Tag: binyam mohamed

Oct 23

US Wants MORE CIA in Pakistan, $ for Weapons, Using Wikileaks as Excuse

Like clockwork in being timed with the latest wikileaks release:

After increasing the number of drone attacks in September, now the US is pressuring Pakistan to let in more covert paramilitary and CIA forces to increase the unknown, classified number that are already there – to support the death by drones program that is killing an unknown number of militants and civilians.  The story in the WSJ also says that Pakistan’s Inter – Services Intelligence agency, ISI, is currently doing most of the intelligence gathering and that CIA chief Leon Panetta has called them “very cooperative.”


Wall Street Journal:

http://online.wsj.com/article/…

The Obama administration has been ramping up pressure on Islamabad in recent weeks to attack militants after months of publicly praising Pakistani efforts. The CIA has intensified drone strikes in Pakistan, and the military in Afghanistan has carried out cross-border helicopter raids, underlining U.S. doubts Islamabad can be relied upon to be more aggressive. Officials have even said they were going to stop asking for Pakistani help with the U.S.’s most difficult adversary in the region, the North Waziristan-based Haqqani network, because it was unproductive.

Pakistani officials believe the CIA is better able to keep details of its operations largely out of the public eye, although the agency’s drone program has received widespread attention and is enormously unpopular with the Pakistani public.

U.S. military forces on the ground remain a red line for Islamabad. A senior Pakistani official said if the Pakistan public became aware of U.S. military forces conducting combat operations on Pakistani territory, it would wipe out popular support for fighting the militants in the tribal areas. Whether covert CIA forces would cross that line however, remains an open question.

Back in July, the public relationship wasn’t so cozy.


HuffPo, 7/6/10

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

…. but the US – Pakistan relationship is at the heart of Washington’s counterterrorism efforts.

But the CIA became so concerned by a rash of cases involving suspected double agents in 2009, it re-examined the spies it had on the payroll in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. The internal investigation revealed about a dozen double agents, stretching back several years. Most of them were being run by Pakistan. Other cases were deemed suspicious. The CIA determined the efforts were part of an official offensive counterintelligence program being run by Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the ISI’s spy chief.

Recruiting agents to track down and kill terrorists and militants is a top priority for the CIA, and one of the clandestine service’s greatest challenges. The drones can’t hit their targets without help finding them. Such efforts would be impossible without Pakistan’s blessing, and the U.S. pays about $3 billion a year in military and economic aid to keep the country stable and cooperative.

Pakistan has its own worries about the Americans. During the first term of the Bush administration, Pakistan became enraged after it shared intelligence with the U.S., only to learn the CIA station chief passed that information to the British. The incident caused a serious row, one that threatened the CIA’s relationship with the ISI and deepened the levels of distrust between the two sides. Pakistan almost threw the CIA station chief out of the country.

July 2010 – HuffPo says 8 years after the war in Afghanistan, a very poor and not very large country, was not going so well, the Obama administration finally became “concerned” about their intelligence partners in the region.   Three months after the first batch of wikileaks were released,  April 5, 2010.    

Apr 04

4/3/10 The Day after Good Friday: Zubaydah

From the ACLU’s A Ponzi Scheme of Torture

Chapter 4, Part 3  3/20/2010

http://www.thetorturereport.or…

(this same link in a form which does not jump all over the page when the mouse attempts to scroll over it here:  http://www.thetorturereport.or…  )

Timeline Summary of Binyam Mohamed and Abu Zubaydah:

April 2002.  Binyam Mohamed arrested in Pakistan.  Interrogated by the British Secret Service MI6. Tortured in Moroccan secret prisons.

Sept 2004 Binyam Mohamed sent to Guantanamo, from Bagram, Afghanistan. Although declared an

“enemy combatant”  Nov 2004, Binyam Mohamed decides not to participate in the military Tribunal created by President Bush in Oct 2001.

2005  Binyam Mohamed charged with conspiring against the U.S., with “Usama Bin Laden (a/k/a Abu Abdullah), Saif al Adel, Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri (a/k/a “the Doctor”), Mohammad Atef (a/k/a Abu Hafs al Masri), Abd al Hadi al Iraq, Zayn al Abidin Muammad Husayn (a/k/a Abu Zubayda hereinafter “Abu Zubayda”), Jose Padilla, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad” to commit acts of terrorism.

Zubaydah, the vanishing man-



(Binyam)Mohamed was formally recharged with conspiracy on May 28, 2008. The charge sheet is virtually identical to the one issued on November 4, 2005, except that Richard Reid’s name has been removed from paragraph (e) and every reference to Abu Zubaydah has been purged from the document. Where before “Binyam Mohammad then traveled to Birmel, Afghanistan and was introduced to Abu Zubayda” and “Abu Zubayda promised him training in Pakistan building remote control devices for explosives,” for example, now “Binyam Mohamed then traveled to Birmel Afghanistan, and trained on building remote control devices.” “After arriving in Lahore, Binyam Mohammad and Jose Padilla met with Abu Zubayda in private and discussed plans for attacks against the United States” and “Abu Zubayda stated he preferred Binyam Mohamed conduct an ‘overseas’ operation instead of going back to Afghanistan” became “After arriving in Lahore, Binyam Mohamed and Jose Padilla plotted attacks against the United States. After these discussions, Mohamed and Padilla agreed to be sent to the United States to conduct these operations rather than returning to Afghanistan.”23 [23]

Sept 22, 2008. Lt Col Darrel Vandeveld, US military Tribunal prosecutor, requests to resign his military commission, stating he had ethical qualms about continuing to prosecute Guantanamo detainees without evidence being made available for the defense.

Oct 20, 2008.  Pentagon dropped all charges against Binyam Mohamed and four other detainees whose original charge sheets had linked them to Abu Zubaydah.

Oct 21, 2008. The United Kingdom notifies the Foreign Office they are about to hand down notice on releasing CIA documents for Binyam Mohamed’s attorneys.

Oct 22, 2008.   The British courts rule.  A British – US diplomatic tug of war over who goes first, releasing what classified documents, trying to hide the torture evidence, results. This year, a few paragraphs were released, showing that the British govt. secret services did know of Binyam Mohamed’s incarceration.

Jan 22, 2009.  President Obama orders Guantanamo closed, bans torture, forms task force to review all cases.

Feb 23, 2010.  Binyam Mohamed finally freed and returned to the UK.


from Binyam Mohamed’s Statement the day he was released:

….For myself, the very worst moment came when I realised in Morocco that the people who were torturing me were receiving questions and materials from British intelligence. I had met with British intelligence in Pakistan. I had been open with them. Yet the very people who I hoped would come to my rescue, I later realised, had allied themselves with my abusers.

I am not asking for vengeance; only that the truth should be made known, so that nobody in the future should have to endure what I have endured.

Mar 11

House Votes To Stay In Afghanistan, Chalabi De-Baths Again, MI5 Hides in Court

Four War on Terra stories for a Wednesday afternoon:

1. The House of Representatives just voted No on a resolution to direct the President to remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan within 30 days, or by Dec 31, 2010 if a later date is safer.  65 to 356.  H Conn RES 248 was sponsored by Dennish Kucinich of Ohio and had 19 co sponsors.     http://clerk.house.gov/evs/201…

Patrick Kennedy (D, RI) is down as a NO vote inspite of this story on HuffPo where he yells at the MSM for not paying attention to this national debate.   “We’re talking about war and peace, $3 billion, 1,000 lives and no press! No press !”  WTF?  No vote, dude!  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

The Yes on withdrawal votes were as follows.  We thank the 5 Republicans who also voted for this (marked with ••).

Baldwin

••Campbell, John, CA 48

Capuano

Chu

Clarke

Clay

Cleaver

Crowley

Davis (IL)

DeFazio

Doyle

••Duncan John TN- 2

Edwards (MD)

Ellison

Farr

Filner

Frank (MA)

Grayson

Grijalva

Gutierrez

Hastings (FL)

Jackson (IL)

Jackson Lee (TX)

••Johnson Timothy  (IL- 15)

Johnson, E. B.

••Jones Walter NC -3

Kagen

Kucinich

Larson (CT)

Lee (CA)

Lewis (GA)

Maffei

Maloney

Markey (MA)

McDermott

McGovern

Michaud

Miller, George

Nadler (NY)

Napolitano

Neal (MA)

Obey

Olver

••Paul, Ron, TX 14

Payne

Pingree (ME)

Polis (CO)

Quigley

Rangel

Richardson

Sánchez, Linda T.

Sanchez, Loretta

Schakowsky

Serrano

Speier

Stark

Stupak

Tierney

Towns

Tsongas

Velázquez

Waters

Watson

Welch

Woolsey

Feb 11

British Judge: Gov Can’t Hide Torture of Binyam M. by US

A British Court of Appeals has ruled against the Foreign Secretary David Milliband, that the British government can no longer refuse to disclose what MI5 knew about the torture of Binyam Mohamed while in US custody, according to an article published today in the Guardian UK.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…

UK Foreign Secretary Milliband concured with the ruling only because of previous disclosures in a US Court, which would then preserve the “control principle” of one country doesn’t turn loose intelligence without the cooperation of the other, if they share intelligence.


“The foreign secretary spoke last night to Hillary Clinton. He stressed to her that the court had strongly supported the control principle and would have agreed with HMG [her majesty’s government] had it not been for the Kessler judgment in the US court last December, which had effectively disclosed the material in the seven paragraphs.

An MI5 officer known only as Witness B is being investigated by the Metropolitan police over his alleged role in questioning Mohamed incommunicado in a Pakistan jail.

Mohamed was detained in 2002 in Pakistan, where he was questioned incommunicado by an MI5 officer. The US flew him to Morocco, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay, where he says he was tortured with the knowledge of British agencies.

The 7 paragraphs that the British Government were trying to hide are below, below the fold.  As noticed by commenters under another story at FDL, there are 2 dates.  The date in the Guardian story says 17 May 2002 in the first paragraph.  The date in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office dot gov dot uk site, has the date as 17 May 2001, with a disclaimer that “we have alerted the Court to a typographic error.”  

Oh, those pesky typos. What’s a year, here or there ?   ask Bush & Cheney.

Feb 10

Guantanamo Torture Document {UpDated}

The following is just coming across the wires here. This is about an ongoing battle to get top secret records on the torture of prisoners at Gitmo and probably other secret jails that were used as we were grabbing so called terrorists all over and most not caught on some “in theater battle field”.

This is just on one British citizen who was Ethiopian born and grabbed in 2002 in Pakistan, not Afghanistan nor Iraq. And this is only seven short paragraphs on his, Binyam Mohamed’s, treatment while in U.S. custody and incommunicado with anyone thousands of miles from home and family.  

Dec 15

Stonewalling of Torture Evidence in Britain

A couple of months ago, the British High Court ruled that a document containing information on the torture of Binyam Mohamed should be disclosed in full.  The original document supposedly contains seven paragraphs which describe the brutal methods used to interrogate Mohamed, including waterboarding and slicing his genitals with a scalpel.

David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary who has been resisting the High Court’s efforts to release the document, now describes the decision as irresponsible.

David Miliband accused the two senior judges of irresponsibly “charging in” to a diplomatically sensitive area over what happened to former terror detainee Binyam Mohamed while held by the Americans in Pakistan.

Jonathan Sumption QC, appearing for the Foreign Secretary, told the Court of Appeal the judges’ stance was “both, in many respects, unnecessary and profoundly damaging to the interests of this country.”

Mr Sumption added: “I would go so far as to say their views were irresponsible.”

Jul 28

UK lawsuit to expose CIA role in “ghost flights”

Crossposted at Daily Kos

   

    We are about to learn exactly what was going on and where under the Bush/Cheney “Extra-ordinary” rendition program.

    Lawyers for Binyam Mohamed, who spent some seven years in US custody, five of them at Guantanamo, say that Jeppesen UK, a subsidiary of Boeing, has agreed to the presentation of evidence about the “ghost flights” it allegedly operated for the CIA – off-the-grid private jets that transferred terrorist suspects to sites where they would be tortured.

rawstory.com

   Binyam Mohamed, if you recall, had his genitals mutilated by either the CIA or one of the host countries where he was tortured.

   Mutilating genitals.

    What could possibly justify genital mutilation, or even the torture program itself? It’s not like the Bush/Cheney Administration was above bald faced lying to us. In my opinion they did it because they can.

    The Object of Torture IS Torture.

    The Object of Power IS Power.

Mar 10

Torturers To Binyam: “We’re going to change your brain”

David Rose at the British paper The Mail got the scoop that was former Guanatanamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed’s “world exclusive” post-release interview. Entitled “How MI5 colluded in my torture: Binyam Mohamed claims British agents fed Moroccan torturers their questions”, the article presents a brief biography of Mr. Mohamed’s troubled life, including the experience of racial prejudice in the United States (Binyam is Ethiopian-born), abandonment by his father, and later the adoption of his mother’s religion, Islam.

But the article’s most sensational sections describe his torture by Pakistani, Moroccan, and U.S. officials, who all the while were in collaboration with British intelligence services, who not only were feeding them questions, but also withholding exculpatory evidence as well. The torture was horrendous:

Mar 03

From DoJ to CIA: Wiretapping, Torture, Stonewalling & Obstruction of Justice

Two stories from today’s news highlight the hubris of the U.S. executive branch as regards its assumed right to conduct unrestrained surveillance of its citizens, and engage in torture in violation of all laws.

Both Emptywheel at Firedoglake and Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com have done a stellar job tracking the Cheneyesque descent (H/T EW) of the Obama Justice Department when it comes to the question of executive privilege over classified material, especially when it comes to the courts. We already have witnessed the spectacle of the U.S. pressuring a British court on the suppression of documents in the Binyam Mohamed case.

Feb 17

Under Oath, MI5 Officer Reveals Official British Torture Program

The UK Guardian, which has been right on top of the Binyam Mohamed drama unfolding in the British courts, delivered another bombshell article this morning in London. “Whitehall devised torture policy for terror detainees,” the headline reads, “MI5 interrogations in Pakistan agreed by lawyers and government.”

The British High Court resumed their hearing of Binyam’s request for documents to prove his torture, as part of the legal proceedings against him at Guantanamo. Previously, the British judges had ruled that what they called “powerful evidence” suppressed relating to the torture of Mohamed by the U.S. and their proxy torturers in Morocco, where Mohamed had been sent as part of the Bush Administration’s policy of “extraordinary rendition.” The judges then revealed that they had been told by the British Foreign Minister, David Milibrand, that the requested documents could not be released, or U.S.-UK intelligence relations would be affected.

Feb 13

Scott Horton: Yes, They Hid Torture Evidence from Obama

Scott Horton has followed up on the UK Guardian story, which I also wrote on last night, describing how Reprieve attorney Clive Stafford Smith, whose organization is helping defend Guantanamo detainee and British resident Binyam Mohamed, had information he was sending to President Obama on Mohamed’s torture censored by the U.S. Department of Defense.

At Daily Kos, a number of readers were incredulous at the claims I, and by implication, Stafford Smith was making about Obama being kept out of the information loop, suggesting that I was prone to conspiracy theories, or a dupe for grandstanding by Mohamed’s attorneys. Some suggested either the Guardian or myself or both had completely misunderstood the situation.

But Horton, who has been following this story carefully, and is known to have excellent sources, reported on the Guardian article much as I had, and added this:

Feb 12

Breaking: Pentagon Hiding Torture Evidence from Obama

In a shocking revelation just posted at UK Guardian, Binyam Mohamed’s attorney Clive Stafford Smith, who is also director of the legal charity Reprieve, reports that “substantial parts” of a memo, attached to a letter to Barack Obama, documenting evidence of Mohamed’s torture at the hands of CIA agents and their extraordinary rendition proxies, were blanked out so the president could not read them. Who did that?

US defence officials are preventing Barack Obama from seeing evidence that a former British resident held in Guantánamo Bay has been tortured, the prisoner’s lawyer said last night, as campaigners and the Foreign Office prepared for the man’s release in as little as a week….

Stafford Smith tells Obama he should be aware of the “bizarre reality” of the situation. “You, as commander in chief, are being denied access to material that would help prove that crimes have been committed by US personnel. This decision is being made by the very people who you command.”

Smith’s letter to Obama can be read here (PDF).

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