Ex-CIA Official Reveals New Details About Torture, Plame Leak

May 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t

john-kir-cia In a wide-ranging video interview with Truthout, former CIA counterterrorism official John Kiriakou reveals new information about the capture and torture of “high-value” detainee Abu Zubaydah and discloses, for the first time, his role in the events that led to the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame.

On March 28, 2002, at exactly 2 AM, CIA, FBI and Pakistani intelligence agents raided 14 houses in Faisalabad, Pakistan and captured 52 alleged terrorists, including one who the Bush administration had wrongly claimed was the No. 3 person in al-Qaeda and one of the planners of the 9/11 attacks: Abu Zubaydah.

The CIA official who led the team that resulted in Zubaydah’s capture was, at the time, a 12-year agency veteran named John Kiriakou, who was sent to Pakistan just two months earlier to take charge of counterterrorism operations there.

Kiriakou made headlines in December 2007, when, during an interview with Brian Ross of ABC News, he became the first CIA official to publicly confirm that agency interrogators had waterboarded Zubaydah and that Zubaydah broke after 30 to 35 seconds, revealing actionable intelligence about a terrorist attack that “probably” saved American lives. Kiriakou said he believes waterboarding is torture.

Kiriakou was interviewed just a few days after The New York Times broke the story that the CIA had destroyed videotapes made between April and August 2002 that showed Zubaydah and another “high-value” detainee, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, being interrogated and tortured.

The details Kiriakou disclosed during his interview with Ross, which he said he obtained from a classified CIA cable he read, was picked up by dozens of other news organizations around the world and reignited the debate over the efficacy of torture, leading many right-wing pundits, Republican lawmakers and Bush administration officials to declare that “enhanced interrogation” methods worked.

But Kiriakou, who at one point was being pursued by federal prosecutors for revealing classified information to ABC News, was wrong.

Government documents declassified in the years since Kiriakou was interviewed by ABC News showed that Zubaydah, in addition to being subjected to other brutal torture techniques, was waterboarded at least 83 times in a single month. And, as Truthout first reported, newly declassified Justice Department documents stated that the government does not contend, as the basis for his continued detention, that Zubaydah “had any direct role” in or “advance knowledge” of 9/11 or was aware of any impending terrorist attacks as numerous Bush administration officials had maintained.

Last week, during a wide-ranging interview with Truthout, Kiriakou, who recently published a book, “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror,” was confronted with these facts and he acknowledged that the intelligence that asserted Zubaydah was Osama bin Laden’s top lieutenant, that he had played a role in the planning of 9/11 and that he was a major figure in al-Qaeda was “obviously flawed.”

The Invasion of Iraq

In addition to new details he disclosed about Zubaydah and torture in general, Kiriakou said after he returned to Langley in late spring 2002 following his capture of Zubaydah and dozens of other alleged terrorists, he was “absolutely convinced” he would receive a promotion. But he was passed over by Jose Rodriguez, head of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center. Rodriguez is now the subject of a federal criminal investigation over the destruction of torture tapes, which he ordered purged.

Kiriakou said he was instead given a “field promotion” and by August 1, 2002 – the month in which the CIA maintains Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times – he was working on top-secret issues related to the administration’s Iraq invasion plans. So secret was his new job, Kiriakou wrote in his book, that he had to sign six separate “secrecy agreements.”

After he and his boss, Robert Grenier, the CIA’s associate deputy director of operations for policy support who was later promoted to Iraq mission manager, signed the secrecy agreements they were briefed on their new assignment.

“Okay, here’s the deal,” the CIA’s unnamed director of Iraq operations told Kiriakou and Grenier. “We’re going to invade Iraq next spring. We’re going to overthrow Saddam Hussein. We’re going to establish the largest Air Force base in the world and we’re going to transfer everybody from Saudi Arabia to Iraq. That way, al-Qaeda won’t have that hanging over us, that we’re polluting the land of the two holy cities.”

Kiriakou wrote that he and Grenier were stunned.

“We’re going to invade Iraq?” Grenier asked the unnamed director of Iraq operations, Kiriakou wrote. Kiriakou added that Grenier had later told him that one of his bosses had briefed him “on the executive branch’s thinking a couple of months earlier,” meaning the war had been in the planning stages for some time, which supports similar claims made by other former Bush administration officials.

