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"We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani".... His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case [for prosecution]."

In a bombshell admission on the eve of the Senate hearings on Obama Attorney General nominee, Eric Holder, the Washington Post reports (in an article by Bob Woodward) that Susan Crawford, the convening authority of military commissions at Guantanamo since February 2007, investigated and determined that U.S. forces there tortured al-Qahtani during his imprisonment. The techniques included isolation, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, use of "working dogs", and prolonged exposure to cold, among other torture techniques.

Crawford, 61, said the combination of the interrogation techniques, their duration and the impact on Qahtani's health led to her conclusion. "The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent. . . . You think of torture, you think of some horrendous physical act done to an individual. This was not any one particular act; this was just a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his health. It was abusive and uncalled for. And coercive. Clearly coercive. It was that medical impact that pushed me over the edge" to call it torture, she said....

"I think the buck stops in the Oval Office."

Crawford also says not everyone at Guantanamo was tortured, but admits that its difficult for anyone to believe the government at this point. She lays the blame for the abuse at the feet of Rumsfeld and Bush.

Al-Qahtani became practically a household name when it was revealed that he was Detainee #063. Logs of the torture sessions were published in Time Magazine. Steven Miles wrote up al-Qahtani's case in the American Journal of Bioethics. Miles has meticulously documented the participation of doctors and other medical personnel, particularly psychologists, in the U.S. torture program. Al-Qahtani's case was a horrific exemplar of that dangerous collaboration:

In October 2002, before the time covered by the log, Army investigators found that dogs were brought to the interrogation room to growl, bark and bare their teeth at al-Qahtani. The investigators noted that a BSCT psychologist witnessed the use of the dog, Zeus, during at least one such instance, an incident deemed properly authorized to “exploit individual phobias"....

Major L. [John Leso], a psychologist who chaired the BSCT at Guantanamo, was noted to be present at the start of the interrogation log. On November 27, he suggested putting the prisoner in a swivel chair to prevent him from fixing his eyes on one spot and thereby avoiding the guards....

Many psychological “approaches” or “themes” were repetitively used. These included: “Failure/Worthless,” “Al Qaeda Falling Apart,” “Pride Down,” “Ego Down,” “Futility,” “Guilt/Sin Theme... Al-Qahtani was shown videotapes entitled “Taliban Bodies” and “Die Terrorist Die.” Some scripts aimed at his Islamic identity bore names such as “Good Muslim,” “Bad Muslim,” “Judgment Day,” “God’s Mission” and “Muslim in America"....

Although continuously monitored, interrogators repeatedly strip-searched him as a “control measure.” On at least one occasion, he was forced to stand naked with women soldiers present. Female interrogators seductively touched the prisoner under the authorized use of approaches called “Invasion of Personal Space” and “Futility"....

Some psychological routines referred to the 9/11 attacks. He was shown pictures of the attacks, and photographs of victims were affixed to his body. The interrogators held one exorcism (and threatened another) to purge evil Jinns that the disoriented, sleep deprived prisoner claimed were controlling his emotions.

As the inside word is that Obama will order Guantanamo closed, and all abusive interrogation techniques be ended, with interrogations limited only to those techniques specified in the Army Field Manual, officials associated with the Bush torture regime, both innocent and guilty (we cannot know right away who is who) are scampering for legal and moral cover.

Of course, limiting interrogation techniques to the Army's interrogation field manual leaves an open door for more abusive interrogation, as it allows the use of isolation, sleep deprivation, fear, sensory deprivation, and other techniques on those designated "unlawful enemy combatants." The U.S. may close Guantanamo, but what about the thousands of other prisoners held by the U.S. in Iraq, Afghanistan, prison ships, and CIA secret prisons? What will happen to them, if the AFM still allows some abusive techniques?

Much that Bush and Cheney have done has ended in failure. Guantanamo will close. The military commissions are a dead issue (for now). But not all they have done has been disassembled, and there will be much pressure on Obama to let some of the apparatus off the hook.

Right now, the biggest push among progressives, and with much popular support among the citizenry, is for investigations and prosecutions of the war criminals who are now leaving the White House. These should be supported with all our efforts. Bush and Cheney have both recently admitted to ordering torture.

Buhdydharma at Docudharma wrote the following today:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has just released a 487 page report (NOTE: pdf file) whose table of contents clearly spells out what must be on AG Holders agenda in both reforming the DOJ and to effectively "reclaim America's standing in the world as a nation that cherishes and protects individual freedom and basic human rights.":

Hiring and Firing of U.S. Attorneys and other Department Personnel
Selective Prosecution
Politicization of the Prosecution Function
Politicization of the Civil Rights Division and Voting Rights Enforcement
Detention
Enhanced Interrogation
Ghosting and Black Sites
Extraordinary Rendition
Warrantless Domestic Surveillance
National Security Letters (NSLs) and Exigent Letters
Use of Signing Statements
Midnight Rulemaking
The Leak of Valerie Plame Wilson's Covert CIA Identity
Improper Use of State Secrets and Other Authorities
Manipulation and Misuse of Intelligence

There is far more than probable cause to prosecute major figures of the Bush Administration, the Pentagon, and the CIA (and possibly DIA) for crimes against humanity, such as starting an aggressive war, and implementation of torture and abusive, inhumane treatment of prisoners. There is ample legal precedent to charge these individuals. If we do not do it, it should be undertaken by another willing nation.

A huge political battle will be waged over these issues in the next weeks and months. All progressives and anti-torture advocates should be ready to counter moves from the entrenched opposition centered in sections of the Pentagon and the CIA.

In the meantime, Susan Crawford has just thrown a dangerous projectile into the ranks of these criminals, and it's all the more satisfying as it comes from their own ranks. We should not expect too many more such "betrayals." The greatest danger will be thinking the closure of Guantanamo will really end things. It will only be one battle won. There will be more losses and victories before we see the end.

Update: Spurred by a comment by Nightprowlkittyin the comments, I thought it would be worth adding this:

Torture is never legal. It is a jus cogens, a norm from which no derogation is permitted. Really these people are outside the pale, outside the law. Only the law can handle it though. But the crimes, if convicted can be tough. Scott Horton reminded us the other day that the execution of Charles I of England, over 400 years ago, was for torture:

The charge, repeated the prosecutor, was that the executive had violated the laws of nations in that he authorized or indulged the torture and brutal mistreatment of prisoners taken in wartime. The commissioners deliberated and rendered their verdict: The charge against the defendant was sustained, the defendant was guilty as charged. And then the punishment was fixed. How does one punish an executive for violation of the laws of nations by authorizing the torture of prisoners? The verdict was that he be taken to a place of execution, where his head was to be severed from his body by an axe.

In today's column, Horton said this about Crawford's admission:

This admission is important for several reasons. First, it is an acknowledgement of criminal conduct by the administration by one of its own team. Second, Crawford very properly abandons the absurd legalisms of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel which essentially boil down to “if the president authorizes it, that means it’s legal.” Third, she has apparently evaluated “torture” on the basis of the totality of the treatment meted out by interrogators and jailers to the prisoner, not by segmenting and evaluating each individual technique applied. That is what the law requires, and what the Justice Department studiously ignores, fully aware of the inevitable conclusion to which it would lead. It adds up to another admission of high crimes. The case for criminal accountability continues to build.

Also posted at Invictus

Originally posted to Valtin on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:19 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (26+ / 0-)

    Speaking of tips, I'm beginning to think we're reaching the tipping point when it comes to investigations and prosecutions.

    The hellish regime of Bush will end very soon (even if still not soon enough). We must see such crimes and horrors never happen again!

    War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

    by Valtin on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:20:31 PM PST

    •  I agree about the tipping point, my friend. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Valtin, whitewidow, triv33, kurt, jedennis, geomoo

      The drumbeats are deafening. We just need to keep them up.

            Hugs,
            For Dan,
            Heather

      •  I was disappointed to hear Maddow (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Valtin, amRadioHed, whitewidow, kurt, Chacounne

        report that the country is split 49% to 50% on the issue of torture.  Stunning and disturbing news, that the country stands thus on such a cornerstone of our civilization.  If this is pursued, as it surely must be, I believe this issue will be the ultimate battleground the RW noise machine has been orienting their sheeple to fight.  Gird your loins, lovers of freedom and decency, if you truly intend to see the Bush war criminals in jail where they belong.

        I make rules for myself. I don't make rules for other people. I'm an anarchist. -Utah Phillips

        by geomoo on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:03:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I will not stop fighting for justice (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Valtin, kurt, geomoo

          and accountability until there is no longer breath in my body.

            Standing with you for justice and accountability,
                    For Dan,
                    Heather

        •  I don't believe those statistics (5+ / 0-)

          Statistics and polls are very easy to manipulate. I'd have to look more closely at the questions asked, the methodology, the polled population, etc.

          Maybe someone has a link to this study?

          War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

          by Valtin on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:15:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I had the same reaction (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Valtin, kurt, Chacounne, FarWestGirl

            I'm relieved to hear you say this.  I'm going looking for that study right now.  One crucial point:  in reporting the study, the term "torture" was not used.  I believe the reaction was to something like "enhanced interrogation."  I changed the word back by habit, because I despise the cowardly and immoral use of any euphemism for torture.

            I make rules for myself. I don't make rules for other people. I'm an anarchist. -Utah Phillips

            by geomoo on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:22:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, relief only lasts a moment (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kurt, Chacounne, geomoo, FarWestGirl

              I was stunned to see that Daily Kos's own unscientific poll, attached to Kovie's diary on this story, had the following results, with over 1100 votes:

              Do you believe that anyone will ever be held legally liable for torture?

              Definitely
              6% 74 votes
              Probably
              8% 91 votes
              Maybe
              22% 256 votes
              Probably not
              50% 564 votes
              Absolutely not
              10% 115 votes
              Not sure/No Opinion
              0% 9 votes
              Who cares?
              0% 10 votes

              Only roughly a third of the voters here at Daily Kos thought anyone would ever be legally held accountable for the torture. With that kind of defeatism at the outset, how can we successfully conduct a campaign that will defeat the torturers, much less hold them accountable.

              I know some will say, not "defeatist" but "realistic".

              I can only be glad these diary polls are unscientific, and hope this doesn't represent the views of "progressives."

              War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

              by Valtin on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:28:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Very discouraging, but highly changeable (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Valtin, kurt, Chacounne, FarWestGirl

                My guess is that, like the stock market soaring on silly rumors, one relatively minor event could turn those numbers around.  Still, as you say, it implies a lack of determination commensurate with the importance of the issue.  I do believe there are enough people with power, military lawyers who have worked on the Commissions for example, who understand the importance of this issue in defining who we are.  Combine them with people like you and our beautiful Chacounne, and I'm certain this issue will not die a quiet death.  We will never forget, of that one thing I am sure.

                I make rules for myself. I don't make rules for other people. I'm an anarchist. -Utah Phillips

                by geomoo on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:38:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Uninformed (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chacounne, geomoo, FarWestGirl

              The average American, I am sure, doesn't know the difference between "enhanced" interrogation and just "interrogation." They certainly don't know it means torture.

              The American public is poorly educated and badly misinformed about most things. The whole point of using euphemistic language is to hide truth. That the administration has succeeded somewhat in this not too surprising.

              For Maddow to report it without remarking on what I said in the paragraph above is what is surprising.

              Rachel, if you should happen to read this, shame!

              War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

              by Valtin on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 06:00:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Have you seen this ? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Valtin, geomoo, FarWestGirl

      A two-year old was detentioned and tortured in Zimbabwe:

      http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com/...

          Horrified,
           Heather

      •  Zimbabwe gets little coverage in the U.S. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chacounne, geomoo

        The injustice and barbarism of this world is truly intolerable. The kid had been charged with -- what else? -- "terrorism"!

        “Medical reports show that during his abduction and continued detention for charges of banditry and terrorism, two year-old Nigel was assaulted and denied food and medical attention by his captors,” Chamisa said in a statement.

        “He was later referred to Chikurubi Maximum Prison in Harare where he was detained for almost two weeks.”

        The release of Nigel follows last month’s order by High Court Judge Justice Yunus Omerjee ordering the release of the child, as well as various MDC members and human rights activists who were abducted from various locations over the past three months.

        The child's mother remains in jail.

        War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

        by Valtin on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:34:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And the only way to do that is if they (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Valtin

      know that they will be fully prosecuted. With this personality type prosecution is not only deterrent, but probably the only deterrent.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

      by FarWestGirl on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 08:24:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks - N/T (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valtin, Nightprowlkitty, Chacounne

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:24:20 PM PST

  •  Just FYI, This was on Rec List (5+ / 0-)

    It's off now, and I think this isa good diary and folks who missed earlier will want to know.

    Just giving you a heads up.

