Monday, June 01, 2009

Abu Zubaydah, alleged "Abu Qaeda" mastermind, is a CIA veteran

Abu Zubaydah, alleged "Abu Qaeda" mastermind, is a CIA veteran

WMR has learned from an informed source knowledgeable about the detention and torture of U.S. detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba that imprisoned "Al Qaeda" leader Abu Zubaydah, born in Saudi Arabia and raised until he was a teen on the West Bank where he was also active in demonstrations against the illegal Israeli occupation, was a paid agent of the CIA while in Afghanistan from 1991 to 1992 fighting with the mujaheddin against the Afghan communist government and its Soviet military allies. Zubaydah, who speaks Arabic and English, was injured by a mortar in 1992 and left him without an eye and memory loss. Zubaydah was so badly injured, he forgot how to use a rifle and was not allowed back on the front lines to fight the Afghan Communist forces under President Najibullah.

In March 2002, Zubaydah was captured in Faisalabad, Pakistan by a CIA team after the United States paid a $10 million bribe to the Pakistani government to produce "Al Qaeda" leaders. Zubaydah, who was partially handicapped from his original injuries while on the payroll of the CIA, was shot three times during his capture. Zubaydah's presence in Faisalabad was no secret as he was well-known in the community.

From the outset, the U.S. case against Zubaydah was full of holes. Federal prosecutors declined to link Zubaydah to the "Millennium Plot" a plan to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on January 1, 2000. Zubaydah's status as an "Al Qaeda" leader was suspect from the beginning. Zubaydah, one of the first CIA "ghost prisoners," was detained in CIA-run prisons in Pakistan, Thailand, Afghanistan, Poland, Diego Garcia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and Morocco before being placed in the Guantanamo Bay prison.

According to a heavily-redacted court motion submitted by Zubaydah's counsel to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, CIA contractors involved in the transport and torture of Zubaydah included: Air Security International/Air Routing International of Houston; Mitchell, Jessen & Associates of Spokane, Washington; Jeppesen Dataplan of San Jose, California; Aero Contractors/Aviation Specialties of Smithfield, North Carolina; Tepper Aviation of Crestview, Florida; Richmor Aviation of Hudson, New York; Windrose Aviation of Berlin, Germany. The following contractors were also involved in Zubaydah's transport and/or torture: James E. Mitchell of Florida, Bruce Jessen of Washington state, Eric Ernest Jividen of Virginia, Lyle E. Lumsden of Virginia, Adam Buzzard of Virginia and Florida, Leroy Doland Buell of Washington, DC and Florida, and Thomas Medina. Mitchell and Jessen were consulting psychologists to the CIA.

An FBI team, that included anti-torture agent Ali Soufan, withdrew from the interrogation of Zubaydah after the two CIA psychologists, Mitchell and Jessen, began to apply torture tactics on Zubaydah, including water boarding. In fact, according to court documents obtained by WMR, the CIA flew a doctor from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to treat Zubaydah's wounds to make him healthy enough to begin the torture sessions.

Zubaydah's torture by the CIA, given the detainee's past association with the agency, indicates that the interrogators were interested in much more than intelligence on "Al Qaeda." When Zubaydah was captured by the CIA, he was carrying two ATM bank cards, each issued by a Saudi and Kuwaiti bank. The cards were sent to Washington but fell into a "black hole." The Bush administration failed to investigate where the money in the accounts originated. It was reported that the Saudi bank was close to the House of Saud.

From the beginning of his detention in 2002, it is highly unlikely, given the American torture, that Zubaydah ever provided any "actionable intelligence." According to WMR's source, Zubaydah was repeatedly subjected to "walling," being slammed up against a wall; sleep deprivation; water boarding, and being subjected to biting insects. Zubaydah has suffered 200 seizures since being captured in 2002. In addition, he has confessed to a number of plots that either never happened or those where a connection would have been impossible.

In fact, a source who has spoken to Zubaydah said that Zubaydah, said to be a mere shell of a human, would confess to having assassinated George W. Bush if he were asked the question.

WMR learned from another source involved in investigating torture that there are an additional 2,000 photographs of torture that have not been released by the Pentagon. WMR has also learned that private contractors played a "major role" in torturing detainees in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, Iraq. Ethnic Uighurs from China, who are innocent of any involvement in terrorism, were also subjected to torture, according to our sources.

America's support for torture has also resulted in rising incidents of torture in 150 countries around the world, according to a Catholic University in Washington source. A recent Pew Research poll of different religious groups in the United States revealed that a majority of evangelical Christians support torture, Roman Catholics are evenly split, a majority of mainstream Protestants are opposed to torture, and an overwhelming majority of non-religious secular respondents are opposed to the practice. Although a number of leading Jewish commentators and leaders such as Charles Krauthammer and Alan Dershowitz favor torture, Pew did not poll the Jewish community because the national percentage in relation to the overall population was considered too low.