Friday, June 16, 2006

Makes you proud to be an American

If your favorite drink is Kool-Aid. The Tower of Rumsfeld, formerly known as the Pentagon, has released another report on prisoner abuse in Iraq. The details would bring a smile to Stalin himself.
United States Special Operations troops employed a set of harsh, unauthorized interrogation techniques against detainees in Iraq during a four-month period in early 2004, long after approval for their use was rescinded, according to a Pentagon inquiry released Friday.

The investigation is the last of 12 major inquiries to be made public that focus on allegations of detainee abuse by American personnel in Cuba, Afghanistan and Iraq, and the first to focus on Special Operations troops, who operate with more latitude than other military units. It detailed harsh treatment that continued at isolated bases even after the abuses first surfaced at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Special Operations interrogators gave some detainees only bread or crackers and water if they did not cooperate, according to the investigation, by Brig. Gen. Richard P. Formica of the Army. One prisoner was fed only bread and water for 17 days. Other detainees were locked for as many as seven days in cells so small that they could neither stand nor lie down, while interrogators played loud music that disrupted their sleep.

The inquiry also determined that some detainees were stripped naked, drenched with water and then interrogated in air-conditioned rooms or in cold weather. General Formica said it appeared that Navy Seals had used that technique in the case of one detainee who later died during questioning in Mosul in 2004, but he reported that he had no specific allegations that the use of the technique was related to that death.
He also suggested that the moon's green cheese might be of military value.

In the report, Brig. Gen. Formica said that he did not investigate the underlying incidents that led to the investigation, or check the existing documentation for completeness or accuracy, relying instead on the military's own previous findings on the incidents. Those previous findings, unfortunately, appear to have been from investigations which were stonewalled, where members of the Special Forces used fake names and mysteriously "lost" the great majority of their files, and in which the Criminal Investigations (CID) officer on site stated that he was "unable to thoroughly investigate suspects and witnesses because of their involvement in the Special Access Program and/or the security classification of the unit they were assigned to during the offense."

The Special Access Program was specifically approved by Rumsfeld and his assistants in the Pentagon.

Amongst the allegations not investigated further are this one, in which a US soldier over at Abu Ghraib swore an oath indicating that a young Iraqi claimed to have been sexually and physically abused and sodomized while imprisoned by US Special Forces.

The US soldier swore an oath indicating that the Iraqi in question "could not sit and was bleeding from the rectum". This claim of sexual assault while under Special Forces imprisonment appears to have been backed up by numerous other sworn statements from US soldiers.

According to the sworn statement of one soldier:
"In my opinion, (prisoner's name redacted) came in emotionally and physically abused. (Prisoner) said, I don't remember in exact words, "they have taken everything from me."

I don't know the name of their capturing unit. All I know is they came from the palace. . . I don't know if they got a rectal investigation. . . When SF (Special Forces troops, such as Task Force 626) brought detainees in . . . you could see that they were facially abused. I don't know which SF unit. I saw detainees with bruises, black eyes, beaten, physical abuse. If we get them like that, we'll stop and take them to the aid station or MPs, that way we're cleared of it. We don't want it said that it happened here. . ."

Over the course of my time here, I've seen maybe ten detainees come in here physically abused, downright beaten and tortured, and I've easily screened hundreds of detainees. The only trend associated with that abuse would be SF (Special Forces) detainees. One of the first questions I'd ask was "why were you detained" and if they would mention (redacted) it was usually associated with extortion, and "he beat me". Those were the two trends right there."

So basically, these are very serious allegations with numerous sworn statements backing them up. It should be of real concern that the US' best troops would act in such a manner, with such impunity.

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