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The Man Who Captured Abu Zubaydah Says It’s Time to End His Ordeal and Send Him Home


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Accused terrorist Abu Zubaydah has not had his day in court yet. But earlier this week he had his day before a military Periodic Review Board, which apparently has the power to determine whether or not he should be released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Zubaydah wasn’t allowed to speak. Instead, a soldier read the prisoner’s prepared statement.

Zubaydah said he posed no threat to the United States or to anyone else and should be released. He said he had been subjected to torture by the CIA—this is fully documented in the Senate torture report—and that he wanted to go home.

For its part, the Periodic Review Board, a part of the military detention system and made up of representatives of six US intelligence agencies, released its own report, trying to justify to itself and others why Zubaydah has no hope of ever being released.

In early 2002, when Zubaydah was captured in Faisalabad, Pakistan, the George W. Bush White House announced quickly that the Saudi Arabian citizen was al-Qaida’s No. 3-ranking official. Bush told the American people that Zubaydah had intimate knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks, had personal contact with Osama bin Laden, knew of al-Qaida’s plans for a second attack and was the highest-ranking counterterrorism capture in American history.

None of that was true. (Full disclosure: I led the joint CIA-FBI team that caught Zubaydah. I sat with him for the first 56 hours after his capture, spoke with him at length and saw him off to his next destination, which turned out to be a secret prison.)

Fair Use excerpt. Read article at TruthDig.
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