By Gordon Duff for Veterans Today and Americans of Honor
Last year, an Israeli-American Judge Richard Berman oversaw one of America’s strangest trials. The CIA claimed it arrested Dr. Aafia, a scientist with a doctorate from MIT, wife of a local Boston Anesthesiologist and young mother of two in Karachi in 2008 with plans to blow up American facilities around the world. Every word told the court, told the press is a lie. Aafia was kidnapped by a street gang working for the son of former Pakistani President Musharaff in early 2003. From 2003 to 2008, she was moved from prison to prison eventually ending up at Bagrham Air Force Base in Afghanistan.
Not a word of this came out in trail. This information is an “official secret” of the United States government, one withheld from a jury in order to convict someone totally innocent and to protect members of the Bush administration from even more personal embarassment for abuses of constitutional rights.
Finally, after five years of torture, during which her two children who were dragged off the street with her in 2003 had “disappeared” she was suddenly listed as having returned to earth. 5 years of rape and torture had left a beautiful young woman crippled, scarred and weakened. Why was she kidnapped in the first place?
You can’t make things like this up. In response to the failure of the War on Terror to gather enough “suspects” to avoid criticism, Vice President Cheney and Attorney General Ashcroft devised a program to buy suspects. To do this, the CIA contracted with private security companies to supply “bodies” for the rendition program. They took anyone they could find from any Islamic country in the world. They didn’t know who they got, they simply dragged them into vans, delivered them to airports and flew them to secret prisons. This time, they got a mother and two small children, a scientists and a well known, prominent member of Boston’s intellectual community, on a visit to her family.
75% of all suspects arrested during the Bush era had to be released the moment they were allowed in court, all because of “misidentification.” 100% of those arrested under the Cheney – Ashcroft program were “misidentified” though some are still being held in prisons, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Hundreds more, maybe thousands, died in captivity or during kidnapping. None were terrorists. In fact, US officials had no idea who they had and, in fact, many held as terrorists, particularly those who have “given” testimony, aren’t the people the US government claims they are.
The single biggest terrorist the United States claims it holds is Osama bin Laden’s cook. They know he is bin Laden’s cook because another kidnap victim, while being tortured, admitted to it to avoid drowning or electrocution. During World War II, Germany’s GESTAPO ran a much more humane and restricted program than this. Their leader, Heinrich Himmler, was hanged as a war criminal.
Despite an attempts to tie Dr. Aafia to terrorism, no evidence that would stand up in court could be found. She was convicted of attempting to murder her captors.
Aafia, by this time wheelchair bound, was accused of trying to kill up to 8 Americans, Special Forces, Navy Seals along with FBI and CIA interrogators. This was really another rape and torture session, a gang rape. She was the closest thing to a young woman that the CIA had locked up in Baghram, all “they” had available. With 8 men in the room and Aafia weighing less than 90 pounds, she was shot in the abdomen for “resisting” her attackers.
She was shot by a CIA translator.
Dr. Aafia has a doctorate from MIT. She is a Boston resident. Her husband was a local physician in Boston. She had spoken English all her life. Judge Berman complained that Aafia kept calling him a liar in court. Why would she do that?
Think of the OJ Simpson trial. “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Dr. Aafia, “arrested in 2003” and missing in the CIA’s rendition “gulag” for 5 years is shot by a translator while being held at an American Air Force base in Afghanistan. When did the United States Air Force begin allowing kidnapping, rape and torture on its bases? What happened to the two children that were picked up? Does the CIA buy and sell children now also and if so, for what purpose?
ABANDONED BY PAKISTAN
Admiral Iftikhar Sirohey, former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff of Pakistan asked me to contact his good friend and counterpart in the United States, General Colin Powell. Sirohey, good friend of, not only Powell but President Ronald Reagan, forwarded a private letter to General Powell to intercede for Dr. Aafia. Powell has never responded.
No major political leader in Pakistan other than Imran Khan has spoken out. Military leaders, many close friends with their American counterparts, say little. Even the media in Pakistan has difficulty telling the real story. Telling the truth is seen as “bad taste,” too sexual in nature, too inflammatory and too anti-American.
DEMAND FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF DR. AAFIA AND THE ARREST OF PAT TILLMAN’S MURDERERS
Enough has been done to dishonor the United States and those who have fought for her for nearly 250 years. America has made mistakes but never anything like this. We never kidnapped and tortured women, we never murdered children in cold blood. The prison Dr. Aafia was held in, raped and beaten for years, was under the command of General Stanley McChrystal, now drawing his pension and hoping he won’t be indicted in the murder of Pat Tillman, subject of an upcoming film.
