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Seven U.S. military officers wrote a letter urging clemency for Majid Khan, a detainee held at Guantanamo Bay, calling his brutal treatment in CIA custody “a stain on the moral fiber of America.” The officers were part of an eight-member military jury that on Oct. 29 sentenced Khan to 26 years in prison, around the lowest sentence possible under the military commission rules, for his support of al-Qaeda.
The letter, written to a senior Pentagon official who will review the case, came after Khan last week became the first former prisoner at a black site to give an account of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques agents used to extract information from terrorism suspects. In his testimony, Khan detailed the alleged abuses that took place at black sites between 2003 and 2006, including being waterboarded, sexually assaulted, beaten and starved.
In the letter recommending clemency, the officers described Khan’s treatment by the CIA as “physicial and psychological abuse well beyond approved enhanced interrogation techniques, instead being closer to torture performed by the most abusive regimes in modern history.”