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David Leigh, James Ball, Ian Cobain and Jason Burke report: "The US military dossiers, obtained by the New York Times and the Guardian, reveal how, alongside the so-called 'worst of the worst,' many prisoners were flown to the Guantanamo cages and held captive for years on the flimsiest grounds, or on the basis of lurid confessions extracted by maltreatment."

A detainee is escorted by guards inside the US military prison for 'enemy combatants' at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (photo: AFP)
A detainee is escorted by guards inside the US military prison for 'enemy combatants' at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (photo: AFP)

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+13 # Davidson Loehr 2011-04-25 11:13
The authors say:
"US authorities relied heavily on information obtained from a small number of detainees under torture. They continued to maintain this testimony was reliable even after admitting that the prisoners who provided it had been mistreated."
What if the story is even more cynical: the purpose of the torture was not to get information, but to torture people into giving the false information they would have to give to stop the pain? Connect this with the federal jury that found Ahmed Ghailani guilty of only one count of conspiracy to destroy US property (in Africa) and acquitted him on more than 280 other counts. The jury was saying there was no real evidence to support the government’s charges. What if this means that, really, there are few if any Arab connections to the events of 9-11? While the US continues to implicate Osama bin Laden, for example, our own FBI, while listing him on its most wanted list, doesn’t even mention 9-11 because, as they’ve said, there is no evidence connecting Osama bin Laden to 9-11. What if the Muslim Arabs were simply patsies in the 9-11 events, used to misdirect attention away from the real perpetrators – who might not have been Arabs at all? Is this far-fetched?
+5 # Dave W. 2011-04-25 16:36
Davidson Loehr, "What if the Muslim Arabs were simply patsies in the 9-11 events, used to misdirect attention away from the real perpetrators-wh o might not have been Arabs after all? Is this far-fetched." On the contrary it seems quite plausible. 9/11 was an "inside job", mountains of evidence point to NO other conclusion. It was "disaster capitalism" to steal Naomi Klein's term, and made possible a wholesale theft of our government by Conservatives of which most were Republicans but who have been steadily joined by a number of "dogs" strangely tinted "blue." This is the "prima facie evidence" telling us WHY so many want military tribunals instead of open, public trials. What will these wrongfully detained individuals say in public. There is a deadly fear of that in certain circles. Good post Davidson!
+3 # Jim Bruner 2011-04-25 19:09
Not at all far-fetched. I invite you to view evidence at, which today includes a 4-minute video about why 1,500 professional architects and engineers (that's what the ae stands for in the URL) who call for an independent investigation into what really happened on 9/11. I'm one of those 1,500.
+17 # ATL 2011-04-25 11:13
This is just more proof that the USA has ILLEGALLY detained and tortured people. Guantanamo needs to be shut down and everyone there needs to be brought to the US and allow CIVILIAN courts to settle this. Any American involved in torture should be brought up on charges and tried in a court of law. I do not want to hear the old Nazi saw "I was following orders." We have violated the Geneva Convention and we have violated human rights. IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT IF SOMEONE IS GIVEN AN ILLEGAL ORDER THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE THAT ORDER. WE HAVE SUNK TO THE BARBARIC LEVELS OF NAZI GERMANY. IT MUST END. What is worse, is that these people probably were not our enemies prior to their being tortured and incarcerated. I will guarantee you we have made them our enemies now. We have made our bed and now we must lie in it.
+8 # Philoctetes 2011-04-25 11:23
See below from Mark Danner, "The Red Cross Torture Report," NYRB April 30, 2009:

Many studies have confirmed the essential truth that a great many prisoners, probably a majority, were unjustly held, without adequate cause or sufficient investigation.2 1 Well over half the Guantánamo prisoners have been released without charge, often after years of detention.

The initial panicked rush to “round up prisoners,” replicated in Iraq, led to what Wilkerson calls an “ad hoc intelligence philosophy” developed to “justify keeping many of these people, called the mosaic philosophy.”

Simply stated, this philosophy held that it did not matter if a detainee were innocent. Indeed, because he lived in Afghanistan and was captured on or near the battle area, he must know something of importance…. All that was necessary was to extract everything possible from him and others like him, assemble it all in a computer program, and then look for cross-connectio ns and serendipitous incidentals—in short, to have sufficient information about a village, a region, or a group of individuals, that dots could be connected and terrorists or their plots could be identified.