“It’s a done deal, Bob,” the director said. “The decision’s already been made … . the planning’s completed, everything’s in place.”

Kiriakou wrote that the Iraq director explained to him and Grenier that the ruse the Bush administration cooked up was “ratchet up the pressure on weapons of mass destruction … go to the United Nations toward the end of the year to make it look as if we wanted to ask the UN Secretary Council to authorize force. We expected Russian, Chinese and French opposition … and we were prepared to go it alone.”

Kiriakou said he was told the public and Congressional debates surrounding the invasion of Iraq had no bearing on the administration’s plans.

“We were going to war regardless of what the legislative branch or what the federal government chose to do,” he wrote. The CIA’s role would be one of “support … not a rerun of Afghanistan where [the agency] was running the show.”

The Plame Leak

During his interview with Truthout, Kiriakou also for the first time revealed details about his role in the events that lead to the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, an episode he did not write about in his book.

He said that in June 2003, a month before columnist Robert Novak had disclosed Plame’s name and undercover status in a column he wrote attacking her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who called into question the veracity of the Bush administration’s claims that Iraq attempted to purchase uranium from Niger for use in building an atomic bomb, Kiriakou was present at a “Deputies Committee” meeting where officials from the departments of State, Defense (DoD) and the CIA were in attendance.

For the office of the vice president “it was Libby. For CIA it was Grenier [who was standing in for Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin]. For DoD it was [Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul] Wolfowitz. For State, to the best of my recollection, it was the guy who was Undersecretary for Political Affairs [Marc Grossman]” because Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was out of town.

Kiriakou said he was the “note taker” at this meeting, which took place on June 10, 2003, when I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, “entered the room furious, putting on a big show, arms flailing around, swearing and demanding to know why nobody at the CIA told him that Valerie Plame was married to Joe Wilson.”

Kiriakou said it was clear to him that when Libby “entered the room” on June 10, 2003, he had already known that Plame was an undercover operative. However, Libby claimed that he first learned about Plame’s status and the fact that she was married to Ambassador Wilson after Kiriakou sent his email.

After Libby’s outburst, Kiriakou said he “went back to headquarters and I wrote an email  to all of the executive assistants of all the top leaders in the agency saying, this meeting took place, Libby is furious, we believe that he was conveying a message from the vice president. I wanted to know when did we know that Valerie was married to Joe Wilson, sent it around, nobody ever responded to my email.”

“I later learned because [CIA] General Counsel [John Rizzo] said we’re going to handle it at our level not at the executive assistant level,” Kiriakou said.

Kiriakou said he believes Rizzo took over because Rizzo and “others realized from the get-go that this was going to be way over our pay grade.”

“I remember my boss at the time, Grenier [head of the CIA’s Iraq Issues Group], telling me I don’t think you realize what a big deal this is. And frankly I didn’t.”

Kiriakou said the “big deal” in question was the fact that “the agency dropped the ball.”

“It was an agency officer, specifically Bob Grenier, who told administration officials that Valerie was an undercover CIA case officer. We thought it was just someone leaked something to Bob Novak. It was probably, who knows, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, [Deputy Secretary of State] Rich Armitage, we didn’t know. We didn’t know that it had come from the CIA. Now I think Grenier accidentally did that. And I think he probably didn’t believe the administration was going to do anything with it. But he knew early on that the agency was involved even if accidentally.”

Kiriakou said he could not recall if Grenier told Libby or Armitage that Plame was “undercover,” but his “guess is that the scenario was that Grenier told Armitage, who told Libby, who told Grenier.”

Kiriakou appears to have muddled the details of his story on this important point. It’s clear that it was Libby who first told Grenier about Plame’s covert status.

Attempts to reach Armitage and Grenier for comment were unsuccessful.

Grenier never testified during Libby’s trial that he spoke to Armitage about Plame. To the contrary, Grenier, who had originally stated during his grand jury testimony that he did not recall having a conversation with Libby about Plame, testified during his second appearance in January 2007 that, on June 11, 2003, a day after Kiriakou sent out the email, he recalled that he told Libby that Plame worked at the CIA’s Counterproliferation Division.