    Tip'd

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin

    by Gangster Octopus on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:24:59 PM PST

  •  I'm pretty sure the rats in Room 101 (6+ / 0-)

    Never actually laid a rodent-tooth on Winston Smith. Unless I lost my knowledge of the book down the memory hole.

    As someone who's significantly better with animals than most people he knows, I'd say that big dogs can be terrifying when they're on the verge of attacking, inches from your face/body. There are so many subtle results of torture we miss. Torture can be simple and rely on the mind.

    That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

    by Nulwee on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:27:26 PM PST

    •  The psychological effects of torture (6+ / 0-)

      are absolutely the worst. Most people would think that psychological effects of food deprivation, for example would end when the person is back in civilization and no longer being deprived of food, but my husband suffered from the psychological effects of the deprivation of food that he suffered for over thirty years, for the rest of his life. There was never enough food in the house to fill his psychological hole. It wasn't about having to eat all that food, he actually ate relatively little, it was about having the choice to eat exacly what he wanted, and feeling that he would never be denied food. He was on dialysis for the last two years of his life, which sent him into a psychological hole, because the dietary requirements while being on dialysis are extremely stringent. He even started eating in his sleep.

            With gratitude,
            For Dan,
            Heather

    •  More on the Army Field Manual and Room 101 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, Nulwee, Chacounne, geomoo

      When it comes to the manipulation of a prisoner's fears -- something that previously was understood as treading very close to violating the "laws of war" -- the new Army Field Manual takes the technique farther than ever before, and most certainly, with its language about creating new fears, into the territory of abusive interrogation, if not psychological torture.

      By creation of a "new" fear, the AFM means interrogators should find a personal phobia and exploit it. The original form of "fear up" meant to exploit a fear endemic to the prisoner's current situation. This is made clear in earlier field manual language. Such fear might be about what could happen to a detainee in prison, what might happen to his or her family without them, etc.

      So to "create a fear" means to find a new fear (from the prisoners past or inherent but unexpressed in the personality) and exploit it. If the fear endemic to capture and imprisonment isn't enough, maybe -- and they use "behavioral specialists" for this -- they can find out the prisoner is, say, afraid of the dark, and they can keep his cell flooded with darkness more than most. In the book 1984, there was Room 101, where a prisoner was confronted by their greatest personal fear. The AFM is talking essentially about creating a new Room 101.

      "You asked me once, what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world."

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:30:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Off point (5+ / 0-)

    I am watching Dick Cheney on News Hour with Jim Lehrer.  Cheney makes me so sick; not once but every time I listen to this sick mother fucker.  I am so fucking tired of this myth he and others keep spouting about "we made the tough decisions".

    Cheney and Bush didn't make tough decisions; they took the easy way out and built a structure of support to baptize everything they did.

    These myths need to be dispelled.

  •  Thank you (5+ / 0-)

    It enrages me that they did these things in my name.

    DailyKos: Come for the pooties, stay for the pie fight.

    by dconrad on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:08:49 PM PST

  •  I find this disturbing: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valtin, kurt, Chacounne, geomoo

    "The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent. . .

    There's no "but" about it.  We now know that Bush and Cheney "authorized" torture and had their "lawyers" tell them it was legal.

    It is not legal, it was not legal.

    Authorized.  Good lord.

    •  Torture can never be legal (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nightprowlkitty, kurt, Chacounne, geomoo

      It is a jus cogens, a norm from which no derogation is permitted. Really these people are outside the pale, outside the law. Only the law can handle it though. But the crimes, if convicted can be tough. Scott Horton reminded us the other day that the execution of Charles I of England, over 400 years ago, was for torture:

      The charge, repeated the prosecutor, was that the executive had violated the laws of nations in that he authorized or indulged the torture and brutal mistreatment of prisoners taken in wartime. The commissioners deliberated and rendered their verdict: The charge against the defendant was sustained, the defendant was guilty as charged. And then the punishment was fixed. How does one punish an executive for violation of the laws of nations by authorizing the torture of prisoners? The verdict was that he be taken to a place of execution, where his head was to be severed from his body by an axe.

      In today's column, Horton said this about Crawford's admission:

      This admission is important for several reasons. First, it is an acknowledgement of criminal conduct by the administration by one of its own team. Second, Crawford very properly abandons the absurd legalisms of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel which essentially boil down to “if the president authorizes it, that means it’s legal.” Third, she has apparently evaluated “torture” on the basis of the totality of the treatment meted out by interrogators and jailers to the prisoner, not by segmenting and evaluating each individual technique applied. That is what the law requires, and what the Justice Department studiously ignores, fully aware of the inevitable conclusion to which it would lead. It adds up to another admission of high crimes. The case for criminal accountability continues to build.

