US in Afghanistan has own “Abu Ghraib” torture

This video from the USA is called Moazzam Begg on detainment, torture, and civil liberties 1/5.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

From the Google cache.

US in Afghanistan has own “Abu Ghraib” torture

Linking: 10 Comments: 5

Date: 2/18/05 at 5:11PM

Mood: Thinking Playing: War, by Edwin Starr

From the article below:

Meanwhile, photographs taken in southern Afghanistan showing US soldiers from the 22nd Infantry Battalion posing in mock executions of blindfolded and bound detainees, were purposely destroyed after the Abu Ghraib scandal to avoid “another public outrage”, the documents show.

Hey, I thought I read recently that Ms Rose Mary Woods, ex secretary of Richard Nixon, of Watergate scandal legal evidence destroying fame, had died.

Was that report untrue and is Ms Woods still working, for George W. Bush???

From British daily The Guardian:

Papers reveal Bagram abuse

· Prisoners subjected to ‘mock executions’
· Photographs of detainees being sexually humiliated

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington and James Meek

Friday February 18, 2005

New evidence has emerged that US forces in Afghanistan engaged in widespread Abu Ghraib-style abuse, taking “trophy photographs” of detainees and carrying out rape and sexual humiliation.

Documents obtained by the Guardian contain evidence that such abuses took place in the main detention centre at Bagram, near the capital Kabul, as well as at a smaller US installation near the southern city of Kandahar.

The documents also indicate that US soldiers covered up abuse in Afghanistan and in Iraq – even after the Abu Ghraib scandal last year.

A thousand pages of evidence from US army investigations released to the American Civil Liberties Union after a long legal battle, and made available to the Guardian, show that an Iraqi detained at Tikrit in September 2003 was forced to withdraw his report of abuse after soldiers told him he would be held indefinitely.

Meanwhile, photographs taken in southern Afghanistan showing US soldiers from the 22nd Infantry Battalion posing in mock executions of blindfolded and bound detainees, were purposely destroyed after the Abu Ghraib scandal to avoid “another public outrage”, the documents show.

Read more here.

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And here.

55 thoughts on “US in Afghanistan has own “Abu Ghraib” torture

  1. 08/31/05 at 2:32 AM

    “While they gave us electric shocks, my baby daughter died from
    Bagram prisoner to testify about torture in US jail

    I am a student of Kandahar university and study Islamic law and social
    studies. We appreciate your struggle and specially your support for Iraq and
    Muslim community. Also I read that you organize a international conference
    for Iraq resistance support in Rome in October and there will be Abu Gharib
    prisoners also speak. It is good. I am one of the victim of imperialism in
    Afghanistan. In October 2004 there were big demonstration against local
    government and American in Kandahar, we join it and many student
    participated. The police killed a lot. Me a long with other people arrested
    by police and kept in Kandahar jail for three months. In January we were
    shifted to Bagram, they blame us have relation with the opposition, they
    tortured us brutally, they deprive us from sleep, they make us naked, they
    insult us and insult our religion, they give us electric shocks, but finally
    found nothing. They told us and threatened us not to speak about our life in
    jail to nobody, otherwise will kill us, will jail us again. We released in

    When I had no contact with my family during the jail time, my family had no
    one to take care, my daughter 2 years old died, they had nothing to eat. I
    complained to human rights organization but no one pay attention. So I want
    to asked why I was in prison? So if possible for you please help me to
    attend your gathering in October as Abu Gharib prisoners, because Bagram is
    the same as Abu Gharib. I want to be a witness of brutality of American. I
    hate them and want to expose them and want to tell the world what oppression
    is going in Afghanistan. It will have risk but I have nothing to lose. I am
    ready to be killed but will speak what happened to me and my friends.


  2. Immigration holds 3 women for ‘links’ to Afghan’s Taliban

    By Tarra Quismundo
    Last updated 04:59am (Mla time) 08/16/2007

    MANILA, Philippines — They were allowed to leave at the end of an episode that would have been amusing were it not so chilling.

    On Tuesday night, multi-awarded Filipino novelist Ninotchka Rosca, assistant professor Annalisa Enrile and human rights advocate Judith Mirkinson — all visiting officers of the activist group Gabriela Network (GABNet) USA — were barred from flying out and held for about 30 minutes at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (NAIA’s) Centennial Terminal.

    They were told by immigration officers that they could not leave the Philippines because they were suspected of having links with Afghanistan’s Taliban and that their names were among 503 on an immigration watch list. It was not clear whether those listed are based here or abroad.

    The three women arrived in Manila on varying dates in July on the invitation of the militant party-list group Gabriela to attend the 10th biannual Women’s International Solidarity Affair, which included discussions on such issues as sex trafficking and other global human rights violations.

