In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
=== News Update ===
9/11 : Man Held by C.I.A. Says He Was Tortured
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 — The first of the so-called high-value Guantánamo detainees to have seen a lawyer claims he was subjected to “state-sanctioned torture” while in secret C.I.A. prisons, and he has asked for a court order barring the government from destroying evidence of his treatment.
The request, in a filing by his lawyers, was made on Nov. 29, before officials from the Central Intelligence Agency acknowledged that the agency had destroyed videotapes of interrogations of two operatives of Al Qaeda that current and former officials said included the use of harsh techniques.
Lawyers for the detainee, Majid Khan, a former Baltimore resident, released documents in his case on Friday. They claim he “was subjected to an aggressive C.I.A. detention and interrogation program notable for its elaborate planning and ruthless application of torture” to numerous detainees.
The documents also suggest that Mr. Khan, 27, and other high-value detainees are now being held in a previously undisclosed area of the Guantánamo prison in Cuba he called Camp 7.
Those detainees include 14 men, some suspected of being former Qaeda officials, who President Bush acknowledged were held in a secret C.I.A. program. They were transferred to military custody at Guantánamo last year.
Asked about Mr. Khan’s assertions, Mark Mansfield, a C.I.A. spokesman, said, “the United States does not conduct or condone torture.” He said a small number of “hardened terrorists” had required what he called “special methods of questioning” in what he called a lawful and carefully run program.
The documents were heavily redacted by government security officials, and none of Mr. Khan’s specific assertions of torture could be read. One entire page was blacked out.
In addition to the court filing, Mr. Khan’s lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York released recently declassified notes of their first meetings with Mr. Khan, in October. The notes asserted that he had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder because of his treatment, including memory problems and “frantic expression.” They said he was “painfully thin and pale.”
A Pentagon spokesman, Cmdr. Jeffrey D. Gordon, declined to respond to the assertions about Mr. Khan’s condition, saying that most detainees at Guantánamo gain weight.
Pentagon officials have said they believe that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, selected Mr. Khan, who grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, to study the feasibility of blowing up gasoline stations and poisoning reservoirs in the United States. But he has not been charged with any offenses.
His lawyers said Mr. Khan, while living in Pakistan, was “forcibly disappeared” and that he had “admitted anything his interrogators demanded of him, regardless of the truth.”
Lawyers who represent Guantánamo detainees agree to stringent restrictions that bar them from disclosing information from their clients until it is cleared by government security officials.
The notes that were declassified from Mr. Khan’s lawyers, Gitanjali S. Gutierrez and J. Wells Dixon, say he “lives in Camp 7” and imply that he has contact with at least one other high-value detainee, Abu Zubaydah.
Officials at Guantánamo have not discussed the existence of a Camp 7. They often say publicly that the most recent center constructed there is Camp 6, a modern maximum-security building.
Commander Gordon, citing security concerns, declined to comment on the indication that there may be a secret detention unit, and added that “we do not disclose the exact location of detainees within Guantánamo.”
The request for an order barring the government from destroying any evidence of torture was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is considering a challenge by Mr. Khan to his detention.
Mr. Khan’s lawyers claim that “there is a substantial risk that the torture evidence will disappear.” They did not specify what evidence they believe may exist.
An intelligence official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the C.I.A.’s interrogations of Mr. Khan were not videotaped.
Mr. Dixon, one of Mr. Khan’s lawyers, said Saturday that the admission that officials had destroyed videotapes of interrogations showed why such an order was needed.
“They are no longer entitled to a presumption that the government has acted lawfully or in good faith,” Mr. Dixon said.
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW