Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Binyam Mohamed's Diary with Reader's Comments

This is from The Independent UK published on Wednesday February 09, 2009

Binyam Mohamed claims the US (originally) took him to Morocco to be tortured

No breakfast or lunch from 10 Dec to 29 Dec 2008.

Mon 29 Dec Informed corpsman (US Navy medic) about my full hunger strike.

Tue 30 Dec Took dinner as hunger strike was pushed to 5th Jan. Blue pens were changed to black, new SOP [Standard Operating Procedures].

Mon 5 Jan Told by corpsman nurse my ideal weight was 168lbs.

Thu 8 Jan About 15:30 FCE [Force Cell Extraction] of brother, and his beating up and move to hospital for facial injury and broken wrist. [Prisoner was Ahmed Abdul Aziz from other unclassified source.]

Fri 9 Jan After days of request for medical to take interest in the hunger strikes since 5 Jan, a physician Capt came and asked why we were on hunger strike.

Cell and locker search – two papers taken, my Nov & Dec pray schedules.

Shower rule changed.

Mon 12 Jan Habeas envelopes or papers are being taken away for a period of 5 days cause they are being used to cover the strong lights and the AC vent due to the cold.

Tue 13 Jan At about 10:00, woke up from sleep and shortly after fell. Was taken to the med room and after a vital test given 2 bags of IV (saline solution), the physician came and said to me that I would be tube-fed if I continue missing meals, after taking more vitals she said that I was dizzy and dehydrated and my sugar level was low (68) so she said could not await the SJA [Staff Judge Advocate – a government lawyer] to resolve my issue and may have to tube-feed me for today and she was putting me on the list of those to be tube-fed. She was going to tell her higher-ups to start tube-feeding. I was given another bag of IV total (3 bags) then I was ready to get back to my cell but as I got up I felt faint so I was left for another 10 min and another vital was taken. My temp was 94 and when it got to 95 I was returned back to my cell.

Wed 14 Jan Weighed at 13:30 and weight was 127 without shackles I had weighed 124 with shackles on.

At about 14:45, the physician Capt was on the block talking to the brother whose food was sorted so I asked to speak to her so she came and I told her about my swelling knees and that the IV went to my body and it was a sign of trouble. She told me that I was on the list for tube-feeding and it wasn't long before they did it... I told her to delay the tube for as long as she could but she said once the decision is taken to tube-feed me - she would.

At about 16:15 I was taken to tube-feeding without warning I was strapped to a chair and moved from block to block and tube-fed there for about 20 min. They weighed me at 129 with shackles after tube-feeding...

Fri 16 Jan Tube at 08:00 to 10:00. One of the brothers on tube was FCE'd because of the tea issue. The nurse said that no cafine [sic] so they are talking to the SMO (senior medical officer) who's talking to the admin to allow us to get coffee and tea.

SMO still refuse to give me lactalose [sic] though I am constipated. Weighed at about 14:00 – 127 without shackles – feeding from 16:10-16:45 about 25 min feeding very quick today.

Sat 17 Jan 06:00 according to norm calculations I should be between – 168 to 186 pounds. I was below my norm weight by at least 40 pounds, 121 pounds, before they considered me for tube feeding. I am at zero fat at 130 pounds let alone 121. At 6.0294 feet = 1.87 metres the ideal weight should be between 168-188 pounds depending on bone structure. I am considered light bone build.

09:00 went for tube feeding. weighed in at 128.5 with shackles (2.8) = 125.7 without shackles...

16:30 feeding and given another lactalose [sic], blood withdrawn & told I had to sit on the chair until 18:30 (2 hrs). After a heated argument I was taken back to my cell at 17:43 prayer time 17:42 they had refused me the right to pray but I told them if I don't get to pray then they can get the FCE team.

Sun 18 Jan 01:00 woke up in the middle of the night with pain in my stomach constipated ... my stomach was bloated and had difficulty sleeping.

06:00 Took an apple to help me with my stomach problem. was given coffee and I asked the AOIC (Administrative Officer In Charge) to talk with him about prayer issue.

