Innocent Iraqi civilian finally out of US torture camp, after signing untrue form he wasn’t tortured


This 11 July 2011 video says about itself:

US War Crimes Iraq – Camp Bucca Detainees

US soldiers firing live bullets at Iraqi POW’s.

From the New York Times in the USA:

Jailed Two Years, Iraqi Tells of Abuse by Americans

By Michael Moss and Souad Mekhennet

Sunday 18 February 2007

Damascus, Syria – In the early hours of Jan. 6, Laith al-Ani stood in a jail near the Baghdad airport waiting to be released by the American military after two years and three months in captivity.

He struggled to quell his hope. Other prisoners had gotten as far as the gate only to be brought back inside, he said, and he feared that would happen to him as punishment for letting his family discuss his case with a reporter.

But as the morning light grew, the American guards moved Mr. Ani, a 31-year-old father of two young children, methodically toward freedom.

They swapped his yellow prison suit for street clothes, he said. They snipped off his white plastic identification bracelet. They scanned his irises into their database.

Then, shortly before 9 a.m., Mr. Ani said, he was brought to a table for one last step.

He was handed a form and asked to place a check mark next to the sentence that best described how he had been treated:

“I didn’t go through any abuse during detention,” read the first option, in Arabic.

“I have gone through abuse during detention,” read the second.

In the room, he said, stood three American guards carrying the type of electric stun devices that Mr. Ani and other detainees said had been used on them for infractions as minor as speaking out of turn.

“Even the translator told me to sign the first answer,” said Mr. Ani, who gave a copy of his form to The New York Times.

“I asked him what happens if I sign the second one, and he raised his hands,” as if to say, Who knows?

“I thought if I don’t sign the first one I am not going to get out of this place.”

Shoving the memories of his detention aside, he checked the first box and minutes later was running through a cold rain to his waiting parents.

“My heart was beating so hard,” he said. “You can’t believe how I cried.”

His mother, Intisar al-Ani, raised her arms in the air, palms up, praising God. “It was like my soul going out, from my happiness,” she recalled.

“I hugged him hard, afraid the Americans would take him away again.”

Just three weeks earlier, his last letter home – with its poetic yearnings and a sketch of a caged pink heart – appeared in The Times in one of a series of articles on Iraq’s troubled detention and justice system.

After his release from the American-run jail, Camp Bucca, Mr. Ani and other former detainees described the sprawling complex of barracks in the southern desert near Kuwait as a bleak place where guards casually used their stun guns and exposed prisoners to long periods of extreme heat and cold; where prisoners fought among themselves and extremist elements tried to radicalize others; and where detainees often responded to the harsh conditions with hunger strikes and, at times, violent protests.

Through it all, Mr. Ani was never actually charged with a crime; he said he was questioned only once during his more than two years at the camp.

According to Wikipedia, this is how the camp got its present name:

After being taken over by the U.S. military in April 2003, it was renamed after Ronald Bucca, a soldier with the 800th Military Police Brigade and NYC Fire Marshal who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

What an insult to the memory of firefighter Bucca, to name a torture camp after him … with a lying suggestion of a supposed Iraq-9/11 connection as well …

US troops attack Iraqi sheep with grenades: here.

Torture and US psychologists: here.

14 thoughts on “Innocent Iraqi civilian finally out of US torture camp, after signing untrue form he wasn’t tortured

  1. Mr. Ani’s claims don’t measure up. I have been at Camp bucca for the last year. The guards don’t have stun guns. They do have various other less than lethal implementations that are used under strict SOP guidance. Escalation of force procedures are strictly adhered to. Any time a less than leathal measure is used, a spot report goes up detailing the incident along with an investigation to ensure that all procedures were followed properly. As far as living conditions go, the only time that detainees are exposed to the elements is during a head count. The faster that the detainees line up, the faster an accurate head count can take place. I do have respect for detainees that use a form of passive demonstration by lining up but not being counted until they can negotiate for what ever the issue that affects them may be. This form of protest is safe for both the detainees and the guard force and ensures that the detainees needs can be aired out. Finaly one of the biggest problems regarding living conditions for the detainees is how the detainees treat themselves. The guard force treat the detainees with more respect and dignity that the detainees treat each other. Look no further than the dogma of the Wahabi or Takfiri. I have witnessed numerous beatings that were instigated by the aformentioned groups for no other reason than whistling a tune or asking for a cigarette. The U.S. military along with the Iraqi government have tried to make imporovemnts for the detainee population following recomendations form the ICRC. This is becoming more and more dificult with the increase of detainee violence that their vengfull destruction of the caravans, which are climate controled, that they live in. I’ve witnessed the detainees burning down and leveling the very place that offers them protection from the elements. If they are out in the cold or heat, they have no one else but themselves to blame.

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  2. Dear james mckelvy, you write you were at Camp Bucca “for the last year”. Mr Laith al-Ani was there for two years, so how can you be so sure he was supposedly wrong? A prisoner for two years, then released without any charges. How would YOU feel if, say, Iraqis would do that to you?

    If this would not be such a sad story about a place of injustice, it would be amusing how surely you blame the victims (again, not convicted for any crime) for their Bush administration imposed misery; as the overwhelming majority of US personnel in Iraq does not properly speak the Arabic language.

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  3. U.S. Navy charges Iraq camp guards with abuse

    Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:26pm EDT

    By Peter Graff

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Six sailors working as prison camp guards in Iraq face courts martial for abusing detainees, some of whom were sealed in a cell with pepper spray, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday.

    Seven other sailors were given non-judicial punishments over the incident, which took place on May 14 at Camp Bucca, the vast desert camp in southern Iraq where the U.S. military houses 18,000 of its 21,000 prisoners.

    “Two detainees suffered minor abrasions as a result of the alleged assaults, eight others were confined overnight in a detainee housing unit which was sprayed with riot control agent and then the ventilation secured,” the Navy said in a statement.

    The U.S. military’s image was damaged by the scandal over prisoner abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in 2003. Photos of naked detainees stacked in a pyramid and inmates cowering in front of snarling dogs unleashed a wave of global condemnation.

    Eleven low-ranking soldiers were convicted in military courts in connection with physical abuse and sexual humiliation at Abu Ghraib but no U.S. officers were found criminally responsible.

    Navy Fifth Fleet spokeswoman Commander Jane Campbell said the riot control agent used by the guards was pepper spray. None of the victims required medical attention apart from the two who were beaten, she said.

    “The day that this all took place there had actually been some unrest at the camp. There had been some detainee-on-guard issues, which ranged from spitting to throwing bodily functions at some guards,” she said.

    Use of pepper spray in warfare is banned by international treaties on chemical weapons, but many governments say members of their armed forces are permitted to use it in war zones for law-enforcement duties.

    The six facing courts martial have remained with their unit at the prison camp but were removed from duty: “They are no longer doing the mission of guards,” Campbell said.

    The courts martial will begin at Camp Bucca within the next 30 days.

    The seven guards already subjected to the less-severe system of non-judicial punishment had mainly faced accusations that they failed to report the incident, rather than being accused of taking part themselves, she said.

    Two had their charges dismissed and the rest were given reductions in rank, with some also docked pay or confined to base for 45 days.

    (Editing by David Clarke and Samia Nakhoul)

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