The face of torture

TruthDig
by Marie Cocco

For weeks after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when images of twisted metal and smoldering debris still filled television screens and the wail of bagpipes at firefighters’ funerals sounded day after day, there was one face that seemed to embody the terror. It was that of Mohamed Atta, ringleader of the suicide hijackers, with his steely eyes and tight lips that appeared to reflect the evil within. Seven years later, if we were to seek a portrait that is emblematic of the way the United States has tried — and failed — to bring those responsible for the heinous plot to justice, we would have to produce a photograph of Mohammed al-Qahtani. If such a photo were made public, it would probably show a battered man with signs of diminished mental capacity, a man who authorities concede was so badly abused — those outside the Bush administration call his treatment torture — that he will not be tried by a military commission with other alleged plotters of the 9/11 attacks. The Pentagon has formally dropped charges in the case against Qahtani, conceding that most of the evidence it has came from Qahtani’s own coerced statements, made after abusive interrogations...

//www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080514_the_face_of_torture/


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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