Saddam al-Jamal is one of the most senior ISIS commanders to be detained so far and was tipped as a future leader of the death cult.
He gained a reputation for brutality as an ISIS commander with a taste for personally beheading prisoners.
The Jordanian security services believe he masterminded the brutal killing of downed pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh in 2015.
Al-Kasasbeh was a Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot who was shot down in Raqqa, Syria, in December 2014.
A few weeks later, ISIS released a video online showing the 26-year-old being burned alive in a cage – in images that shocked the world.
I had watched that video. Absolutely horrifying. Sick. Enraging.
Al-Jamal has been accused of a series of atrocities, including taking part in a massacre in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor in 2014 which killed 700 members of a tribe that rose up against ISIS.
He had previously been a commander in the Free Syrian Army and then leader of a western-allied ‘moderate’ Islamist group called Ahfab al-Rasoul.
Al-Jamal is said to have ordered the execution of children, sometimes in front of their parents.
In 2014, Iraqi officials claimed that al-Jamal had murdered an entire family after the parents prevented the daughter from marrying him.
Gruesome images released on social media show him gleefully posing with a collection of charred severed heads.
He was one of four leaders of ISIS captured by Iraqi security forces after they were lured from Syria to Iraq with fake Telegram messages.
What would a fitting punishment be for this monster, if he in fact is responsible for the tortured execution of Muath al-Kasasbeh? At best, “live by the sword, die by the sword” and let him be burned alive in a cage to experience the painful death al-Kasabeh experienced. Why? Don’t we become the monster we fight when we resort to the same? No. Even though I admit It would be satisfying to know he died painfully- perhaps know some of the emotions of fear and horror that his victims most likely felt, it’s more about making future killers think twice about how they carry out their violence if they were made to know that their punishment will be as severe if not worse than what they visit upon their victims.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind? No. An eye for “turn the other cheek” only makes me partially blind.
At worst? Hand him over to the Jordanians and let them try, convict, and meet out justice.
Although, Iraqis have plenty cause for justice to meet out, themselves.
Spreading terror has worked before for ISIS, allowing it to punch above its weight. In the weeks before launching an assault on Mosul, Iraq, in June, the group released a series of gory videosshowing the militants brutalizing and killing Iraqi soldiers they had captured. It put the scare in the Iraqi army. When ISIS fighters attacked Mosul, Iraqi soldiers turned and fled despite greatly outnumbering the attackers.
“Wrong. That’s not how it’s done. You’re just holding your breath,” Malcolm Nance wrote to former UFC fighter and Green Beret Tim Kennedy on Twitter.
“As a former SERE instructor #Waterboarding qual’d resistance team member I can tell you it’s about aggression, intent, tiedown, pour technique, rate of flow & other factors. It’s a Nazis/Commie torture. Deal w/it,” Nance added.
There’s no evidence that either the Nazis or the Soviets used the technique, according to another torture expert, Darius Rejali, a professor at Reed College in Oregon.
“You’re holding your beath”?!
According to the Bradbury memo:
A single “application” of water may not last for more than 40 seconds, with the duration of an “application” measured from the moment when water – of whatever quantity – is first poured onto the cloth until the moment the cloth is removed from the subject’s face.
The individual does not breathe any water into his lungs. During those 20 to 40 seconds, water is continuously applied from a height of twelve to twenty-four inches.
In Kennedy’s video, it’s noted that water might fill the mouth, nose, sinuses, larynx, pharynx, and trachea; but not the lungs. With the incline of the board, the lungs are elevated above the waterline to prevent actual drowning.
Meanwhile the torture critics think this isn’t “real” waterboarding because it’s not the kind of waterboarding that leads to drowning. Many of these comments go on to describe how it’s supposed to be done; and what they describe is more along the lines of water torture and sever waterboarding methods THAT IS NOT the CIA DoJ OLC approved version of it.
I’ve read numerous comments from angry torture critics who are dismissing Kennedy’s demonstration because he wasn’t experiencing all the psychological sensations, emotional realism of captivity, the fear, the possibility that he might die that a real high value terrorist might have felt being waterboarded by the CIA. Newsflash: That exactly supports the point that waterboarding the way the CIA did, might not amount to the definition of “torture” (depending on one’s definition) since the physical demonstration isn’t that far removed from the one laid out in the OLC memos. Add in the psychological stress as the missing ingredient to calling it “torture”, and the torture critics are arguing support for the rationale behind the chosen EIT: That it wasn’t causing physical injury but was used more for the psychological effects to make the HVD’s situation appear far more dire than it actually was. A kind of “bluff”.
Also, Code Pink and Democrats are up in arms in outrage over the nomination of Gina Haspel and feeling that there has been zero accountability over waterboarding and other indignations visited upon high value, mid value, and low value terrorists bent upon our destruction.
WASHINGTON — The Democratic staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee has prepared a classified background document on President Trump’s CIA nominee that includes details some senators and aides have found disturbing, four people familiar with the document told NBC News.
The document, which has been made available to senators and cleared aides, describes Gina Haspel’s role in the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program, citing cable traffic and internal CIA messages that were not discussed in her public confirmation hearing.
The sources, some of whom support Haspel and some of whom do not, say the document describes comments by Haspel in support of the CIA’s brutal interrogation program at the time it was ongoing. But they said there was nothing explosive that would change the dynamic of her confirmation chances, which appear to be strong.
Three people familiar with the memo said it was drafted by committee staffer Evan Gottesman, who works closely with Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Haspel opponent. It was then vetted by CIA officers, who took factual issue with some portions. Some of the disputed passages were then removed at the behest of Mike Casey, the Democratic staff director, who works for Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the committee. Warner is considering voting for Haspel.
This should give the torture alarmists some relief, should she be confirmed:
(CNN)Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s pick to be the next CIA director, says in a new letter that the CIA should not have conducted then-President George W. Bush’s interrogation and detention program where waterboarding and other brutal interrogation tactics were used on detainees.
In the letter to Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Haspel takes a position she wasn’t willing to state publicly last week, writing that the interrogation program “is not one the CIA should have undertaken.”
“While I won’t condemn those that made these hard calls, and I have noted the valuable intelligence collected, the program ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world,” Haspel wrote in the letter, which was obtained by CNN. “With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken.”
Haspel’s written comments go further than the statements she made during her public confirmation hearing last week. At the hearing, she said she would not permit the CIA to resume an interrogation program, but she also would not condemn the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program beyond saying she supported the “stricter moral standard” that is now the law.
Haspel has been more forthcoming with senators in their private meetings and in the classified hearing she held with the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. A source with knowledge of the classified session told CNN that Haspel told senators she did believe torture is immoral, but she did not want to be seen as publicly criticizing her colleagues at the CIA.
The higher moral standard should be to protect innocent lives against the monsters in this world.
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.