Charges Against 9/11 Suspect Dropped
His Statements Were the Result of Abusive Interrogation, Officials Say
By Josh White and Julie Tate
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, May 14, 2008; Page A04
U.S. authorities have long considered Mohammed al-Qahtani one of the most dangerous alleged terrorists in U.S. custody, a man who could have been the 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11, 2001, plot if he had not been denied entry into the country.
But yesterday, amid concerns about using information obtained during abusive military interrogations, a top Pentagon official removed Qahtani from the military commission case meant to bring justice to those behind the vast Sept. 11 conspiracy.
Susan J. Crawford, the appointed official who decides which cases will be heard in the largely untested commission process, dismissed the charges against Qahtani while affirming those against five other alleged terrorists to stand trial at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Prosecutors reserve the right to charge Qahtani again, and the military says it can hold him without trial for the duration of the counterterrorism wars. But his defense lawyers and officials familiar with the case say it is unlikely that Qahtani will face new charges because he was subjected to aggressive Defense Department interrogation techniques -- such as intimidation by dogs, hooding, nudity, long-term isolation and stress positions.
This is an edited version of my comment:
How embarrassing as an American! I was thinking that maybe one of the first things our new Democratic President should do is officially declare the Global War on Terror lost and over. The reality is that the terrorists have done pretty much what they wanted. They have set us on a path of destruction by our own hand, caused us to sacrifice our fundamental and founding principles and turned us into a nation sniveling cowards afraid of the evil brown person under the bed. We don't even want to talk about what they have given Shrub and company an excuse to do to our treasury and to our young men and women in the military.
I haven't quite settled on a name but something on the order of a Global Search for Understanding, Peace and Tolerance might work but feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments.
Without the excuse of a GWOT the thugs at GITMO and the other illegal torture prisons we are maintaining around the world will have no reason to hold all the mostly innocent people. The GWOT has gone on long enough and we have lost. Need to regroup and bring some new ideas to the game.