CIA crucified Abu Ghraib prisoner

This video says about itself:

Janis Karpinski, the former commander of Iraq‘s Abu Ghraib prison who was demoted in the wake of the revelations of abuse there, tells Al Jazeera about her reaction to a report that says senior Bush administration officials were involved in approving torture.

From Crooks and Liars in the USA:

New Yorker Magazine Buries Major Abu Ghraib Abuse On Page 6 Of CIA Story

By Sherwood Ross, on Scoop in New Zealand:

Wednesday, 1 July 2009, 11:53 am

Report: CIA Crucified Captive In Abu Ghraib Prison

The Central Intelligence Agency crucified a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to a report published in The New Yorker magazine.

“A forensic examiner found that he (the prisoner) had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs,” the magazine’s Jane Mayer writes in the magazine’s June 22nd issue. “Military pathologists classified the case a homicide.” The date of the murder was not given.

“No criminal charges have ever been brought against any C.I.A. officer involved in the torture program, despite the fact that at least three prisoners interrogated by agency personnel died as a result of mistreatment,” Mayer notes.

An earlier report, by John Hendren in The Los Angeles Times indicted other torture killings. And Human Rights First says nearly 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hendren reported that one Manadel Jamadi died “of blunt-force injuries” complicated by “compromised respiration” at Abu Ghraib prison “while he was with Navy SEALs and other special operations troops.” Another victim, Abdul Jaleel, died while gagged and shackled to a cell door with his hands over his head.” Yet another prisoner, Maj. Gen. Abid Mowhosh, former commander of Iraq’s air defenses, “died of asphyxiation due to smothering and chest compression” in Qaim, Iraq.

“There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths,” says Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU. “High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable. America must stop putting its head in the sand and deal with the torture scandal.” At least scores of detainees in U.S. custody have died and homicide is suspected. As far back as May, 2004, the Pentagon conceded at least 37 deaths of prisoners in its custody in Iraq and Afghanistan had prompted investigations.

Nathaniel Raymond, of Physicians for Human Rights, told The New Yorker, “We still don’t know how many detainees were in the black sites, or who they were. We don’t fully know the White House’s role, or the C.I.A.’s role. We need a full accounting, especially as it relates to health professionals.”

Recently released Justice memos, he noted, contain numerous references to CIA medical personnel participating in coercive interrogation sessions. “They were the designers, the legitimizers, and the implementers,” Raymond said. “This is arguably the single greatest medical-ethics scandal in American history. We need answers.”

The ACLU obtained its information from the Pentagon through a Freedom of Information suit. Documents received included 44 autopsies and death reports as well as a summary of autopsy reports of people seized in Iraq and Afghanistan. An ACLU statement noted, “This covers just a fraction of the total number of Iraqis and Afghanis who have died while in U.S. custody.” (Italics added).

Torture by the CIA has been facilitated by the Agency’s ability to hide prisoners in “black sites” kept secret from the Red Cross, to hold prisoners off the books, and to detain them for years without bringing charges or providing them with lawyers.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, denounced the Obama administration for considering “prevention detention,” The New Yorker’s Mayer wrote. Roth said this tactic “mimics the Bush Administration’s abusive approach.”

From all indications, CIA Director Panetta has no intention of bringing to justice CIA officials involved in the systematic torture of prisoners. Panetta told Mayer, “I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt…If they do the job that they’re paid to do, I can’t ask for a hell of a lot more.”

Such sentiments differ markedly from those Panetta wrote in an article published last year in the January Washington Monthly: “We either believe in the dignity of the individual, the rule of law, and the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, or we don’t. There is no middle ground.”

One way to discern who really runs a country is to look to see which individuals, if any, are above the law. In the Obama administration, like its predecessors, they include the employees of the CIA. Crucifixions they execute in the Middle East differ from those reported in the New Testament in at least one important respect: Jesus Christ had a trial.

See also here.

The US Justice Department is again delaying the release of an internal CIA report on the agency’s secret detention and interrogation program during the Bush administration: here.

Veterans Press for Complete Withdrawal of Troops from Iraq: here.

Anti-war dissent grows in the US military: here.

U.S. Says It Will Preserve Secret Jails for Terror Case: here.

24 thoughts on “CIA crucified Abu Ghraib prisoner

  1. July 2, 2009

    Access to ‘black sites’?

    Ghailani, a Tanzanian, became the first Guantanamo detainee to be brought to a US civilian court for trial when he arrived in Manhattan last month to face charges in the attacks. — PHOTO: REUTERS

    NEW YORK – LAWYERS for a Guantanamo detainee charged with terrorism crimes have asked the US government to preserve overseas locations where he was subjected to ‘physical and psychological ill-treatment’ at secret CIA prisons known as ‘black sites’ until they can inspect them.

    The lawyers filed papers on Tuesday in the US District Court in Manhattan seeking a court order to compel the government to preserve the locations so they can inspect them before his trial to see if any statements he gave could have been made voluntarily.

    Ahmed Ghailani is charged with participating in the bombing of two US embassies in Africa in 1998. The attacks killed 124 people, including 12 Americans. If convicted, he could face the death penalty, though the government has not said whether it will seek it.

