...........................Who Would Jesus Torture?..........................

Guantánamo Bay Cuba detention center

Activists call for an end to torture at Guantanamo Bay


Despite calls made by President Obama to have the Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay shut down and the prisoners transferred, 173 remain inside, most with no plans for a trial or even for charges to be filed against them. Witness Against Torture Activists are hoping to call people into action to change this.

Faces From Gitmo


Creative Times Reports
By Molly Crabapple New York, NY
September 2, 2013

As a months-long hunger strike persists in the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Molly Crabapple's drawings of seven detainees—one of whom was released last week—challenge us to remember their history and humanity. Read more


Americans see bogeymen in orange jumpsuits—not men with PTSD, favorite soccer teams and back problems; families and dreams; loves and legitimate hates. - MC


Guantanamo Bay detention camp Wikipedia

Shaker Aamer Wikipedia




Aamer was born on 12 December 1969 and grew up in Medina in Saudi Arabia. He left the country at the age of 17. He lived and traveled in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.[19] Aamer lived and studied in Georgia and Maryland in 1989 and 1990 and during the Persian Gulf War, he worked as a translator for the U.S. Army.[20]


He moved to the United Kingdom in 1996 where he met his wife, Zin Siddique a British woman. They married in 1997 and have four British children. Aamer has never met his youngest son Faris, who was born after his imprisonment.[21]


Aamer worked as an Arabic translator for London law firms. Some of the solicitors he worked for dealt with immigration cases. In his spare time, Aamer helped refugees find accommodation and offered them advice on their struggles with the Home Office.[19]


Aamer's family now live in Battersea, South London. His wife Zin Aamer has suffered from depression and mental episodes since his arrest.[17][22][23] Saeed Siddique, Aamer's father-in-law, said in 2011, "When he was captured, Shaker offered to let my daughter divorce him, but she said, 'No, I will wait for you.' She is still waiting."[24]




Aamer has never been charged with any wrongdoing, has never received a trial and his lawyer says he is "totally innocent."[12][13] He was cleared for release to Saudi Arabia by the Bush administration in 2007 and the Obama administration in 2009.[1][13] He has been described as a "charismatic leader" who spoke up and fought for the rights of fellow prisoners. Aamer says that he has been subject to torture while in detention.[14]


Aamer's mental and physical health has been declining over the years, as he has participated in hunger strikes to protest detention condition and been held in solitary confinement much of the time. He claims to have lost 40 per cent of his body weight in captivity but did not disclose his actual weight.[15][16][17] After a visit in November 2011, his lawyer said, "I do not think it is stretching matters to say that he is gradually dying in Guantanamo Bay."[18] The UK government has been demanding his release for years, and many people there have repeatedly called for his release.[6][7] Read more

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights.

Our vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.

We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion and are funded mainly by our membership and public donations. Read more


Amnesty International Wikipedia

The cell in which David Hicks, an Australian Guantanamo Bay prisoner, was detained. Inset is the prisoners' reading room, without any books

My Guantánamo Nightmare
The New York Times
January 7, 2012

Nice, France

ON Wednesday, America’s detention camp at Guantánamo Bay will have been open for 10 years. For seven of them, I was held there without explanation or charge. During that time my daughters grew up without me. They were toddlers when I was imprisoned, and were never allowed to visit or speak to me by phone. Most of their letters were returned as "undeliverable," and the few that I received were so thoroughly and thoughtlessly censored that their messages of love and support were lost.

Some American politicians say that people at Guantánamo are terrorists, but I have never been a terrorist. Had I been brought before a court when I was seized, my children’s lives would not have been torn apart, and my family would not have been thrown into poverty. It was only after the United States Supreme Court ordered the government to defend its actions before a federal judge that I was finally able to clear my name and be with them again.

I left Algeria in 1990 to work abroad. In 1997 my family and I moved to Bosnia and Herzegovina at the request of my employer, the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates. I served in the Sarajevo office as director of humanitarian aid for children who had lost relatives to violence during the Balkan conflicts. In 1998, I became a Bosnian citizen. We had a good life, but all of that changed after 9/11.

When I arrived at work on the morning of Oct. 19, 2001, an intelligence officer was waiting for me. He asked me to accompany him to answer questions. I did so, voluntarily — but afterward I was told that I could not go home. The United States had demanded that local authorities arrest me and five other men. News reports at the time said the United States believed that I was plotting to blow up its embassy in Sarajevo. I had never — for a second — considered this.

