Maybe it’s all true, and mall bombing suspect Nuradin Abdi has been tortured in prison in Ohio, but I doubt that prosecutors would give themselves that large a self-inflicted wound. Instead, it looks as if CAIR and Abdi’s other defenders are trying to set up some kind of abuse case, along with the usual charges of discrimination. Maybe they have calculated that this is the sort of thing that will play well after Abu Ghraib. From AP:
In the courtroom, Nuradin Abdi pressed his face onto a glass-covered tabletop, jerked his head randomly and muttered as his attorney successfully sought the evaluation before trial begins.
Many of Abdi’s supporters who attended Wednesday’s hearing said they were disturbed to see his shuffling gait and distracted behavior. Abdi has been held in federal detention since his arrest in November.
“It was like a different person,” said his 17-year-old brother, Mohamed AbdiKarani, who said Abdi is innocent. “He looked at me; he didn’t know who I was.” …
“The government took a healthy man, and what we have here is a broken man, mentally,” said his lawyer, Mahir Sherif. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dana Peters said he did not object to the evaluation but added, “We have no evidence of any abuse of Mr. Abdi.” …
Jad Humeidan, executive director of the Ohio office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Abdi was his friend, and always quick to volunteer to help new Somali immigrants find translators, jobs and housing.
“Just seeing Nuradin in court was an emotional experience,” Humeidan said. “This wasn’t the Nuradin that we know. This was just the shell of a man.”
About 100 supporters, including Abdi’s family, filled the seats in the courtroom and stood along the walls. Afterward they joined about 200 other supporters in front of the courthouse, where many waved small American flags and a few held up signs that read “Nuradin is 100 percent innocent” and “Patriot Act Religious Profiling.” …
Sherif said it was too early for him to comment about the charges but added, “It’s not beyond the government to make mistakes for whatever reason.”
That is true. Still, I doubt that this man was tortured. We’ll see what evidence comes in.