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From October 2003 until May 2005, I was illegally detained by the U.S. government and held in CIA-run "black sites" with no contact with the outside world.
On May 5, 2005, without explanation, my American captors removed me from my cell and cuffed, hooded, and bundled me onto a plane that delivered me to Sana'a, Yemen.
I was transferred into the custody of my own government, which held me -- apparently at the behest of the United States -- until March 27, 2006, when I was finally released
I was transferred into the custody of my own government, which held me -- apparently at the behest of the United States -- until March 27, 2006, when I was finally released, never once having faced any terrorism-related charges. Since my release, the U.S. government has never explained why I was detained and has blocked all attempts to find out more about my detention.
During my detention, I agonized constantly about my family back in Yemen, knowing they had no idea where I was. They never once received information about who had taken me, why I was taken, or even whether I was alive. They were never contacted by the U.S. government or the International Committee of the Red Cross. My mother and wife were in such anguish that they had to be hospitalized for illness, stress, and anxiety. My father passed away while I was disappeared and I am still distraught thinking that he died without knowing whether I was dead or alive. I continue to suffer from bouts of illness that medical doctors attribute to the treatment I experienced in the "black sites."
The nightmare started for him back in fall 2003. Bashmilah had traveled to Jordan from Indonesia, where he was living with his wife and working in the clothing business. He and his wife went to Jordan to meet Bashmilah's mother, who had also traveled there. The family hoped to arrange for heart surgery for Bashmilah's mother at a hospital in Amman. But before leaving Indonesia, Bashmilah had lost his passport and had received a replacement. Upon arrival in Jordan, Jordanian officials questioned his lack of stamps in the new one, and they grew suspicious when Bashmilah admitted he had visited Afghanistan in 2000. Bashmilah was taken into custody by Jordanian authorities on Oct. 21, 2003. He would not reappear again until he stepped out of a CIA plane in Yemen on May 5, 2005.
Bashmilah's apparent innocence was clearly lost on officials with Jordan's General Intelligence Department. After his arrest, the Jordanians brutally beat him, peppering him with questions about al-Qaida. He was forced to jog around in a yard until he collapsed. Officers hung him upside down with a leather strap and his hands tied. They beat the soles of his feet and his sides. They threatened to electrocute him with wires. They told him they would rape his wife and mother.
It was too much. Bashmilah signed a confession multiple pages long, but he was disoriented and afraid even to read it. "I felt sure it included things I did not say," he wrote in his declaration to the court delivered Friday. "I was willing to sign a hundred sheets so long as they would end the interrogation."
At one point during the hearing, Judge Michael Daly Hawkins, a Clinton appointee, told the government's lawyer that he was not convincing.
"So any time the executive branch of the government says the fact is classified, it means it cannot be examined?" Hawkins asked Letter.
Letter, noting that national security was at stake, told the court it should "not play with fire" by permitting the suit to go forward.
"Nor should the government in asserting [secrecy] privilege," Hawkins shot back.
Judge Mary M. Schroeder, a Carter appointee, said the court had not yet read the classified information about the government's case and noted that the law "may really preclude" the court from permitting the case to go to trial.
Originally posted by projectvxn
You know...I'm not sure I'm inclined to believe him. Not because I deny that the CIA does this, but because I've seen the Huffington Post write garbage before. It goes from story, to moral implication, to promotion of Obama, to further political conclusion at the end.
Again, it isn't that I deny that the CIA does this, I know they do, it's that I don't believe this article was written by who they say it was.
On Friday, Bashmilah laid out his story in a declaration to a U.S. district court as part of a civil suit brought by the ACLU against Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing accused of facilitating secret CIA rendition flights.