poor, poor abu zubayda

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poor, poor abu zubayda

joseph margulies is the assistant director of the ‘roderick macarthur justice center’ at northwestern university school of law in chicago. he is an american and a fine attorney.

he is also the lawyer for abu zubaydah: senior operative in bin laden’s al qaeda; plotter and planner of multiple attacks against the u.s. and israel; currently housed at gitmo; and one of several high value targets waterboarded by the CIA.

margulies recently wrote an op-ed piece in the nyt titled ‘the suffering of abu zubaydah’ in which he describes the torture his client went through at the hands of the CIA.

his lawyer, with help from the always reliable nyt says, the initial assessment of who abu zubayda really was, was ‘highly inflated’ and reflected ‘a profound misunderstanding’. far from being a high ranking al qaeda operative, he was simply ‘a personnel clerk’ for gosh sakes! in other words, bad america bad!


abu zubayda, terrorist

of course keep in mind, the following is a tale from abu zubayda himself, and told for american sensibilities by a very clever attorney. also contributing to this was the international red cross who interviewed abu zubayda as well. so hey, it all must be true and completely accurate.

First, they beat him. As authorized by the Justice Department and confirmed by the Red Cross, they wrapped a collar around his neck and smashed him over and over against a wall. They forced his body into a tiny, pitch-dark box and left him for hours. They stripped him naked and suspended him from hooks in the ceiling. They kept him awake for days.

And they strapped him to an inverted board and poured water over his covered nose and mouth to “produce the sensation of suffocation and incipient panic.” Eighty-three times.


Partly as a result of injuries he suffered while he was fighting the communists in Afghanistan, partly as a result of how those injuries were exacerbated by the CIA and partly as a result of his extended isolation, Abu Zubaydah’s mental grasp is slipping away.

Today, he suffers blinding headaches and has permanent brain damage. He has an excruciating sensitivity to sounds, hearing what others do not. The slightest noise drives him nearly insane. In the last two years alone, he has experienced about 200 seizures.

But physical pain is a passing thing. The enduring torment is the taunting reminder that darkness encroaches. Already, he cannot picture his mother’s face or recall his father’s name. Gradually, his past, like his future, eludes him.

supposedly the CIA did all of this simply ‘because they believed he was evil’… but wait, backtrack to september 11, 2001.


september 11th, result of terrorists

‘she looks into his eyes. hers are filled with terror. the heat is unbearable. her skin is beginning to blister. he reaches out and takes her hand. his hand has a deep gash in it from the shattered glass of the window he has helped to smash. “hold on tight to me,” he whispers. “keep your eyes closed. don’t look down.” together they step through the jagged opening of a high floor of the world trade center. on the sidewalk below people shriek in horror.’

just one of many stories that day of the 9/11 jumpers. it is estimated that at least 200 people jumped to their deaths that morning, far more than can be seen in the photographs available to the public.

the jumping started shortly after the first jet hit at 8:46 a.m. people jumped continuously during the 102 minutes that the north tower stood.

for those who jumped, the fall lasted just 10 seconds. they struck the ground at 150 miles per hour — not fast enough to cause unconsciousness while falling, but fast enough to ensure instant death on impact.

desperate people jumped from all four sides of the north tower. they jumped alone, they jumped in pairs and they jumped in groups. they jumped holding hands.


i am finished with the conversation on torturing people like abu zubayda. and thankfully, it seems the american public might be moving in that direction too.

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  • micky says:

    Yet we still have to maintain the image that we are better than them.
    Maybe we should find a better definition of what is “better” and only then will this will evil be defeated.

  • PenniePan says:

    Abu Zubayda was not involved in 9/11. The aftermath in our attempt to console ourselves resulted in mass arrests and murdering hundreds in Iraq – the shock and awe campaign of the war mongerers who ran this country. People were picked up by the thousands — for nothing more than being Sunni-Baathists — and then tortured and murdered.

    This post is a slimey attempt to make us back your view of torture and I think that is evil.

