[Ppnews] Man Held by C.I.A. Says He Was Tortured

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Dec 10 10:37:53 EST 2007

December 9, 2007

Man Held by C.I.A. Says He Was Tortured

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 — The first of the so-called 
detainees to have seen a lawyer claims he was 
subjected to “state-sanctioned torture” while in 
prisons, and he has asked for a court order 
barring the government from destroying evidence of his treatment.

The request, in a filing by his lawyers, was made 
on Nov. 29, before officials from the Central 
Intelligence Agency acknowledged that the agency 
had destroyed videotapes of interrogations of two 
operatives of 
Qaeda that current and former officials said 
included the use of harsh techniques.

Lawyers for the detainee, Majid Khan, a former 
Baltimore resident, released documents in his 
case on Friday. They claim he “was subjected to 
an aggressive C.I.A. detention and interrogation 
program notable for its elaborate planning and 
ruthless application of torture” to numerous detainees.

The documents also suggest that Mr. Khan, 27, and 
other high-value detainees are now being held in 
a previously undisclosed area of the Guantánamo 
prison in Cuba he called Camp 7.

Those detainees include 14 men, some suspected of 
being former Qaeda officials, who President Bush 
acknowledged were held in a secret C.I.A. 
program. They were transferred to military custody at Guantánamo last year.

Asked about Mr. Khan’s assertions, Mark 
Mansfield, a C.I.A. spokesman, said, “the United 
States does not conduct or condone torture.” He 
said a small number of “hardened terrorists” had 
required what he called “special methods of 
questioning” in what he called a lawful and carefully run program.

The documents were heavily redacted by government 
security officials, and none of Mr. Khan’s 
specific assertions of torture could be read. One entire page was blacked out.

In addition to the court filing, Mr. Khan’s 
lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights 
in New York released recently declassified notes 
of their first meetings with Mr. Khan, in 
October. The notes asserted that he had symptoms 
of post-traumatic stress disorder because of his 
treatment, including memory problems and “frantic 
expression.” They said he was “painfully thin and pale.”

A Pentagon spokesman, Cmdr. Jeffrey D. Gordon, 
declined to respond to the assertions about Mr. 
Khan’s condition, saying that most detainees at Guantánamo gain weight.

Pentagon officials have said they believe that 
Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 
attacks, selected Mr. Khan, who grew up in the 
suburbs of Baltimore, to study the feasibility of 
blowing up gasoline stations and poisoning 
reservoirs in the United States. But he has not been charged with any offenses.

His lawyers said Mr. Khan, while living in 
Pakistan, was “forcibly disappeared” and that he 
had “admitted anything his interrogators demanded 
of him, regardless of the truth.”

Lawyers who represent Guantánamo detainees agree 
to stringent restrictions that bar them from 
disclosing information from their clients until 
it is cleared by government security officials.

The notes that were declassified from Mr. Khan’s 
lawyers, Gitanjali S. Gutierrez and J. Wells 
Dixon, say he “lives in Camp 7” and imply that he 
has contact with at least one other high-value 

Officials at Guantánamo have not discussed the 
existence of a Camp 7. They often say publicly 
that the most recent center constructed there is 
Camp 6, a modern maximum-security building.

Commander Gordon, citing security concerns, 
declined to comment on the indication that there 
may be a secret detention unit, and added that 
“we do not disclose the exact location of detainees within Guantánamo.”

The request for an order barring the government 
from destroying any evidence of torture was filed 
in the United States Court of Appeals for the 
District of Columbia Circuit, which is 
considering a challenge by Mr. Khan to his detention.

Mr. Khan’s lawyers claim that “there is a 
substantial risk that the torture evidence will 
disappear.” They did not specify what evidence they believe may exist.

An intelligence official speaking on the 
condition of anonymity said the C.I.A.’s 
interrogations of Mr. Khan were not videotaped.

Mr. Dixon, one of Mr. Khan’s lawyers, said 
Saturday that the admission that officials had 
destroyed videotapes of interrogations showed why such an order was needed.

“They are no longer entitled to a presumption 
that the government has acted lawfully or in good faith,” Mr. Dixon said.

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