The first witness of the day, Dr. Longin Kucharski, a psychologist for the defense, testified Siddiqui suffers from delusional disorder and depression and is unfit for trial. His testimony was blatantly disregarded however because he was prohibited from seeing staff at Carswell Penitentiary in Texas where Aafia has been detained and treated for several months. He had attempted to contact clinical staff there yet all four treating doctors claimed that they were not permitted to speak to him. He sighted Aafia’s August 27, 2008 experience where she ordered her food to be taken off her tray and put into the refrigerator, saw her daughter, and son’s dog as evidence of her hallucinating and revealed that when he interviewed her it was apparent, “she believes she is dead and has already been sentenced to death,” that she believes the whole case is a conspiracy that stems from Pakistan, and that while she has a factual understanding of the circumstances of the case, is not rationale and is incapable of assisting in her defense. While reporting that Aafia constantly inquires about her children, the prosecutor asked Dr. Kucharski if he knew where the three children were and the doctor replied, “I do know where one of her children are.” (referring to her son who was released to her family in Pakistan several months ago). I wanted to say to the prosecutor that it’s probable that he knows full well the whereabouts of the other two children as well, and that at least someone in the government has full knowledge of these facts, but like Mr. Kucharsky’s testimony, that reality or any conversation about Aafia’s whereabouts for 5 years is inadmissible or as it was put by U.S. attorney Ruskin, information about where she was for five years is “not relevant to these proceedings.” These proceedings, as all others in the good ‘ol U.S.A. today, began with the presumption that America does no wrong, that its way of life is superior, no matter what the evidence suggests.
As the prosecutor concluded in his effort to cement the inadmissibility of Dr. Kucharski’s claims, Aafia stood up and spoke for her self. She explained,
“I can solve this whole mess in like two minutes. I was trying to make peace and end the war, I studied with Naom Chomsky. I understand what is going on…. I don’t like being stripped and cuffed, I am not insane, I can assure you… Very few people have an insider’s view like I do. I’m just trying to stop the wars… what God has brought me out of death for is to bring peace. Don’t you want to save your economy, I mean your spending $6 billion every day, and wouldn’t it be nice to end the wars?
She then referenced that this is what she was trying to explain to them while in custody in Baghram, and she proclaimed that she had never shot anyone at all. Yet no one in the courtroom would listen. Judge Berman scolded her in a condescending tone, “Excuse me,” he interrupted. The prosecutors, pleased, pressed forward as her own defense counsel simply ignored every word she proclaimed.
Despite the fact that nearly every professional Aafia had contact with at Carswell found her to suffer from multiple mental health afflictions, the government’s psychiatric appointees still held that she was malingering and faking her ailments. The next witness to take the stand was Dr. Sally Johnson, an academic from the University of North Carolina with a long time history as a Bureau of Prisons psychiatrist that had billed the federal government $81,000 for 200 hours worth of work on the case. They got what they paid for. Dr. Johnson presented in typical friendly fascist form, and informed the defense attorney, Ms. Cardi that Dr. Siddiqui was not delusional and that her statements were “part of her personal belief system, her political views, and her religion.” She stated that Aafia’s thoughts were typical of a “jihadi” worldview, where “many of the things she believes are well accepted in her peer group.” However, it was revealed that Dr. Johnson has never written a peer-reviewed academic article on malingering, never mentioned several of the treating psychologists diagnoses of mental disorder, did not show her report to any of the people she quoted in it, to see if her subjective interpretation of what they said was accurate, left out that many observers had informed her that they did not think Aafia was faking symptoms. Dr. Johnson stated that Aafia’s claim of domestic violence was fabricated and mentions that her husband stated he left her “in pursuit of her radical ideas;” this despite the fact that Aafia’s own academic advisors at Brandeis and MIT confirmed her abuse while she was a student there. It was obvious she hand- selected information to arrive at the conclusions her government employees desired. Every fault that was revealed was followed by Ms. Cardi’s inquiry as to whether the additional circumstance would have altered her diagnosis and each and every time she replied, “NO!” The bias was obvious for all to see. Still, Judge Berman prohibited Ms. Cardi from diving deeper into the obvious prejudice. Aafia’s belief that the end of the case has already been written seemed an accurate assessment. Later, I would catch Dr. Johnson, the objective academic, in the alleyway with none other than the entire prosecution team. For Sister Aafia, truly this world is a prison – her sticking to principles and striving in the face of adversity is a lesson to us all.
