A federal lawsuit filed here by a local businessman is threatening to derail a multi-billion-dollar nuclear-power deal between the US and the United Arab Emirates.
Why? Because one of the parties in the deal engaged in cruel, barbarous torture. Surprise!! It's not the US!
A 45-minute video smuggled out of the UAE shows Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan -- well, let's use the Times of London language -- "mercilessly and repeatedly beating a man with a cattle prod and a nailed board, burning his genitals and driving his Mercedes over him several times."
Because just driving over him with your Mercedes once is never going to get the message across.
The sheikh, one of 22 brothers of the UAE president and Abu Dhabi crown prince, thought the torturee had screwed him in a business deal.
The Houston businessman who smuggled the video out, Bassam Nabulsi, is suing the sheikh in federal court. He says he was tortured too, after he told the sheikh about the video (Bad move.)
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Because the US never, ever has anything to do with torture, the Obama administration is discussing whether it wants to give the OK to the private nuclear-power deal which had been approved in the last days of W's presidency.
There's more on the video here, from ABC News. According to them, the sheikh knew his way around a torture chamber:
At another point on the tape, the Sheikh can be seen telling the cameraman to come closer. "Get closer. Get closer. Get closer. Let his suffering show," the Sheikh says.
Over the course of the tape, Sheikh Issa acts in an increasingly sadistic manner.
He uses an electric cattle prod against the man's testicles and inserts it in his anus.
At another point, as the man wails in pain, the Sheikh pours lighter fluid on the man's testicles and sets them aflame.
Then the tape shows the Sheikh sorting through some wooden planks. "I remember there was one that had a nail in it," he says on the tape.
The Sheikh then pulls down the pants of the victim and repeatedly strikes him with board and its protruding nail. At one point, he puts the nail next to the man's buttocks and bangs it through the flesh.
"Where's the salt," asks the Sheikh as he pours a large container of salt on to the man's bleeding wounds.
Not your everyday federal siut, to be sure.