There will be no movie about Dr. Aafia. In the midst of building the largest drug cartel in history, larger by far than the Columbia – Mexico cartel, America has destabilized Pakistan, started a civil war in Afghanistan and built a criminal empire that now has enough money to influence American elections. Dr. Aafia was an innocent victim, simple “window dressing” for the real business at hand, the $65 billion dollar a year heroin industry entirely run by the United States and its “allies” in Afghanistan.
Torturing innocent kidnap victims, drone attacks on civilians and murdering American soldiers who speak up has been part of it. Originally a Bush war crime, it is all continuing into the Obama administration. Spineless silence is allowing it to continue.
Activists Demand Aafia Siddiqui’s Repatriation to Pakistan; International Signatories in Plea to US Attorney General
As Pakistan celebrates Independence Day, over 150 signatories call for the urgent repatriation of Aafia Siddiqui to Pakistan in an open letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, drafted by the Justice for Aafia Coalition, as part of a coordinated transatlantic campaign of petitions.
Amongst the signatories of the letter published today are British parliamentarian Lord Nazir Ahmad, human rights lawyers Sir Geoffrey Bindman and Gareth Peirce, Imran Khan, former Chief Justices and the Grand Mufti of Pakistan.
At the start of a weekend of action, a delegation headed by the New York based International Action Center and the Peace Thru Justice Foundation will deliver a petition to the Pakistani Mission to the United Nations (8 East 65th St) at 12 noon on August 14th to the office of Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon. In Pakistan, activists will simultaneously hold a Free Aafia protest camp at the Quaid’s Mausoluem. This will be followed by a day of protest in solidarity with Aafia Siddiqui outside the US embassy, London, organised by JFAC on August 15th, followed by a Lawyers’ March in Pakistan before presenting a resolution to Prime Minister’s House on Monday 16th August.
Fowzia Siddiqui, the sister of Aafia Siddiqui, stated:
“14th August 2010 marks the 8th year of independence celebration after the abduction of Aafia and her children and the continued captivity of Aafia and the unknown fate of Suleiman. It also marks the 9th year of torture, rendition and war-crimes committed in the name of a so called “war on Terror”. Just as Aafia has been betrayed by those who were supposed to defend and protect her interests, even close relations, so too has this nation been betrayed by those who are supposed to uphold its interests, even those entrusted by sworn oaths. As the daughter is betrayed, so is the nation. The Pakistani people know that Aafia’s fate is Pakistan’s fate; if we fail her, we will fail ourselves.”
Maryam Hassan, founder of the Justice for Aafia Coalition commented:
“As Dr Siddiqui enters her eighth Ramadan in solitary, since her disappearance in 2003, we are united with one voice, urging the governments of the U.S. and Pakistan to take urgent action to ensure that she is finally returned to her home country and to her family. This Kafkaesque nightmare has persisted for seven years too long.”
Mauri’ Saalakhan, Director of Operations for The Peace Thru Justice Foundation, heading the NYC delegation, said:
“Of all the cases I’ve dealt with, in the 25 years that I’ve been a human rights advocate, the case of this young Muslim woman has been the heaviest on my heart. When I think of the late Sen. Ted Stevens (who represented Alaska in the U.S. Senate for 40 years), I think of a once powerful American politician who, in the twilight of his otherwise impressive political career, was convicted of (and lost his senate seat as a result of) corruption; who later had his conviction vacated by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder because of prosecutorial misconduct. If Eric Holder can nullify the conviction of a once powerful republican politician, simply because of a tainted process, he should also be able to intervene in the wrongful prosecution of a Muslim woman who was clearly victimized by a far greater example of a tainted and fundamentally unjust process.”
A copy of the open letter in support of Aafia Siddiqui can be downloaded at:
The International Action Center’s petition can be accessed at:
Details of the weekends’ events are listed here:
Notes for editor:
1. The Justice for Aafia Coalition is an umbrella body for a number of organizations, groups, and activists created in February 2010 to campaign for the release and return of Aafia Siddiqui and for the opening of a full investigation into the circumstances of her detention and the whereabouts of her children.
2. The International Action Center is committed to the building broad-based grassroots coalitions to oppose to U.S. wars abroad while fighting against racism and economic exploitation of workers here at home.
The IAC has mobilized nationally against racist police brutality, to end the death penalty, and defense of political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier and the Cuban Five.
3. Aafia Siddiqui’s lawyers maintain that she was abducted by the Pakistani and US agents along with her three children in 2003 and rendered to Afghanistan where she was detained by American forces for over five years. Siddiqui claims she was abused, raped and tortured throughout her detention. She was convicted in February 2010 of allegedly firing on US soldiers while in custody in what appears to have been a grave miscarriage of justice. She is due to be sentenced on September 23rd.
3. For full details of the case, please visit www.justiceforaafia.org and www.freeaafia.org.