Wednesday, June 01, 2005

"Captives Told to Claim Torture" is the headline of an article in yesterday's Washington Times. It reads in part:

An al Qaeda handbook preaches to operatives to level charges of torture once captured, a training regime that administration officials say explains some of the charges of abuse at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

...In a raid on an al Qaeda cell in Manchester, British authorities seized al Qaeda's most extensive manual for how to wage war.

A directive lists one mission as "spreading rumors and writing statements that instigate people against the enemy."

If captured, the manual states, "At the beginning of the trial ... the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by state security before the judge. Complain of mistreatment while in prison." ...

In case you didn't know, you can read the manual for yourself, in Arabic with English translation -- it's available as a PDF here, courtesy of the Intelligence Resource Program of the Federation of American Scientists.

The passage that says "the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted"? Yeah, it's there -- right at the beginning of Lesson Eighteen.

Know what's in the Seventeenth Lesson?

Instructions on how to endure torture.

Here's a passage from that lesson:

Torture Methods: Secret agents use two methods of torture:

A. Physical torture. B. Psychological torture

A. Method of Physical Torture:
1. Blindfolding and stripping of clothes.
2. Hanging by the hands.
3. Hanging by the feet [upside down].
4. Beating with sticks and electrical wires.
5.Whipping and beating with sticks and twisted rubber belts.
6. Forcing the brother to stand naked for long periods of time....

There are twenty more methods listed, plus nine methods of psychological torture, followed by a warning that begins,

Further, let no one think that the aforementioned techniques are fabrications of our imagination, or that we copied them from spy stories. On the contrary, these are factual incidents in the prisons of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and all other Arab countries.

In other words, the line about torture is there because the manual says torture really will happen.

Yes, "Spreading rumors and writing statements that instigate people against the enemy" is one of the "Missions Required of the Military Organization (right above "Blasting and destroying the places of amusement, immorality, and sin; not a vital target" and "Blasting and destroying the embassies and attacking vital economic centers") -- so I'm not claiming that this manual, if it's legit, is the manifesto of innocent victims. It's an instruction book for terrorists -- but it's being misrepresented in the press as an instruction book for human-rights liars.

(Oh, and the manual contains no reference whatsoever to Koran abuse -- though it does say "the brother" will be stripped of his Koran after being captured.)

(And, of course, haven't a number of complainants been released without charges, which you'd assume wouldn't happen if they were al-Qaeda members -- which would mean the manual was completely unknown to them?)

No comments: