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Hickman writes: "According to Abu Zubaydah's attorney, the prosecution is attempting to stop him from testifying by presenting evidence claiming he is biased against the United States."

A military officer stands near the entrance to Camp VI at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2013. Abu Zubaydah remains imprisoned at Guantanamo. (photo: Joe Raedle/Getty)
A military officer stands near the entrance to Camp VI at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2013. Abu Zubaydah remains imprisoned at Guantanamo. (photo: Joe Raedle/Getty)

US Government Attempts to Prevent Abu Zubaydah From Testifying

By Joseph Hickman, Reader Supported News

18 May 17


n May 19, 2017, Guantanamo detainee Abu Zubaydah is scheduled to speak for the first time in a courtroom at Guantanamo Bay. According to Abu Zubaydah's attorney, the prosecution is attempting to stop him from testifying by presenting evidence claiming he is biased against the United States. The evidence the prosecution will be presenting is a videotape that Abu Zubaydah made of himself in October 2001 during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. In the video Zubaydah speaks extremely critically about the United States.

According to Abu Zubaydah's attorney Mark Denbeaux, "the Government stacked the deck. We stipulated to bias against the U.S., but the court is giving virtual free reign to the prosecution in search of proving bias— while extremely limiting my client’s ability to respond meaningfully about his experience. Faced with overwhelming evidence that they tortured the wrong man, the Government wanted to cherry-pick statements to paint a picture of prejudice under this cloak of “bias” without telling the whole story. We invaded this man’s country, waterboarded him 83 times and tortured him for 4 years in secret prisons where he lost an eye. The CIA officially directed that he be silenced as long as he lived, forever and without fail. And if that wasn't enough, if he died while in CIA custody they ordered his body cremated—assuring his silence even beyond the grave. Of course he’s biased."

Abu Zubaydah was captured by the CIA in Pakistan in on March 28, 2003. Immediately after his capture, US government officials made the announcement that Abu Zubaydah was a top lieutenant in the Al-Qaeda organization and number three in their chain of command. Abu Zubaydah spent the next three and a half years in CIA custody, moved around to several top-secret locations around the world. During that time he was subject to several of the CIA's newly created “enhanced interrogation techniques” including being confined to a small box that he barely fit into for hours at a time, isolation for long periods of time, sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, and being waterboarded 83 times.

After being tortured for three and a half years in CIA custody, on September 9, 2006 he was moved to Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and put in the custody of the Department of Defense. By 2007 the U.S. government had changed their accusations to say Abu Zubaydah was never a member of Al-Qaeda. Yet he still remains in Guantanamo today, and has never been charged with a crime, or given the right of due process.

Abu Zubaydah is hoping to be heard for the first time since his capture in a Military Commissions pre-trial hearing over the treatment of a fellow detainee Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who claims he has been subjected to psychological torture at Guantanamo's Camp 7 where all the so called "high value detainees" are housed. Al-Shibh claims disturbing sounds and vibrations are purposely directed into his cell done to disturb his sleep. Abu Zubaydah is scheduled to testify about the sights, sounds and smells in the secret camp, but because of the unusual evidence that may be presented against Abu Zubaydah, and how it is presented by the prosecution, Zubaydah may be advised by his attorney not to testify.

Joseph Hickman is a former Gitmo guard and freelance journalist. He is also the author of the upcoming book 'The Convenient Terrorist: Two Whistleblowers' Stories of Torture, Terror, Secret Wars, and CIA Lies.' Follow him on Twitter: your social media marketing partner


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+8 # dotlady 2017-05-18 22:46
The American "twilight zone" of torture.
+8 # Anonymot 2017-05-19 08:06
There's nothing "twilight" about it if you are the tortured, only if you're the torturer.
+16 # tm7devils39 2017-05-19 00:05
Doesn't it just give you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside knowing you are a citizen of the World's largest Dumbocratic country?
Lincoln should be turning is his grave: "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth."...probl em is, no-one explained exactly who these 'people' were...certainl y not the average citizen.
-23 # egbegb 2017-05-19 00:51
There is no one on this thread that understands all the "details" and certainly, the author is presenting only one side. There is no news in this article -- zero,nil,nada.
+1 # rogerhgreen 2017-05-21 08:53
Regarding Guantanamo prisoners, has the US government ever allowed more than one side to be presented? So this guy and his attorney are trying to tell HIS side. What is your point, egbegb?

