by Zeke Johnson | Amnesty International
There are some things we do know about U.S. torture practices.
What we don’t yet know is whether the U.S. Government will ever come clean about the torture of detainees since 9/11.
In the next 7 days, we have an opportunity to win a major, historic victory against torture.
Our sources tell us that shocking, unreported details about CIA torture after 9/11 are in danger of being marked “classified” forever – when we know that it is only by shedding light on the darkest periods of our history that we are able to move forward with integrity.
Lawmakers are deciding as early as next week whether to make these details public. We have 7 days to flood the switchboards.
Help ensure that the U.S. Government does not use torture – in our names and with our tax dollars – ever again. Call your Senator now.
Both survivors of human rights violations and the U.S. public have a right to the truth.
One of these survivors is Khaled al-Maqtari.
Khaled, who was held by the U.S. Government for 32 months, told Amnesty researchers he was beaten, held upside down in stressful positions, intimidated by dogs, and otherwise tortured while detained in Iraq, Afghanistan and other secret locations.
Khaled told Amnesty researchers about his first day in Abu Ghraib: his clothes were cut off from his feet to his neck before he was hooded and taken to “the torture room.”
Once there, he reports he was beaten and spun around repeatedly, not knowing where the walls were or when the next blow would come.
Next, he told us he was made to stand in front of a powerful air conditioner. His hood was removed and his torturers periodically poured cold water over his head, until he was shivering so much that he began shaking. He was beaten with a stick to keep him standing, but eventually he collapsed. The beating continued, he said – smelling salts and menthol ointment were used to keep him from passing out.
Khaled al-Maqtari thought they had finished with him then, but instead, a chain was hung from the ceiling of the room, and he was suspended upside down by his feet, with his arms still cuffed behind his back, while a pulley was used to lower him up and down over a water crate.
His interrogators, he said, kept moving him up and down slightly “so that I could experience all the different kinds of pain,” and when he was lowered onto the box they beat him with sticks.
And this was on the first day. Khaled al-Maqtari was released years later, having been transferred through a series of secret CIA prisons and eventually to Yemen. He was never charged with any crime.
Nothing good can come from sweeping details like these under the rug – by making the report on CIA torture public, we can begin to seek accountability and reform. Call your Senator today and make sure history does not repeat itself.