Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Torture Drawings the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to See

By Andy Worthington, AlterNet. Posted April 11, 2008.


Drawings by journalist Sami Al-Haj depicting torture at Gitmo have been censored.

Sami al-Haj is a journalist, but one unlike any other. For over six years since December 15, 2001 -- when he was seized by Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border while on assignment as a cameraman for the Qatar-based broadcaster al-Jazeera -- he has been in a disturbing but unique position: a trained journalist held as an "enemy combatant" on the frontline of the Bush administration's "War on Terror," first in Afghanistan, and then in Guantánamo.

The outline of Sami's story should be familiar to readers; last summer AlterNet published a detailed article by Rachel Morris: "Prisoner 345: An Arab Journalist's Five Years in Guantánamo," which made clear how Sami was seized because of the erroneous claim that he had interviewed Osama bin Laden, and the disturbing fact that his many interrogations in Guantánamo have focused solely on the administration's attempts to turn him into an informant against al-Jazeera, to "prove" a connection between the broadcaster and Osama bin Laden that does not exist. As his lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith of the legal action charity Reprieve, noted bluntly and accurately in his book Eight O'Clock Ferry to the Windward Side: Seeking Justice in Guantánamo Bay, "Sami was a prisoner in the Bush Administration's assault on al-Jazeera."

Continued . . .

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