    It was Enrile’s second attempt to leave on Tuesday, and the three women were aware that trouble could be afoot in their return trip to the United States.

    On Aug. 5, Enrile — who, like Mirkinson, is an American citizen — was stopped at the NAIA from boarding her return flight to Los Angeles and told that she was required to secure clearances from agencies constituting the Philippine government’s anti-terror council.

    “We think that even if they’re allowed to leave today (Tuesday), it will not be the end of the issue because the important issue here is why they were placed on the watch list,” Gabriela party-list Rep. Liza Maza told the Philippine Daily Inquirer shortly before accompanying the three women into the Centennial Terminal.

    “This is not only a policy question but a legal question as well. They (the government) can’t do this without any explanation, and Gabriela will pursue this case and hold the government accountable,” Maza said.

    Red flag

    Early evening on Tuesday, the novelist lugged her woven backpack, the professor dragged a trolley suitcase that matched her shoulder bag of colorful prints, and the human rights worker pushed a cart containing her luggage through the maze of queues at the airport’s departure area.

    It was smooth sailing until they got to the immigration counter at past 8 p.m., where they were red-flagged and told of their supposed links to the Islamic fundamentalist group.

    “This is ridiculous. You know that is not true,” Rosca, a permanent resident of the United States, told the immigration officers.

    Shortly before 9 p.m., an immigration officer found a copy of a “lift order” and the three women were cleared for departure.

    They were allowed to proceed to their respective Philippine Airlines flights — to Los Angeles for Enrile, who said she had wasted around $2,000 on one-way plane tickets that she failed to use and rebook, and to San Francisco for Rosca and Mirkinson.

    The lift order, which supposedly removed the 500 other persons from the watch list, was actually issued past 3 p.m. Tuesday. (Immigration officers allowed only a brief look at the document’s first page and refused a request for it to be photocopied, saying it was confidential.)

    ‘Victims’ of anti-terror law

    At a press conference on Saturday, where Enrile spoke about her experience, Maza said Rosca, Enrile and Mirkinson were “among the first batch of victims” of the Human Security Act, or the anti-terror law.

    Indeed, the three women had anticipated the worst, and had complained about it: They sent a letter to the Bureau of Immigration questioning their inclusion in the watch list, and Enrile wrote the US Embassy in Manila to seek help in having her name taken off it.

    Enrile, national chair of GABNet and an assistant clinical professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, said she was later informed that the problem had been addressed.

    Mirkinson told the Inquirer that she was “furious” to learn about her name being on the watch list.

    “And also, there were no charges against us. We were never told why we were put on this list. The only thing we can think of is they don’t want us to investigate what’s going on here,” she said, adding:

    “I think it tells us, ‘You should be very afraid, you shouldn’t speak out about what’s going on around the world.’ And that’s exactly the opposite of what we want to do as women activists. We are going to speak out. We are going to investigate what’s happening to women. And we will protest.

    “Certainly, we’re going to pursue why we were on this list. But the list isn’t nearly as important to us as what’s going on in the Philippines. We’re much more interested in the … Filipino activists who have been killed, the people who have disappeared, the conditions that women are living under.”

    ‘What’s their problem?’

    Shortly before she entered the Centennial Terminal, Rosca said she had not experienced anything like this in her previous visits to her motherland.

    “Why will they put me [on the list]? What’s their problem? They should tell me straight. Every two years I am here; I never have problems. I [travel] all over the world; no problem. Why now, in my own country? Isn’t that such a pain?” she said.

    Rosca surmised that she had earned a place in the list for her active participation in an international mission to look into the killings and disappearances of Filipino women.

    “It’s infuriating because other countries take pride in their writers and their novelists,” she said.

    “In this country, if you’re a writer, you get stepped on, you get killed, you disappear… Really, the first ones attacked are the writers, the journalists, because they (the government) want to keep things hidden and they want to keep people silent, obedient.”


  3. 6 Years Later, US Expands Afghan Base


    The Associated Press

    October 06, 2007

    Read all 3 comments »

    Six years after the first U.S. bombs began falling on Afghanistan’s Taliban government and its al-Qaida guests, America is planning for a long stay.

    Originally envisioned as a temporary home for invading U.S. forces, the sprawling American base at Bagram, a former Soviet outpost in the shadow of the towering Hindu Kush mountains, is growing in size by nearly a third.

    Today the U.S. has about 25,000 troops in the country, and other NATO nations contribute another 25,000, more than three times the number of international troops in the country four years ago, when the Taliban appeared defeated.

    The Islamic militia has come roaring back since then, and 2007 has been the battle’s bloodiest year yet.

