Padilla Claims US Relies on Evidence Extracted by Torture

Jose Padilla’s lawyers have filed motions to suppress evidence from two sources, one whom he alleges was tortured after US rendition to Morocco. Explosive stuff.

Quick summary at Jurist.

Talkleft has the most details:

One of the witnesses, Binyam Ahmed Muhammad, was held at Guantanamo. The other, Abu Zubayda, is being held in a secret overseas location.

Patel said Muhammad has told his own lawyer that he was whipped, hung from the ceiling of his cell with leather straps and later taken to Morocco where he was tortured with a razor. Patel said Zubayda was treated after his arrest for gunshot wounds, raising questions about “the effect the medications may have had on Abu Zubayda’s ability to provide accurate information.”

I have just reviewed the defense motion, here is the exact quote:

Binyam Muhammad has informed his attorney that after his arrest in Karachi, Pakistan, he was held in prison where he was hung from the ceiling of his cell with leather straps . Binyam Muhammad was whipped by his Pakistani jailers but they asked him no questions as they had no common language . Binyam Muhammad reports to his counsel that he was questioned by four agents who he believes were FBI agents . He was whipped by the jailers before and after being questioned by the FBI agent who asked him questions about Mr. Padilla. Binyam Muhammad was later flown to Morocco where he was further questioned about Mr. Padilla and tortured by means of a razor being used to make incisions on his chest and his genitals.

The defense alleges these two witnesses were the Government’s only sources for the arrest warrant.

It is respectfully submitted that the use of information obtained by torture, whether the torture is disclosed or undisclosed, is an act so unlawful and so contrary to the core values of this Nation as to both shock the conscience and render any search based on such information unreasonable. It is respectfully requested that this Court should hold a hearing so that the circumstances of the interrogation of both Abu Zubayda and Binyam Muhamma can be fully established. At the conclusion of such a hearing it is respectfully submitted that the Court will enter an Order suppressing all evidence seized from Mr . Padilla at the time of his arrest in Chicago.

The items Padilla is seeking to suppress were seized from him at Chicago’s O’Hare airport on May 8, 2002 when he was arrested on a material witness warrant as he disembarked a plane from Switzerland.

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One Response to Padilla Claims US Relies on Evidence Extracted by Torture

  1. kerrry says:

    I just read an interesting book on this topic called AMerican Methods. It covers the US’ long history of torture and abuse. More info. below:

    Closing Gitmo is only the start. Find out why in American Methods

    Available From South End Press

    American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination
    by Kristian Williams

    The US “should cease to detain any person at Guantánamo Bay and close
    this detention facility,” proclaimed the United Nations Committee Against

    The call to close Guantánamo Bay is important, but to view Gitmo as a bad
    apple is to ignore the rest of the report, which is deeply critical of the US
    relationship with torture.

    The committee also:

    * said that the US should end interrogation techniques “including
    methods involving sexual humiliation, ‘water boarding,’ ‘short shackling’
    and using dogs to induce fear”
    * questioned the lack of prosecution of those involved in the Chicago
    Police Area 2 and 3 torture “scandals”
    * challenged the use of prolonged isolation in SuperMax prisons.

    The fact that the report called into question practices in military detention
    camps, US prisons, and US police stations comes as no surprise to Kristian
    Williams, author of *American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination*.

    “The UN report, damning as it is, really just hits the largest targets—the
    most widespread practices, the most well-documented cases. What I
    found in the course of my research is that the sort of abuse the UN
    condemns aren’t just add-ons. They’re characteristic of the operations of
    American power, whether at the hands of law enforcement within our
    borders or of soldiers overseas.”

    It is this everday quality of state violence that launches Kristian Williams’s
    extensively researched and annotated new book *American Methods*. And
    Williams’s rigerous audit of the US record in underwriting human rights
    violations around the globe–at home and abroad–doesn’t stop at what,
    but explores why. What emerges is the distinct character of American
    torture, particularly its emphasis on sexual violence, misogyny, and
    racialized spectacle.

    “Torture is nothing new for the US. My book looks at the past 25 years,
    but it would clearly be possible to trace it further back, all the way to the
    Colonial period. One thing that really stands out if you examine the
    country’s record is the use of sexual violence as a model and method of
    maintaining state power. The UN report also highlights the sexual aspect of
    torture, but the report’s questions are mainly, ‘What abuses are occurring?’
    and ‘Do they violate the Convention Against Torture?,’ whereas I was also
    asking, ‘What does torture say about our society?’ and ‘What does it show
    us about the nature of state power?'”

    * * *
    Support Independent Media and get American Methods at 25% off the
    cover price when you get it online from the South End Press website
    through June 30th. (
    * * *

    Kristian Williams’s writings have appeared in CounterPunch, Columbia
    Journalism Review, and We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global
    Anti-Capitalism (2003). A member of Rose City Copwatch in Portland,
    Oregon, Williams also authored Our Enemies in Blue (2004).
    read. write. revolt.

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