WASHINGTON - Accused al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed complained that interrogators tortured lies out of him, though he proudly took responsibility for more than two dozen other terror plots, according to sections of government transcripts released yesterday.
"I make up stories," Mohammed said at one point in his 2007 hearing at Guantanamo Bay, where he is detained.
In broken English, he described an interrogation in which he was asked the location of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
"Where is he? I don't know," Mohammed said. "Then he torture me. Then I said, 'Yes, he is in this area or this is al-Qaeda which I don't him.' [sic] I said no, they torture me."
Yet at the same military tribunal hearing, Mohammed ticked off a list of 29 terror plots in which he took part.
The transcripts were released as part of a lawsuit in which the American Civil Liberties Union seeks documents and details of the government's terror-detainee programs.
Previous accounts of the tribunal hearings had been made public, but the Obama administration went back and reviewed the still-secret sections and determined that more could be released.
ACLU lawyer Ben Wizner called on the administration to disclose more details, saying the new materials "provide further evidence of brutal torture and abuse in the CIA's interrogation program and demonstrate beyond doubt that this information has been suppressed solely to avoid embarrassment and growing demands for accountability."
Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said the new materials were released voluntarily by the government, which is keeping other portions secret to protect intelligence-gathering sources and methods.
Most of the new material centers on the detainees' claims of abuse during interrogations while being held overseas in CIA custody.
Detainee Abu Zubaydah told the tribunal that after months "of suffering and torture, physically and mentally, they did not care about my injuries."
He was the first detainee subjected to Bush administration-approved harsh interrogation techniques, which included waterboarding and slamming the suspect into walls. Zubaydah contended in the hearing that he "nearly died four times."
He said that after many months of such treatment, authorities concluded he was not the No. 3 person in al-Qaeda as they had long believed.