Ten Questions: #10

Last month, when the United States had its human rights record reviewed by the United Nations in Geneva, U.S. State Department legal advisor Harold Koh assured the world that all alleged abuses of detainees in the custody of the U.S. military “have been thoroughly investigated and appropriate corrective action has been taken,” and that Special Prosecutor John Durham is actively investigating allegations of torture by the CIA and other civilian agencies.

Drawing largely from material we have covered so far in the The Torture Report, I have come up with a list of 10 follow-up questions that the press and public at large—indeed, all of us—should be asking the Obama administration about the status of U.S. compliance with its domestic and international commitments on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment. Today we ask question #10.

As we will see in the next installment of Chapter 5—which we'll post next week— military interrogators in Guantánamo followed the brutal interrogation of Mohammed Al Qahtani with a similar “special interrogation” of another detainee, Mohamedou Ould Slahi, this one involving threats of torture against his family, a mock rendition, and threatened execution.

In Slahi's case, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Couch, the navy prosecutor assigned to prepare his case for the military commissions, discovered that Slahi had been tortured and refused to prosecute his case. Earlier this year, a federal judge hearing Slahi's habeas corpus petition similarly concluded that many of his statements were extracted through torture, and ultimately found that the government had failed to prove its case against Slahi, ordering him released. The government attempted to reverse that decision on appeal, but the appellate court agreed only to send the case back to the trial court for additional proceedings.

As with Qahtani, can you list the names and ranks of all military personnel who have been investigated for ordering and carrying out Mohamedou Ould Slahi's interrogation, and the status and results of any court-martial or other disciplinary proceedings that resulted from those investigations?

 

 

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