Soon after the agency’s contractors began their program of “enhanced interrogation’’ at the secret black site in Thailand – placing him in a coffin-size box; slamming him against wall; depriving him of sleep; bombarding him with loud music; as well as waterboarding – they sent an encrypted cable to Washington.It would be nice if the court would explain itself, at least in broad and general terms, to the American people. Courts are not political branches, at least in theory, but their workings should not be opaque to the sovereign. Accepting some need for government secrecy in matters of national security, nevertheless an explanation for this strange case that redacts what is necessary should be possible. We ought to know, and approve, the justification for such a major exception from our rule.
The CIA interrogators said that if Zubaydah died during questioning, his body would be cremated. But if he survived the ordeal, the interrogators wanted assurances that he would “remain in isolation and incommunicado for the remainder of his life.”
Senior officials gave the assurances. Zubaydah, a Saudi citizen, “will never be placed in a situation where he has any significant contact with others and/or has the opportunity to be released,” the head of the CIA’s ALEC Station, the code name of the Washington-based unit hunting Osama bin Laden, replied. “All major players are in concurrence,” the cable said, that he “should remain incommunicado for the remainder of his life.”
By Grim on Tuesday, May 12, 2015