‘’It wasn’t as though I suddenly, you know, had this flashing revelation that, ‘Oh my God, I did say it,’ ‘’ Grenier said. ‘’But again, as I thought about it over time and as I remembered specifically, again, those sort of mental gymnastics that I went through immediately after the conversation, I developed a growing conviction that, in fact, I had said it. I mean, at a certain point, I said, ‘You know, wake up and smell the coffee – you must have told him.’ ‘’

Kiriakou said after Libby was indicted and his trial began he “was called as a witness for the defense … something that was deeply upsetting to me.”

“So I hired an attorney, Lanny Breuer,” who is presently assistant attorney general at the Justice Department’s criminal division. “And I told Lanny I really don’t know why I am being subpoenaed. We speculated it was to impeach Bob Grenier’s testimony. I had no idea [Grenier] told the Special Prosecutor that he had inadvertently leaked Valerie’s status. So Lanny Breuer told Special Prosecutor [Patrick Fitzgerald] and Libby’s attorneys that there is nothing I am going to say that is going to help Scooter Libby in this trial. So I went on the final day [to Libby’s trial]. I sat with other CIA officers called to testify and they didn’t call any of us to testify on the stand.”

In 2007, Libby was convicted of four counts of perjury and obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 30 months in jail. George W. Bush later commuted the sentence to spare Libby any jail time.

The foggy memories and apparent lies revolving around who told what to whom and when in early June 2003 was explained in detail by Marcy Wheeler, who wrote a book about the Plame leak, “Anatomy of Deceit,” and covered Libby’s criminal trial.

In a June 6, 2007, blog post, Wheeler said that on June 11, according to Libby’s calendar, he “called Robert Grenier in the presence of Cheney and [Cheney’s press secretary Cathie] Martin, looking for information he likely already knew from [Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc] Grossman and almost certainly from Cheney. That suggests Cheney, Martin and Libby discussed how to respond to [Washington Post reporter Walter] Pincus [who queried Libby about Ambassador Wilson’s claims about bogus intelligence related to Niger] and that (presumably not telling Martin of the details they were after) they called Grenier for the missing piece: An on-the-record statement saying that State and DoD had been interested in the intelligence as well.

“Libby didn’t get Grenier immediately. Instead, Grenier called back … learned what Libby was looking for, did some research and prepared an answer: Valerie sent Joe, Plame worked in [the Counterproliferation Division] and [the Department of Defense] and State were also interested in the intelligence,” Wheeler wrote. “Will CIA be willing to say the last bit publicly? Libby asked. I don’t see why not, Grenier said, have your press person speak to my press person. This leads to a conversation between [CIA spokesman Bill] Harlow and Martin. Perhaps Harlow agrees to make a statement – but if he does, it comes too late for the Pincus article [published July 12, 2003]. Also, such a statement doesn’t make it into Martin’s talking points on Wilson that she was still using almost a month later.

“There seem to be two explanations for this: either the Cheney note is actually a note from Libby’s conversation with Grenier (remember, he wrote ‘VP’ sometime after he wrote the note itself). Or, [the Office of the Vice President] already had the talking points set up – and they had just called Grenier to try to solicit this information out of him. Perhaps, even, they were trying to make sure Cathie Martin learned of the information Cheney already knew, but via a third party source that couldn’t be traced back to the Vice President.

“I lean toward the latter – it seems highly unlikely that Libby would have made up the conversation with Cheney and stuck to that story over four years and a trial. Which means the Libby-Cheney conversation happened sometime before the [June 11, 2003] Grenier conversation (and therefore further suggests that, as has been assumed all along, Cheney was indeed Libby’s first source for Plame’s identity),” Wheeler continued. “And the Grenier conversation was simply an attempt to set somebody up to tell Libby, Martin and the press the same information via a different source.”

Although Kiriakou is fuzzy on the details surrounding the events surrounding who knew what and when that led up to the leak of Plame’s identity, the details he did provide supports arguments Wheeler and others had made over the years that Libby knew Plame was married to Wilson and was a covert operative before he spoke to Grenier and Grossman about it. This revelation also calls into question the truthfulness of Grenier’s testimony, suggesting that he ignored Libby’s outburst when he entered the meeting on June 10, 2003, when Kiriakou was present and instead focused simply on the phone call he received from Libby inquiring about Plame after the fact.

