British Resident In Gitmo For Reading Satirical Website
At least that’s what the British press is reporting. According to the Daily Mail, Binyam Mohamed was beaten, hung by his wrist for a week, and had a gun held to his head in a Pakistani jail before he admitted reading a joke website about how to build a nuclear weapon. The former UK asylum seeker’s claim that he read the satire, based on an article in the magazine Seven Days, led the CIA to believe he was an al Qaeda terrorist.
Written by Barbara Ehrenreich, the publication’s food editor, Rolling Stone journalist Peter Biskind and scientist Michio Kaku, it claims that a nuclear weapon can be made ‘using a bicycle pump’ and with liquid uranium ‘poured into a bucket and swung round’.
Despite its clear satirical bent, the story led the CIA to accuse 30-year-old Mohamed, a caretaker, of plotting a dirty bomb attack, before subjecting him to its ‘extraordinary rendition programme’.
During his eight-year imprisonment, Mohamed has allegedly been flown to secret torture centres in Pakistan, Morocco, an American-run jail known as the Dark Prison near Kabul in Afghanistan and, finally, to Guantanamo Bay.
Britain’s foreign secretary won’t release papers concerning Mohamed, saying the US would withdraw all intelligence support if he does so. All this, in spite of the fact that the bomb “recipe” is clearly ridiculous:
‘Attach a 6ft rope to the bucket handle. Now swing the rope (and attached bucket) around your head as fast as possible. Keep this up for about 45 minutes.
‘Slow down gradually, and very gently put the bucket on the floor. The U-235 – a uranium isotope which can be used to cause an explosive chain reaction – will have risen to the top, where it can be skimmed off like cream. Repeat this step until you have the required 10lb of uranium.’
Mohamed’s lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, is adamant that the satire was central to his client’s detention.
‘I am speculating but I think this news was sent up the line to the White House, which is when the paranoia kicked in. They authorised the “enhanced interrogation techniques” against Binyam, including the rendition. This is how they made their huge mistake, thinking he was a major terrorist as opposed to a London janitor.
‘It explains why they took a nobody and subjected him to the worst torture of any US prisoner in the past seven years.’
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