Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Torture Update

Human Rights First reports that 45 "War On Terror" prisoners were suspected or confirmed homocides. 98 detainees have died. The report notes that no CIA agent or high ranking officer has been charged.

Highlights from the report.


The cases also include that of Abed Hamed Mowhoush, a former Iraqi general beaten over days by U.S. Army, CIA and other non-military forces, stuffed into a sleeping bag, wrapped with electrical cord, and suffocated to death. In the recently concluded trial of a low-level military officer charged in Mowhoush's death, the officer received a written reprimand, a fine, and 60 days with his movements limited to his work, home, and church.


The officer sounds like a real Christian man. It's gets worse.


Of the close to 100 deaths in U.S. custody in the global war on terror, at least a third were victims of homicide at the hands of one or more of their captors. At least eight men, and as many as 12, were tortured to death. 4 The homicides also include deaths that the military initially classified as due to natural causes, and deaths that the military continues to classify as "justified." This chapter briefly reviews the facts of some of these worst cases, and the consequences or not for those involved.


More.


So then the interrogator came that used to interrogate [me] in the Baghdadi jail. . . . He told me: "We are going to let you see your father." Of course this was a point of relief. [Mohammed was taken by U.S. forces to the facility where his father was held, the "Blacksmith Hotel."]. . . . They took me to my father's room. He was under very tight security. I looked in and I saw him. He looked completely drained and distraught and the impacts or signs of the torture were clear on him. His clothes were old and torn. He was really upset. When I first saw him I was overwhelmed and had a breakdown. I started crying and I embraced him and I told him: "Don't worry. I am brave. I am going to be able to handle these circumstances like you taught me." At this instant the interrogator stormed in. He grabbed me and I tried to remain seated . . . . So he threatened my father that if he didn't speak he would turn me over to the men who interrogated my father and do to me what they did to him or he would have me killed in an execution operation . . . . So they took me to him and they said: "This is your son, we are going to execute him if you don't confess." My father didn't confess. One of them pulled me to a place where my father couldn't see. He pulled his gun, he took it out of the place where it was kept and he shot a fire into the sky. And he hit me a hit so that I would cry out. So, this moment there was at the place where I was, blood, I mean drops of blood. They [then] took [me] to the side and they brought my father and said: "This is your son's blood. We killed him. So, it is better for you to confess lest this happen to the rest of your sons." My father, when he saw the blood, he must have thought that I had been killed. At this moment, he fell to the ground.


The CIA wants to cover their tracks.


Reports of internal efforts at the CIA to address detainee abuse by agents are less than encouraging. After completing a review in spring 2004 of CIA detention and interrogation procedures in Afghanistan and Iraq, the CIA Inspector General made 10 recommendations for changes, including more safeguards against abuse, to CIA Director Porter Goss. 82 Eight of the 10 have been “accepted,” 83 but the changes did not apparently prevent consideration of a proposal for handling deaths of detainees in CIA custody. According to the Washington Post: "One proposal circulating among mid-level officers calls for rushing in a CIA pathologist to perform an autopsy and then quickly burning the body."


Abdul Jameel was most likely choked to death with a baton.


Jameel's death was a homicide caused by "Blunt Force Injuries and Asphyxia" - a lack of oxygen.The autopsy found "[t]he severe blunt force injuries, the hanging position, and the obstruction of the oral cavity with a gag contributed to [his]death. The autopsy detailed evidence of additional abuse Jameel suffered: a fractured and bleeding throat, more than a dozen fractured ribs, internal bleeding, and numerous lacerations and contusions all over his
body.


Iraqi Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said, "They are human beings, they violate the law, they make mistakes and they have to be held accountable."

Mistakes? Is this a mistake?


A Navy SEAL reported that the CIA interrogator leaned into al-Jamadi's chest with his forearm, and found a pressure point, causing al-Jamadi to moan in pain. A government report states that another CIA security guard "recalled al-Jamadi saying, 'I'm dying. I’m dying,' translated by the interpreter, to which the interrogator replied, 'I don't care,' and, 'You'll be wishing you were dying.'"


Read the report.

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