Lord Omlette's !LiveJournal (lordomlette) wrote,
Lord Omlette's !LiveJournal

Day 426: Thursday 13 May 2021 by Lord Omlette


Derp in the Time of Coronavirus

Woke up mostly on time. No emergencies, just rescheduled calls and such.

Lunch = pb sandwich - coffee.

Only took a single new ticket. CM even rubbed it in my face that he'd snagged tickets before I could, LOL.

No customer call, they rescheduled. Instead, banged out answers to everyone, then tried working on my presentation.

Dinner = almost all of the remainder of Mom's Indian food + Mike's hard blueberry pomegranate lemonade + Impact! Wrestling.

Around 12:30am, I gave up on the presentation. My environment is borked, so I'll start fresh elsewhere.

Started watching Castlevania Season 4. So far, not really impressed. confused, embarrassed

No time for whiteboard stuff. I was fairly exhausted after work, etc. I also think my approach to reading Halmos isn't going as well as I'd like. I need to regroup and make sure I'm using this time to the best of my ability. 138 streak broken because I'm terrible with time management. cry


Who is Abu Zubaydah? No one knows. This is by design.

It's been 19 years since U.S. forces captured Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn and declared him one of the senior leaders of al Qaeda. It's been 15 years since the CIA quietly revoked that assessment once it was done torturing him. Today, Huseyn, a forgotten man, remains locked inside Guantanamo Bay, a living symbol of the permanent damage wrought by the War on Terror.

As the Biden administration performs the latest government review into closing Guantanamo, attorneys for Husayn, better known as Abu Zubaydah, have decided they've waited long enough. They filed a petition on Friday with the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention seeking his release from his 19 years of captivity. They want the panel to exercise its "urgent actions" procedures to appeal to Washington for his freedom, citing his counsel's "serious concerns for his physical and mental health and welfare [stretching back] for years."

The attorneys note that the military has yet to vaccinate Abu Zubaydah and the other Guantanamo detainees for COVID-19. "After 19 years of arbitrary detention, the only appropriate legal remedy for Abu Zubaydah is release and rehabilitation," said the lead lawyer behind the U.N. appeal, Helen Duffy.

The U.N. is an unlikely route through which Abu Zubaydah might go free, but nothing else has worked, including a federal habeas corpus case. The few consistencies in Abu Zubaydah's Kafkaesque past 19 years have nothing to do with the law and everything to do with the prerogatives of covering up what the U.S. did to him. In 2018, one of Abu Zubaydah's habeas attorneys marveled that his unlikely goal was to get the U.S. to prosecute his client--just so Abu Zubaydah's permanent incommunicado captivity would end.

Once Abu Zubaydah was said to be one of the most important al Qaeda captives of all. An infamous August 2002 memo from the Justice Department, instrumental to authorizing the CIA to torture him--and after him, at least 118 others--called him the "third or fourth man in al Qaeda." But there were doubts inside the CIA at the outset. According to the landmark Senate torture report, on Aug. 16, 2006 the agency formally concluded that Abu Zubaydah "was not a member of al Qaeda."

Instead of freeing him, the U.S. brought Abu Zubaydah to Guantanamo Bay the following month, where he became the forgotten man he currently is. Some politicians, like Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), a former CIA analyst and Pentagon official, have recently declared that the 9/11 era is "over." But Abu Zubaydah's ongoing and entirely uncontroversial confinement proves the opposite. He is one of 40 men, few of them charged with any crime even before a dysfunctional military tribunal, who languish at Guantanamo Bay. Abu Zubaydah's captivity has influenced every one of them.

… The Senate torture report records that Abu Zubaydah was almost instantly "compliant." CIA medical staff found that he was willing to cooperate even before he was tortured. But the brutality was so severe that within days of the "aggressive phase" of his interrogation, Abu Zubaydah would go to the waterboard when his interrogator "snapped his fingers twice." He would frequently spasm and grow hysterical from the drownings. At least one of them, per the torture report, left him catatonic and unresponsive, with bubbles forming in his "open, full mouth."

It took six days, on Aug. 9, for CIA interrogators on scene to conclude that Abu Zubaydah had no actionable intelligence. The next day, they re-emphasized it was "highly unlikely" he had the sort of information they sought. When an apparently frustrated CIA official warned Langley they were at the "legal limit" of what they could do to Abu Zubaydah, the head of the Counterterrorism Center, Jose Rodriguez, responded on Aug. 12 that "any speculative language as to the legality of given activities" was "not helpful." Years later, Rodriguez and his deputy, who had been one of the chiefs of the Thailand black site where the CIA first tortured Abu Zubaydah, destroyed over 90 videotapes of Abu Zubaydah's torture. The deputy and black site chief, Gina Haspel, went on to become CIA director, from 2018 to January 2021.

Spencer Ackerman

the kids won't remember but the "Torture Discourse" (and of course, the torture!) was horrific back then, a lot of people showed themselves to be monsters, and it all turned out to be both as horrific and pointless as critics said (SHUT UP STUPID HIPPIE CRITICS)

I literally do not care that reminding people about this creates more enemies for the United States. We have never had a problem with that. This was a human being, we got it wrong, we refuse to admit it, and we refuse to apologize. I hate everything about this. angry

If you wish to comment, please do so at the entry itself and not on LJ. Thanks for reading!
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