Thus, as many people as possible had to be kept in detention for as long as possible to allow this philosophy of intelligence gathering to work. The detainees’ innocence was inconsequential .
+14 # thomaf 2011-04-25 11:32
Kidnapped, tortured; hundreds in our jurisdiction and thousands in black sites. Sounds like Nero, Vlad the Impaler, Joseph Mengele, Jim Jones, but, no; America, the ugly! First, they came for the ......., etc. and then they'll come for you. "They" must be stopped. This practice of secretly, incarcerating and punishing people is setting a bad prededent, which could backfire. If agencies of our government don't respect the laws of our land, and the courts don't rectify their crimes, the citizens will have but one recourse, to do the same. Liberate Bradley Manning and the hundreds of thousands of other Americans being held for minor infractions.
+8 # Activista 2011-04-25 12:03
CIA paid tons of money to informers. And they delivered - their neighbors they did not like, foreigner .. etc. Market economy demand/supply.
I think the number - like 90% innocent is more correct. And of course tortured and killed in secret prisons - this is another story.
And it continues - today criminal Obama bombed (assassination is a crime) Qaddafi quarters as Reagan did in 1986. Talking about terrorist state.
-16 # Homer Norman 2011-04-25 12:47
I suspect the maltreatment allegedly given at Guantanamo would be more desirable than beheading....
+7 # Dave W. 2011-04-25 16:22
Homer Norman, "I suspect the maltreatment allegedly given at Guantanamo would be more desirable than beheading." Quite thoughtful of you to offer such a measured choice. If YOU or YOUR son or YOUR father were being held there erroneously would YOU be making the same asinine comment?
+8 # phrixus 2011-04-25 16:48
Rubbish. You make a merit-less comparison. Beheading is wrong. The torture meted out at Guantanamo was wrong. Neither is desirable.
+6 # LizR 2011-04-25 18:11
Quoting Homer Norman:
I suspect the maltreatment allegedly given at Guantanamo would be more desirable than beheading....

Yes, and more deirable than cucifixion or disembowelling, too. So what?
0 # billy bob 2011-04-26 17:11
Actually, if that were true, they wouldn't have such a problem FORCING people to not commit suicide. Torture victims would LOVE to be beheaded. The amount of pain inflicted during a beheading can be dragged out for years. Guantanamo and abu graib and all of those secret torture sites we're really not even supposed to know exist are living proof of that.
+6 # giraffee2012 2011-04-25 14:29
If Bush, Cheney, etc. don't have to pay for these crimes (they knew, they ordered, etc.) then what do we have for a justice system? Clearly we have "the best government that money can buy"

Said above: Did Pvt. Manning really break the law? Did Bush & company break the law? If Pvt. Manning has to pay -- then SO DOES the Bush (etc.)

President Obama: You've been for the people and can stand tall (although some Americans think you can reverse the mess left you in 2 years and change the RIGHT WING nuts) -- but now DO NOT let the military "industrial complex" tell you what to do with the American citizen - Private Manning.
-16 # thomash 2011-04-25 14:54
You talk about "harsh interrogation techniques". You compare us to Nazi Germany. As a retired vet, I see you want Freedom, Peace, Saftey to live your Dream. But it is not FREE. We are not perfect by no means. But you compare our techniques of intelligence gathering to all other Countries. You want all this securiy without Fight. Freedom Is Not Free. You don't like it here. LEAVE...
+9 # Activista 2011-04-25 15:39
"You want all this securiy without Fight. Freedom Is Not Free. You don't like it here. LEAVE.."
talking about being brainwashed Tomas... any more cliches?
+10 # Dave W. 2011-04-25 16:15
thomash, "You compare us to Nazi Germany. As a retired vet,I see you want Freedom, Peace, Safety to live your dreams." First of all, the "desires" you speak of are inclusive to all rational beings whether they serve in the military, of any country, or not. What the article is saying is that "this" country, previously renowned for NOT engaging in "harsh interrogation techniques", namely torture, has been doing so and has been doing so on individuals who clearly had NOTHING to do with 9/11. "Freedom" will NOT be obtained by torturing and incarcerating INNOCENT people. This is what the Nazi's did and what WE are currently doing. If we have nothing to hide and our SOLE goal is the security of our nation, then why not put the Guantanamo "detainees" on trial, in public? If found guilty then punishment should be meted out accordingly. If not, they should be remunerated for the lost years of their lives and released. We are a nation of laws predicated on the foundation of "justice for all." Justice...its a simple concept that this nation fought a magnificent battle for in WW11. If the guy across the street from you was accused of being a murderer and was implicated in a specific crime which you KNEW he could not have committed because he was with YOU at the time, would YOU stand up on his behalf or allow him to be falsely convicted? As a "retired vet" I'll assume you'd defend justice.
+10 # phrixus 2011-04-25 16:59
You are making excuses for criminal, immoral behavior. If we engage in the same heinous practices as the Nazis i.e. torture, then we have become the same as they were. You have subscribed to the flawed philosophy of "It's ok if we do it, not ok if someone else does it." That thought process is without logical foundation. Of course, when you offer the ridiculous statement, "You don't like it here. LEAVE" you've indicated you've already stopped thinking. ~US Vet, retired.
+5 # LizR 2011-04-25 18:16
Quoting thomash:
You talk about "harsh interrogation techniques". You compare us to Nazi Germany. As a retired vet, I see you want Freedom, Peace, Saftey to live your Dream. But it is not FREE. We are not perfect by no means. But you compare our techniques of intelligence gathering to all other Countries. You want all this securiy without Fight. Freedom Is Not Free. You don't like it here. LEAVE...

