The other day I wrote about the fight back by former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks regarding the lies told about him by the Detainee Assessment Brief released as part of large and ongoing document leak by Wikileaks. Another Australian also previously incarcerated at Guantanamo, and even more horrifically tortured, if that’s possible, by the U.S. and its allies, has filed suit in an Egyptian court against his tormenter, former Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, who for 15 years or more was chief of intelligence in that country. Habib’s JTF-GTMO summary is also available at the Wikileaks site.
The summary states that Habib admitted “under extreme duress” various terrorist activities and knowledge while under interrogation in Egypt, where he was sent via the U.S. program of “extraordinary rendition.” Habib recanted these confessions once at Guantanamo. This didn’t keep intelligence officials of labeling him as of “high” intelligence value, maintaining that Habib had knowledge of Al Qaeda financing, safe houses, training and tactics, operations in Thailand and Singapore, along with associations with the 9/11 German terrorist cell. All of these were lies, induced by torture.
While Mr. Habib has not released a fact sheet to answer these charges, he has been aggressively pursuing a redress for the lies and crimes done to him. His lawsuit against the powerful Suleiman, who until recently was fully supported by the Obama administration during the Egyptian uprising, goes along with articles, speaking engagements, and his own book on his life and treatment in the U.S. gulag, My Story: the Tale of a Terrorist Who Wasn’t. Mubarak’s son, Gamal, is also named in the suit.
Habib has now spoken out on the claims cited in his Guantanamo assessment brief, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Referring to claims that he was planning the hijacking of a Quantas airplane, and other assertions in the Guantanamo document, the ABC article says:
Mr Habib, who was released from Guantanamo Bay without charge in 2005, says it is possible he admitted to things he did not do because Egyptian interrogators drugged him.
But he says he would not have said he was going to hijack a Qantas plane, because it is not true and he was being set up.
“Maybe some stuff happened by me under drugs, I’m not aware of it, to be honest,” he said.
“But as to a wake up person, I’m talking as very awake and I know, I’m knowledge, what’s going on, I never admit to anything, no.”
What follows is a little from Habib’s book, from the section where he was tortured by Suleiman:
He [Suleiman] continued, ‘If you tell us you knew about the attacks on the Trade Center on September 11th — that you were involved and that you were planning further attacks when you were picked up — if you tell us this, we can sell this information to the Americans for 10 million dollars. We’ll give you 4 million and we’ll keep the rest. You will then be under a witness-protection program…’
At this time, all I knew was that the World Trade Center in New York had been hit, but I had no idea about the other hit on the Pentagon and the failed hit on the White House. I had no idea of the immensity of 9/11…
I was sitting in a chair, hooded, with my hands handcuffed behind my back. He came up to me. His voice was deep and rough. He spoke to me in Egyptian and English. He said, ‘Listen, you don’t know who I am, but I am the one who has your life in his hands. Every singles person in this building has his life in my hands. I just make the decision.’
I said, ‘I hope your decision is that you make me die straight away.’
‘No, I don’t want you to die now. I want you to die slowly.’ He went on, ‘I can’t stay with you; my time is too valuable to stay here. You only have me to save you. I’m your saviour. You have to tell me everything, if your want to be saved. What do you say?’
‘I have nothing to tell you’….
Then they took me to another room, where they tortured me relentlessly, stripping me naked and applying electric shocks everywhere on my body. The next thing I remember was seeing the general again. He came into a room with a man from Turkistan; he was a big man but was stopped over, because his hands were chained to the shackles of his feet, preventing him from standing upright.
‘This guy is no use to us anymore. This is what is going to happen to you. We’ve had him for one hour, and this is what happens.
Suddenly, a guy they called Hanish, which means snake, came at the poor man from behind and gave him a terrible karate kick that sent him crashing across the room. A guard went over to shake him, but he didn’t respond. Turning to the general, the guard said, ‘Basha, I think he’s dead.’
‘Throw him away then. Let the dogs have him.’
They dragged the dead man out. [pp. 111-114]