Pentagon promoted torture by US troops

This video from CNN in the USA says about itself:

TORTURE AND PRESIDENT BUSH… Andrew Sullivan tries to explain the deliberately confusing detainee bill. Then, Anderson Cooper interviews the Canadian that was detained, tortured, then found innocent.

For readers who, in their naivity, still believe the United States Bush administration‘s lame excuses about torture in places like Abu Ghraib being just the work of ‘bad apples’ like Private Lynndie England. From Associated Press:

Jun 17, 2008

Senator: Pentagon Wanted Abusive Interrogations

WASHINGTON ― Military officials tasked with training U.S. troops to evade enemy interrogations provided Pentagon lawyers a list of abusive tactics that could be used in prisons like Guantanamo Bay, a top Senate Democrat disclosed Tuesday.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said the harsh techniques were then pursued despite strong objections in November 2002 by the military’s uniformed lawyers.

“If we use those same techniques offensively against detainees, it says to the world that they have America’s stamp of approval,” said Levin, D-Mich., at the onset of a committee hearing.

“That puts our troops at greater risk of being abused if they’re captured. It also weakens our moral authority and harms our efforts to attract allies to our side in the fight against terrorism.”

The hearing is the committee’s first look at the origins of the harsher methods used in Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq and how policy decisions on interrogations were vetted across the Defense Department. Its review fits into a broader picture of the government’s handling of detainees, which includes FBI and CIA interrogations in secret prisons.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the administration’s legal analysis on detainees and interrogations following the Sept. 11 attacks will “go down in history as some of the most irresponsible and shortsighted legal analysis ever provided to our nation’s military and intelligence communities.”

New York Times covers up for “confused” US military torturers: here.

Update October 2008: here.

Bagram, Afghanistan: here.

13 thoughts on “Pentagon promoted torture by US troops

  1. See also:

    AP: Exams prove abuse, torture in Iraq, Gitmo
    By PAMELA HESS (Associated Press Writer)
    From Associated Press
    June 18, 2008 1:08 AM EDT

    WASHINGTON – Medical examinations of former terrorism suspects held by the U.S. military at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, found evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders, according to a human rights group.

    For the most extensive medical study of former U.S. detainees published so far, Physicians for Human Rights had doctors and mental health professionals examine 11 former prisoners. The group alleges finding evidence of U.S. torture and war crimes and accuses U.S. military health professionals of allowing the abuse of detainees, denying them medical care and providing confidential medical information to interrogators that they then exploited.

    “Some of these men really are, several years later, very severely scarred,” said Barry Rosenfeld, a psychology professor at Fordham University who conducted psychological tests on six of the 11 detainees covered by the study. “It’s a testimony to how bad those conditions were and how personal the abuse was.”

    One Iraqi prisoner, identified only as Yasser, reported being subjected to electric shocks three times and being sodomized with a stick. His thumbs bore round scars consistent with shocking, according to the report obtained by The Associated Press. He would not allow a full rectal exam.

    Another Iraqi, identified only as Rahman, reported he was humiliated by being forced to wear women’s underwear, stripped naked and paraded in front of female guards, and was shown pictures of other naked detainees. The psychological exam found that Rahman suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had sexual problems related to his humiliation, the report said.

    The report came as the Senate Armed Services Committee revealed documents showing military lawyers warned the Pentagon that methods it was using post-9/11 violated military, U.S. and international law. Those objections were overruled by the top Pentagon lawyer.

    President Bush said in 2004, when the prison abuse was revealed, that it was the work of “a few American troops who dishonored our country and disregarded our values.” Bush and other U.S. officials have consistently denied that the U.S. tortures its detainees.

    Physicians for Human Rights, an advocacy group based in Cambridge, Mass., that investigates abuse around the world and advocates for global health and human rights, did not identify the 11 former prisoners to protect their privacy. Seven were held in Abu Ghraib between late 2003 and summer of 2004, a period that coincides with the known abuse of prisoners at the hands of some of their American jailers. Four of the prisoners were held at Guantanamo beginning in 2002 for one to almost five years. All 11 were released without criminal charges.

