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Alleged 9/11 mastermind: 'I make up stories'

Bravo!! Are we actually experiencing the return of investigative journalism in some corporate press? And of course, huge thanks to the ACLU (who needs support) for their invaluable work in once again forcing the release of these transcripts.

See also "CIA Mistaken on 'High-Value' Detainee, Document Shows", By Peter Finn and Julie Tate, Washington Post Staff Writers:
"An al-Qaeda associate [Abu Zubaida] captured by the CIA and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques said his jailers later told him they had mistakenly thought he was the No. 3 man in the organization's hierarchy and a partner of Osama bin Laden, according to newly released excerpts from a 2007 hearing.

"They told me, 'Sorry, we discover that you are not Number 3, not a partner, not even a fighter,' " said Abu Zubaida, speaking in broken English, according to the new transcript of a Combatant Status Review Tribunal held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

... Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times, appears to have invoked the U.S. Constitution to protest his treatment. He described the response he received: "You are not American, and you are not on American soil. So you cannot ask about the Constitution." Mohammed also said he lied in response to questions about bin Laden's location. "Where is he? I don't know," Mohammed said. "Then he torture me. Then I said yes, he is in this area." ...


– Ed.

By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press
6/15/09

WASHINGTON -- Accused al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed complained that interrogators tortured lies out of him, though he proudly took credit for more than two dozen other terror plots, according to newly released sections of government transcripts.

"I make up stories," Mohammed said at one point in his 2007 hearing at Guantánamo Bay.

In broken English, he described an interrogation in which he was asked the location of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

"Where is he? I don't know," Mohammed said. 'Then he torture me. Then I said, 'Yes, he is in this area or this is al Qaeda which I don't know him.' I said no, they torture me."

Yet at the same military tribunal hearing, Mohammed ticked off a list of 29 terror plots in which he took part.

The transcripts were released as part of a lawsuit in which the American Civil Liberties Union is seeking documents and details of the government's terror detainee programs.

Previous accounts of the military tribunal hearings had been made public, but the Obama administration went back and reviewed the still-secret sections and determined that more portions could be released.

Most of the new material centers around the detainees' claims of abuse during interrogations while being held overseas in CIA custody.

One detainee, Abu Zubaydah, told the tribunal that after months "of suffering and torture, physically and mentally, they did not care about my injuries."

Zubaydah was the first detainee subjected to Bush administration-approved harsh interrogation techniques, which included a simulated form of drowning known as waterboarding, slamming the suspect into walls and prolonged period of nudity.

Zubaydah claimed in the hearing that he "nearly died four times."

"After a few months went by, during which I almost lost my mind and my life, they made sure I didn't die," Zubaydah said.

He claimed that after many months of such treatment, authorities concluded he was not the No. 3 person in al Qaeda as they had long believed.

Source URL: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/story/1098707.html

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