Weight 127.9lbs with shackles

Mon 19 Jan 05:30 another sleepless night. At 09:00 taken to feed. spoke to AOIC about why I had to stay strapped for 2 hours after feeding and why 6-point strap if I am coming out compliant. I had to use the toilet and was almost urinating on myself because I had to stay until 11:00

Wed 21 Jan 10:00: I took shower and was refused soap. When I asked why I was told I was on a soap loss.

Thu 22 Jan on Tue 20th a brother told me that in the British media it was reported that I was expected home soon. Another brother told the same news about me on Wed.

At about 12:00 I was put on dis (discipline or disciplinary) one. I don't know why and I haven't asked. There is about 5-6 brothers on soap loss.

Fri 23 Jan At 08:35 I was taken for feeding weight lb = 127.1 with shackles, 124.3 without. One of the brothers was FCE'd to the chair and they could not feed him as they could not stick the tube down his nose. Reason was because they disciplined the hunger strikers for peaceful hunger strike. I saw C7 & told him that the OIC [officer in command] said no more discipline except if you did something. After checking he came back and said I was correct. I was returned back to my cell and I found my stuff being taken then returned and they brought me orange linen.

At 16:00 taken for feeding, there was a Capt Navy watching us tube-fed. The watch commander of dayshift said to me that FCE means we beat you up because you are not complying. The brother who was FCE'd in the morning was complaining about being hit in his chest and knees. We waited until night shift w/c came and we told him to write a report... 13:00 Moved cells. The room I was put in had spots of feces [sic] on the light and the walls... At 19:35 we was moved back from as they had finished extermination.

Sun 25 Jan at 08:25 taken for feeding. Vitals = 86/52, heart 62 told that the doctors says my blood pressure is fine through low. Weighed 129.4 with shackles...

Mon 26 Jan I told the AOIC about the shower issue and explained to him about the privacy we needed while taking showers he said he would talk to his people to stop harassing us while we were in the showers as long as they could see our heads and necks... The brother FCE'd a few day[s] ago showed me the scar on his chest.

At 18:35 dinner, I took dessert, salad, apple, dates, the guard were now passing extras.

Wed 28 Jan This morning at feeding the nurse put the tube in my lungs and after an air check she had to pull the tube out & try again. When the second time worked I told her she had stuck the tube in my lungs she said it usually happens and that['s] why they do an air check. I told the AOIC who was watching the incident about it and all he could say was everything was fine now.

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

How do humans do it?
ejh16 wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 01:17 am (UTC)
When I read about inhuman treatment like this or Israel's terrorism against the Palestinians or My Lai or Nanjing or Rwanda, etc., etc. I am amazed with the strength of the victims. How do people withstand such abuse? How do the survive? Obviously, they are scarred for life, but I do not believe that I, in the same situation, would have the strength to make it out at all.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 03:10 am (UTC)
This mans treatment, along with many others in Guantanamo, is definately barbaric and we must learn that we cannot defeat the terrorists and extremists by sinking down to their level. If we abdicate and derogate from our core values then the terrorists are winning because they are forcing us to give up those freedoms we value most.

To EHJ16:

Equating the Israeli/Palestininian conflict with Rwanda is disingenious in the extreme. In Rwanda there were up to a million people killed in up to 100 days of fighting. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict hasnt had even 1% of that in the last 10 years. The two tragedies are on a completely different scale.

There is a huge amount of wrong commited by both sides in the conflict between Israelis/Palestinians and both sides need to stop the violence and begin genuine and substantial negotiations.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 03:37 am (UTC)
Scale is not the point. My point is simply that...when humans are cruel to others (undeniably the case in Israel/Palestine), I find it amazing what the surviving victims are able to overcome. The numbers are irrelevant in this case. I am thinking of it on an individual level.

As for the issue of "wrong committed by both sides in the conflict between Israelis/Palestinians", this is of course true but that does not mean it is a balanced situation or that both sides have the power to fix it. The Israelis are the oppressors and the Palestinians are the oppressed. Some of the oppressed react in ways that are unacceptable, but before a person condemns the Palestinians, even the "terrorists", they should ask themselves, honestly, what would they do in the same situation.