  • kate says:

    pennie you don’t get it. it was the CIA techniques that prevented other attacks like 9/11.

    slimey attempt?

    i don’t call innocents choosing which way to be murdered (jumping to their death or burning to death) an attempt to get you to agree with the enhanced techniques by the CIA. the point is to remember just how horrible these people are. and just how pathetic we are when we mask them and don’t tell the truth about them and make them the victim in such a terrible terrible deed.

  • Dade Cariaga says:

    Regardless of what happened on 911, US law prohibits torture. Those who torture, and those who authorize torture are guilty of war crimes.

    For the sake of our Constitution and for the soul of our republic, those involved should be investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted.

    It’s the law.

  • Dade Cariaga says:

    Kate said:

    pennie you don’t get it. it was the CIA techniques that prevented other attacks like 9/11.

    But, of course, Kate, you have no proof of that. Are we to take the word of Dick Cheney? Isn’t he the one who also told us that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program before the war?

    In my opinion, these “enhanced interrogation techniques” are just a form of vengeance for very sick minds. People driven by hate will decapitate persons for video cameras or beat and torture people in secret prisons.

    Birds of a feather…

  • correy says:

    Besides the torture perpetuated on Zubayda (which sounds horrendous), it seems to be a favorite right-wing tactic during the reign of the Bushies to just throw someone slightly or maybe guilty into a legal limbo-land on the flimsiest of excuses and let them rot for years with no attempt at bringing the situation to some resolution. Bravo for the lawyer and please… Stop the nonsense now!

  • Pat says:

    I agree with Dade. Essentially not only did the last administration sell us a bill of goods about WMD and terrorists behind every rock, but their very explanations/defenses seem to be nothing but further lies and conspiracies to defraud the American people.

    This is a sad commentary about Abu Zubayda. Look at the chauffer of bin Laden: everyone said he was suppose to have been a big time insider and he was no such thing. Just more fearmongering and bad information. I agree that the nonsense has to stop.

  • Ted says:

    It’s funny to read the lib comments at the CNN poll. Predictable from them, but still funny. Basically it’s “I don’t believe the poll. Everyone I talk to says Bush should be put on trial and executed. The poll numbers would change if the facts were known. Blah, blah, blah….” There’s even some kook over there trying to claim he’s making a logical argument, but his premise is based up a “fact” that he has no way of proving ever occured.

    The same individuals who are opposed to interrogating terrorists are the same individuals who would have opposed dropping the A-Bomb to end the war against Japan in 1945. America is evil, it was blowback, we deserved it, and on and on and on…… Different era, same arguments. It would be nice if they would at least try something different, but it’s the same foreseeable tune everytime you turn on their broadcast.

    >>From CNN: “The Obama administration’s recent decisions not to launch an investigation into these matters may sit well with the public overall, but not with members of Obama’s own party,” Holland says. “Most independents and Republicans don’t think it’s a good idea to investigate Bush officials involved in these decisions. But about two-thirds of Democrats support such investigations.”<<

    They may claim they don’t like it, and definately most are hatemongers out for revenge, but like good little Germans they’ll do whatever Dear Leader tells them to do. So it’s not like he’ll lose them as voters, he knows that, which means he will continue to use and abuse them since that’s all they’re good for anyway, and they’re so dumb they don’t even know that’s what he’s doing. Basically about 2/3rds of Dems support al-Qaeda when it comes down to it, but over the last 8 years that’s become all too evident that even mentioning it doesn’t surprise anyone.

  • micky says:

    “Are we to take the word of Dick Cheney? ”

    Or the word of anyone on the left ?

    If I’m correct the word of Dick Cheny and every CIA official who says these techniques did work are the ones we ultimately should be listening to since they are the ones who were present and witness to the success as documented in the “OTHER” memos that Obama doesnt seem to want to release..
    But of course, its just another brilliant conspiracy launched by the biggest idiot in history to have everyone follow the same lead.
    Everyone is so self righteous in their claims that torture should not be accepted under any circumstance yet have no other viable idea as to how we should get needed intelligence.
    Its idealism before realism that will be the cause of the next attack which at this point with what we see will be inevitable.

    Pat, your generalization does no good in convincing anyone of anything other than that the WMD argument has been worn to death and debunked a million times already and proves that out of the lefts hatred for one man you are trying to minimize a real proven threat that even your dear leader recognizes to an extent better than most leftists

  • Paul says:

    The country I was raised in didn’t torture like this and didn’t start wars of aggression and occupation like Iraq.

    The current debate about the administration’s efforts to explain and condone torture misses the larger points of how Bush/Cheney acheived their ends which was surrupticiously and most likely illegal.

    Informing congressional leaders while keeping information classified doesn’t absolve the Bush administration nor should it be allowed as an excuse. The secrecy of the Bush administration was all about hiding the facts and abusing their power in the guise of ‘national security’.

    The only way to get past the stain the Bush administration has spread over the country is to have a complete and thorough investigation into how many of the people we were detaining were the victims of these ‘enhanced interrogations’. How many were deprived of sleep, put into stress positions for hours(days?), and how many were psychologically harmed like Abu Zabayda.

    We don’t need to get caught up in arguments about what gov’t lawyers did to explain the unexplainable, we need to demand that people be able to see the extent of these interrogations and then we can hold those responsible to account.

  • micky says:

    “The only way to get past the stain the Bush administration has spread over the country is to have a complete and thorough investigation ”

    Which will never happen due to the fact that theres just too many on the left that were just as aware and complicit as anyone all the while approving of the same measures.
    Yes, lets convict those that want to and have saved American lives and coddle and set free the ones who plot to take those same lives.
    I’m sure these are the stepping stones weve been looking for all along that will bolster all of our future national security efforts to extremes we could never imagine. Keep this up and there wont be anyone that doesnt want to be a part of that team

    Right on !

  • Ted says:

    I’m glad kate is ending the talk on interrogation techniques. The one’s opposed to this are so because they didn’t like Bush, and that’s it. No mention from them of the prior administration who had the same techniques in place. The bombing and killing of Afghan civilians, which have happened at least twice now since the inauguration, have been met with stoned silence from the same crew who would have condemned it had it happened one year ago. No reason to even try when you know they’re prejudiced.

    There are some cold, hard facts they better learn to accept. And while separate events, the reasons behind them remain the same.

    For 8 years all we heard from the kooks was “Impeach ChimpyMcCokeSpoonHitlerHalliburtonInsideJob!!!” Over and over, like a broken record, day in and day out.

    So the Dems take Congress in 2006. Any impeachment? No.


    At some point you’ve got to ask “Why?” Certainly it would have been to their advantage if they could have done so, just like Clinton’s impeachment severely damaged his ability to press forward. And it can’t be some stupid answer like they’re complicit, or that Bush used the Patriot Act to bug their phones and get dirt on them to keep them from moving forward, or they had more pressing issues, or any number of other equally ridiculous responses. It has to be something that actually makes sense. And more often than not, what makes sense is what’s staring you right in the face, even when you don’t want to admit it. Which completely blows the libs out of the water, because from their POV the answer as to “why” couldn’t possibly be the real answer. But it is.

    Now we have the same group calling for Dear Leader to convict the previous administration. It doesn’t matter what it is, if it wasn’t this they’d make up something else. But it’s not going to happen. And it’s not going to happen for the exact same reason that the Dems didn’t impeach after winning Congress in 2006.


    Once again, more often than not the most obvious answer is the correct one.

    The answer.

    They don’t have any evidence of wrongdoing. For two years they could have tried to impeach, but the evidence to go forward just isn’t there. The kooks want Dear Leader to let the DofJ go after the Bush Administration, but they won’t, because the evidence isn’t there. No evidence, not reason to go forward.

    Will the kooks accept this? No. They’ve got websites devoted to all this “evidence” they’re absolutely certain would be all Congress would need, if only Congress was intelligent enough to pay attention to these self-appointed intelligensia.

    But that is the answer. There is no evidence, and the Dems know it.

    Now, they’ll gladly leave it out there as an issue as long as it’s to their advantage. They’ll float a balloon every so often just to keep them all lathered up. Kucinich or Conyers or some other freak will make some reference to it and get their thighs all sticky. But nothing will ever come of it.

