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Washington Post: FBI Abuse, Unmentioned

May 30, 2008
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By GAP Homeland Security Director Jesselyn Radack. 

I read with dismay an article [May 21] and an editorial [May 25] on a report by the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General, disclosing that FBI officials challenged abusive interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay and other military sites.

Conspicuously absent from this report was any mention of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, although the report covers the relevant period.

Lindh -- an American citizen and one of the earliest prisoners in the Afghan war -- was tortured unmercifully, as shown in a famous photo of him blindfolded and duct-taped naked to a board. The FBI knew about the conditions of his confinement, kept silent about it and did nothing to stop it. Moreover, the FBI denied him access to a lawyer and improperly "Mirandized" him. The confessions elicited from this interrogation formed the basis of his criminal prosecution.

I was the Justice Department's ethics attorney in the Lindh case. While I applaud the Office of Inspector General for finally doing its job in exposing the government's role in detainee abuse, we must not be so desperate for a glimmer of truth and sunshine that we are willing to overlook history.

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