    Ghailani, a Tanzanian, became the first Guantanamo detainee to be brought to a US civilian court for trial when he arrived in Manhattan last month to face charges in the attacks.

    Authorities accused Ghailani of being a bomb-maker, document forger and aide to Osama bin Laden in the nearly simultaneous bombing attacks at embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

    He was categorised as a high-value detainee by US authorities after he was captured in Pakistan in 2004. His lawyers said in the court papers that he was detained by Pakistani police and turned over to the US government in August 2004.

    They cited a September 2006 speech by President Bush and their own interviews with Ghailani in saying he was kept in secret and held and questioned outside the US by the CIA at a highly classified location known as a ‘black site.’ ‘It appears undeniable that the defendant was subjected to harsh conditions and harsh interrogation techniques while detained in CIA ‘Black Sites’,’ the lawyers wrote.

    They said ‘it is believed that the defendant was interrogated and made statements after being subjected to a ‘harsh regime employing a combination of physical and psychological ill-treatment with an aim of obtaining compliance and extracting information.”

    The lawyers cited a Red Cross document stating that 14 high value detainees including Ghailani were subjected at ‘black sites’ to various methods of ill-treatment, including simulated water suffocation, prolonged standing, confinement in a box, prolonged nudity, sleep deprivation, extreme temperature exposure, forced shaving and deprivation of solid food. The lawyers said it will be another two months before they obtain security clearance necessary to visit the sites, and they fear they will be dismantled by then because the CIA on April 9 indicated it will ‘decommission’ the interrogation locations.

    Ghailani was transferred to the detention center at the US naval base in Cuba in 2006. A government spokesman did not return a message seeking comment on Wednesday. — AP


  2. Rights groups say they complained of abuses last year
    Red Cross, others assert they were initially rebuffed by coalition officials on issue of mistreatment

    By Lee Keath The Associated Press

    4:40 PM CDT, May 6, 2004
    BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq’s oldest human rights group and the international Red Cross said today that they complained repeatedly last year about maltreatment of Iraqi prisoners, long before the U.S. Army began investigating abuse allegations.

    The Human Rights Organization in Iraq said it got little response from American administrators, although the Red Cross said U.S. officials made some changes after it pointed to specific practices at the Abu Ghraib prison.

    The U.S. military began an investigation at Abu Ghraib in January, after an American guard informed commanders of abuses inflicted by colleagues. The probe has since widened into a look at whether there was systematic abuse at detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The scandal mushroomed after pictures became public last week showing abuses at Abu Ghraib. Photos of smiling American guards stripping Iraqi prisoners and sexually humiliating them set off an international outcry and outraged Arabs.

    President Bush apologized today, saying he was “sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners and the humiliation suffered by their families.” He said the images had made Americans “sick to their stomach.”

    Adel al-Allami, an official at the Iraqi human rights organization, said his group tried for months last year to get an audience with U.S. occupation officials. He said it wanted to present a list of reported abuses at prisons as well as complaints about mistreatment of Iraqis during U.S. raids on homes in the search for insurgents.

    “We knew of many human rights violations and sent a number of memos,” al-Allami said, saying the group had reports of detainees being beaten and deprived of sleep.

    Iraqi civilians also complain about heavy-handed methods used by soldiers during raids, including the hooding of detainees, damage to homes and theft of property, he said.

    The human rights organization, which was founded in 1960 but kept a low profile during Saddam Hussein’s regime, asked repeatedly for meetings with coalition officials, but each time officials “would give excuses for not meeting,” al-Allami said.

    The group finally got a meeting three weeks ago and presented requests for compensation for mistreated Iraqis, he said.

    “The treatment of these issues has not been positive at all,” he said of U.S. administrators. “They have felt that Americans have total protection from any sort of prosecution … This is the authority of the strong over the weak.”

    Red Cross teams have been visiting Abu Ghraib every five or six weeks since last year, the organization’s regional spokeswoman, Nada Doumani, told The Associated Press by telephone from Amman, Jordan.

    “We were aware of what was going on, and based on our findings we have repeatedly requested the U.S. authorities to take corrective action,” she said.

    She said U.S. officials did make some changes, but added that they were not necessarily connected directly to “this issue about having naked people like this or like that, or homosexual practices.”

    She said Red Cross regulations prevented her from being specific about what practices the organization complained about or what corrections were taken.

    The Army investigation at Abu Ghraib found that military police had on at least one occasion hidden prisoners during a visit by a Red Cross delegation.

    A two-month-old report, disclosed last week, said the incident included six to eight prisoners and noted that “this maneuver was deceptive, contrary to Army Doctrine and in violation of international law.”

    Secretary of State Colin Powell telephoned the international Red Cross president, Jakob Kellenberger, on Thursday to assure him that the U.S. government was dealing with the reported abuse of Iraqi detainees.

    “We will answer in a comprehensive way,” Powell told reporters.

    Six American guards have been charged and seven other officials have been disciplined for abuses investigated in January. But since then, evidence has grown that abuse was not an isolated occurrence.

    The Army disclosed Tuesday that it was looking into 10 prisoner deaths and said two other deaths already had been ruled homicides. On Wednesday, an intelligence official said the CIA inspector general was examining two additional deaths involving agency interrogators.

    Copyright 2009 Associated Press.


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