Blogs > Liberty and Power > Why You Do Not Torture People

Aug 20, 2009 11:39 pm

Why You Do Not Torture People

Although there is a considerable amount of dispute over the actual figure, some have attached great importance to the number of recidivist terrorists among those released from Guantanamo Bay. Here is the story of Abdallah Saleh al-Ajmi who left the American prison to end his days as a suicide bomber. However, should he really be considered a recidivist or was he a terrorist created by the United States government?

After his release and return to Kuwait that country put Ajmi on trial for terrorist actions and he was acquitted. The written decision of his Kuwaiti judges stated that “they believed that the U.S. military elicited information from the defendants by using physical and psychological torture. They deemed the U.S. investigative summaries unreliable, and they concluded that the Kuwaiti government had based its reports on unsubstantiated U.S. allegations.” The fact that he was released from the base at all is a tacit admission that there was little or no evidence that he was a problem in the first place.

To his family Ajimi’s time in prison had a profound effect on him. His younger brother describes “a normal teenager. He spun the car around in circles. He smoked. People liked him. After he came back from Guantanamo, he seemed like a completely different person. He stared all the time. You could not have a normal conversation with him. . . . It seemed as if his brain had been washed." And, his lawyer believes that, “here was this poor, dumb kid -- I really don't think he was a bad kid -- who was thrown into a hellhole of a prison and who went mad, should we really be surprised that somebody we treated this way would become radicalized, would become crazy?"

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