We tortured him

So says Susan J. Crawford, the appointed convening authority of military commissions, responsible for reviewing practices at Guantanamo Bay.

Crawford is the first senior Bush administration official to admit publicly that torture was used against a GITMO detainee.

The detainee in question is Muhammed al-Qahtani, an alleged member of the terrorist group al-Qaeda, who reportedly was planning to take part as the 20th hijacker in the September 11th attacks. He was denied access to the U.S. a month before 9/11, and later captured in Afghanistan and transported to Guantanamo in January 2002.

During his detainment, he was interrogated and subjected to such techniques as “sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a “life-threatening condition.

Qahtani had to be hospitalized twice during his interrogation, with bradycardia, which can cause heart failure and death when a person’s heart rate falls below 60 beats a minute. It’s reported that Qahtini’s heart rate went as low as 35 beats per minute.

In response to the 2006 Supreme Court ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld , which found that the original military commission system for Guantanamo Bay violated the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act, creating a new structure for trials by commissions. This act bans torture but permits “coercive” testimony.


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