Abu Jandal’s guards were so intimidated by him, they wore masks to hide their identities and begged visitors not to refer to them by name in his presence. He had no intention of cooperating with the Americans; at their first meetings, he refused even to look at them and ranted about the evils of the West. Far from confirming al-Qaeda’s involvement in 9/11, he insisted the attacks had been orchestrated by Israel’s Mossad. While Abu Jandal was venting his spleen, Soufan noticed that he didn’t touch any of the cookies that had been served with tea: “He was a diabetic and couldn’t eat anything with sugar in it.” At their next meeting, the Americans brought him some sugar-free cookies, a gesture that took the edge off Abu Jandal’s angry demeanor. “We had showed him respect, and we had done this nice thing for him,” Soufan recalls. “So he started talking to us instead of giving us lectures.”
It took more questioning, and some interrogators’ sleight of hand, before the Yemeni gave up a wealth of information about al-Qaeda including the identities of seven of the 9/11 bombers but the cookies were the turning point. “After that, he could no longer think of us as evil Americans,” Soufan says. “Now he was thinking of us as human beings.”
Hard to believe… well, actually it’s not. These people are taught that us “evil Americans” will rape and torture them when we get them in custody. Soufan proved those beliefs wrong…
… then Cheney, Gonzalez, the CIA, and Abu Ghraib proved them right.