On February 3, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani national was found guilty in Manhattan Federal Court of attempting to Murder US nationals in Afghanistan, and six other additional charges. Deeply religious, Siddiqui is a delicate 100-pound Muslim woman, who attended MIT and Brandeis University.
On March 30, 2003, Siddiqui left her family home in Gulshan-e-lqbal with her three children, and took a taxi to catch a flight for Rawalpindi. She never reached the airport. Pakistani intelligence agents abducted her and handed her over to US authorities. On that day began her long ordeal of secret imprisonment, interrogations, and years of torture.
Aafia was Prisoner 650 at Bagram prison, where she was called the “Gray Lady of Bagram” for her shrill screams. She was tortured and repeatedly raped over many years. Her lawyer said, “She was a pawn in America’s 'war on terror,’ used, abused, now convicted, and facing life in prison when sentenced, a victim of gross injustice.”
“I do not know whether Siddiqui is innocent or guilty. However, I do know that permitting jailers, spies, kidnappers and assassins to operate outside of the rule of law contaminates us with our own bile. Siddiqui is one victim. There are thousands more we do not see. These abuses, justified by the war on terror, have created a system of internal and external state terrorism that is far more dangerous to our security and democracy than the threat posed by Islamic radicals.”
Thus scribbled Chris Hedges in an article called, The Terror-Industrial Complex . In 2002, Chris had received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Chris is as much American as apple pie is, yet his sympathy for an alien woman is evident in his article.
Stephen Lendman, a Research Associate of the Center for Research on Globalization wrote in an article, Aafia Siddiqui: Victimized by American Injustice, “Siddiqui is innocent of all charges, yet the DOJ claimed she was involved in biochemical warfare. In fact, she devised a computer program, enlisted adult volunteers to watch various objects move randomly across the screen, then reproduce what they recalled. The idea was to learn how well they retained information after viewing it on a computer. It had nothing to do with terrorism, biochemical warfare, or blowing up New York targets, charges never appearing in her indictment.”
Her sentencing is scheduled for May 6. She faces a maximum sentence of 120 years in prison for the attempted murder and armed assault charges. Two of her children, Maryam and Suleman, disappeared and are suspected to have been killed. Her son Mohammed was released with the condition that he will not speak about his tribulation.
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Paul Craig Roberts