It Sounds Like They Had to Get Some, Too


Nobody should, for a fraction of a second, think that this is “new” news and has not been widely known in ‘certain circles’ for some time. Apparently the FBI got into the “torturing muslims” racket, too. I choose my words carefully, since some of the techniques of humiliation and intimidation included shaving their victims’ beards.

Anyhow, this goes some way toward explaining why the FBI never flipped the torture card over, as a way to humiliate the CIA: they were doing it too. In retrospect it’s pretty obvious: the FBI is infested with christian fundamentalists and authoritarian surveillance fetishists – the lure of sadistic happy-time must have been irresistable. As I have mentioned before, [stderr] this is a criminal conspiracy to commit a capital offense under US law (and a serious offense under international law). There is no credible way that this sort of activity could have been kept secret, it had to go all the way up to the level of the smiling goons like James Comey and the less smiling goons like Robert Mueller.

For some reason this story is not getting much air-play in the US media, though The Guardian is on the job: [groaudian]

A convicted “sleeper terrorist” linked to the 9/11 planners has spoken for the first time about his treatment in detention, claiming he was tortured and abused during 13 years of incarceration on American soil.

Three years after his release, Ali al-Marri claims he is innocent and wants his FBI interrogators brought to account.

Al-Marri was arrested after the 2001 attacks and later declared an “enemy combatant” by George W Bush. Held in solitary confinement without charge for six years at a naval brig in South Carolina, he was the only non-US citizen detained outside Guantanamo.

The FBI lost people in their field office next to the World Trade Center, on 9/11. There were probably brutes in the bureau who had some partially-formed thoughts about “paybacks.” Here’s the problem – if Al-Marri actually did – well, what? – they’d have had trouble convicting him on any grounds. They had to struggle to pin conspiracy charges on Zacharias Moussaoui who, you’ll recall, didn’t actually do anything. His notable crime was that he didn’t participate in the attack. Al-Marri’s crime: he had searched for information about poisons and had some stolen credit card numbers and had been looking for information about critical infrastructure. Do you want to bet that neo-nazi gun nuts do searches like that?

I’m personally a bit threatened by this because I use cyanide as a process chemical and I used to buy the stuff in large containers from Fisher Scientific. Do I risk being thrown in a cell and tortured for 11 years because of that? Nonsense.

By the way, the quantity of cyanide you’d need to obtain and introduce into a water supply, to do any damage, would be immense. You want to kill someone with poisoned water: let the Flint, Michigan municipal water provider handle their water.

Al-Marri’s allegations of torture are supported by detention logs which are set to reignite the controversy over the US handling of al-Qaida suspects before the impending appointment as CIA director of Gina Haspel, a woman accused of presiding over “enhanced interrogation techniques”.

This means that there was an entire chain of command that knew that the torture had been committed, and covered it up. This is not a small-time criminal conspiracy, it’s a criminal conspiracy that ought to result in the gutting of an entire branch of the FBI, all the way to the top. Which is exactly what will not happen.

FBI agents said he wanted to poison lakes with cyanide and disrupt the US banking system. They claimed he had visited al-Qaida training camps in Pakistan, and was in contact with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

That’s it?

No, seriously. That’s it?

They’re willing to lock someone away for 11 years without a trial, based on that, and they knew about Paul Manafort and his circle of sleazy friends (including Donald Trump) and needed a nuclear-powered boot on the backside to get them to set Manafort up for a stay in prison, and a quiet stint of probation somewhere while he sets up a book deal.

Wanting to poison lakes with cyanide and disrupt the US banking system is an eminently reasonable desire, but the FBI appears to have forgotten that what constitutes a crime is action not the desire to act. I’d like to punch Donald Trump in that ugly potty-hole of a mouth of his, but I’m not acting on that desire, and no crime is committed until I take some kind of action. Remember: these are the same dipsticks who gave an AR-15 back to a dangerous kid because the kid was not provably planning to do something malicious with that gun.

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Do you think for a second that there is no reason why The Guardian has reported on this story but the New York Times and The Washington Post have not? What’s weird is when I see conspiracy nuts like Alex Jones ranting about the “Mainstream media” they are completely wrong, but they’re so wrong they are almost right.

