The Bush legacy:
When Muhammad Saad Iqbal arrived home here in August after more than six years in American custody, including five at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, he had difficulty walking, his left ear was severely infected, and he was dependent on a cocktail of antibiotics and antidepressants.
In November, a Pakistani surgeon operated on his ear, physical therapists were working on lower back problems and a psychiatrist was trying to wean him off the drugs he carried around in a white, plastic shopping bag.
The maladies, said Mr. Iqbal, 31, a professional reader of the Koran, are the result of a gantlet of torture, imprisonment and interrogation for which his Washington lawyer plans to sue the United States government.***
Mr. Iqbal was never convicted of any crime, or even charged with one. He was quietly released from Guantánamo with a routine explanation that he was no longer considered an enemy combatant, part of an effort by the Bush administration to reduce the prison’s population.***
Mr. Iqbal said he had been beaten, tightly shackled, covered with a hood and given drugs, subjected to electric shocks and, because he denied knowing Mr. bin Laden, deprived of sleep for six months. “They make me blind and stand up for whole days,” he said in halting English, meaning that he had been covered with a hood or blindfolded.
The Pentagon and the C.I.A. have a policy of not talking about the detainees, but a C.I.A. spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, said, “The agency’s terrorist detention program has used lawful means of interrogation, reviewed and approved by the Department of Justice and briefed to the Congress.
“This individual, from what I have heard of his account, appears to be describing something utterly different,” Mr. Gimigliano added. “I have no idea what he’s talking about. The United States does not conduct or condone torture.”
You really have to read the entire story. Apparently his crime was to be in a group where someone may have uttered the phrase “I know how to make a shoe bomb,” and for that he was imprisoned in Gitmo, shuttled around the world and tortured at out behest, and labeled the worst of the worst by Donald Rumsfeld.
And the funniest thing about all of this is that one of the worst terrorist attacks on this country did not happen with a shoe bomb, but a fertilizer bomb. And you know who actively trains people how to make fertilizer bombs?
The US Army. It was part of my training at Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, some 15 years ago.
We have lost our damned minds.