The fact that the United States had made a mistake was clear from the beginning. Bosnia’s highest court investigated the American claim, found that there was no evidence against me and ordered my release. But instead, the moment I was released American agents seized me and the five others. We were tied up like animals and flown to Guantánamo, the American naval base in Cuba. I arrived on Jan. 20, 2002.

I still had faith in American justice. I believed my captors would quickly realize their mistake and let me go. But when I would not give the interrogators the answers they wanted — how could I, when I had done nothing wrong? — they became more and more brutal. I was kept awake for many days straight. I was forced to remain in painful positions for hours at a time. These are things I do not want to write about; I want only to forget.

I went on a hunger strike for two years because no one would tell me why I was being imprisoned. Twice each day my captors would shove a tube up my nose, down my throat and into my stomach so they could pour food into me. It was excruciating, but I was innocent and so I kept up my protest.

In 2008, my demand for a fair legal process went all the way to America’s highest court. In a decision that bears my name, the Supreme Court declared that "the laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times." It ruled that prisoners like me, no matter how serious the accusations, have a right to a day in court. The Supreme Court recognized a basic truth: the government makes mistakes. And the court said that because "the consequence of error may be detention of persons for the duration of hostilities that may last a generation or more, this is a risk too significant to ignore."

Five months later, Judge Richard J. Leon, of the Federal District Court in Washington, reviewed all of the reasons offered to justify my imprisonment, including secret information I never saw or heard. The government abandoned its claim of an embassy bomb plot just before the judge could hear it. After the hearing, he ordered the government to free me and four other men who had been arrested in Bosnia.

I will never forget sitting with the four other men in a squalid room at Guantánamo, listening over a fuzzy speaker as Judge Leon read his decision in a Washington courtroom. He implored the government not to appeal his ruling, because "seven years of waiting for our legal system to give them an answer to a question so important is, in my judgment, more than plenty." I was freed, at last, on May 15, 2009.

Today, I live in Provence with my wife and children. France has given us a home, and a new start. I have experienced the pleasure of reacquainting myself with my daughters and, in August 2010, the joy of welcoming a new son, Yousef. I am learning to drive, attending vocational training and rebuilding my life. I hope to work again serving others, but so far the fact that I spent seven and a half years as a Guantánamo prisoner has meant that only a few human rights organizations have seriously considered hiring me. I do not like to think of Guantánamo. The memories are filled with pain. But I share my story because 171 men remain there. Among them is Belkacem Bensayah, who was seized in Bosnia and sent to Guantánamo with me.

About 90 prisoners have been cleared for transfer out of Guantánamo. Some of them are from countries like Syria or China — where they would face torture if sent home — or Yemen, which the United States considers unstable. And so they sit as captives, with no end in sight — not because they are dangerous, not because they attacked America, but because the stigma of Guantánamo means they have no place to go, and America will not give a home to even one of them.

I’m told that my Supreme Court case is now read in law schools. Perhaps one day that will give me satisfaction, but so long as Guantánamo stays open and innocent men remain there, my thoughts will be with those left behind in that place of suffering and injustice.

Lakhdar Boumediene was the lead plaintiff in Boumediene v. Bush. He was in military custody at Guantánamo Bay from 2002 to 2009. This essay was translated by Felice Bezri from the Arabic. Read more

Boumediene v. Bush

Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008), was a writ of habeas corpus submission made in a civilian court of the United States on behalf of Lakhdar Boumediene, a naturalized citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, held in military detention by the United States at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps in Cuba. Guantanamo Bay is not formally part of the United States, and under the terms of the 1903 lease between the United States and Cuba, Cuba retained ultimate sovereignty over the territory, while the United States exercises complete jurisdiction and control. The case was consolidated with habeas petition Al Odah v. United States and challenged the legality of Boumediene's detention at the United States Naval Station military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as well as the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006. Oral arguments on the combined case were heard by the Supreme Court on December 5, 2007.

