Al Qaeda suspect says CIA tortured him into making false confessions

Story here.

  1. Who should we believe – Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, or the CIA?

  2. Anybody still believe American authorities are not torturing prisoners?

  3. Anybody still think it’s a good way to get information?

It is impossible to take the word of an accused terrorist at face value here. We know they are trained to make just these kinds of accusations when captured.

There would need to be other evidence to back this up.

Yes they are trained to resist pain and torture and are able to tell lies about us. Anything they say,after all they are terrorists not human beings, can be just thrown out . Unless it proves our preconceptions, then it is the truth.

It is impossible to take the word of an accused murderer.

It is impossible to take the word of an accused child molester.

It is impossible to take the word of an accused tax evader.

It is impossible to take the word of an accused military deserter.

It is impossible to take the word of an accused racketeer.

And thus does our justice system die its slow, slow death.

Accused and guilty are rather differant things, but then, how could we try them in a credible manner given the past history of torture.

See Mr Moto you might be a fanboy of Bush and co, but the fact is, the previous behaviour of this administration means that we cannot rely on anything they say in relation to terrorism, this is the damage that has been done to your nation.

He may well be a dangerous terrorist, it could all be lies about torture, but now the element of doubt exists where previously this would have been seen as rather unlikely.

It will play rather well to budding terrorist apprentices in the ME region I suspect, and this is the further cost that the behaviour of this administration has exacted upon the reputation of the US, and a cost that will be paid out in the lives of your armed forces for the forseeable future.

The real answer is, we don’t have enough information, we never will have, and almost anything is believable, and every denial is suspect.

We also know CIA agents are trained to lie and keep secrets.

It is impossible to take the word of the Bush administration at face value here. We know that they’ve encouraged (if not trained) people to coerce confessions from suspects by torture.

Since we can’t trust either side, that’s why we have trials.

Well, it’s why we’re supposed to have trials. The tribunals that are currently set up to deal with the prisoners at Guantanamo are a farce.


How you feel about allegations and events depends on where you are sitting on the ideological see-saw. Some people are able to admit this. Others are not.

For example…I am more apt to believe something the government says over the word of a terrorist. Then again, I don’t see CIA agents with exposed electrical wire in their hands around every corner.

The bottom line is that it is laughingly naive to assume any of us know anything about the specific facts of a particular issue. None of us are sitting around the table when the National Security Council is meeting. Nor are we present at interrogations or in the caves where the jihadists are making plans.

But that doesn’t stop many of us from putting on our ideological 3-D glasses and watching the world go by in just the perspective we want it to.

This illustrates an excellent reason why torture shouldn’t be used as a matter of policy. Uh, I mean an excellent reason aside from issues of morality. Even if this guy wasn’t tortured, the fact that torture has been used before makes his story all the more believeable.


We also know that some governments use torture routinely, that this is actually very common, and the fact that there is such a thing as a governement is no guide whatsoever that torture does, or does not take place.

What reason is there to belive a government over the word of a terrorist ?

There are plenty of states whose history include a liberation by so called terrorists from a government, and this includes the US, but also plenty of others.

Another reason is that information obtained by torture is not reliable. The subject will say anything he thinks might make his interrogators stop; what he thinks they want to hear might or might not bear any relation to the truth.

Do I think that he was tortured? I’m surprised he even survived the questioning, given his vivid recollection of the events:

He also said he’s been tortured since the moment he was captured, meaning he managed to hold off “confessing” for, what, two years? So, until there’s any type of, you know, evidence or something, then no, I don’t believe him.
Doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, but for the moment all I see is more BrainGlutton posturing.

And who tells you they are a terrorist ? The government. Hmmm . . .

Funny, that’s rather similar to what I heard in the ramp up to the Iraq war; that the authorities had secret information, that I wasn’t qualified to have an opinion, just shut up and trust them - and it was all lies.

There’s also the question of why the Bushites would bother to defend/redefine torture if they weren’t torturing people, and then there’s the people who we know have been tortured.

If someone accuses torturers of torturing him, it’s a plausible accusation.

You assume that they stopped after he confessed, or that they didn’t torture him again every time they decided they wanted new “facts”. Or were simply bored, and wanted to entertain themselves.

Not even I would believe that!

(But the events at Abu Ghraib give me doubts.)

That is precisely why I consider it likely.

Which is fucking why we fucking have public fucking trials according to the fucking rule of fucking law.

For in-depth discussion of fucking law, see this thread. :slight_smile:

This seems a bit convoluted to me in terms of cause and effect. How would one organize a training program for ‘accused terrorists?’ Wouldn’t that require time travel technology, to go back and ensure that training occurs before the accusation? Or do all potential terror suspects somehow exist simultaneously in a trained and untrained state?

If the U.S. government accuses me of terrorism, how does it suddenly become a certainty that I’ve recieved false-accusation training in the past? Contrariwise, if I’ve never recieved such training, wouldn’t that logically preclude the U.S. government from accusing me of terrorism? Therefore, America’s enemies should never provide false-accusation training, and it will then be impossible for the government to accuse anyone.

In any case, I’m glad that the Iranian government will recieve the benefit of the doubt, if stories of ill-treatment emerge after those British hostages are released.

Well done, sir (or madam).

Don’t be silly. If they weren’t terrorists why would the government have accused them?

More seriously, back in the correct war on terror, when we invaded Afghanistan, leaflets depicting Osama bin Laden shaven and dressed in western garb enjoying the company of Vegas showgirls were dropped in an attempt to convince his allies that he was off enjoying himself while they took the heat.

I said at the time, and maybe even on this site, although it eludes my search skills, that there would come a time when we would need credibility, and we just spent it. I don’t think that we should never lie to anyone to gain an end, it’s just that credibility once spent is gone forever, and we should make sure that we got something worth its expenditure. It’s not like we can get change back for it because it was only a silly little lie.

We’re paying the price right now for that loss of credibility.