    Based upon that, you can accurately predict what will happen. This issue will be kept alive, and Dear Leader really won’t have to put out any effort on it, the kooks will keep it alive all on their own. Their hate runs deep and they don’t want to let go of it, hate’s the reason they exist. So in 2012, the kooks will be claiming that Dear Leader couldn’t make it an issue in the last 4 years for purposes of re-election, but if elected, he will go forward in the next four. Not true, but that’ll be enough to get them to pull the lever, which is all he cares about them doing anyway. Other than that, he doesn’t care if they rot.

    Mark it down. That is exactly how it will play out.

  • Marsha says:

    I really dislike this shark-faced lawyer (from Chicago I might add) who would defend this murdering terrorist. To actually take his side over the American people, telling his “torture story” as if he was just an innocent bystander caught up in a Nazi raid or something is beyond me. He volunteer to do this to further his career and make an international name for himself I assume.

    I read the Wiki on Zubaydah. He is a really bad guy.

  • micky says:

    Right on ken.
    Its already playing out.
    Somewhere along the line someone probably explained to The One that taking the previous administration to court before the real criminals have even had their day in court is about as blatantly backa$$wards and symbolistic as it gets when really theres not much argument to keeping Gitmo open anyway.
    All Obama has to do is tell the world that since hes in charge now there will be no more torture or whatever wrong doings they can dream up and that the tribunals will move on regardless of where they’re being kept.
    But yea, you can bet the lunatic moonbats will still rail on it as some kind of satanic haven thats equivalent to the Auschwitz gas chambers.
    Bill Crystal just gave an excellent piece saying that Obama should just step up and reverse himself on all this already due to the simple fact that the longer it plays the way it does the worse it makes him look.
    I personally dont see him doing that because as you mentioned he’ll need as much to run on in 2010 as he can and find someone or way to cast blame on as to why he never reversed himself in the end saying “he tried”

  • Max says:

    “Those who torture, and those who authorize torture are guilty of war crimes.”

    Dade’s got a couple of things wrong. First, waterboarding is a component of advanced military training; over 25,000 of our men and women in service have been subjected to the technique. Obviously, aside from strident Leftists, it is not torture. Second, “war crimes” would involve violations of the Geneva accords that affect soldiers from countries – not unaffiliated terrorists. It’s worth noting as well that, on average, the 275 or so held in Gitmo have gained 20 pounds since incarceration; bringing the descriptor, “Gitmo Gut” into popular usage. As a general rule, folks who suffer torture don’t gain weight.

    Paul’s an interesting piece of work as well: “The country I was raised in didn’t torture like this and didn’t start wars of aggression and occupation like Iraq.”

    Paul: a couple of points – first, see above. Second: The country I was raised in didn’t accept floods of illegal aliens, nor “centralized planning”. When I was growing up, you could leave the doors unlocked, and you could let kids go out and play, and be fairly secure in the knowledge that everything would be fine. Nobody would enter your home and steal your stuff; the kids would be back when they got hungry or tired.

    The country I was raised in got involved in Viet Nam, at a cost of over 53,000 American lives. The country I was raised in got involved in Korea. The country I was raised in dropped two atomic bombs on Imperial Japan, killing and maiming countless civilians – and ending a war while saving thousands of other lives on both sides.

    And you weiners, who have grown fat sucking at the teat made firm and productive by the efforts of all of those who have suffered and died in the cause of preserving the freedoms you enjoy today – you fat weiners are completely freakin’ clueless.

    Hey weenie: why don’t you describe to us all the difference between a “war of aggression” and a war of peace?

    People like you are apparently completely and utterly brain-dead. There is no reason to pay further attention to your “views”, because you lack the fundamental qualities involved in the formulation of views. I’d note that all you do is parrot back the leftist crap you’ve absorbed – but that would insult parrots, who tend to actually think.

  • Mike_Morris says:

    This whole torture discussion is just another example of our inability to admit we were wrong. It’s reallly no more complicated than that even thought some of you on this thread (Max, Ted) want to make it so.