On June 12, 2008, Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion for the 5-4 majority holding that the prisoners had a right to the habeas corpus under the United States Constitution and that the MCA was an unconstitutional suspension of that right. The Court applied the Insular Cases, by the fact that the United States, by virtue of its complete jurisdiction and control, maintains "de facto" sovereignty over this territory, while Cuba retained ultimate sovereignty over the territory, to hold that the aliens detained as enemy combatants on that territory were entitled to the writ of habeas corpus protected in Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution. The lower court had expressly indicated that no constitutional rights (not merely the right to habeas) extend to the Guantanamo detainees, rejecting petitioners' arguments, but the Supreme Court held that fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution extend to the Guantanamo detainees as well. Along with Rasul v. Bush, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, this is a major case in the Court's controversial detainee jurisprudence. more

Scalia: Torture Is Not Unconstitutional
Uploaded on Apr 28, 2008 by All Frick


In a 60 Minutes interview, Justice Scalia says

torture does not violate the 8th amendment

ban on "cruel and unusual punishment."


Comment by Tamah Clark 2 months ago (edited) YouTube Channel


Legally speaking, within the context of all of the wrong questions the interviewer is asking, Mr. Scalia is correct. The 8th Amendment does not inherently contemplate "torture" as being interrelated to "cruel and unusual punishment". In the eyes of the law, "punishment" is court sentencing as a result of a crime that is alleged to have been committed; whereas "torture" is not.


Just listen to what he says at 00:47 and 1:08. He inadvertently reveals the play-on-words games that U.S. courts consistently employ on a daily basis. At 00:47, he says: "has anybody ever referred to torture as punishment? I don’t think so"—meaning that the courts do not define those two concepts as being one in the same. Then, at 1:08 he says: "when he’s hurting you in order to get information from you, you don’t say he’s punishing you"—obviously, this is the courts implied definition of torture.


Attorneys are sneaky; all judges are attorneys. When one goes into court asking the wrong questions and/or building legal arguments based upon emotions or fallacious presumptions, the court will GLADLY chop you down and never truly explain to you why or how they were able to LEGALLY do so. But I am telling you here and now, it is because people consistently ask the wrong questions and attempt to employ non-applicable principles, laws, constitutional provisions, and legal definitions out of context.


But instead of correcting you, the court is going to take silent judicial notice of your mistakes (i.e. QUICKLY and quietly use your ignorance against you) —even though the judges know what you mean—and drag you like a dog, because "ignorance of the law is no excuse". In court/legal settings you’ve ALWAYS got to mean what you say and say EXACTLY what you mean.


Otherwise, you’re done. Read more

U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in resolution 1985/33, decided to appoint an expert, a special rapporteur, to examine questions relevant to torture. The mandate was extended for 3 years by Human Rights Council resolution 25/13 in March 2014.


Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Adobe Acrobat document [649.0 KB]

18 U.S. Code Chapter 113C - TORTURE - Cornell Law



18 U.S. Code Chapter 113C - TORTURE


18 U.S. Code § 2340 - Definitions

18 U.S. Code § 2340A - Torture

18 U.S.C. § 2340B - Exclusive remedies

18 U.S. Code Chapter 113C - TORTURE
18 U.S. Code Chapter 113C - TORTURE.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [23.2 KB]

Human Rights First

Human Rights First reports pressure is mounting to declassify the Senate torture report.

Last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein came to the Senate floor and accused the CIA of spying on Senate intelligence committee staff responsible for investigating the CIA torture program.

Senator Feinstein noted that she stands by the committee staff’s groundbreaking findings and that, by the end of this month, the Senate intelligence committee will vote on whether to send the report to the White House for declassification.

In the days since her floor speech, more officials, including President Obama, have publicly come out in support of the report’s declassification.

For the first time, President Obama said that he is "absolutely committed to declassifying [the report] as soon as it is completed."

Even former CIA Chief Legal Officer John Rizzo, one of the architects of the CIA’s torture program, reiterated his support for declassification. He stated, "Everything needs to get out on the record. Let people judge. Let people decide and move on."

Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. We believe American leadership is essential in the struggle for human rights so we press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they don’t, we step in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Around the world, we work where we can best harness American influence to secure core freedoms. Read more

Hard Measures: Ex-CIA head defends post-9/11 tactics

Hard Measures: Ex-CIA head defends post-9/11 tactics
60 Minutes CBS News
Lesley Stahl Reporting
April 29, 2012

After the attacks of 9/11, the CIA sought and was granted unprecedented authority to capture al Qaeda suspects, whisk them off to secret sites and interrogate them with harsh techniques, including waterboarding.

