Disgraceful comments today from Con Couglin, the Daily Telegraph’s ‘executive foreign editor’, on the release of Binyam Mohammed.
Coughlin thinks Mohammed should be sent to Pakistan – the country where he was tortured – “so he can learn what the Taliban was really like” and bring himself “up to date on the Taliban’s latest governmental practices, such as stoning adulterers to death and cutting off the limbs of those accused of theft.”
This is red meat for the Telegraph’s commenters. “The further costs of keeping this scum alive and here far outweighs any other consideration,” one writes.
Coughlin has good sources in US intelligence, sources who have assured him that Mohamed was a highly placed Al Qaeda operative, one who confessed to his US interrogators that “he met Osama bin Laden on several occasions.” That this confession was extracted under torture doesn’t seemto bother Coughlin at all.
Most galling of all is the fact that Coughlin isn’t able even to get the details of Mohamed’s arrest right, claiming he was “he was arrested wandering around Afghanistan.” Perhaps he should read his own paper, which accurately reports that Mohamed was arrested in April 2002 in Karachi airport, as he tried to board a plane back to the UK.
(It would not surprise me at all if Mohamed is/was a low level Al Qaeda operative by the way. If he was, torture has made it impossible to prosecute him.)