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Arthur Emery focuses on Guantanamo victim

Noted speaker Arthur Emery discussed the story of Guantanamo Bay detainee Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi citizen whom the United States government mistakenly suspected of Al Qaeda involvement, last night at the Law School.

Abu Zubaydah has been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for nine years.

Arthur Emery discussed the case of Abu Zubaydah, the Saudi who was wrongly accused of Al Qaeda involvement by the US government and remains imprisoned in Guantamao Bay. (IAN GARCIA-DOTY/The Stanford Daily)

Former President George W. Bush claimed Abu Zubaydah was one of the three top leaders in Al Qaeda. Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense under George W. Bush and a former Hoover fellow, believed he was a senior Al Qaeda official who had been intimately involved in a range of activities.

However, recent evidence has suggested that Abu Zubaydah was ideologically opposed to Al Qaeda, Emery said. In 2000, Zubaydah’s Khalden camp was told that it either had to support Al Qaeda rule or close.

“Abu Zubaydah, number three in Al Qaeda, and his camp was closed by Al Qaeda?” Emery said. “It’s incredible to believe that the U.S. government believed that when he wasn’t involved in Al Qaeda from the very beginning.”

Emery argued that Guantanamo Bay’s location is incredibly strategic.

“It’s outside of the United States–U.S. laws can’t control it,” he said. “It’s not a part of Cuba because it’s land-leased from Cuba. It’s really a black hole for justice by law.”

When the FBI first interrogated Abu Zubaydah, its goals were to gain his confidence in order to gather actionable intelligence.

“Beating someone until they talk doesn’t give them incentive to talk,” Emery said. “It gives them incentive to shut up.”

The FBI recognized this, whereas the CIA did not, he added. CIA interrogators subjected Zubaydah to waterboarding in an attempt to obtain information. Emery described Zubaydah’s situation as “a world of torture and human debasement.”

“This is what we allowed, and we continue to debate whether it is justified,” he said. “You can’t do that to a human being and still think of yourself as a human being.”

“We have to stand up and say we won’t let our country be this sort of bastion of destruction in the world,” he said.

The event was co-sponsored by Amnesty International.

  • john

    Obama committed to shutting down Gitmo within a year. Obama reneged on that commitment. Not only did he renege on his commitment, Obama shows no signs of doing anything about Gitmo.

    Why isn’t anyone accusing Obama of lying the way they did with Bush?

    Why isn’t Amnesty International protesting against Obama?

    Why isn’t Amnesty International working to defeat Obama?

    Why doesn’t the Obama administration release this guy if he is innocent as Emery claims?

    The answer to these questions is that all liberals are frickin hypocrites.

  • Steve

    Let’s not forget that Stanford’s own Condoleezza Rice was a key player in the torture of Abu Zubaydah. See AP article here: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-04-23/news/17921289_1_waterboarding-abu-zubaydah-director-george-tenet

    Rice and others on the Bush “Principals Committee” continue to enjoy political immunity from prosecution in the U.S. justice system, much to the disgrace of both Obama and Holder.
    Likewise, Stanford has given Rice a pass on her involvement in torture during her leave of absence from the university. We’ve set a very low bar for the ethical standards for Stanford professors. Shame on us.

  • B. B. Wilkerson

    Why is Arthur Emory speaking on this matter now? This information was known years ago. The book “George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration’s Liability for 269 War Crimes” (Praeger 2009) by Stanford Ph.D. Michael Haas not only has information about Abu Zubaydah but links his treatment to specific war crimes, citing provisions of the Geneva Conventions and related documents. The book’s Foreword is written by the chief prosecutor at Nuremburg and is primarily responsible for Haas’s nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize.

  • VS

    Why is Stanford listening to Emory and not Haas? Haas evidently has much more to say on the subject yet Stanford rewards Rice and ignores Haas!