Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“No state has an inherent right to survive through conscript troops and, in the long run, no state ever has. Roman matrons used to say to their sons: "Come back with your shield, or on it." Later on, this custom declined. So did Rome.”     Robert A. Heinlein,    The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

January 26, 2009

The Latest Torture Allegation: “One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make a cut…”

by Stephen Gordon

“They cut off my clothes with some sort of doctor’s scalpel.  I was totally naked…

“…One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make a cut.  He did it once, and then stood still for maybe a minute…  …watched my reaction.  It was an agony, crying, trying desperately to suppress my feelings…   …but I was screaming.”

That’s from a video interview I just found at Boing Boing.  Here’s a bit of their description:

In this Boing Boing video episode, we are introduced to Binyam Ahmed Mohamed, an Ethiopian man in his thirties (ACLU bio and a detailed report about his case here). Mr. Mohamed survived extraordinary rendition, secret detention, and torture by the U.S. government working with various other governments worldwide.

The story of what he endured, which included horrific sexual violence during interrogation, was painful for us to watch in the studio, when we were editing this preview piece. But all of us on the BB Video team felt like this was an incredibly important story for the world to hear, and we were grateful for the ability to draw greater attention to the story at this time.

There is a bit of detail about the effectiveness of torture, too.

“They say, ‘This is the story that Washington wants.’ It was about a dirty bomb. I was meant to steal the parts and build it with Jose Padilla in New York. I did not even know what a dirty bomb was at first.”

As late as this evening, the Weekly Standard was still justifying torture.

This Army veteran of over a decade feels physically ill at the moment.

Here’s the video:

TrackBack URI:
Read more posts from
• • •


  1. “Torture” is anything but easily defined or agreed to (try to characterize “mental cruelty”
    as used in divorce cases). regardless, there certainly are ocassions when torture is not only justified, but to not employ it would be ethically unacceptable. It’s pretty easy to make the case with regards to the scum that populates
    Guantanamo these days. I notice that Obama has allowed plenty of room for so-called “torture” in his fuzzy wuzzy declaration of treatment of these
    pigs. What amazes me is that supposedly ethical Americans would even get upset about these execution-ready fellows and their treatment. Perhaps these folks might get outraged by the
    actions of these fine fellows. No, that would make some logical sense – better to get outraged against those who won’t threaten your life – easier and safer that way.

    Comment by kerry bradshaw — January 26, 2009 @ 6:53 pm
  2. Kerry,

    There is no planet, nowhere in this solar system or any other, where slicing a man’s penis with a scalpel in order to obtain information is not considered torture.

    Comment by Stephen Gordon — January 26, 2009 @ 7:04 pm
  3. I don’t really know what to say. If this is true… God, I just don’t know what to say. I’m literally sick to my stomach with anger.

    Comment by Shaun Connell — January 26, 2009 @ 8:04 pm
  4. If you find yourself saying, “It’s okay, because those are the ‘bad guys’”, you may want to follow that thought with asking yourself why they’re the bad guys. Is it because they committed or supported some unspeakable act of cruelty? Then ask yourself how you differ.

    Comment by Akston — January 26, 2009 @ 9:57 pm
  5. And if you believe this, you are a credulous fool

    Comment by Chris Byrne — January 26, 2009 @ 11:29 pm
  6. Why?

    Comment by Akston — January 27, 2009 @ 5:10 am
  7. BTW, Mohammed Binyam had a hearing in front of a tribunal at Gitmo that should go down in history alongside the trial of John Zenger for demonstrating how a man can defeat his enemies by steadfastly exposing their hypocracies.

    It’s detailed in a great book titled 8 O’Clock Ferry to the Windward Side. I’ll see if I can’t get permission to post the chapter concerning his trial.

    Comment by tarran — January 27, 2009 @ 6:44 am

Comments RSS

Subscribe without commenting

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML