FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The CIA Came at Night

They came for Jabour at night. He was ordered by the men to turn around and face the wall, while his hands were cuffed and his legs shackled. A blindfold was fastened to his head. He was led from his cell in an Islamabad jail to a waiting van.

Jabour was then driven to an airport and marched into a bathroom, where his blindfold was removed. He was confronted by a group of Americans, talking to each other in sign language.

A doctor approached him. He took Jabour’s blood pressure and then in jected him with a drug. Jabour began to feel dizzy. A black hood was placed over his head and he was led onto a military plane. His hands were cuffed behind his back. His legs were locked to a d-ring on the floor of the plane. “I knew it was the end of my life,” Jabour said later.

This is the story of a rendition, just one account from the hundreds of men who have been snatched, tortured and dehumanized in the post-911 wars.

Marwan al-Jabour is a Palestinian who was born in Amman, Jordan. In 1994, he moved to Pakistan, where he pursued his education. In the spring of 2004, Jabour was detained by Pakistan’s notorious ISI after having dinner with a friend and university professor in Lahore. He was taken to a detention facility where he was interrogated about his friend and about the location of Arab militants.Hopeless-Barack-Obama-and-the-Politics-of-Illusion-Book-Jacket-photo

Through the night he was beaten, kicked and repeatedly shocked with an electric prod. Two days later, three American agents entered his cell and questioned him about his ties to al-Qa- eda. He repeatedly denied having any relation to terrorists.

Jabour was detained in Pakistan for nearly a month, where he was tortured regularly and savage threats were made against his wife and two children. He was bound for four consecutive days and refused even the right to urinate. He was never charged with a crime or allowed to see a lawyer. Then the Americans came again.

The men who put him on the plane that night worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. The prison they flew him to was a ghost site, a secret CIA interrogation facility, in some redacted corner of Afghanistan.

Two guards led Jabour to a dark cell, three feet wide and six feet long, where his clothes were cut off. One of his hands was cuffed to an iron ring in the wall. His feet were chained to a similar ring welded to the floor. Two video cameras were trained down on him. Loudspeakers blared heavy metal music, hour after hour, night after night. He was left standing in the cell naked.

The guards returned the next morning, shaved his head and his beard, unchained him and led him, still naked, to an interrogation room. Inside, there were ten people, including two women and a doctor. The doctor was filmed as he probed Jabour’s naked body. He was then pushed into a chair and his legs and hands cuffed. A large, thickly muscled man called the “Marine” stood ominously behind him.

His interrogators warned Jabour to cooperate fully or he would be stuffed into the Dog Box. The man pointed to a small wooden box, three-feet by three-feet in size. Jabour was shown hundreds of photographs, quizzed about each. This went on day after day, week after week, month after month. He was fed rancid food from cans. Arbitrarily, his captors would chain him into contorted stress positions for hours at a time.

For more than two years, he followed the same routine. His legs were always shackled, his cell dark, his eyes blind- folded as he was moved from cell to interrogation room. Jabour’s answers remained the same. He was not a terrorist. He didn’t know the men in the photographs. He never associated with Al Qaeda.

Unknown to Jabour, in late June 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that detainees held by government as enemy combatants came under the protection of the Geneva Convention. Four weeks later, Jabour was told that he was going to be transferred again. Once more Jabour was stripped naked. This time he was forced to wear a diaper.

Again his naked body was filmed by his captors. Cotton balls were stuffed in his ears and taped over his eyes. A thick rubber band was strapped around his head. A mask was buckled around his face. “I felt like a mummy,” Jabour later told Human Rights Watch investigators.

Before he was put on the plane, Jabour was pushed around by his captors and forced to sit in a chair next to another prisoner. He heard three gunshots and then was shoved into a small plane for a four-hour flight to Jordan, where he was ultimately turned over to the Israelis and released in Gaza. He had been held prisoner under orders of the CIA for more than two- and-a-half years.

Jabour has been free now for seven years. Still he waits for justice. When will it come? Who will deliver it?

We assess this sequence of horrors soberly. Our teeth gnash; our stomachs quiver. Our outrage intensifies with the revelation of each iniquity. For we are people of conscience and empathy. We feel shame and anger at the revolting crimes committed by our government, in our name. Because we express our disgust, we feel morally superior to the torturers.

But what have we done?

Ask Jabour. He knows.

JEFFREY ST. CLAIR is the editor of CounterPunch and the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of NatureGrand Theft Pentagon and Born Under a Bad Sky. His latest book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

This article originally appeared in the June issue of CounterPunch magazine

 

More articles by:

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net or on Twitter  @JSCCounterPunch

December 18, 2018
Charles Pierson
Where No Corn Has Grown Before: Better Living Through Climate Change?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Waters of American Democracy
Patrick Cockburn
Will Anger in Washington Over the Murder of Khashoggi End the War in Yemen?
George Ochenski
Trump is on the Ropes, But the Pillage of Natural Resources Continues
Farzana Versey
Tribals, Missionaries and Hindutva
Robert Hunziker
Is COP24 One More Big Bust?
David Macaray
The Truth About Nursing Homes
Nino Pagliccia
Have the Russian Military Aircrafts in Venezuela Breached the Door to “America’s Backyard”?
Paul Edwards
Make America Grate Again
David Rosnick
The Impact of OPEC on Climate Change
Binoy Kampmark
The Kosovo Blunder: Moving Towards a Standing Army
Andrew Stewart
Shine a Light for Immigration Rights in Providence
December 17, 2018
Susan Abulhawa
Marc Lamont Hill’s Detractors are the True Anti-Semites
Jake Palmer
Viktor Orban, Trump and the Populist Battle Over Public Space
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare
David Rosen
December 17th: International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers
Binoy Kampmark
The Case that Dare Not Speak Its Name: the Conviction of Cardinal Pell
Dave Lindorff
Making Trump and Other Climate Criminals Pay
Bill Martin
Seeing Yellow
Julian Vigo
The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism
ANIS SHIVANI
What is Neoliberalism?
James Haught
Evangelicals Vote, “Nones” Falter
Vacy Vlanza
The Australian Prime Minister’s Rapture for Jerusalem
Martin Billheimer
Late Year’s Hits for the Hanging Sock
Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail