Military Jury Condemns CIA Torture, Urges Clemency

Military Jury Condemns CIA Torture, Urges Clemency

( – At the end of October, The New York Times reported on a case dating back 18 years involving Majid Khan, an admitted terrorist. In Khan’s recent court case, the military jury reached a guilty verdict but asked for clemency because of how the prisoner had been treated in captivity.

Original Arrest

In 2003, officials arrested Majid Khan in Karachi, Pakistan. A foreign government initially held the terrorist overseas before turning him over to the CIA for interrogation. He then stayed in foreign custody for approximately two months until the CIA was able to collect him. During this time, Khan’s captor interrogated him for information, which it passed to the CIA.

During the three years Khan was in CIA custody, officials moved him several times to different detention facilities. Locations included Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay. This period of time, according to Khan, was filled with a myriad of abusive and severe interrogation methods.

Interrogation or Torture?

After 9/11, Americans wanted justice at any cost. Majid Khan claims to be a victim of that severe justice hunting. Khan suffered continued torture throughout his captivity, even after he confessed to terrorist activities. Several of the less graphic techniques he endured included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and forced ice-water baths.

The New York Times quoted a letter written by the jury at Khan’s hearing stating that some of these techniques were outside of the realm of “enhanced interrogation techniques (EIT).” EIT was derived after 9/11 by the CIA as a means of acquiring intelligence from captives faster. It includes sleep deprivation, slapping, subjection to cold, and simulated drowning.

The Jury’s Decision

After Khan’s three years with the CIA, he and several other individuals fell into the care of Guantánamo Bay. There he spent the next six years incarcerated before his trial. In 2012 he pleaded guilty to multiple terrorism crimes. The sentencing for his case wouldn’t have a chance to commence until nearly ten years later to garner good faith through his cooperative behavior.

The jury, of course, found him guilty as decided in the plea agreement. They also wrote a letter of clemency concerning Majid Khan’s treatment during his time with the CIA. This handwritten letter, signed by all but one of the anonymous jurors, directly addresses Khan’s guilt and at the same time asks the officials who review clemency claims to have mercy on Kahn. The jury’s letter claims he suffered enough punishment at the hands of the CIA and has shown genuine remorse for his actions as a young man.

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