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Foreman says military jury was disgusted by CIA torture


Khan’s description of his torture was reminiscent of portraits in the film “Zero Dark Thirty” and “fragments of things” that Captain Curtis had heard about torture. “What surprised me was that I had someone in front of me who it happened to,” he said.

Captain Curtis has experience in illegal warfare. In 2010, while in command of the USS Ashland, Somali pirates mistook his amphibious dock landing craft for a cargo ship and attacked it in the Gulf of Aden. “We blew them out of the water,” he said. At least five were captured and brought to the United States for trial. One was jailed for 33 years for collaborating with the government. The rest are in federal prison for life.

In Mr Khan’s case, his 26-year sentence was largely symbolic. When he pleaded guilty in 2012, he became a government employee and the parties agreed to postpone the sentencing so that Mr Khan could demonstrate that collaboration as part of a deal that, in return, would reduce his eventual jury verdict.

But the jury was unaware of the deal.

Captain Curtis said he had taught ROTC units in recent years and was well aware of “what 21-year-olds are capable of.” Mr Khan, who was in his 20s, “has done terrible things,” including $50,000 used to fund the 2003 bombing of a Marriott hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, which killed 11 people. “The 41-year-old man before us really regretted what he had done.”

The captain said his letter intentionally “accused no one of illegal acts” and that he was aware of what was allowed under Enhanced Interrogation. “But every time they moved him, banging his head against the wall and hitting him while he was wearing a hood, I don’t think these are legal acts. I think that falls into the torture category.”

The letter asking a senior Pentagon official to grant mercy or leniency to Mr Khan was not read aloud in court. The foreman gave it to the bailiff, a soldier in combat clothing, who handed it to Maj. Michael J. Lyness, the military attorney for Mr. Khan.

The panel then left the courtroom and, as they boarded a ferry across Guantanamo Bay to the neighborhoods where they had been sequestered, they discovered during an internet search that even before handing down his conviction, Mr Khan had a deal that could help him. release as soon as February, or so late February 2025.

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