And this is all pre-Trump and pre-Republican majorities in Congress. Just think about that, especially those of you who imagine that things would have been radically better with Hillary as President.
+24 # Anonymot 2017-05-19 01:05
Waterboarded 83 times and still alive and they think he should still kiss them on both cheeks? Add incompetence, stupidity, and fascism and what do you get? Throw in a little corruption and it's The Central Intelligence Agency.

Read The Devil's Chessboard by David Talbot to see how they got there. A mind-boggling book.
+9 # James Klimaski 2017-05-19 02:23
Reading this, I thought it was an Andy Borowitz satire. Is this another effort by the Trump Administration to return the country to the 19th Century?
+23 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-05-19 04:42
I don't understand why someone can't be biased against the US and still be a good witness. In fact, in this case I'd say bias for the US would make someone a bad witness.

This is a really horrifying statement --

" The CIA officially directed that he be silenced as long as he lived, forever and without fail. And if that wasn't enough, if he died while in CIA custody they ordered his body cremated — assuring his silence even beyond the grave."

I wonder how many people the CIA has "disappeared" like this. We will never know. It does have a long history of "disappearing" people.

All over Latin America such vanished people are called "los desaparecidos." There are movements in almost every nation to force the CIA and US government to open its files and tell what it knows about the disappearance of family members who will never forget how their sons or daughters were simply disappeared by the US CIA.

Why do the american people tolerate the existence of the CIA? It is the world's worse terrorist gang. When will a president just abolish it?
-4 # Aliazer 2017-05-19 12:24
And the tragedy of it, currently, is that the CIA, along with other intelligence agencies and the deep state are ganging up,in collusion with each other, to undo the Executive of the United States, illegitimately and without legal authority, in violation of the Constitution, solely at the service of powerful, unelected globalist interests who despise the legal process and the will of the people!!
+9 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-05-19 08:31
How Exceptional. Why should an innocent victim of long-drawn-out, utterly inhumane bodily & mental torture ever have the insulting nerve to challenge the mighty USA Which Can Do No Wrong?
+15 # Johnny 2017-05-19 10:37
A witness' "Bias" may be relevant to the weight a jury may give his testimony, but it is never a reason to prevent him from testifying. Now the deep state is inventing insane rules of evidence to keep the world from hearing the truth.
+3 # DongiC 2017-05-19 19:14
First, denial of rights followed by prolonged and ingenious application of unusually cruel punishments like wireboarding. Making America great again by virtue of our amazing ability to beat up the weak and handicapped. We are an empire, pure and simple. We have 17 intelligence agencies and we can make make anyone talk anytime. Anyone who crosses our path, had better watch out.
+2 # elizabethblock 2017-05-20 17:32
Ahmed Ould Abdel Aziz, a Mauritanian, was cleared for release from Guantanamo in 2009. He was finally sent home after 13 years in detention. The Department of Defense resisted his release: "Well, one thing that would help is if he would start expressing appreciation for the United States."

This is from a piece in the New Yorker, 1 August 2016, by Connie Bruck, "The Failure of Guantanamo."

You couldn't make this up.
+3 # elizabethblock 2017-05-20 17:36
BTW: Joseph Hickman has one book out already, "Murder at Camp Delta : a staff sergeant's pursuit of the truth about Guantanamo Bay." Worth reading.
+1 # John S. Browne 2017-05-21 12:38

This is what the U.S. government and military have come to. Of course, they committed their atrocities pre-9/11, and for the over fifty years since W.W.2, but since 9-11 they have become one of the most atrocious governments on face of the globe, second only to regimes like China and Saudi Arabia, the latter now our "ally" [and, in fact, at least on a business level, China is our "ally" as well (they produce practically everything that we in the U.S. use on a daily basis, especially technology---wh ich, very interestingly, is produced by a communist country and used to spy on and track all of our movements; so, who exactly should actually be considered guilty of, and prosecuted for, espionage and being in violation of the Espionage Act? The U.S. government obviously{!})].

In the wake of W.W.2, Americans were willing to create and expand CIAs, and NSAs, and private contractors, and an increasingly totally out-of-control military-indust rial-presidenti al-congressiona l-judicial complex, in other words a police state regime. And, since 9-11, "Amerikans" have been willing to expand that madness on steroids. Now, what did we get in return? We no longer live in a free country. Everything we do is evaluated (if we dissent, stand up for human and civil rights, and defend liberty and freedom as our Constitution and Bill of Rights give us the duty to do) monitored, recorded, spied on, surveilled, watched, etc., by "our own" government, as in communist and fascist countries.


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