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:41:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are no gaps in the Geneva Convention (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Valtin, Nightprowlkitty, kurt, Chacounne

        [This is a repeat of a comment from last week.  I make no apologies for the repetitioin--we must keep saying these obvious and proven things.]

        Majorie Cohn's testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee, May 7, 2008:

        From the testimony:

           What does torture have in common with genocide, slavery, and wars of aggression? They are all jus cogens. Jus cogens is Latin for "higher law" or "compelling law." This means that no country can ever pass a law that allows torture. There can be no immunity from criminal liability for violation of a jus cogens prohibition.

           The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, says, "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture."

           The Torture Statute provides for life in prison, or even the death penalty if the victim dies, for anyone who commits, attempts, or conspires to commit torture outside the United States.

           ABC News reported last month that the National Security Council Principals Committee consisting of Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, George  Tenet, and John Ashcroft met in the White House and micromanaged the torture of
           terrorism suspects by approving specific torture techniques such as waterboarding. Bush admitted, "yes, I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved."

           These top U.S. officials are liable for war crimes under the U.S. War Crimes Act and torture under the Torture Statute. They ordered the torture that was carried out by the interrogators. Under the doctrine of command responsibility, used at Nuremberg and enshrined in the Army Field Manual, commanders, all the way up the chain of command to the commander in chief, can be liable for war crimes if they knew or should have known their subordinates would commit them, and they did nothing to stop or prevent it. The Bush officials ordered the torture after seeking legal cover from their lawyers.

           The President can no more order the commission of torture than he can order the commission of genocide, or establish a system of slavery, or wage a war of aggression.

           A Select Committee of Congress should launch an immediate and thorough investigation of the circumstances under which torture was authorized and rationalized. The high officials of our government and their lawyers who advised them should be investigated and prosecuted by a Special Prosecutor, independent of the Justice Department, for their crimes. John Yoo, Jay Byee, and David Addington should be subjected to particular scrutiny because of the seriousness of their roles in misusing the rule of law and legal analysis to justify torture and other crimes in flagrant violation of domestic and international law.

        Phillipe Sands before the same subcommittee, same date:


        from the testimony:

           ... an unhappy story: the circumstances in which the United States military was allowed, by the hand of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to abandon President Lincoln’s famous disposition of 1863, that "military necessity does not admit of cruelty". On December 2nd, 2002, Secretary Rumsfeld authorised the use of new and aggressive techniques of interrogation on Detainee 063. It is by now a famous memo, the one in which he wrote: "I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?"

           ... the Administration has spun a narrative that is false, claiming that the impetus for the new interrogation techniques came from the bottom-up. That is not true: the abuse was a result of pressures and actions driven from the highest levels of government. The Administration claims that it simply followed the law. My investigation indicated that – driven by ideology – the Administration consciously sought legal advice to set aside international constraints on detainee interrogations. The Administration relied on a small number of political appointees, lawyers with no real background in military law, with extreme views on executive power, and with an abiding contempt for international rules like the Geneva Conventions. ... As result, under international law war crimes were committed: I have no doubt that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions was violated, alongside provisions of the 1984 Convention prohibiting Torture.

           Mr Chairman, no country has done more to promote the international rule of law than the United States. Uncovering the truth is a first step in restoring this country’s necessary, leadership role; in undoing the damage caused; and providing a secure and effective basis for responding to the very real threat of terrorism.

        Marjorie Cohn testified that there is no statute of limitations for jus cogens violations.

        I make rules for myself. I don't make rules for other people. I'm an anarchist. -Utah Phillips

        by geomoo on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:46:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Al-Qahtani was originally (0+ / 0-)

    charged early last year.  Then the charges were dropped by Crawford, but without prejudice (oh, the irony of the term under the circumstances!).  Then, on "18 November 2008 Chief Prosecutor Lawrence Morris announced that he was filing new charges against al Qahtani".  Now Crawford says she won't file the charges again, but that doesn't constitute a binding decision, as far as I can see.  

    The guy's a prisoner for seven years.  It's been nearly a year since the charges were initially dropped.  It's time for the U.S. to stop the shenanigans, free this person, and provide him resettlement and restitution.

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