The Israeli hold all the cards and can end the conflict whenever it suits them. If I throw you on the ground and put my boot on your neck, it would not make the situation balanced if you reach up and pull some hairs out of my leg. Yes, it would be a sort of conflict, but I, like the Israelis, would be in complete control even if my leg hurt a little.

Re: Disgusting
asonberg wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 05:19 am (UTC)
I am sorry but we really must get away from the fallacy that oppression/poverty cause or legitimise terrorism. Many people around the world are brutally oppressed by various regimes without turning to terrorism. Many countries around the world are subject to severe poverty without people turning to violence and terrorism.

The root causes of terrorism nearly always boil down to 2 things; geograhical disputes over land and/or ideological differences which are most often religious in nature. Sometimes, as in the case of Israel/Palestine, its both.

You do the palestinians no favours by abdicating their power and responsibility for their own situation. They elected a terrorist organisation into government. A government which refuses to recognise the right of Israel to exist. Israel pulled out of Gaza 3 years ago and did the palestinians respond in kind? No. They used Gaza to fire even more rockets. Hamas has sought to pick a fight it cannot win with a more powerful neighbour. The palestinians have been the recipients of huge amounts of aid money. That money could have been put to better use than smuggling weapons and rockets. The palestinians have a great deal more power over their own destiny than you are acknowledging.

Similarly, Israel has made huge mistakes. The inhumanity and daily humiliation of palestinians by the excessive use of checkpoints, even in the west bank, is outrageous. The continued expansion of the illegal settlements. Even the use of cluster bombs in the Lebanon war of 2006. They also bear a huge amount of responsibility for the stalling of the peace talks before Hamas came to power.

That said, however, Israel cannot unilaterally end the conclict whenever it suits them as you claim. Until Hamas either accept Israels right to exist, or the palestinian people decide to remove them, this conflict with continue. You can't negotiate with an organisation sworn to your annihilation and destruction.

The only workable solution is to have a prosperious, viable Palestinian state and an Israel safe and secure in her borders.

Re: Disgusting
yuchuse wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 10:55 pm (UTC)
The fact is, the creation of Israel was and continues to be an ongoing act of terrorism. How can Israeli security be guaranteed when the basic rights of self-determination were and continue to be forcibly stolen from the palestinians? The reality is that when the basic human rights of palestinians are restored and secured can then Israel ensure its own legitimacy. Poverty does not legitimise terrorism when it is a form of terrorism; the creation or infliction of it on population to serve the interests of its rulers is simply terrorism in itself. Yes the Palestinians have done no favours by allowing the process of a corrupt 'divide and rule' to be sown amongst themselves in which Israel 'by way of deception' may well have had an instrumental role if not a predominant one. The world has come to understand the Israeli agenda to have the palestinians 'serve' the Israeli 'master state' and as a democratically elected Hamas(according to UN monitors) 'will not come to heel' it must be 'protrayed' as a terrorist organisation. For those who understand the Palestinian identity of a 'state of injustice being worse than a state of war' will advise that the they seem to be increasingly a people who are prepared to live by that principle. It seems Israel finds it quite acceptable to exsist on the graveyard of Palestine.

How do humans do it?
nled63 wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 03:20 am (UTC)

ejh16, it's possible that Binyam Mohamed might have expressed sentiments similar to your own before he actually found himself in the situation he describes in his diary. Human beings are remarkable mammals; exactly what the potential for survival is in any one case is extremely difficult to determine until situations become critical enough to prompt authentic action. Human beings often crumple under such circumstances, but many, like Mohamed, do not. It is hardly helpful for any tormentor to see his or her victim emerge, not as a hapless, easily-disposable victim, but as a hero. Torture & inhuman treatment never works if only for this reason - That torture always contains the potential for creating unlikely & unexpected heroes.

