Guantanamo Bay detainee: I make up stories
Newly released information suggests that harsh interrogation techniques could lead to false information.
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The ACLU expressed disappointment that President Barack Obama, who has pledged greater openness, had decided to withhold so much of the information.Skip to next paragraph
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"The public has a right to know what took place in the CIA's secret prisons," Jaffer said, adding that the ACLU would continue to press in court for completely unclassified versions of transcripts from the tribunals.
The documents released Monday also contained a few new details about the detention of terrorism suspects. A newly declassified portion of Mohammed's transcript showed that the CIA apparently had told him that he had no constitutional rights.
"This is what I understand he told me: You are not American and you are not on American soil," Mohammed said in the military hearing. "So you cannot ask about the Constitution."
The newly declassified material provided little new information on the treatment of another so-called high value detainee, accused al-Qaida facilitator Abu Zubaydah. He was captured in a raid on a Pakistani compound in March 2002.
On one page, the CIA declassified two paragraphs in which Zubaydah complained about the lack of treatment of injuries he sustained in the shootout, including the loss of a testicle.
"They did not care about my injuries that they inflicted to my eye, to my stomach, to my bladder, and my left thigh and my reproductive organs," Zubaydah said. He went on to complain that he was "losing my masculinity. Even my beard is falling out, not from injuries but from the lack of treatment."
Ben Wizner, the lead ACLU attorney in the lawsuit seeking an unclassified version of the transcripts, said the techniques the CIA used to interrogate al-Qaida suspects were made public when the Obama administration earlier this year released Justice Department legal memos authorizing them, so there was no reason to keep the detainees' testimony secret.
"There is only one explanation for the continued suppression. It is not to protect national security; it is to protect the CIA from accountability," Wizner said.
Despite the CIA's efforts to suppress prisoners' statements concerning their treatment, other sources have provided highly detailed accounts - including a 2007 Red Cross report that surfaced publicly earlier this year.
In that document, Zubaydah described his reaction to being waterboarded, saying he thought he was going to die. "I lost control of my urine," Zubaydah told the Red Cross, according to the organization's report. "Since then I still lose control of my urine when under stress."
More than 7 1/2 pages of the hearing transcript of Majid Khan, another accused al-Qaida member, remained classified and appeared as one long block of blacked-out text. Among the few newly released statements of Khan's include his assertion that the evidence against him was a result of torture.
"In the end," he said, "any classified information you have is through (redacted) agencies who physically and mentally tortured me."