    Those examined alleged that they were tortured or abused, including sexually, and described being shocked with electrodes, beaten, shackled, stripped of their clothes, deprived of food and sleep, and spit and urinated on.

    The abuse of some prisoners by their American captors is well documented by the government’s own reports. Once-secret documents show that the Pentagon and Justice Department allowed, at least for a time, forced nakedness, isolation, sleep deprivation and humiliation at both Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and at Abu Ghraib.

    Because the medical examiners did not have access to the 11 patients’ medical histories prior to their imprisonment, it was not possible to know whether any of the prisoners’ ailments, disabilities and scars pre-dated their confinement. The U.S. military says an al-Qaida training manual instructs members, if captured, to assert they were tortured during interrogation.

    However, doctors and mental health professionals stated they could link the prisoners’ claims of abuse while in U.S. detention to injuries documented by X-rays, medical exams and psychological tests.

    “The level of the time, thoroughness and rigor of the exams left me personally without question about the credibility of the individuals,” said Dr. Allen Keller, one of the doctors who conducted the exams, in an interview with the AP. “The findings on the physical and psychological exams were consistent with what they reported.”

    All 11 former detainees reported being subjected to:

    -Stress positions, including being suspended for hours by the arms or tightly shackled for days.

    -Prolonged isolation and hooding or blindfolding, a form of sensory deprivation.

    -Extreme heat or cold. -Threats against themselves, their families or friends from interrogators or guards.

    Ten said they were forced to be naked, some for days or weeks. Nine said they were subjected to prolonged sleep deprivation. At least six said they were threatened with military working dogs, often while naked. Four reported being sodomized, subjected to anal probing, or threatened with rape.

    The patients underwent intensive, two-day long exams following standards and methods used worldwide to document torture.

    “We found clear physical and psychological evidence of torture and abuse, often causing lasting suffering,” he said.

    Keller, who directs the Bellevue/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture, said the treatment the detainees reported were “eerily familiar” to stories from other torture survivors around the world. He said the sexual humiliation of the prisoners was often the most traumatic experience.

    Most former detainees are out of reach of Western doctors because they are either in Iraq or have been returned to their home countries from Guantanamo.

    On the Net:

    The report:


  2. The Guantánamo Files
    The Stories of the 774 Detainees
    in America’s Illegal Prison
    By Andy Worthington

    Extraordinary rendition, false imprisonment, inhumane treatment—including torture and death in secretive detention sites—has forever destroyed the lives of hundreds of men, of whom I was one. This book is the first of its kind to collate accounts from the prisoners themselves.”—Moazzam Begg, former Guantánamo detainee and spokesman for CagePrisoners

    “A meticulous [book] about torture at the beginning of the twenty-first century. [Written] with poignancy, compassion and outrage.”—Marty Fisher, Co-Producer of the film Taxi to the Dark Side

    Who are the men imprisoned in Guantánamo and how did they come to be there? Held illegally without charge or trial, they remain for the most part entirely unknown to the outside world. Who can speak for them? Based on the Pentagon’s own documents, this passionate and brilliantly detailed book brings their stories to the world for the first time.

    338pp, Notes, Index


  3. Posted by: “frankofbos”

    Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:22 am (PDT)

    Taliban Lives on, Iraq a “Failed-State”, and Unpunished Fraud(Bush
    History:Thursday 6/19)

    The Taliban lives on years after President Bush boasted of their
    elimination. Iraq earns the title of “Failed-State” after Bush’s years
    of spent lives and wasted billions. Years of whistle-blower’s charges
    of millions lost in fraud by Iraqi contractors (such as Halliburton
    spin-off KBR) go unprosecuted by Bush’s Justice Department. Not much of
    a record, but these items were all in the news on this date, June 19th,
    in Bush administration history…

    Today’s categories: Foreign Policy Foul Ups, Iraq, Losing Sight of the
    Real Enemy, Proven Wrong, The Corporation’s Yes Man


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