This article from Salon by Michael Scherer on the Pentagon's torture method approval process for the "20th hijacker," Mohammed al-Qahtani, at Gitmo made me think, "Wait a minute, I've got a much more messed up account of what Rumsfeld approved in my archives than the one I'm reading here."
But just for context on what's to come, let's just start with this from the Scherer article: "...Rumsfeld revoked the harsher interrogation methods [on al-Qahtani a few days after he approved them], apparently responding to military lawyers who had raised concerns that they may constitute cruel and unusual punishment or torture."
Ok, here's Rumsfeld with radio host Michael Smerconish talking about al-Qahtani's treatment in 2005:
SMERCONISH: I'm reading that we played Christina Aguilera music, that we interrogated this guy in a room that had 9/11 victim photographs on the wall, and I'm saying to myself, pardon me, but where in the hell is the torture?Now, let's go back to the tape -- the the tape in this case being an issue from Time magazine with the cover story, Prisoner 063. Turns out, Time got its hands on the prison logs of the interrogations on al-Qahtani. You tell me if this isn't America's heart of darkness, for all to see:
RUMSFELD: Yeah. There's no torture going on down there and there hasn't been.
11 December 2002With this Salon article, we now know that Rumsfeld was getting weekly updates on Qahtani's "progress."
0100: Detainee was reminded that no one loved, cared, or remembered him. He was reminded that he was less than human and that animals had more freedom and love than he does [sic]. He was taken outside to see a family of banana rats. The banana rats were moving around freely, eating, showing concern for one another. Detainee was compared to the family of banana rats and reinforced that they had more love, freedom, and concern than he had. Detainee began to cry during that comparison.