WASHINGTON (AFP) â€“ The United States may never be able to prosecute an alleged plotter of the September 11, 2001 attacks because he was tortured, a top Pentagon official said in an interview.
Susan Crawford, who is charged with deciding whether to bring Guantanamo detainees to trial, told The Washington Post that US interrogators had tortured Saudi terror suspect Mohammed al-Qahtani.
"We tortured Qahtani," she said, thus becoming the first senior Bush administration official to publicly state that a detainee was tortured.
"His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case" for prosecution said Crawford, who is the convening authority of military commissions, a system established by the administration of President George W. Bush to try unlawful enemy combatants.
Crawford said US military interrogators repeatedly subjected Qahtani, 30, to sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a "life-threatening condition."
"The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent," she said.
"This was just a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his health. It was abusive and uncalled for. And coercive. Clearly coercive. It was that medical impact that pushed me over the edge" to call it torture.
The rest of the article available here.
If you want to convict someone, probably shouldn't torture them first. Meh.