Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Wednesday, January 27, 2016



By W. “Bud” Firth Dewnoharm CPW News Service
     John Riggs was visiting his doctor in a city that will remain nameless.   He was reading a copy of  New Yorker magazine and ran across an article by Dexter Filkins titled “How Did Abu Zubaydah Lose His Eye?”
     “I didn’t know who Abu Zubahdah was,” said Riggs.  “I quickly found out that he a was Guantanamo detainee like the three who died on the same day in 2006 and became the subject of Scott Horton’s Harper’s Magazine article, “The Guantanamo ‘Suicides’: A Camp Delta Sargeant Blows the Whistle,”  in which Horton documents that the three hanging victims had their throats removed from the autopsy evidence presumably to cover over the oddities of their unusually broken wind pipes.
     “So I was sitting in the waiting room of my physician reading the article and Googling Horton's grizzly story.  My doctor is a Johms Hopkins graduate and a fine surgeon, but when I read the New Yorker story I was so nervous that I cancelled my visit and went home.  I also took the New Yorker with me and read the article to my beloved wife whose father had his eye poked out by an angry neighbor who threatened her and her brother when they were kids by turning his pit bull dogs on them for crossing his yard.   She now calls my surgeon 'Dr. Mengele'….to his face!   She also sent him a copy of the story that he apparently didn’t know was in his outer office," said Riggs.  Here is what it says:

*After several waterboarding sessions, Abu Zubaydah was so broken that, when a C.I.A. agent snapped his fingers twice, he would lie down on the waterboard, naked and dirty, to await his torture. As the Senate report makes clear, the C.I.A. interrogators knew that what they were doing was possibly illegal. In fact, they were so worried about being found out that they told their superiors that if Abu Zubaydah were to die during his interrogation, he would have to be cremated. In the event that he lived, they asked, in a cable, for “reasonable assurances that [Abu Zubaydah] will remain in isolation and incommunicado for the remainder of his life.” They did, indeed, receive such assurance. (For a succinct, if gruelling, description of Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation, read pages 32 through 57 in the Senate report. It’s drawn from the C.I.A.’s own records. ) While the torture of Abu Zubaydah produced a number of intelligence reports, there’s no evidence that these brutal means were necessary to obtain them. After all that, Abu Zubaydah provided no actionable intelligence on future plots.

Still, I want to talk less about Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation than about his missing eye. When a team of American and Pakistani agents moved in to capture Abu Zubaydah, in Faisalabad, Pakistan, in 2002, he fled across a rooftop, where he was shot and wounded in the groin. A photo of Abu Zubaydah, apparently taken moments after his capture, and which his lawyers say is accurate, does not show any obvious problem in either of his eyes. His lawyers say that he had no eye condition.   Ali Soufan, a former F.B.I. agent who helped capture Abu Zubaydah, told me that when Abu Zubaydah was apprehended he appeared to have some sort of eye condition, perhaps an infection. “His eye was pretty bad,’’ Soufan said. John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. officer who participated in the capture, has also said that there appeared to be something wrong with one of his eyes.

In any case, the C.I.A. was so concerned that Abu Zubaydah was going to die from his gunshot wound that they flew in a doctor from Johns Hopkins University to treat him. He appears to have received excellent medical care, if only so that he could live in order to surrender information. “He got the best medical treatment anyone could have,’’ Soufan said.

In 2006, four years after he was captured, Abu Zubaydah was transferred out of C.I.A. custody to the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. A photo from that time, made available by WikiLeaks, shows Abu Zubaydah with a pirate-style patch over his left eye. His lawyers say that, by then, his eye was gone. That is, sometime between when he entered exclusive C.I.A. custody, in 2002, and when he left it, in 2006, he lost his left eye. In that four-year period, Abu Zubaydah was held in several C.I.A. secret prisons, also known as “black sites,” including those in Thailand, Lithuania, and Poland.

What happened to Abu Zubaydah’s eye? We can confidently guess that the still-classified version of the Senate’s report delved deeply into this question. This is also likely true of a review of the documents turned over to the Senate by the then C.I.A. director, Leon Panetta, which remains secret as well. Dozens of videotapes that the C.I.A. made of Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation were destroyed. To top that off, Abu Zubaydah’s lawyers are prohibited from revealing any contents of any conversations they have had with their client, on the grounds that any disclosures could threaten national security. Do you get the feeling that the “classified” designation is being used to protect people who may have broken the law?

“There is absolutely no question that on the night he was captured he had two completely functional eyes,’’ Brent Mickum, one of Abu Zubaydah’s attorneys, told me. “And at some point thereafter, we don’t know exactly when—he has some idea when, but I can’t say, because nothing that he tells me I can reveal to you, which is ridiculous. This is the game I have to play. He doesn’t know how he lost his eye. He’d like to know.”

    Riggs said "I told my wife that no matter what she thought about Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney, GWB would not have authorized such a cold-hearted, barbaric, Dark Ages tactic against anyone, anywhere.  Period.   That could only be described as something utterly demonic.  What did she do?  She played me a video of former GWB chief economic advisor, Professor Emeritus of Texas A&M University which houses the GHWB Presidential Library in College Station, Dr. Morgan Reynolds.  Then I went and threw up!" said Riggs.

From "Hiding Murder"......Click to ENLARGE

    "Then in the days following I began to wonder about just what the U.S. had at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and just how and why during the Cuban Revolution the entire nation went over to Castro and his five hundred man army when Batista had a thirty-thousand man army?  Was keeping Batista's corrupt government in power to protect Meyer Lanksy and the other mobsters' Cuban night clubs in place as lucrative to the U.S. military machine as the threat of global thermo-nuclear war? Hardly! Why, if according to Anthony Sutton, the author The Best Enemy Money Can Buy and other books had the U.S. funded the Soviet Union's economy from 1917 to the 1930's with a massive transfer of technology that Zbigniew Brzezinski has confirmed and how conveniently the Cuban/Soviet threat provided a vice-like grip on the American people in building consent for the Cold War spending that was almost as big a bamboozle as what is going on in the Middle East," said Riggs.  "I read the story Hiding Murder and threw up again," said Riggs.

*For the entire June 9, 2015 New Yorker article see http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/how-did-abu-zubaydah-lose-his-eye.

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