It's Recess-time Somewhere

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August 02, 2005

And We Wonder Why Our Foreign Policy is Failing

In case you had any doubt about why folks in the Arab world hate us so much or why so many people are flocking to Iraq to fight Americans, here ya go.

Benyam Mohammed travelled from London to Afghanistan in July 2001,
but after September 11 he fled to Pakistan. He was arrested at Karachi
airport on April 10 2002, and describes being flown by a US government
plane to a prison in Morocco. These are extracts from his diary.


One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it
once, and they stood still for maybe a minute, watching my reaction. I was
in agony. They must have done this 20 to 30 times, in maybe two hours.
There was blood all over. "I told you I was going to teach you who's the
man," [one] eventually said.

They cut all over my private parts. One of them said it would be better
just to cut it off, as I would only breed terrorists. I asked for a


But then three men came in with black masks. It seemed to go on for
hours. I was in so much pain I'd fall to my knees. They'd pull me back
up and hit me again. They'd kick me in my thighs as I got up. I vomited
within the first few punches. I really didn't speak at all though. I
didn't have the energy or will to say anything. I just wanted for it to
end. After that, there was to be no more first-class treatment. No
bathroom. No food for a while.


I suffered the razor treatment about once a month for the remaining
time I was in Morocco, even after I'd agreed to confess to whatever they
wanted to hear. It became like a routine. They'd come in, tie me up,
spend maybe an hour doing it. They never spoke to me. Then they'd tip
some kind of liquid on me - the burning was like grasping a hot coal.
The cutting, that was one kind of pain. The burning, that was another.