While Kiriakou could not recall the exact details about what took place, one thing seems crystal clear: there was an important meeting that took place on June 10, 2003, a meeting where Libby made it abundantly clear that he had already learned that Plame was married to Ambassador Wilson and that she was an undercover operative.

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Diaries Recounting Zubaydah’s Torture Should Be Given to Defense Attorneys, Judge Rules

October 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

By Jason Leopold, Truthout

Guantanamo detainee Abu Zubaydah is expected to finally gain access to diaries he wrote during the years while he was being tortured by CIA interrogators. A federal court judge has ordered the government to turn over unredacted volumes of the diaries and other “specified” writings to defense attorneys representing Zubaydah.

Zubaydah was the first high-value detainee captured after 9/11. He was repeatedly waterboarded and subjected to brutal torture techniques by CIA interrogators at secret black-site prisons.

Although the order issued by US District Court Judge Richard Roberts on September 30 was filed under seal, Zubaydah’s attorney, Brent Mickum, said in a Truthout interview that while he could not discuss the substance of the ruling, it was his opinion that the order “should have been made public from the get-go” because “there’s nothing in [the order] that should be considered classified.”

In his motion, Mickum asked for original copies of the diaries to be released. It is not known whether Roberts’ order required the government to produce original versions of Zubaydah’s diaries. However, it is believed that Roberts’ order applies to three volumes of diaries Zubaydah wrote between 2002 and 2006, the time he spent in CIA custody and was tortured.

Those volumes, identified as seven, eight and nine, “were drafted while [Zubaydah] was in CIA custody,” according to court papers filed by Mickum last January. “Volumes 10 and 11 were completed in [Department of Defense] custody at Guantanamo, after September 2006; only these last two volumes, written after [Zubaydah] was transferred from CIA to DoD custody, were given to counsel in late 2008 by [Zubaydah] because they were in his possession.”

Mickum said he already has access to volumes one through six and 11 and 12. Though volumes one through six are unclassified, they have been designated by the government as “protected” and are not publicly available.

In a public summary describing his order, Roberts wrote that Mickum’s motion for “a preservation order and additional relief will be granted in part and denied in part, and [his] motion for an order requiring the [government] to return unredacted versions of [Zubaydah’s] diaries and other specified writings to him will be granted in part and denied in part.”

The diaries have been the subject of legal wrangling for years. Justice Department attorneys in both the Bush and Obama administrations have argued that releasing unredacted copies of the diaries would constitute a threat to national security because they contain names of government employees, including an FBI agent, and names of individuals who assisted in translating the diaries from Arabic to English, plus information about ongoing counterterrorism efforts.

Mickum has filed numerous motions in federal court accusing the government of improperly classifying the diaries – even after portions have already surfaced in public documents – and abusing the classification process related to other materials in Zubaydah’s case.

For example, last August Mickum filed court papers seeking additional copies of Zubaydah’s medical records and an in-person medical evaluation, both of which Mickum says he needs in order to “challenge the lawfulness” of Zubaydah’s detention. The court previously ordered the release of medical records related to the more than 200 seizures Zubaydah has suffered since being transferred to Guantanamo in 2006.

The Justice Department balked and filed its opposition in the matter under seal. Mickum objected to the government’s “ongoing abuse of the classification system” in a motion he filed in federal court in June. The court hasn’t ruled on that motion yet although it has been fully briefed on the matter.

Mickum said he has not been able to mount a meaningful defense because the government continuously denies his requests for documents related to Zubaydah’s time in CIA custody.

“The government is preventing us from working up the case,” Mickum said. “They are trying to keep things closely guarded.”

A Justice Department spokesman would not return calls for comment regarding Judge Roberts’ ruling.

Zubaydah has written 11 volumes of his diary in a “slender bound notebook” and has started work on volume 12, according to court papers in the case filed last January. He wrote the first six volumes before his March 2002 arrest in Pakistan.

The government’s case against Zubaydah is based heavily on entries contained in the first six volumes of his diaries, according to court papers. But the materials were designated by the government as “protected,” even though the diaries are unclassified and both the defense team and Zubaydah have access to volumes one through six.

