US Recants Claims on "High-Value" Detainee Abu Zubaydah

US Recants Claims on "High-Value" Detainee Abu Zubaydah
Tuesday 30 March 2010
by: Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report

(Illustration: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)

Editor's Note: This story has been updated.

The Justice Department has quietly recanted nearly every major claim the Bush administration had made about "high-value" detainee Abu Zubaydah, a Guantanamo prisoner who at one time was said to have planned the 9/11 attacks and was the No. 2 and 3 person in al-Qaeda.

Additionally, Justice has backed away from claims intelligence officials working in the Clinton administration had also leveled against Zubaydah, specifically, that he was directly involved in the planning of the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa.

Zubaydah's name is redacted throughout a 109-page court document the government filed in US District Court in Washington, DC in response to 213 discovery requests Zubaydah's attorneys made in connection with his habeas corpus case, which sought evidence to support, among other Bush administration claims, that Zubaydah was a top al-Qaeda official and close confidant of Osama Bin Laden.

Zubaydah is identified on the first page of the filing by his real name, Zayn Al Abidin Muhammad Husayn. He was the first detainee captured after 9/11 who was subjected to nearly a dozen brutal torture techniques, which included waterboarding, and was the catalyst, the public has been told, behind the Bush administration's "enhanced interrogation" program. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has publicly admitted that personally approved of Zubaydah's waterboarding.

His torture was videotaped and the tapes later destroyed. The destruction of 90 videotapes of his interrogations is the focus of a high-level criminal investigation being conducted by John Durham, a federal prosecutor appointed special counsel in 2008 by then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

In recent months, former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen has been on a public relations campaign promoting his book, "Courting Disaster," in which he defended the torture of Zubaydah, claiming that he reviewed classified intelligence that revealed Zubaydah's torture produced actionable intelligence that thwarted imminent plots against the United States.

But court documents unclassified last week debunk Thiessen's assertions. Moreover, the government acknowledges that it does not rely on anything Zubaydah told his torturers after his March 2002 capture in Pakistan in arguing that he should continue to be detained.

The document also refutes every statement George W. Bush made publicly about Zubaydah, who the former president claimed was one of al-Qaeda's "top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States."

For the first time, the government now officially admits that Zubaydah did not have "any direct role in or advance knowledge of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001," and was neither a "member" of al-Qaeda nor "formally" identified with the terrorist organization. The government now claims Zubaydah is being detained based on his "actions" as an "affiliate" of al-Qaeda.

Continue reading at t r u t h o u t

Great Example ...

... of how the Official Story apologists have it completely backwards when they assert - what proof do you have?

The burden of proof is upon the government authorities charged with the responsibility of investigating crimes and identifying the criminals. And a Court of Law is where this is properly done. The apologists demand proof from us? Where on earth is THEIR EVIDENCE??

NIST fails to even offer an explanation for the collapse of the Towers beyond collapse initiation. As to the explanations it does provide - it squirrels away the evidence. No Pentagon video. An entire Commission Report written up on confessions derived from torture. Since the Dark Ages and before ... torture is not how you get intelligence --- it's how you get confessions - especially if repeated over and over and over.

What a complete joke this whole thing is. This Country needs to wake up from its Big Brother induced Coma.

" Abu Zubaydah was not even a member of Al Qaeda" Brent Mickum

This is a great interview and worth watching right through.If you only want to just address Abu Zubaydah then fast forward to part 3 at 3;30 seconds.

For many years, Abu Zubaydah's name has been synonymous with the war on terror because of repeated false statements made by the Bush administration, the majority of which were known to be false when uttered. On 17 April 2002, [...] President Bush publicly announced that Zayn had been captured: "We recently apprehended one of al-Qaida's top leaders, a man named Abu Zubaydah. He was spending a lot of time as one of the top operating officials of al-Qaida, plotting and planning murder."

Zayn's capture and imprisonment were touted as a great achievement in the fight against terrorism and al-Qaida. There was just one minor problem: the man described by President Bush and others within his administration as a "top operative", the "number three person" in al-Qaida, and al-Qaida's "chief of operations" was never even a member of al-Qaida, much less an individual who was among its "inner circle". The Bush administration had made another mistake.

These facts really are no longer contested: Zayn was not, and never had been, a member of either the Taliban or al-Qaida. The CIA determined this after torturing him extensively and [...]. Zayn was never a member or a supporter of any armed forces that were allied against the United States. He had no weapon when he was taken into illegal custody. He never took up arms against the United States nor against its coalition allies. He was not picked up on a battlefield in Afghanistan at the time of his detention, but was taken into custody in Pakistan, where he was wrongfully attacked, shot, and nearly killed. So serious were his wounds that a surgeon from John Hopkins University was flown to Pakistan to perform emergency surgery to save the life of a man the Bush administration believed to be the number three man in al Qaeda.

Like many other young Muslims before him, Zayn ultimately embraced the teachings of the Qur'an and traveled to Afghanistan to fight against communist insurgents who remained after the withdrawal of the Soviet army. In 1992, while fighting on the front lines, he was injured in a motor attack that left him with two pieces of shrapnel that remain embedded in his head to his day. So severe were his injuries that he lost the ability to speak for more than one year. His memory is compromised even today. He cannot remember his mother's name or picture her face. He cannot remember his father's name, but recalls that he looked like a prominent movie star in the Arab community. Although Zayn ran a news agency with a partner, he cannot remember his former partner's name.Later, when Zayn returned to the front lines, he was told that he was no longer fit for fighting because he couldn't remember how to shoot a rifle.

Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn

is more commonly known as Abu Zubaydah.

Your comment would be far more intelligible if you had included that bit of information, yes?

Please be more careful when you copy other people's writing and always make it clear what is being copied and include a link to the source (Which you did, fortunately).

Thank you.

The truth shall set us free. Love is the only way forward.

So what does the mean to the 9/11 Commission Report?

If they backtracked and determined he is not Al-Qaida or taliban what role does that leave him for the 9/11 high-jacking plot? Don't very important chapters in the 9/11 Commission report depend on his testimony (even thought they didn't question him directly and his testimony is based on torture). Even by MSM standards, they got to figure this cannot be good and should be reporting on it. (yeah.. i was laughing too)

peace all


You are thinking of KSM. But

You are thinking of KSM. But yeah, the whole 911 fairy tale is pretty funny. It's like watching a B-rated movie.