The man who ran the interrogation program was Jose Rodriguez, a CIA spy in Latin America, who rose to become head of the Clandestine Service, the CIA's dark side.

When the agency's secret program was revealed, it was widely criticized but the blunt-spoken, Puerto Rican-born Rodriguez is fighting back. He's written a book, a defense of the interrogations, called "Hard Measures" -- and tonight you will hear his side of the story.

It's the first time someone this close to the program, this accountable has gone public explaining why techniques that had long been condemned by the U.S. as torture were employed.

Jose Rodriguez: For the first time in our history, we had an enemy come into our homeland and kill 3,000 people. I mean, that was a huge deal. People jumping from the towers to their death. The people running away from the cloud of dust, terrified out of their mind. This was a threat. And we had to throw everything at it. Read more

The CIA "torture memo"
60 Minutes Overtime

Whether you approve of former CIA officer Jose Rodriguez or not, there's no denying his confidence and his complete faith that what he did was the right thing. And, whether you call them "enhanced interrogation techniques" or torture, it's important to remember when this all came about: in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States.

Lesley Stahl's two-part piece on Rodriguez provides fascinating insight into the mindset of a high-ranking CIA officer. At Overtime, we wanted to explore in greater detail the specifics of the interrogation methods that the CIA used on the suspected al Qaeda detainees. Waterboarding had certainly been in the news when the August 1, 2002 Justice Department memo first was released. But, what about the nine other methods? We sat down with the producer of the piece, Rich Bonin and his associate producer Kathy Liu to go over the details, at once fascinating and a little macabre. Read more

Who would Jesus Torture?
Huffington Post
by Phil Zuckerman
May 5, 2009

You might think that after all those tens of millions of Evangelical Christians watched The Last Temptation of Christ, they perhaps developed at least a mild disdain for governments that hire soldiers to inflict violent brutality upon their prisoners.

Guess not.

A new national survey just released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals that it is precisely those folks who ate up Mel Gibson's blockbuster -- church-going Evangelical Christians -- who are far more likely to support the use of torture than non-religious Americans. And of several groups representing various religious orientations, it is secular Americans that are actually the group most opposed to the use of torture.

What's the deal? I thought Christians were into things like mercy, love, and forgiveness. Not water-boarding. Maybe I missed it, but of the thirty or forty times that I've read the New Testament -- particularly the Sermon on the Mount -- I just don't recall the "Thou Shalt Torture" passages. It is fascinating that on this clear question of morality, church-going Christians seem to be the most, well, challenged. Read more


Who would Jesus Torture? Washington Monthly, by Steve Benen, May 1, 2009

Who would Jesus Torture? Town Hall.com, by Doug Giles, May 30, 2009

Who would Jesus Torture? Democratic Underground, by Christian Dewar,

July 17, 2004

Abu Ghraib Torture and Prisoner Abuse

Resign, Rumsfeld
May 6th 2004


YOU are fighting against international terrorists in a battle that both they and you describe as being one about values. You fight a war against Saddam Hussein at your initiative, not his, and you say that it is a war about law, democracy, freedom and honesty. A big metaphorical banner hangs above both wars proclaiming that your aim is to bring freedom, human rights and democracy to the Arab world. All of that sets admirably high standards for the conduct of your forces as well as of your government itself. Now, however, some of your own armed forces are shown to have fallen well below those standards. What do you do? Read more

The Abu Ghraib Whistleblower (video)
60 Minutes II, CBS News
Anderson Cooper reporting
June 25, 2007

You may not remember the name Joe Darby, but you remember the impact of what he did. Darby turned in the pictures of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib in Iraq – pictures he had discovered purely by accident. Unfortunately for Darby, exposing the truth has changed his life forever, and for the worse.

60 Minutes first broadcast this story last December, the story of an ordinary Joe who grew up in Appalachia and signed up to be an MP in the Army Reserves. As CNN's Anderson Cooper reports, Darby's local unit was sent to Abu Ghraib where he worked in the office while others guarded the prisoners.

And then one day, when Joe Darby wanted scenic pictures to send home, he spotted the unit's camera buff, prison guard Charles Graner. full video here


60 Minutes: Exposing The Truth Of Abu Ghraib

Hypothermic (Cold Cell) Torture Abroad

Jamadi's wife, son hold photo of American GI grinning over his corpse.

