Was a man tortured, experimented on, because he had a brain condition, stemming from a head injury, which resulted in compulsive writing and a preoccupation with religious and moral themes? One has to wonder.
This diary is based on documented evidence, declassified and available from emptywheel here, evidence which suggests the theory that Abu Zubaida, a brain-injured man, a man disabled by a known medical condition, was interrogated, subjected to psychological experimentation, and has been held in detention, deprived of his own writings, quite possibly all due to his brain injury in 1992.
If this is the case, this man has been deprived of his liberty, his life, adequate treatment, and his writings – all due to a disability, something he cannot control.
Here are the facts. Abu Zubaida suffered a head injury in 1992. At that time, according to the legal documents, he lost the ability to speak and write. He had to relearn both. This fact indicates that his brain injury, at a minimum, involved the temporal lobe of the brain – the speech center. Following this injury, and the recovery of speech and writing, Abu Zubaida began to write journals. He has completed 11 volumes (some of which appear to have been "lost" by the US government, which confiscated them) and is working on the 12th volume. He also suffers from seizures and has memory problems. These are common after a head injury. And hypergraphia, the compulsion to write, is a syndrome which affects some individuals with "organic temporal lobe lesions". Persons with hypergraphia also show the following characteristics, when compared to other individuals with epilepsy (seizures):
emotional maladjustment, and the number of CT scan abnormalities were significantly greater
The writings of such individuals:
Not only that, some of the symptoms which seem to plague Abu Zubaida the worst, in his solitary confinement at Guantanamo, are also connected to temporal lobe disfunction. For example:
* disturbance of auditory sensation and perception
* disturbance of selective attention of auditory and visual input
* impaired organization and categorization of verbal material
* disturbance of language comprehension
* impaired long-term memory* altered personality and affective behavior
Since 3 out of 4 physicians who have examined Mr. Zubaida at Guantanamo diagnosed his symptoms as seizures (based on the declassified document already cited), and we can conclude that his brain injuries are consistent with temporal lobe involvement, the onset of his compulsive writing shortly after his brain injury, strongly suggests that he suffers from hypergraphia.
A number of prolific writers may have had temporal lobe epilepsy, including Byron, Dante, Dostoevsky, Moliere, Petrarch, Poe, and Tennyson.
Abu Zubaida is a disabled man. He had a brain injury. He suffers from seizures. He has memory and comprehension problems consistent with a temporal lobe disorder. His preoccupation with morality and religion may well be connected to his disability. As may be his hypergraphia. As well as some of his emotional difficulties. And even his connection to jihad – due to his preoccupation with morality and religion.
On top of his disabilties, this man was tortured. Experimented on. Has been left without adequate medical care, his writings confiscated and used against him, in solitary confinement, with noise and lights which most likely exacerbate his brain condition and may bring on some of his seizures.
One has to wonder if they picked up and tortured the wrong man! A disabled individual. One has to wonder to what extent the US has caused him further injury, further emotional harm and even physical harm. One has to wonder if the deprivation of his writings, something he describes as his "worst torture" is indeed itself a war crime – against a disabled man, who needs to write, who describes his writings as like "my child".
The tragedy of this man’s suffering is beyond belief. Especially when you connect all the dots, which suggest that a man suffering from a severe disability has been tortured, experimented on, and left in solitary confinement, in a room where lighting and noise are excruciating, due to his disability, and where deprivation of his writings is also excruciating, due his disability.
The horror of this is a terrible war crime, sitting right on the doorstep of the bush Badministration, which not only failed to adequately diagnose a man in its custody, but has irreparably damaged the same man due to mistreatment, neglect, and outright barbarism.