Re: How do humans do it?
eltesoroag wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 05:31 am (UTC)
You Europeans are spineless! All these tears you shed over muslim terrorists who helped murder nearly 3,000 Americans on 9-11, not to mention the degredation and inhumane cruelty they inflicted on the Afghanistan people, is repulsive. There really is something wrong with your priorites, or lack there of.
Have any of you fools heard of 9-11, Bali, 7-7, Beslan, and Mumbai? All mass murders committed by charming muslims not unlike this Binyam Mohamed. You are all Dhimmis (second class citizens) to the vary people who are terrorizing you.
Live Free or Die!
Re: How do humans do it?
jochebed2 wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 07:13 am (UTC)
Binyam Mohamed has never been tried for anything or convicted of anything. He HAS been tortured both by the Americans and their proxies. And there is no such thing as "collective guilt" (of ALL Muslims for 9/11, that what you are implying?) At worst he is a SUSPECT sold to the US in Pakistan, and if Cheney suspects you that doesn't automatically mean you are guilty of anything, nor does it justify torture and false imprisonment. Just because Dick Cheney consciously "went to the dark side" and ordered arbitrariness and sadism against every Muslim male he and his goons could grab, that doesn't make it right, on the contrary as the Bush/Cheney administration profited financially from the torture/rendition/false imprisonment and the two invasions on a false prospectus. Binyam Mohamed must be returned to Britain, his country of asylum, immediately.

gymratone wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 07:58 am (UTC)
Whatever the accuracy of this diary maybe this man attempted to enter the UK illegally in 2000. He was,for some unknown reason given leave to stay. He then eventually decided he needed to sort out his personal problems(inc,apparently a drug habit)so went walkabout in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Obviously a first rate man.I am a bit puzzled as to why he is our problem and obviously costing tax payers money. We really have turned into a very bizarre country.

doug_piranha wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 08:08 am (UTC)
Maybe I am being unkind - but when people like this are accused by the authorities - the word "alleged" is inserted before any crime or action.

Have you any proof that this man is telling the truth ?

Hunger Strike
abudarab wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 08:25 am (UTC)
Would it have been more huumane to let him starve himself to death? He would then at least have gone to Paradise as a Shaheed.
Acce of evil
dkayedon wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 09:47 am (UTC)
We are the "good guys" and the heads, our heads voted in democratically.

how do humans do it?
retox_bob wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 01:23 pm (UTC)
i cant quite see the torture in binyam mohammed`s diary. apart from the unpleasant description of the treatment of his decision to hunger strike there appears to be no other ill treament of this bloke other than what we do to people that suffer with anorexia when all treatments have failed.

gerryj wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 05:47 pm (UTC)
Binyam Mohamed was captured in a war zone. He wasn't forced to go there against his will and he was therefore actively engaged as an enemy combatant against the United States. Therefore he is NOT INNOCENT.

All the abuse he writes about and your headline chronicles is self inflicted due to his self imposed hunger strike, even if it's all true which is questionable.

How do you find sympathy for that person? He's able to eat better, keep cleaner and live healthier at our expense than he ever was capable of on the battle field or, apparently, in London which he left.

You Europeans complain about GITMO yet you won't take your own citizens back. We wish you'd take them back. If you do please be advised that you'll have to jail him or give him housing and food on your welfare/social assistance program if you let him run free and place a 24 hour 7 day per week guard on him to prevent him from leaving the country or blowing up or poisoning your busses and subways.

Until you do that, along with all the other nations who's terrorist citizens are now living in clean, safe conditions and being well fed at our expense, please just say thank you for keeping you safe from these terrorists then sit down and shut up.

An American Citizen

There are so many more stories like this
beth_100 wrote:

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 10:41 pm (UTC)
This is but a small part of one man's Guantanamo story - there are so many more men reduced to mere numbers by the American Military being detained without trial. Year and years of torture, interrogation and abuse.

Mahvish Khan details so many of their stories in her book:

My Guantanamo Diary: the detainees and the stories they told me

I saw her on a panel at the Brisbane Writer's Festival in 2008 and was overwhelmed by the stories she shared and the fact that something so vile and inhumane could happen in my lifetime.

For me this book has been such an eye-opener. I won't pretend I wasn't aware these things were going on, but the scale and extent of them I simply could never have imagined.

And like others posting comments, I am astounded by the strngth of spirit these men possess and their ability to divorce the American people from the actions of their government.

Obama has a huge and complex task ahead of him with Guantanamo, but I do so hope that the Afgan men I read about in Mahvish Khan's book are able to go home to their families - relocating them somewhere else is not what they've been dreaming about during all their years of imprisonment. Real freedom is the freedom to return home.

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