In a July 14 motion opposing the government’s attempt to “protect” volumes one through six, Mickum said he is not permitted to inform Zubaydah “which passages the government relied upon” in the charges it prepared against him as outlined in the “factual return.”

“The Government has redacted every reference to the unclassified volumes of [Zubaydah’s] diary from the unclassified factual return,” Mickum’s motion states. “By removing every reference to the diary, the Government leaves very few of the relevant allegations against [Zubaydah] to be seen by the eyes of the public. Moreover, what is left is an incredibly misleading picture. For example, for several pages of the factual return, virtually the only words that are left unredacted are the names: Abu Hafs al-Masri, [al-Qaeda-in-Iraq leader] Abu Mas’ab al-Zarqawi, [self-professed 9/11 mastermind] and Khalid Sheik Mohammed, known al-Qaeda operative. What the public does not see if that the only reason these people are mentioned in [the government’s] factual return is that they are alleged to have been in the same city as [Zubaydah]. The Government does not even allege [Zubaydah] had direct, or even indirect, contact with them.

“What possible explanation can the Government offer to justify that the diaries are unclassified but the quotations from the diaries upon which the government relies in the factual return are classified? There is none. By doing so, the Government simply demonstrates its disregard for the fact that the authority to designate unclassified information as protected properly belongs to the court.

“It is understandable that the Government would want to avoid the public criticism that may follow from an honest discussion of who [Zubaydah] was and how the Government mistreated him, but this is not a legitimate basis for sealing information [in his] case. [This is about] the Government’s simple desire to keep information about [Zubaydah] and the case against him secret, primarily to cover up evidence contradicting its own public misstatements about [Zubaydah] as well as potential evidence of further as-yet-undisclosed government wrongdoing.”

Mickum said diaries Zubaydah kept while in CIA custody will go a long way toward establishing the brutal treatment Zubaydah was subjected to – far surpassing what the public has learned thus far from declassified \Justice Department legal memos documenting the brutal methods, such as sleep deprivation and beatings, used by CIA interrogators against Zubaydah.

He added that the diaries contain a “list of names, dates and activities” that will assist the defense in generating leads and prove that Zubaydah was not a senior member of al-Qaeda.

But by designating the material as “protected,” the government “severely hinders [the defense team’s] ability to prepare [Zubaydah’s] defense and vindicate his constitutional entitlement to habeas corpus at numerous levels.”

Mickum opined that the government would force him to have potential witnesses sign an agreement stating that they would be bound by a protective order if he were to discuss the diaries with them. Mickum said that was impractical as his investigations “are taking place all over the world” and it would also have a “chilling effect” on foreign witnesses. “Counsel are right now seeking the cooperation of witnesses in foreign countries who can corroborate the substance of [Zubaydah’s] defense, much of which is articulated in his diary,” Mickum’s July 14 court filing says. “The Government’s attempt to designate the diary as protected, if granted, would preclude counsel from conducting such crucial investigations.”

Zubaydah began keeping a diary in 1992, after he suffered a severe head injury while fighting communist insurgents in Afghanistan. The injury left “significantly impaired both his long- and short-term memory,” states Mickum’s January 14 court motion.

“He cannot remember his father’s name and dimly recalls that he looked like a movie star in the Arab world (whose name he cannot remember). He cannot remember the name of his business partner with whom he ran a news agency prior to his arrest. Long after his 1992 injury, once [Zubaydah] had recovered the ability to speak and write, he began to keep a diary. It is his memory. Without it, he is lost.”

Dan Coleman, a former FBI agent who analyzed the diaries, said he was convinced that Zubaydah was “certifiable” and was not a high-level official in al-Qaeda as top Bush administration officials had claimed. Rather, Coleman said, Zubaydah was more like heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis, who worked as a greeter in Las Vegas at the end of his life.

According to author Ron Suskind, Zubaydah’s diaries were written in the voices of three people – Hani 1, Hani 2 and Hani 3, which, Suskind wrote in his book, “The One Percent Doctrine,” helps establish that Zubaydah was mentally ill.

Furthermore, Suskind wrote, “Zubaydah was a logistics man, a fixer, mostly for a niggling array of personal items, like the guy you call who handles the company health plan, or benefits, or the people in human resources. There was almost nothing ‘operational’ in his portfolio. That was handled by the management team. He wasn’t one of them.”

