Feature

The end result of torturing Zubaydah

Call it &ldquo;enhanced interrogation&rdquo; if you like, but if you saw Abu Zubaydah today, you&rsquo;d know what the CIA did to him was torture, said lawyer Joseph Margulies in<strong> </strong>the <em>Los Angel

Joseph MarguliesLos Angeles Times

Call it “enhanced interrogation” if you like, said lawyer Joseph Margulies, but if you saw Abu Zubaydah today, you’d know what the CIA did to him was torture. I now represent Zubaydah, whose real name is Zayn al Abidin Mohamed Hussein. He was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and publicly identified by George W. Bush as “al Qaida’s chief of operations.”

In reality, as journalist Ron Suskind later learned, Zubaydah had been “a minor logistics man, a travel agent.” Nonetheless, Zubaydah endured “the full gamut” of torture techniques adopted by the U.S. from Korean and Chinese communists. For months, he was slapped, beaten, slammed against walls, hung naked by his wrists in freezing rooms, confined in a tiny box, and waterboarded 83 times. This prolonged brutality left Zubaydah a broken shell of a man. He now suffers “blinding headaches and has permanent brain damage,” and has suffered about 200 seizures in the past two years. “The slightest noise drives him nearly insane.”

As Sen. John McCain has said, torture is ultimately not about who our enemies are. It’s about who we are. Let us resolve that “we are not people who do this to another human being.”

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