June 2, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) A black site detainee alleged this week that CIA torture practices are worse than reported in a disturbing Senate report released last year. Majid Khan, who in 2012 struck a plea deal with the United States government, claims he was brutally abused throughout his time at an undisclosed black site—in ways that extend beyond what is now public knowledge.
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The controversial report on CIA torture was released in December amid sharp resistance from the agency. It revealed a plethora of inhumane tactics used to secure confessions, from water-boarding to forced rectal feeding and sexual assault—among many other tactics.
Khan’s allegations go further. While many of his claims align with the revelations of the torture report, he says he was abused to a more extreme degree. As Newsweek summarized, Khan says that
“Interrogators poured ice water on his genitals, twice videotaped him naked and repeatedly touched his ‘private parts’ – none of which was described in the Senate report. Interrogators, some of whom smelled of alcohol, also threatened to beat him with a hammer, baseball bats, sticks and leather belts.”
Khan described a “carnival-like” atmosphere to his lawyers and told them, “I wished they had killed me.” He was first housed at an overseas black site before being transferred to Guantanamo. He claims agents told him, “Son, we are going to take care of you. ‘We are going to send you to a place you cannot imagine.”
In May of 2003 this included, according to Khan, hanging him naked from a beam for three days, supplying him with water but no food. They took him down only to put a black bag over his head and dip his genitals in ice water. They also poured the ice water over his face.
In other instances, Khan says his “feet and lower legs were placed in tall boot-like metal cuffs that dug into his flesh and immobilized his legs.”
Khan was accused of working with Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The government also claimed he
“couriered $50,000 to al-Qaeda associates to fund a hotel bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia; discussed terrorist strikes in the United States, including poisoning water reservoirs; and agreed to a suicide attack to assassinate the president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf.”
In July of 2003, agents secured a confession. First,
“CIA guards hooded and hung him from a metal pole for several days and repeatedly poured ice water on his mouth, nose and genitals. At one point, he said, they forced him to sit naked on a wooden box during a 15-minute videotaped interrogation. After that, Khan said, he was shackled to a wall, which prevented him from sleeping.”
Khan says that when he begged a doctor to halt the treatment, the doctor ordered him to be hung from the beam again. Shortly after this incident, Khan signed a forced confession while being video taped naked.
He agreed to aid the U.S. government in prosecuting other terror suspects. Notably, when he attempted to discuss his treatment at the CIA black site in a courtroom in 2012, a court security officer cut the audio feed to the public gallery.
Khan’s account of his experiences with the CIA is the first publicly released account of a “high-value” detainee. He was also the only legal United States resident to be indefinitely detained at a CIA facility (a Pakistani native, he lived in the suburbs of Baltimore). The CIA had “prohibited detainees and their lawyers from publicly describing interrogation sessions, deeming detainee’s memories of the experience classified.”
He has said of his experience: “I lived in anxiety every moment of every single day about the fear and anticipation of the unknown.”
Khan still awaits sentencing for his 2012 guilty plea. It is unknown whether or not his recent claims will affect his punishment. The Department of Justice and military prosecutors declined to comment on his allegations.
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