Suskind’s account closely matches what Jack Cloonan, a former FBI special agent assigned to the agency’s elite Bin Laden unit, told me in a recent interview. Cloonan said the CIA and the Bush administration were flat wrong in designating Zubaydah as a top official in al-Qaeda. Zubaydah “wasn’t privy to a lot of what I would consider to be a lot of really good operational details,” getting most of his information secondhand, Cloonan said.

Mickum denies that Zubaydah was privy to any operational details of al-Qaeda.

“My client was never, ever, even a member of al-Qaeda, much less a high-level operative,” Mickum told Truthout. “The camp he was alleged to have assisted was closed in 2000 by the Taliban. Leaders of the camp known as Khalden closed it rather than allowing it to fall under the control of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda because they disagreed with al-Qaeda’s missions and attacks on innocent civilians.” Cloonan agreed, for the most part, with Mickum’s characterization of Zubaydah.

“We thought [Zubaydah] would be best described as a logistical officer who managed a series of safe houses and was a great travel agent,” Cloonan said. “But to cast him and describe him as the al-Qaeda emir or leader for the subcontinent or worse … I think was a mistake…. Based on his age and ethnicity, [he] would [n]ever be brought into the inner circle of al-Qaeda.”

There was also the question of Zubaydah’s personality. “My partner had a chance to look at a lot of Abu Zubaydah’s diaries, poems and other things that he has written and he said that after reading this you just come away with the feeling that this is a guy who can’t be trusted or be given huge amounts of responsibility,” Cloonan said. “He just seemed mentally unstable…. “I’m not at all suggesting that Abu Zubaydah wasn’t valuable. Anytime you get one of these guys and get their cooperation, I think [it] is a win. You can get information that’s really valuable from people who are further down the food chain. It’s how you get the information and whether you’re getting real cooperation or simply compliance because somebody’s either waterboarding you or gets you on sleep deprivation.

“We know, and the science tells us, that people cannot recall details accurately, they can’t look at pictures, they will make things up if deprived of the bare essentials of life over the course of time. I don’t understand how you could sleep deprive somebody for 11 days and expect this person to provide you with accurate information.

“Even if they wanted to they’re probably so debilitated at this point they need to be rehabilitated before they ever give you anything.”

Zubaydah’s 2002 torture sessions were videotaped. But CIA officials destroyed the tapes and a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate whether federal laws were broken when the tapes were purged.

As I previously reported, CIA interrogators provided top agency officials in Langley with daily “torture” updates of Zubaydah. The extensive back-and-forth between CIA field operatives and agency officials in Langley likely included updates provided to senior Bush administration officials.

In justifying his torture, the Bush administration had maintained that Zubaydah was the No. 3 official in al-Qaeda and had information about pending terrorist attacks against the US. But documents, news reports, books and former FBI interrogators familiar with Zubaydah said he was a low-level figure in the terrorist organization and was mentally ill.

CIA interrogators waterboarded Zubaydah 83 times in one month, according to recently released documents, and placed him inside a coffin-like box for hours at a time. The Bush administration claimed it obtained actionable intelligence by torturing Zubaydah – an assertion contradicted by a CIA inspector general’s report on the agency’s torture and detention program.

CIA documents from a Combatant Status Review Tribunal in March 2007 revealed that Zubaydah’s torturers eventually apologized to him and said they concluded he was not a top al-Qaeda lieutenant as the Bush administration and intelligence officials had claimed.

“They told me sorry we discover that you are not number three [in al-Qaeda], not a partner, even not a fighter,” Zubaydah said during his tribunal hearing.

Mickum said volumes seven, eight and nine of Zubaydah’s diaries would shed further light on his brutal treatment while “in CIA custody and recount his torture and damaging exculpatory admission made by [Zubaydah’s] torturers and other CIA officials.”

The diaries “are critically important to show what [Zubaydah] was doing during this time frame and contain exculpatory evidence.”

Public court filings also state that Zubaydah “created other relevant writings and drawings, none of which have been returned to him.” Although Mickum said he could not describe the drawings because they remain classified, but it appears likely that they may depict Zubaydah’s torture.

“You’ll just have to use your imagination as to what they might be,” Mickum said. Zubaydah’s “really good.”

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