'20th Hijacker' Sues for Gitmo Torture Tapes

Videos of sessions are 'sickening,' says lawyer
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2012 4:24 AM CST
Updated Jan 11, 2012 4:30 AM CST
Gitmo 'HIjacker' Sues for Torture Tapes
A detainee shields his face as he peers out through the so-called "bean hole" which is used to pass food and other items into detainee cells in the Camp Delta detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

The Saudi national accused of being the "20th hijacker" on 9/11 is suing the government to release what his lawyers call "sickening" videos of his torture at Guantanamo Bay. Mohammed al-Qahtani was the victim of "torture and other profoundly cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment," involving marathon interrogation sessions, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures, and "sexual and moral" humiliations, according to the suit filed in Manhattan Federal Court by the Center for Constitutional Rights. "The American public should be permitted to see what occurred for itself," says the suit.

One of the lawyers, who has seen tapes of the interrogation sessions, said she found them "extremely disturbing," reports the New York Daily News. Al-Qahtani was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 and has never been tried. He was charged with war crimes and murder, but an official told the Washington Post in 2009 that the case could never go forward because al-Qahtani was tortured, and tortured so badly that it left him in a "life-threatening" condition. WikiLeaks documents revealed that al-Qahtani was forced to wear a dog leash and a woman's thong on his head, and to urinate on himself. He was also isolated for months, kept naked, menaced by dogs, and subjected to blaring music. He was allegedly recruited by 9/11 terrorists to provide "muscle" aboard a hijacked plane, but sent back to Dubai by Florida airport officials who suspected he was illegally trying to enter the the country. He's still at Guantanamo. (More Mohammed al-Qahtani stories.)

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