Were it a member of the jury found in that alleyway, the case would be thrown out but in this case the testimony of Dr. Johnson, will not represent 1/12th of the ultimate verdict of guilt, instead it will be used to not only guarantee that Aafia will be tried in the United States but also to cement the ability of the prosecution to disregard all that she says, to dismiss her voice as the ramblings of a manipulative liar.
The third witness, Gregory B. Saathoff’s testimony was as weak as Dr. Johnson’s. He judged her as malingering or trying to affect the outcome of his report simply because when he was interviewing Dr. Aafia she said, “When I was in college I could explain myself. Now I can’t explain myself properly. People here say I’m crazy, that means I’m insane.” On page 1 of his report he claims, “I am in agreement with the treating psychiatrist that she fabricates,” but her treating psychiatrist never ever held that opinion. The whole testimony of both government doctors was embarrassing and appalling. However, seemingly no one in the courtroom felt the same way. Tomorrow Fox News, the Associated Press, and the NY Times will all report in ways that make Aafia seem insane. Quite the opposite is true.
Aafia turned finally at the end of the day’s session away from the Kangaroo court and toward the crowd, and especially the small handful of Muslims that were there by her side. She pleaded,
“Because I want to speak about the facts that this courtroom is run by Zionists, they want to diagnose me and medicate me so that I cannot speak.” “I want to make peace in the wars of Afghanistan and Pakistan, I want to make peace but the Zionists do not want peace.” Can you tell the people? She pleaded, “You have to get this out to them” she cried…. The forced strip searching has to stop, they must stop torturing me I understand America’s economy she said… If I die in prison you must let it be known… It might be the Americans that are doing the torture but the Israeli Zionists mastermind the torture, and I’m not saying the Jews.
She then quoted the Injeel Book of Matthew 11:29 and 30 and stated that it is all there if you look. The selection from Matthew she quoted is an alleged quote of Jesus (AS) as he faces persecution at the hands of the Jews. It reads,
29″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!
33″You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.
It seems Aafia is far from insane as she declares. Yet, no one but those concerned with her wellbeing stood there and listened to those words. The judge threw his arms at her brushing off her speech all day. The prosecuting attorneys riled in their pleasure, further justifying their position that Aafia is insane. Her own defense team also paid little attention and clearly sees her as delusional. Her client’s interruptions, Ms. Cardi her lawyer said, were “an example of her mental illness.” They were also an example of her courage, her struggle to reclaim self-control after five years of torture at Baghram. Her reliance on her Lord and suffering in the path of truth may have been evident to those inclined toward peace but no one but Allah (SWT) seemed to be listening. She refused to make tahakkum and arbitrate to the taghout. She identified her persecution as political in reality, admitted she had been badly damaged but was fighting to get back to normalcy. She praised Allah and mentioned that the Muslims in the courtroom were, “all that she had.”
The case record of her testimony in prison recounts rampant reports of her torture and detention at Baghram, that she witnessed her son Sulayman be killed, that her daughter is still missing and she is afraid of what may happen to her, that she was insane and in disarray but that she is getting better. At one point she stated out loud, again with few listening, “I’ve seen a lot of things and I see that I can make peace with those that are just following orders.” Unfortunately, few Americans understand her sentiment. She asked for the opportunity to speak to President Obama, saying that he was a man of peace. This humble stance will not easily be emulated by others as she is unaware that Obama is expanding the War on Terror, continuing secret rendition, continuing military tribunals, and increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan. She is unaware that Obama has begun a new war in Pakistan, creating 2 million refugees in NW Pakistan as unmanned drones continue to kill civilians at will. Others, outside the Belly of the Beast, are not ignorant of this reality and will not find it so easy to forgive. No one in the courtroom listened to Aafia as she explained her self. They may regret calling her insane. As the economy crumbles, and spending on the War against Islam continues to only increase Islam’s hatred for the West, cases like Aafia’s will represent a justification for the future use of swords. “Can you tell the people?” she pleaded – looking into our eyes.
This message is meant to convey for you Aafia and now I ask all listening to do the same. Aafia can be written to at
Aafia Siddiqui (90279-054)
Metropolitan Detention Center
P.O. Box 329002
Brooklyn, NY 11232
Let her know your heart and prayers are with her. Let her know her voice has been heard. We love you sister Aafia! May Allah hasten your release!
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