Tuesday, December 21, 2004
I Can't Take It Anymore!
- "They tortured me from morning until the morning of the next day, and when I fell down from the severe torture I fell on the barbed wires, and then they dragged me from my feet and I was wounded and, and they punched me on my stomach."
- "He described that such abuses included strangulation, beatings, placement of lit cigarettes into the detainees ear openings, and unauthorized interrogations."
- Four days after entering the Mosul detention facility, Abdul Kareem was found dead in his cell. The medic who examined him found multiple wounds, a laceration on his head surrounded by internal bleeding, bruising on his abdomen and a clear fluid in his right ear. Although the body was sent to Baghdad for autopsy, the battalion and group command canceled the procedure.
These are just a few excerpts from articles suggesting that the abuse of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay may have gone all the way up to the White House. According to one article the abuses were authorized under an executive order.
- Repeated references in an internal FBI email suggest that the president issued a special order to permit some of the more objectionable torture techniques used at Abu Ghraib and other US-run prison facilities around Iraq. The email was among a new batch of FBI documents revealed by civil rights advocates on Monday. Other documents describe the initiation of investigations into alleged incidents of torture and rape at detention facilities in Iraq.
An Executive Order is a presidential edict -- sometimes public, sometimes secretive -- instituting special laws or instructions that override or complement existing legislation. The White House has officially neither admitted nor denied that the president has issued an Executive Order pertaining to interrogation techniques.
The specific methods mentioned in the email as having been approved by the unnamed Executive Order and witnessed by FBI agents include sleep deprivation, placing hoods over prisoners’ heads, the use of loud music for sensory overload, stripping detainees naked, forcing captives to stand in so-called "stress positions," and the employment of work dogs. One of the more horrifying tools of intimidation, Army canines were used at the prison to terrorize inmates, as depicted in photos taken inside Abu Ghraib.
From another article:
- The White House was responding to newly released FBI e-mails that reported some military interrogators, posing as FBI agents to avoid being held accountable, used torture techniques. One told of an interrogation at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in which a detainee was wrapped in an Israeli flag and bombarded with loud music and strobe lights.
The e-mails also described detainees at Guantanamo being shackled hand and foot in a fetal position on the floor. They were kept in that position for 18 to 24 hours at a time and most had urinated or defecated on themselves.
On one occasion, an FBI agent reported having seen a detainee left in an unventilated, non-air conditioned room at temperatures probably well over 100 degrees. "The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night," the agent noted.
The memos covered a two-year period that ended in August, well after a scandal erupted in April about abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
And this from the ACLU:
- The new documents also contain extensive details about an array of other abuse investigations. These include:
- An apparent attempt by a soldier in Baghdad to force a detainee to hold a gun to create the appearance of a justifiable homicide.
- Two mock executions of Iraqi juveniles by Army personnel (documents obtained by the ACLU two weeks ago showed that U.S. Marines had also conducted a mock execution of juvenile detainees).
- Allegations of a competition among Army dog handlers at Abu Ghraib prison to see who could make Iraqi detainees urinate themselves the fastest.
- The use of death threats during interrogations. Command failures in providing appropriate training to military interrogators in Baghdad detention facilities.
(You can view all of the ACLU's documents pertaining to abuse here.)
We were told that the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison were an isolated incident commited by a handful of rogue soldiers. This was a lie. Unfortunately, I've lost track of just exactly how many lies we, the American people, have been told by this administration. Yet nobody has been held accountable. When is the buck going to stop? When will someone in the press ball-up enough to ask the questions and start an investigation?
We have been lied to from the beginning of this debacle known as the War in Iraq. We were told that Saddam possessed WMD. We were told that we would be greeted as liberators. We were told that we had enough troops on the ground to do the job. We were told that the capture of Saddam would break the insurgency. We were told that the insurgency consisted of a handful of former Saddam loyalists. We were told that the retaking of Fallujah would break the back of the insurgents. We were told... We were told... We were told... We were told...
How many more lies will we tolerate? How many more deaths will we put up with? How many more families will be destroyed before someone decides that they have had enough. Who fucking cares if this is a "war president?" He is lying to us! We owe it to our country and to our soldiers to find out the truth!
Everyday that this war goes unchecked is another day that we are being lied to. It's another day that a soldier is putting his or her life on the line for a lie. Presidents have been impeached for lies that didn't lead to anyone's death, so why are we allowing this president to get away this? For every day that goes by, for every soldier that dies, for every Iraqi civilian killed, we deserve an answer. When are we going to get them?