    Barnett R. Rubin, an expert on Afghanistan at New York University, said U.S. leaders in Washington ‘utterly failed’ to understand what was needed to consolidate that original Taliban rout, which started with airstrikes on Oct. 7, 2001, less than a month after the Sept. 11 attacks in Washington and New York.

    ‘The Bush administration did not see Afghanistan as a long-term commitment, and its leaders deceived themselves into thinking they had won an irreversible victory. They did not consider Afghanistan important and always intended to focus on Iraq,’ he said.

    ‘Now the U.S. and international community have fallen way behind, and the Taliban are winning strategically, even if we defeat them in every tactical engagement,’ he added.

    At Bagram, new barracks will help accommodate the record number of U.S. troops in the country.

    ‘We’ve grown in our commitment to Afghanistan by putting another brigade (of troops) here, and with that we know that we’re going to have an enduring presence,’ said Col. Jonathan Ives. ‘So this is going to become a long-term base for us, whether that means five years, 10 years _ we don’t know.’

    Insurgents have launched more than 100 suicide attacks this year, an unprecedented pace, including a bombing in Kabul on Saturday against a U.S. convoy that killed an American soldier and four Afghan civilians _ the third suicide blast in Kabul in a week.

    More than 5,100 people _ mostly militants _ have died in insurgency related violence so far this year, according to an Associated Press count based on figures from Afghan and Western officials. That far outpaces last year’s violence, when the AP count topped 4,000 for the entire year.

    Some 87 U.S. troops have also died so far this year, also a record pace. About 90 U.S. servicemembers were killed in all of last year.

    Wide areas of the south _ in Helmand, Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces _ are controlled by the Taliban, and the fighting is migrating north, into Ghazni province _ where 23 South Koreans were kidnapped in July _ and Wardak, right next door to Kabul, the capital.

    Osama bin Laden, whose presence here was a trigger for the U.S.-led attack, is still at large, possibly hiding in the mountains along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

    And Afghan farmers this year grew a record amount of opium poppy, prompting officials to draw up plans to use the military in drug interdiction missions against traffickers.

    Rubin said Washington ignored how difficult the fight would be and wanted to prevent U.S. forces from being tied down in nation-building exercises as in the Balkans.

    ‘Since 2005, U.S. generals have told me (former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld) was drumming his fingers on the table trying to find out when he could take the troops out,’ Rubin said. ‘Now the administration has completely reversed itself, but of course without ever admitting it was wrong and still without a strategy that has a serious chance of success.’

    Still, U.S. commanders point out that military operations have killed more than 50 mid- and high-level Taliban commanders this year, causing at least a temporary disruption in the militants’ abilities. The Afghan army participated in its first jointly planned and executed operation, in Ghazni province, earlier this summer.

    Originally, Pentagon planners thought Bagram would be a ‘temporary’ camp, Ives said, but an increased U.S. commitment to Afghanistan means Bagram needs to grow.

    ‘Where we designed a base around 3,000 (troops), it quickly moved to 7,000 and now we’re housing about 13,000, so just in a very short period of time you’ve grown not necessarily exponentially but you’ve definitely doubled just about every two years,’ Ives said.

    A new runway accommodates heavier C-5 cargo planes and Boeing 747s. New soldiers’ barracks _ safer and more comfortable than the wooden structures that dot Bagram _ are being built. And more workers are flowing in. Two years ago, some 1,500 Afghans worked in support roles at Bagram; today 5,000 walk through its front gates daily.

    Six years after CIA agents and Special Forces soldiers helped the Northern Alliance swoop down from their northern stronghold toward Taliban-controlled Kabul, President Hamid Karzai is increasingly asking that Taliban militants join the government through peace talks. And the U.N. has said an increasing number of fighters want peace.

    But the Taliban and factional warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the militant group Hezb-i-Islami, have rejected those offers, saying that international troops must first leave the country.

    Although the Taliban seems to have an endless recruiting base in the ethnic Pashtun heartland in southern and eastern Afghanistan and the Pakistan border region, some fighters are laying down their arms and joining the government.

    Officials in Ghazni province on Saturday said some 50 militants from Andar District _ a Taliban stronghold where some of the Korean hostages were held _ will join the government’s reconciliation process.

    But the U.S. will mentor Afghanistan’s military for years to come, Ives said. He said America’s military and aid commitments to Afghanistan are ‘speaking volumes.’

    ‘Our commitment to them is really saying we will be here until you have the security and stability that allows you to be a developing country on your own, and if that’s 10 years then it’s 10 years,’ he said. ‘But I think the thing is we’re looking to help them as much as we can.’

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.


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