Sunday, January 07, 2007
From the desk of Mr. Lady:
Robert Seldon Lady, that is. Lady, the chief CIA officer in Milan in 2003, traveled to Cairo for two weeks a few days after Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, a radical cleric, was abducted off the street in Milan and taken to Cairo. According to Nasr, this is what happened to him as the result of CIA rendition.
Abu Omar wrote that he was grabbed on the street in Milan and thrown into a van by men who never spoke. When he tried to resist, he wrote, he was "severely beaten" until white foam spewed from his mouth and he became incontinent.

Suddenly, his kidnappers, evidently fearing a heart attack or some other cardiac event, "began to tear at my clothes quickly and one of them began to compress on my heart," performing heart massage. ...

Refusals to answer questions were met with electric shocks, "hand beatings," and threats of rape, Abu Omar claimed. "I was hung like slaughtered cattle," he wrote, "head down, feet up, hands tied behind my back, feet also tied together, and I was exposed to electric shocks all over my body and especially the head area to weaken the brain. ..."

He also described being tied up and placed on a mattress that was hosed down with water and connected to electricity.

Even when he was not being tortured, he wrote, "I was placed near the torture chambers for long periods of time to hear the screams of the tortured and their moans and their howls so that I would collapse psychologically."
Milanese prosecutors have brought charges against 26 U.S. nationals, including CIA operatives, in a case expected to begin this week. This is what was done in your name. Allegedly.

UPDATE. Nasr writes that in his
cell, "the cockroaches and rats and insects walk all over my body night and day." Imagine this for a moment. I'll make it vivid.

It's garbage night, and so, while my roommates typed away, I took the trash out. As I was dragging the garbage bin down to the curb, a giant rat emerged from the pail and jumped on me. For what seemed like an eternity, he dug his ratty claws into my pants and thought for a second whether it made sense to make my crotch his new home. Thinking better of it, he dislodged and ran down the street as I let out a womanly cry. I ran inside and informed Matt, Kriston and Catherine that for the forseeable future, garbage detail is on them.

I think I speak for many when I say that having a rat crawl on them -- pestilential, filthy creatures -- is difficult to bear. To endure this repeatedly, for months, in confinement, surely plays on one's nerves. And to have this done deliberately in an attempt to turn someone into an informer is immoral.
--Spencer Ackerman
I highly recommend seeing Children of Men. I have never felt like puking from sheer emotional exhaustion after a movie, but this one did it. The terror of seeing the logical conclusion of our current love affair with torture is almost too much to bear.
Blogger Aaron the Devourer | 6:50 PM

Saw it yesterday. I wasn't affected as deeply as you were, but I highly liked the NYT review that described it as a tour of what the world would look like if everything became like Iraq.
Blogger spencerackerman | 6:56 PM