    The men (lawyers in the DoJ at the time) should be disbarred for their actions but they won’t be. Why? Because if you say they were wrong, you are in essence stating the President was wrong. If the President was wrong, then country was wrong and Americans hate to admit mistakes… it’s a little thing called the preeminence of America or American exceptionalism.

  • micky says:

    “This whole torture discussion is just another example of our inability to admit we were wrong. It’s reallly no more complicated than that even thought some of you on this thread (Max, Ted) want to make it so.”

    What really complicated it for you is that theres no proof of any wrong doing.

    “If the President was wrong, then country was wrong and Americans hate to admit mistakes… it’s a little thing called the preeminence of America or American exceptionalism.”

    Lets not forget the congress that wouldnt want to be painted as “wrong” either.
    Maybe you could apply this logic to all those that voted for Obama ?

    Nobody has anything to go on.
    Drop it.

  • Gypsy says:

    Torture is what’s EVIL and it will come back on yall someday unless you take a stand against it now.

    AND pleeeeeez Jesus Joseph and Mary!

    All you people do in here is whine and cry about yer sad lot in life now that yer out of power.

    G.O.P. = Grand Opposition Party! RIP 1854 -2009 cuz yer Party’s Ovah.

  • micky says:

    I was going to do my best to say something of poignant interest and to the point in response to you but deleted it.
    I will say this much. The way you guys are going it wont take much of anything, never mind power, to ruin you guys.

  • Stephen says:

    Why is the matter with some of you? This man was tortured!!! He was not a 9/11 planner and he was a secretary or aide type person. He really was literally in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was picked up by the U.S.

    When you practice what they do you become them. Do we now have a nation of terrorists?

    Max you bring up Korea and Vietnam. Terrible things were done there in our name as well. When is all this going to stop?

  • Ted says:

    >>Stephen said: When you practice what they do you become them.

    So if we interrogate them, we’ll become “a secretary or aide type person?”

    Hopefully the country won’t ever have another 9-11 or any type of attack by al-Qaeda. But if we do, I hope the one’s killed are those with a “they’re innocent vitims who were in the wrong place at the wrong time” attitude. If anyone needs to pay for it with their life, the one’s who fail to recognize what these bandits want to do need to be the first to go.

  • Rope says:

    Gypsy, just curious, do you really want a one party system? If you do you might want to read your history books.

  • micky says:

    Do some research. You dont know what you’re talking about.

    “He really was literally in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was picked up by the U.S.”

    Yea, I guess an Al Queda safe house with lap tops depicting future attacks on Americans, weapons and bomb making materials is the wrong place to be when Americans are looking for terrorists ?
    Theres a list of allegations aginst him as long as your arm. True, he hasnt been charged with any of them yet but there is no doubt in any rational mind that he is still one of the most central and key figures ever in Al Quedas operation.
    Without any of the allegations being proven he will still go down for simply being one the largest supporters of terror the world has ever seen by virtue of his life story. (which you might want to take a look at) You may say he didnt kill anyone, if thats true or not it doent matter.
    Take Charles Manson. He never killed anyone, do you think we should just let him go ?
    Wake up.

  • JZ says:

    Hello??? Is there a thinking rightwingbot in the house??? Do you understand that torturing people is illegal? In fact, your hero Reagan signed a treaty with the UN about it in ’88 or so.


    This guy was basically used as dung by us to test out antiquated torturing methods developed by some of the most cruel people on earth, the Asians.

    You all will not be back in power praise the lord til at least 2016 if not longer. You have no rights to be vigilantes now. So sit back, take something to help you chill, and shut the hell up before we waterboard you. AHAHAHA.

  • BikerDan says:

    So JZ
    maybe when we’re chillin and shutting the hell up and getting waterboarded by you moonbats, you could read us excerpts from “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. Whaddayathink?

  • Carolyn says:

    Bring on the torture investigations, public and out in the open with everything on the table. We need to know what was done to people in our names!

  • Genelly says:

    You seem to be saying that torture saved American lives such a foiling a repeat of 9/11. Can you prove that? I know the CIA memos right? But there is a lot of questions swirling around them. So you are advocating for it here on this blog correct? I see…

    “When America tortures!”