So are you saying, if you don't like what your country does, don't speak up about it in case that endangers your freedoms? Looks like you've *already* endangered the freedom of free speech. People aren't objecting to illegal methods of interrogation used on legitimate suspects - that's another matter, for another debate - they're objecting to it being used on people who can't possibly be suspects. But hey, if you don't *like* a country with the right to free speech and the rule of law, you could always leave.
+3 # cadan 2011-04-25 21:51
Thomash --- I'll bet everybody here wants us to treat our vets better, including providing health care, education, and counseling, even if it means closing loopholes in the tax code for the extremely wealthy.

But telling the patriots who are trying desperately to stop our self-destructiv e foreign wars to leave helps no-one. It doesn't help us, it doesn't help our victims, and it doesn't help our veterans --- who are in fact another class of our victims.

I do agree that "Freedom, Peace, Safety to live your Dream" is not free. But the price for what freedom we have left is being paid by truly courageous people like Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Lynne Stewart. They are languishing in prisons or confinement, their only sin being to defend our republic (Assange of course is not American, but he is as great a friend to America as Lafayette).

So: please try to understand why those who love America the most are also the most upset about attaching an empire to her.

I hope these heroic people are never forced to leave, but that their fervent support for justice, harmony, and righteousness will prevail, and we will have the good sense to shed this empire.

Empire is always, sooner or later, as much a disaster to the home country as to its victims.
+5 # fredboy 2011-04-25 17:40
Such injustice and torture would have never been tolerated 20 years ago. Now it is part of the national fabric.
+3 # LizR 2011-04-25 18:09
"Well, Mr Ghandi, what do you think of Western civilisation?"
+1 # aljoschu 2011-04-26 08:49
To have access to what truly happens is a sine-qua-non condition for a functioning democracy.
Again, this publication proves how important WikiLeaks has become for western democracies to know the truth. Consequently, whistleblower platforms like WikiLeaks have become a sine-qua-non for a functioning democracy.

The USA are obviously not taking decicive steps to correct the wrong that has been done in Guantanamo. Instead, American authorities are trying to destroy the whistleblower platform. Does this imply that the USA are not functioning as a democracy any longer? - What is it then if it isn't a democracy any more? And when exactly did this breach occur? At last, who is responsible for that?

From a European perspective, we have to question what this means to our relationship to America. What does this mean to the underlying common value system of our western democracies? - Can we still continue to jointly claim human rights in Russia or China? Can we still continue to fight wars together in the name of freedom and democracy?

These questions need to be answered and will be answered. The western world will not exit this discussion stronger, if we don't face these questions with rigour and courage - on both sides of the Atlantic.
0 # ImaLouiseWright 2011-04-28 01:46
it's like the nazis complaining that info leaked from concentration camps was damaging their national security and the leaks would harm the concentration camp prisoners.
this report is so mild. for just 1 example: the torture of qatani was sick. he was trained as a dog. he had to crawl around on all 4s led on a leash, bark, and pee on himself. they told him he was lower than a dog, but they wd try to elevate him to dog status.
our gov belongs behind bars. they are lower than dogs. for starters, put rumsfeld and cheyney on leashes and drag them naked to alaska. if they die, good riddance to miserable rubbish.

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