Mamdouh Habib still has a bruise on his lower back. He says it is a sign of the beatings he endured in a prison in Egypt. Interrogators there put out cigarettes on his chest, he says, and he lifts his shirt to show the marks. He says he got the dark spot on his forehead when Americans hit his head against the floor at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
After being arrested in Pakistan in the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, he was held as a terror suspect by the Americans for 40 months. Back home now, Mr. Habib alleges that at every step of his detention - from Pakistan, to Egypt, to Afghanistan, to Guantánamo - he endured physical and psychological abuse.
The physical abuse, he said, ranged from a kick "that nearly killed me" to electric shocks administered through a wired helmet that he said interrogators told him could detect whether he was lying.
Is it true? Is it verifiable? It no longer even matters. There are too many similar stories for every one of them to be false, too many people with accounts of torture and abuse and "rendition" for all of them to be invented.
The people who attack us now don't hate us for our freedom. We have given them countless reasons to hate us. And destroyed our own justice system in the process. One reason Mr. Habib wasn't charged with any crime is clear: nothing he said would be admissable in a court of law.
Which, of course, is another reason the Bush Administration continues to flout the ruling of the Supreme Court with regard to the prisoners at Guantanamo. And still we haven't captured Osama Bin Laden, or seriously impaired the insurgency in Iraq.
Will stories such as this, finally being reported in the U.S., open more eyes? Tonight, "The Big Story" on FoxNews was an allegation by a woman that 30 years ago Bill Cosby "groped" her.
They report. You decide. I'll retire to Bedlam....