The Death of an Iraqi Prisoner
NPR National Public Radio
by John McChesney
October 27, 2005

Photographs of grinning GIs crouched over the iced-down, battered corpse of Manadel al-Jamadi were among the most horrific images of the 2003 Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The photos became one of the most powerful symbols for those who opposed to the American invasion of Iraq.

The Iraqi insurgent died within hours of his capture, while being interrogated by the CIA. A military autopsy ruled Jamadi's death a homicide, but no one has been held accountable for his death.

An NPR special report recounts the final hours of Jamadi's life, compiled from a review of thousands of CIA and military documents. Interviews with those present the night he died reveal the techniques used to extract information from Jamadi, and also show a discrepancy between military police and CIA agents about what happened just before his death.

Sgt. Charles Graner poses over the body of Manadel al-Jamadi in Abu Ghraib prison

Jamadi's Capture

The assignment was clear: kill or capture Jamadi. The CIA had identified the Iraqi as a former officer in Saddam Hussein's army and a key leader of a terrorist cell. He was also considered a suspect in an attack on the al-Rashid Hotel during a visit by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz in October 2003.

At 2 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2003, a convoy of humvees and blacked-out CIA Chevy Suburbans entered a deserted street in a hostile Baghdad suburb. The humvees stopped in front of a three-story apartment building, and a platoon of Navy SEALs tumbled out of the humvees and raced up the stairs.

SEAL Dan Cerrillo described the capture to CIA investigators six months later. As Cerrillo placed a charge on the apartment, the door opened. Cerrillo rushed the door, striking Jamadi with it.

Then, according to the report, Cerrillo hit Jamadi "in the face with two fists and attempted to wrestle the subject to the ground, but Jamadi resisted and they engaged in hand-to-hand combat." After a considerable struggle, Jamadi was eventually subdued and cuffed by Cerrillo, a hood was placed over his head, and he was taken first to an Army base, then to the SEALS field base, known as Camp Jenny Pozzi.

Jamadi was interrogated there for nearly an hour and a half. Eyewitnesses interviewed by CIA investigators say Jamadi was seated and stripped, and cold water was poured over him. A Navy SEAL said at one point, the interrogator leaned into a pressure point on Jamadi's chest with his foreman.

Jamadi was then moved to Abu Ghraib for further interrogation. At the prison, MPs stretched Jamadi's arms directly behind him and shackled his wrists to window bars. If the arms bear the full weight of the body, the position can be extremely painful. But MPs later told CIA investigators that Jamadi had been given enough slack to kneel or stand.

During this new round of questioning by CIA agents, Jamadi slumped forward, with his weight on his shackled wrists. MPs, while trying to reposition Jamadi, discovered he was dead. His death occurred within five-and-a-half hours of his capture. more

An autopsy photo shows extensive bruising on Jamadi's wrists

Death shed light on CIA ‘Salt Pit’ near Kabul
MSNBC/Associated Press
by Adam Goldman

and Kathy Gannon
March 28, 2010

Handling of terror suspect led to inquiry by agency's inspector general

WASHINGTON — More than seven years ago, a suspected Afghan militant was brought to a dimly lit CIA compound northeast of the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. The CIA called it the Salt Pit. Inmates knew it as the dark prison.

Inside a chilly cell, the man was shackled and left half-naked. He was found dead, exposed to the cold, in the early hours of Nov. 20, 2002.

The Salt Pit death was the only fatality known to have occurred inside the secret prison network the CIA operated abroad after the Sept. 11 attacks. The death had strong repercussions inside the CIA. It helped lead to a review that uncovered abuses in detention and interrogation procedures, and forced the agency to change those procedures.

The CIA's program of waterboarding and other harsh treatment of suspected terrorists has been debated since it ended in 2006. The Salt Pit case stands as a cautionary tale about the unfettered use of such practices. The Obama administration shut the CIA's prisons last year.

Little has emerged about the Afghan's death, which the Justice Department is investigating. The Associated Press has learned the dead man's name, as well as new details about his capture in Pakistan and his Afghan imprisonment.

The man was Gul Rahman, a suspected militant captured on Oct. 29, 2002, a U.S. official familiar with the case confirmed. The official said Rahman was taken during an operation against Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, an insurgent group headed by Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and allied with al-Qaida.

