Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A dissappointing Book....

It has taken me a long time to get around to writing about this book. Let me start out by saying that I have great respect for both authors. The importance of John Kiriakou's whistleblowing on the torture program cannot be over stated- and the Obama administration's treatment of this hero is a shameful example of that administrations ineptitude. Joseph Hickman's exposure of the murders/cover-up at Guantanamo (described in his book Murder at Camp Delta) is a detailed investigation into the deaths of three men at Guantanamo- an expose that was promptly ignored by the corporate media, the politicians in this country of mine and of course the public- the book is a must read for anyone interested in our gulag known as Guantanamo.
Both men are heroes in their own right.

So why did they write this book? "The Convenient Terrorist" is about Zain Abidin Mohammed Husain, a man known in our press as Abu Zubaydah. [I am purposely not linking to the book- if you want to read it you will have to find it yourself!] I cannot answer that question- I can only say that these authors lacked information that would have been important in telling the complete story of Abu Zubaydah--it is information the authors probably did not know or could not say-- because it is "classified." However, that is the very reason why this book should not have been written--it is not a complete and accurate portrayal of the story surrounding Abu Zubahdah. The details that are left out not only paint a much more damning light on the whole capture of Abu Zubahdah but also miss out on painting a much more accurate and sympathetic look at the man himself. Those details and Abu Zubahdah's story must wait until this country of mine declassifies everything- and I mean everything.

Some of you may recall that I have written about Abu Zubaydah many times on this blog. Most recently last year when the judge in his federal case cowardly and shamefully refused to allow the man to have a habeas hearing.If anyone is the poster child for my country's travesty, known at Guantanamo, it would be Abu Zubaydah. The reason I have written about Abu Zubaydah so often on this blog, and the reason I am so critical of this book, is because Abu Zubaydah is a man I know a lot about. My own client-Saeed Bakhouche (also known as Razak Ali) was arrested in the same house where Abu Zubaydah was staying when they and every other Arab in the house was arrested (the non Arabs were promptly released). My client is on the "forever list" (never to be charged with a crime and never to be set free) because he is Arab and was in the same guesthouse as Abu Zubaydah (keep this in mind when you stay at an airbnb- you too could be held responsible for being associated with someone you do not know). [However, even my client was allowed a habeas hearing- even though it was a sham, complete with some of the most rank malfeasance by defense counsel, in this case DOJ, that I have ever seen or read about- and trust me I have seen quite a lot.] Because of my client I have spent a great deal of time researching Abu Zubaydah- to show the courts that not only should my own client be released- but the man that my government and military have used as an excuse to hold my client (and many others) is also not what he has been portrayed to be. But all of that information is classified. I cannot correct the mistakes in this book because I am subject to a court order protecting that information from the public.

The details that have emerged over time have not mattered to the courts and I must say that the title of the book is a very accurate title- Abu Zubaydah was and is- the convenient terrorist. My country needed, and apparently continues to need, scary people to justify our wars against Muslims.  Unfortuantely this book perpetuates many of those myths.