Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Lakhdar Boumediene Says He Was Tortured at Gitmo

In an exclusive interview with Jake Tapper of ABC News, Lakhdar Boumediene said he was tortured while wrongly imprisoned for seven and a half years at

Elyse Woods
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jun 08, 2009

In an interview with Jake Tapper of ABC News, Lakhdar Boumediene said he was “tortured” while wrongly imprisoned for seven and a half years at Guantanamo Bay without charge or trial, deprived of sleep for 16 days at a time and physically abused. He eventually went on a hunger strike and was physically force-fed.

While former Bush administration lawyers might argue his treatment wasn’t actually torture, Boumediene — an Algerian working for the Red Crescent in Bosnia where he lived with his wife and two daughters when he was arrested in 2001 — was unequivocal. “I don’t think,” he said when asked if it was torture. “I’m sure.”

The United States responded to ABC that it’s not U.S. policy to torture prisoners. But the Boumediene case cries out for not just an investigation, but prosecution and accountability for those responsible — as well ascompensation for the victims of U.S. abuse.

Boumediene is just one of about 700 men swept up by the U.S. military after Sept. 11, 2001 based on little or no evidence. Originally arrested by Bosnian police in October 2001, he was charged with conspiracy to blow up the U.S. and British embassies in that country. When the Bosnians found no evidence to support the charges — charges Boumediene consistently vehemently denied — the charges were dropped.

But the Bush administration pressured the Bosnian government not to release him, and instead to turn him over to the U.S. military, which sent him to Guantanamo Bay.

As ABC News recounts, two weeks later, President Bush boasted Boumediene’s arrest as a victory in his “war on terror.”

“Our soldiers, working with the Bosnian government, seized terrorists who were plotting to bomb our embassy,” Bush said in his address.

In fact, as ABC notes, officials of the Bush administration have never provided any credible evidence to support that charge.

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, contrary to the Bush administration’s claims, Boumediene and his fellow Gitmo prisoners had the right to challenge their indefinite detention by the government. In November, a federal judge ordered Boumediene’s release. Still, the U.S. government insisted he could not be released within the United States, and it wasn’t until France agreed to accept Boumediene in April that he was able to be freed.

Despite Boumediene’s seven and half year ordeal, he is, in a sense, one of the lucky ones. Another 240 men remain at Guantanamo Bay, most of whom have not yet had the same opportunity to defend themselves. About 60 have already been cleared of wrongdoing and approved for release, yet the United States refuses to accept them and can’t seem to negotiate their transfer anywhere else, either, given that the United States has branded them terrorists.

Not surprisingly, Boumediene told ABC News that he’s considering bringing a lawsuit against former Bush administration officials seeking compensation for his wrongful imprisonment and abuse.

“I cry, just I cry,” he told ABC News, because after seven years in the Guantanamo prison, “I don’t know my daughters.”

Update: Kudos to reader json, who points out that Dan Rather interviewed Boumediene last week — which would appear to undermine ABC’s claim of exclusivity…

Elyse Woods | As a product marketing manager, I've had the opportunity to help a variety of companies improve their sales margins and audience reaction to new products. Since I am passionate about product perception, marketing, and company statistics, I have brought commitment and positive results to the companies with which I have worked. What makes a product successful fascinates and inspires me.


Giffords shooting leads nation to introspection and political finger wagging

In the wake of the shooting in Arizona this weekend that critically injured Rep.

EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management

At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from

E-Verify Mandate Begins Today

The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm

EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules

The EPA seal (Pic via The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.

EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann  has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.

EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’

In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work

EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria

The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards

EPA Analysis Says Climate Bill’s Cost for Households Would Be ‘Modest’

All the attention on the energy front today is going to the BP spill, but the Environmental Protection Agency quietly released its long-anticipated analysis of

EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |

Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.