Tuesday, February 01, 2005

al-Qa'eda Rule 18

From the "I did not know that" file (I'm referring to the second paragraph that follows):
The detainees in Guantanamo were certainly humiliated and made to feel extremely uncomfortable. They may have been deprived of light and sleep and forced to stand for long periods. But did it constitute torture? The US Department of Defence insists that none of the Britons even alleged they had been tortured or abused until October last year – and that when US officials investigated those claims, they not only found they had no foundation, but that one of the Britons had assaulted one of his interrogators.

The men's claim that they were tortured at Guantanamo should also be set in the context of the al-Qa'eda training manual discovered during a raid in Manchester a couple of years ago. Lesson 18 of that manual, whose authenticity has not been questioned, emphatically states, under the heading "Prison and Detention Centres", that, when arrested, members of al-Qa'eda "must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by state security investigators. [They must] complain to the court of mistreatment while in prison". That is not, of course, proof that the Britons were not tortured in Guantanamo. But it ought to encourage some doubts about uncritically accepting that they were – which seems to be the attitude adopted by most of the media. (via Taranto )

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