A reference to Rahman's death also turned up in a recently declassified government document.

This account of the case was assembled from documents and interviews with both militants and officials in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and with more than two dozen current and former U.S. officials. The Americans spoke on condition of anonymity because the details of the case remain classified. Read more

U.S. Widens Inquiries Into 2 Jail Deaths
The New York Times

June 30, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced Thursday that it was opening a full criminal investigation into the deaths of two terrorism suspects in C.I.A. custody overseas, but it was closing inquiries into the treatment of nearly 100 other detainees over the last decade.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that a two-year review by a specially appointed prosecutor, John H. Durham, had determined that any further investigation into that large group of cases "is not warranted." The inquiry into the two deaths, though, could result in criminal charges against Central Intelligence Agency officers or contractors.

Intelligence officials saw the announcement as a vindication of sorts.

"I welcome the news that the broader inquiries are behind us," Leon E. Panetta, director of the C.I.A., said in his last day in office before being sworn in Friday as defense secretary. "We are now finally about to close this chapter of our agency’s history." more

Department of Justice
June 30, 2011

"On January 2, 2008, Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed Assistant United States Attorney John Durham of the District of Connecticut to conduct a criminal investigation into the destruction of interrogation videotapes by the Central Intelligence Agency.  On August 24, 2009, based on information the Department received pertaining to alleged CIA mistreatment of detainees, I announced that I had expanded Mr. Durham’s mandate to conduct a preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations.  I made clear at that time that the Department would not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees.  Accordingly, Mr. Durham’s review examined primarily whether any unauthorized interrogation techniques were used by CIA interrogators, and if so, whether such techniques could constitute violations of the torture statute or any other applicable statute. Read more

Statement of the Attorney General Regarding Investigation into the Interrogation of Certain Detainees _ OPA _ Department of Justice
Statement of the Attorney General Regard[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [22.0 KB]

Deaths of 2 CIA Detainees Probed; Freezing Temperatures and Blunt Force May Be Cause
ABA Journal Law News Now
by Debra Cassens Weiss
July 1, 2011

The U.S. Justice Department has launched a full-scale criminal investigation into the deaths of two detainees who died in CIA custody overseas.

Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the investigation based on the recommendation of special prosecutor John Durham, report the New York Times and The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times. At the same time, Holder said, he is closing an investigation into nearly 100 other cases based on Durham’s conclusions.

Holder said in a statement that Durham’s probe considered whether interrogators used techniques that had not been authorized by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, and whether those methods violated the torture statute or other laws.

Holder did not identify the detainees whose deaths spurred the investigation, but the Times learned their identity from anonymous government officials. They are Manadel al-Jamadi, who died at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003, and Gul Rahman, who died in 2002 in a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan.

Al-Jamadi became known as the Iceman after his body was photographed packed in ice and wrapped in plastic, the story says. Smiling servicemen posed next to the corpse, NPR reported at the time. A military autopsy determined the death was a homicide caused by "blunt force trauma to the torso complicated by compromised respiration," NPR said. Al-Jamadi had been a suspected leader of a terrorist cell.

The New Yorker and the Associated Press have stories on the death of Rahman, a suspected Afghan militant who may have died from freezing temperatures while in custody. Read more

Who Killed Gul Rahman?
The New Yorker
by Jane Mayer
March 31, 2010

Last week, in a review of Marc A. Thiessen’s "Courting Disaster," I questioned many of Thiessen’s assertions about the use of torture during the Bush years, including his claim that no detainee "deaths in custody took place in the C.I.A. interrogation program." Now, underscoring that point, the Associated Press has published a remarkable account detailing the death of one detainee held by the C.I.A.

The story, by Adam Goldman and Kathy Gannon, revealed for the first time the name of a suspected Afghan militant who died of exposure in C.I.A. custody on November 20, 2002, in a secret prison, known as the "Salt Pit," run by the Agency. The suspect, Gul Rahman, reportedly died after having been stripped naked from the waist down and shackled in a cell in which the temperature dipped to approximately thirty-six degrees Fahrenheit. Subsequent forensic examinations determined that he had frozen to death. Rahman was believed to have been in his early thirties, and was suspected of having served as a guard to the Afghan warlord, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was then an ally of Al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan but who is currently engaged in possible peace negotiations with the Karzai government. more