Comments

  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    Apparently the FBI got into the “torturing muslims” racket, too. I choose my words carefully, since some of the techniques of humiliation and intimidation included shaving their victims’ beards.

    Added bonus: it works against Amish terrorists too!

  2. says

    he had searched for information about poisons

    You know, if you wanted to apply such logic consistently, FBI employees should be thrown in jail for googling “torture techniques.” How comes it’s not OK to google for information on poisons, but it’s legal to learn about, for example, torture techniques.

    I’m personally a bit threatened by this because I use cyanide as a process chemical and I used to buy the stuff in large containers from Fisher Scientific. Do I risk being thrown in a cell and tortured for 11 years because of that? Nonsense.

    My online browsing history includes plenty of marihuana growers’ forums. I have also purchased plant growing supplies online. I’m not doing anything that could interest the law enforcement, though. All I have are some Nepenthes platychila, Drosera capensis and Phalaenopsis plants growing on my windowsill. The reason for my interest in marihuana growing is that weed growers tend to approach the whole thing scientifically—they study what plants need in order to grow well, and they are concerned with how to ensure that their plants get the necessary growing conditions. Compare that with people who frequent house plant growing forums—these people tend to just buy some plant, put it on their windowsill, and hope that the plant doesn’t die too quickly. Marihuana and orchids are all just plants, they need the same stuff—light, fertilizers, specific relative humidity, etc.—which is why the information I learn from marihuana growers is also applicable for growing other plants. Marihuana growers are simply a better source if I want to learn about topics like, for example, plant nutrition.

  3. Rob Grigjanis says

    Do you think for a second that there is no reason why The Guardian has reported on this story but the New York Times and The Washington Post have not?

    The US media has been reporting on the case for years, so I’m not sure what you mean. The New York Times had a pretty unambiguous editorial about it in 2008.

  4. jrkrideau says

    I thought I had seen something on this on Al Jazeera but it turns out it was on RT. RT actually has a video of him. https://www.rt.com/usa/425216-qatar-al-qaida-torture-us/ and it looks like I missed a CBC News item on it (https://www.newsx.tv/2018/04/26/qatari-national-ali-al-marri-tortured-on-us-soil/ again with [different?] video clip)

    I have no belief whatsoever in the validity of his guilty plea. Just as the Canadian, Omar Khadr, did, you plead guilty to get out. Plea bargaining at its worst.

    It would appear that the FBI did not have good relations with the CIA or they could have just outsourced Al Marri’s torture to Syria as they did with people such as Maher Arar.

  5. Rob Grigjanis says

    jrkrideau @4: And of course, right-wingers in Canada (and the States) never tire of calling Khadr a “self-confessed murderer and terrorist”. His choice was plead guilty and serve 8 years, or spend the rest of his life at Guantanamo. And the case against him would never have stood up in a civilian court. They somehow always skip that part. Pukeworthy from beginning to end.

  6. bmiller says

    Marcus: You and Daniel Larison (I know, I know, he is a fundie confederate, but damn he hates war pigs), have cured me of any nationalism.

  7. says

    Rob Grigjanis @#5

    And of course, right-wingers in Canada (and the States) never tire of calling Khadr a “self-confessed murderer and terrorist”. His choice was plead guilty and serve 8 years, or spend the rest of his life at Guantanamo.

    And here I was naively thinking that by now the humanity had already figured out that a confession extorted via torture cannot be considered as valid.

    bmiller @#6

    I perceive nationalists themselves as the best cure against nationalism. They tend to talk all sorts of crap (for example, where I live nationalists also tend to defend misogyny and homophobia), thus alienating others from their own ideas.

  8. jrkrideau says

    @ 7 leva Skrebele

    I believe the animals in Afghanistan and Guantanamo had stopped torturing him, at least physically long before the tribunal. It looked as if the torturers really wanted information not just a fake confession.

    The main case against him was that he the only person the US troops took alive—therefore a 15 year old boy would be charged with murder.

    This was, more or less, against all international law; the USA invented the “crime” after he was captured IIRC. And, as far as I am aware he is the only person charged under it.

    He had the choice of doing a plea deal or taking his chances in a “military tribunal” or as we call them in North America, a “kangaroo court”. The plea deal made sense as it latter emerged that the kangaroos (err, court) were considering a 40 year sentence.

