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How the CIA Torture Program Helped Give Birth to the Islamic State

December 16, 2014 in Blogs

By Loretta Napoleoni, AlterNet

Here's what the recent report on torture doesn't say.

The recent report on the CIA’s extensive use of torture in the dark years following 9/11 concedes that no valuable intelligence sprang from these gruesome interrogation techniques. But it's worse than that. In fact, the CIA ended up misleading the U.S. government on key security issues, using misinformation gained from the interrogations. Even Republican Senator John McCain, who was tortured in Vietnam, has confirmed that under extreme physical duress, people lie and admit whatever their torturers want them to say.

We now know that among the jihadists brutally tortured was Abu Zubaydah, a native Saudi, whose false revelations most likely contributed to the construction of the myth of Abu Mussad al Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. Abu Zubaydah had gone to Afghanistan in the late 1980s to join the anti-Soviet jihad but never managed to become a mujahedin. According to Khalid al Hammadi, bin Laden’s personal driver, Abu Zubaydah was not even a member of al Qaeda. In the late 1980s he worked at the Arab Afghan Bureau in Peshawar as a junior helper, according to Abdullah Anas, son-in-law of Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, the founder of the Arab Afghan Bureau and bin Laden’s mentor. Zubaydah worked together with Ahmed Fadel al Khalaylah, alias Abu Mos’ab al Zarqawi, a young Jordanian seeking to join the Jihad. Their tasks were to make tea and keep the place clean.

When Abu Zubaydah was captured in Pakistan in the summer of 2002, he was working in a guesthouse for injured mujahedin. But the U.S. authorities described him as a key member of al Qaeda, a recruiter and a trainer. To back this profile, they used the investigation of the foiled Millennium Plot in Jordan, which included the simultaneous bombing, during the Millennium celebration, of the Hotel Radisson SAS in Amman, one of the border crossings between Jordan and Israel, Mount Nebo in Jordan, and the site on the river Jordan where John the Baptist is believed to have baptized Jesus.

Because the attacks aimed to kill both American and Israeli tourists, Jordanian and American …read more


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