They said that in addition to the bad conditions they face every day, they now go through constant physical body searches. They are searched before they enter every room. The search involves pulling down their trousers and having guard’s hands enter inside their underwear, and that is a terrible violation of the personal dignity of these men in particular, and because of their religious beliefs they feel strongly offended and increases their misery. Another complain (sic) that they told me was the punishment of forced nudity they were forced to go through. This clearly violates the Geneva Convention. This is all humiliation. In addition, it seems that this humiliation is done for the sake of humiliation. It is not physical torture only, but physiological torture as well.
Again, Remes portrayed American military personnel at Gitmo as being anti-Muslim. In reality, Gitmo has long been compliant with the Geneva Convention. The idea that the American military is humiliating Muslims just for the “sake of humiliation” is a disgusting smear.
During another interview with the Yemen Observer in July 2008, Remes played the blame Bush game and said America has a “neocolonial mentality.” He said shaving detainees’ beards was a tactic comparable to those “practiced by the Nazis against Jews in the 1930’s.”
Again, this type of inflammatory rhetoric does not serve some noble legal process. It adds to the well of anti-Americanism that exists in Yemen and throughout the Muslim world.
In the same Yemen Observer interview, Remes described his clients as innocents who are wrongly detained. “Crimes against the US would consist of September 11, the attacks on US Embassies and the attacks to the USS Cole. One of my clients is Abdul-Slam al-Hailah. Is he a terrorist? He is a prominent businessman from Sana’a, very influential, very much respected, and well-connected,” Remes said.
The name of the detainee Remes referred to can also be rendered as Abdul al Salam al Hilal. To answer Remes’ question: Yes, there is every indication that al Hilal is a terrorist – and an important one at that.
Steve Hayes and I previously profiled him for The Weekly Standard. According to documents produced at Gitmo, U.S. intelligence authorities concluded that while al Hilal worked for the Yemeni government’s political security organization (PSO) he used his well-placed position to move al Qaeda terrorists around and get some freed from jail.
In the summer of 2000, al Hilal visited the Islamic Cultural Institute in Milan, which was used by al Qaeda to recruit and facilitate the movement of terrorists around the globe. The Italians monitored the institute for some time and shut it down (at least for a time) after the September 11 attacks. The Italians wiretapped the institute, and found al Hilal saying:
Well, I am studying airplanes! If it is God's will, I hope to bring you a window or a piece of a plane next time I see you. . . . We are focusing on the air alone. . . . It is something terrifying, something that moves from south to north and from east to west: the man who devised the program is a lunatic, but he is a genius. It will leave them stunned. . . . We can fight any force using candles and planes. They will not be able to halt us, not even with their heaviest weapons. We just have to strike at them, and hold our heads high. Remember, the danger at the airports. If it comes off, it will be reported in all the world's papers. The Americans have come into Europe to weaken us, but our target is now the sky.