    @5 Rob Grigjanis
    Pukeworthy from beginning to end.

    I read the testimony of the prosecution’s psychological “expert witness”. He was impressive. When you buy him, he will say anything you want. He’s not cheap but you get your money’s worth.

    I do consider him one of the most unethical and dishonest psychological “expert witness” whose testimony I have ever read. It was readily apparent he lacked the cultural knowledge to testify.

    Come to think of it, I did some quick background checking and he seemed totally unqualified to be any kind of expert witness concerning humans.

    For Canadian readers, not long after the trial he was interviewed by Ezra Levant when Ezra was still with Sun TV. It was the usual racist hate-fest.

  9. komarov says

    Anyhow, this goes some way toward explaining why the FBI never flipped the torture card over, as a way to humiliate the CIA: they were doing it too.

    I’d assume that if they hadn’t already compromised themselves the FBI would have taken it as a cue to escalate their own practices. Time to upgrade the ol’ interrogation techniques to the “enhanced” version. Can’t be seen lagging behind.

    Incidentally, I’m a strong suspect for lake poisoning, too, based on searches I did years ago for a student assignment about river pollution and associated LD50s for various species of fish. There, now I’ve all but confessed to serial mass piscicide, conspiracy to commit. Of course, if I really wanted to do it I’d skip the research, build a factory by some river and simply dump all the waste in the river. All in accordance with standard industrial practice and legal guidelines, naturally.

  10. Dunc says

    By the way, the quantity of cyanide you’d need to obtain and introduce into a water supply, to do any damage, would be immense.

    Mmmm, why does this tap water taste really strongly of almonds? Cyanide is not a subtle poison…

  11. says

    komarov@#9:
    I was curious about whether cyanide would be a good suicide drug (short form: no) (extended form: really, no)
    If you tried to kill a city by putting cyanide in the water supply, the water would be better than what capitalists managed to do with Flint, MI.

    Therefore, if you want to terrorize and kill a bunch of people, privatize public services.

  12. says

    I was curious about whether cyanide would be a good suicide drug (short form: no) (extended form: really, no)

    I had Madame Bovary in my obligatory literature list at school. The novel included a scene where one of the characters committed suicide by ingesting arsenic, and Flaubert described the process in detail. I mean: really graphic detail, with all the gory stuff. (The things young and impressionable kids are made to read by their literature teachers! By the way, for me that dying scene in Madame Bovary felt much worse than any of the stuff I have read from Marquis de Sade.) Anyway, that was where I learned that killing yourself by ingesting some poison is probably a really, really bad idea.

    what capitalists managed to do with Flint, MI

    I just looked it up. Ouch!

    Therefore, if you want to terrorize and kill a bunch of people, privatize public services.

    This also has an added bonus—not only do you get toxic drinking water, you also get increased living expenses, and this means that there will be additional deaths caused by the poverty. After all, the bankers who caused the 2008 financial crisis killed and tortured more people than the combined efforts of all the terrorists.

  13. says

    Rob Grigjanis@#3:
    The US media has been reporting on the case for years, so I’m not sure what you mean. The New York Times had a pretty unambiguous editorial about it in 2008.

    I guess “not making a big deal out of it” is vague. It’s not something I’ve been seeing a great deal of attention focused on. 2008 was a while ago.

  14. says

    bmiller@#6:
    Marcus: You and Daniel Larison (I know, I know, he is a fundie confederate, but damn he hates war pigs), have cured me of any nationalism.

    I’m not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s a thing. The problem with curing people of nationalism is that we’re still trapped in a nationalist system. Even if we stop believing in it, it still believes in us.

  15. says

    I’m not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s a thing. The problem with curing people of nationalism is that we’re still trapped in a nationalist system. Even if we stop believing in it, it still believes in us.

    It is definitely a good thing. Even if your country decides to do something stupid (for example, go dropping bombs on people somewhere), at least you won’t participate in this stupid thing (for example, you won’t volunteer to join the army).

  16. Curious Digressions says

    he had searched for information about poisons
    Uh-oh. I do searches like that for writing fiction. I’m probably on a list somewhere…

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