    But the irony is the only way to make us feel, pretend, tell ourselves we’re safer was to deny that same safety to others by practicing human rights violations over and over again. No thanks.

    What fools these mortals be!

  • Paul says:

    I see the insults and put downs are being thrown around by all the thugs on this thread who disagree with the progressives here.

    Max whatever happened to the honor within the military? Continuing to detain prisoners indefinitely which are known or believed to be innocent of any charge is not honorable or even humane. It is the action of a tyrant, authoritarian, barbaric opressor. The action of cowards. Everything I thought the American military existed to defeat. Have the military replaced the Code of Conduct for torture and oppression? Somehow I know what you’ll say.

  • Ted says:

    The enhanced interrrogation methods used weren’t torture, I don’t care who claims it is. al-Qaeda needs to read the “progressives” on threads like this and elsewhere, if they aren’t already, for it would be a great source of strength to them. Your statements are those of individuals who will not fight back, which is exactly how they’ll view it, and they would be correct.

  • Just remember people – it wasn’t just Bush and Cheney who authorized the establishment of Gitmo and the interrogation techniques used. It was Congress – Republicans and Democrats.

    So when people say “the Bushies” did it – they are wrong. Congress did it – which means Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, etc… all agreed that Gitmo was needed as a place to bring these terrorists for questioning.

    If you are going to paint a wide swath of accusations, don’t level them at the “right wing” only.

  • It also really is astonishing that some of you would accept as gospel truth what Zubaydah says about his treatment in Gitmo. Like he has nothing to gain by crying for sympathy without substance to back it up.

  • Ted says:

    >>Kris said: It also really is astonishing that some of you would accept as gospel truth what Zubaydah says about his treatment in Gitmo. Like he has nothing to gain by crying for sympathy without substance to back it up.

    I agree.

    We have a group who are asking “What did we do? Is this who we want to be?,” and yet (as I’ve already mentioned) none of them have breathed a word about Obama twice now having dropped bombs that killed civilians in Afghanistan. We all know if Bush had done so, they would have been screaming bloody murder. Until the libs here start holding Obama to the same standards they did Bush, and unless they use the same attitude and language they did on Obama that they did towards Bush, then I have no reason but to view the things they say as more faux-outrage.

    Com’n libs, at some point in your life you need to let the other foot hit the floor and be critical of the policies and actions themselves regardless of which party is in power when it happens. Let’s see some outrage at Obama, and let’s see some calls from you for him to be investigated, impeached, etc… for perpetuating this “illegal war.” Right now, none of you are sounding like you were serious about what you claimed to believe, because your words and your actions are not the same as they would have been if Bush were still in office and doing the exact same things, and it’s obvious.

    When I see the libs displaying more outrage towards the CIA for interrogating terrorists than they did against the terrorists for attacking us, and and when I see the libs showing more sympathy towards the terrorists than they did towards those who died on 9-11, that tells me all I need to know about them.

  • Micky says:

    “Let’s see some outrage at Obama, and let’s see some calls from you for him to be investigated, impeached, etc… for perpetuating this “illegal war.”

    You’re starting to sound like me when I asked if they had the humility, clarity or whatever it takes to come out and admit this is not what they bargained for.
    Its frustrating isnt it ?
    How these people can go on so long contradicting themselves into obscene hypocrisy and not answering the questions you and I ask that they know will incriminate them is astounding.
    You’d think the mode of thought would be to ask themselves what better ways are there to retrive info that would save lives but instead that train of thought leads them to think up everything they can to destroy republicans all under the guise of caring so much about ethics and principles.

    “Hey !, you guys are nothing but a bunch of unethical murdering torturing goons who violate our constitution..
    but we support you”

    They make me sick, literally.

  • Ken says:

    “It also really is astonishing that some of you would accept as gospel truth what Zubaydah says about his treatment in Gitmo.”

    Actually it makes perfect sense. Have you noticed that the terrorists propaganda and the left wing “talking points” sound remarkably similar?


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