to prove or pretend to prove, Hassan has been subjected to the grand tour of the U.S. torture archipelago. It now appears that his 70-year-old father has been subjected to the same. All of this because, it seems, of being related to an alleged al Qaeda operative. It begs the question why Osama bin Laden's brothers and family are not subjected to the same treatment. Instead the Bush Administration flew them out of the U.S. immediately after September 11th without even questioning them. Could it be that torture is only doled out to those who do not have money and influence?
It looks like we have learned a thing or two from The Sopranos.
[Cross posted at Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying]