Of Spies, Lies and Secret Prisons

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A Yemeni national allegedly held prisoner in CIA secret prisons talks about his experiences.

Khalid al-Maqtari’s story starts in the Iraqi prison of Abu Gharib after the US military raided a suspected arms market in Fallujah. He was then handed over to US Military Intelligence to face 28mnths of solitary confinement coupled with torturous treatment at the hands of his captors. After 9 weeks of interrogation at Abu-Gharib, Khalid probably thought he had seen it all, he was subjected to a regime of beatings, sleep deprivation, suspension upside-down in painful positions, intimidation by dogs and induced hypothermia.

Now this might not seem like classic Rambo style chopping off fingernails and hammering your toes into pulp, but they have all the more effects on prisoners because they focus on the mental as well as the physical aspects and can be maintained for long periods and successfully ‘break’ a man. Also there is the added concern of ‘marked’ prisoners because people are obviously going to be more inclined to believe a man talking about ‘secret CIA prisons’ and ‘torture’ etc, etc, if half his toes are mashed up and he’s missing 10 feet of intestine.

Anyway, what followed for Khalid was 3 months of stress positions, sleep deprivation, exposure to extremes of hot and cold, sensory deprivation and disruption with bright lighting and loud music or sound effects in Afghanistan where he incidentally made a few friends with some other er, ‘guests’. Then he was flown to another CIA ‘black site’ possibly in Eastern Europe. He was declined access to legal counsel, family and friends, the International Red Cross or any person other than his captors and interrogators.

Khalid was released to the Yemenese authorities last year where he did not encounter any friendly treatment. and at long last he is now a free man.

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All fabricated lies? Well the CIA would like us to think so.

Amnesty International has evidence that a flight belonging to an alleged CIA front company landed in Kabul from Abu-Gharib coinciding with the date of Khalid’s transfer. The European council has uncovered evidence that CIA secret prisons existed in Poland and Romania.

Destroyed tapes, fessed up accounts of water-boarding, is America really living up to the standards of equality and justice for all it projects to the outside world? The answer I believe is very complicated, but it definitely does not shed a favorable light. It all comes down to the sustenance of power and the ensurement of capitalism. And the exploitation of mere citizens of less powerful countries is just a side effect in the great game of international mystery and manipulation played by the super-powerful.

More on this soon…

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