US torture camp in Iraq closed

This video is called Iraq Haditha Massacre Shocking Story of Marines Killing in Iraq.

A video, about the Haditha massacre, which used to be at Google but is no longer there, said about itself:

BBC has gotten its hands on what they’re calling a “New ‘Iraq massacre’ video.” The video, too gruesome to air in full, shows that a number of Iraqis officially killed by a crumbling building after a firefight with the U.S. military, actually appear to have been killed by gunshots.

From National Public Radio in the USA:

U.S. Prison‘s Closure Offers No Solace For One Iraqi

by Jonathan Blakley

October 1, 2009

As the U.S. continues its slow reduction of forces from Iraq, it is also releasing thousands of Iraqi prisoners and transferring other detainees to Iraqi custody. The largest U.S. prison in Iraq, at Camp Bucca, closed this month, stirring fresh and painful memories for one Iraqi journalist who was detained there.

Camp Bucca, opened just after the U.S. invasion in March 2003, sits on more than 40 acres of desert sand near the head of the Persian Gulf, just north of the Kuwait border. At its peak, the prison housed more than 22,000 detainees in separate camps.

Ali Omar al-Mashhadani was one of them. A 40-year-old journalist, he recalls his detention at Bucca — and all of his memories — as negative.

“We were isolated from everything. We didn’t have a radio or anything. The Americans would sometimes bring us very bad news, like a Sunni guy killing a Shiite, or vice versa, to make the prisoners hate each other,” he says.

After the U.S. invasion, Mashhadani worked as a cameraman for the BBC and Reuters, and as a stringer for NPR.

In the summer of 2005, he was detained without charges while photographing a clash between U.S. forces and insurgents in Haditha.

He was released after spending three months at Camp Bucca.

“We’d demonstrate inside because we heard about massacres or other bad news about the war. We’d throw apples, and they’d respond with gunfire or dogs,” he recalls.

Over the course of the next six years, the U.S. military detained Mashhadani seven more times, essentially, he believes, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, while holding a camera near U.S. forces.

Like many other detainees, he has never been charged.

Mashhadani says he suffered psychological abuse at Camp Bucca, where Shiites and Sunnis were knowingly housed together, and where prisoners were forced to stay in small, dark holding cells.

The rooms had many air conditioners, and prisoners were only give one blanket.

“It was freezing there. Every eight hours, the guards would take us out for just 10 minutes. The prisoners were given food twice a day, but their hands and feet were chained. They had to use the bathroom right there in the cell. This went on for weeks, or even up to a month,” he says.

Mashhadani says he spent 21 days in a cell like this, because the Americans didn’t like the answers he was giving them.

Now, he says, he wants to sue the American government. He wants compensation, or at least to clear his name.

“Until this moment,” Mashhadani says, “they have not told me what my crime is.”

Fate Of Camp Bucca

Western and Iraqi journalists toured the sprawling Camp Bucca facility hours before the prison was permanently closed on Sept. 16.

The United States invested more than $50 million in the camp.

The U.S. has detained more than 100,000 Iraqis since 2003. Now, only 8,000 are behind bars.

There are now only two U.S.-run prisons in Iraq, and they will be handed over to the Iraqi government next year.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — It isn’t clear whether the United States will ever be able to declare victory in Iraq, the top U.S. commander there said Thursday: here.

Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein have directed at least three remarkable documentaries about the US invasion of Iraq and its consequences: Gunner Palace (2004), The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair (2006), and now, How To Fold a Flag: here.

The Ministry of Defence was excoriated in a High Court judgement on Friday over its failure to disclose information regarding the alleged torture and murder of 20 Iraqis by British troops five years ago: here.

Britain: Human rights campaigners will descend on Parliament Square on Saturday to demand the release of more than 200 Guantanamo Bay detainees and draw attention to other “secret torture camps” worldwide: here.

Nicole Colson examines revelations about the acts of violence committed by soldiers returned from Iraq–and how the military is trying to evade responsibility: here.

Supreme Court delay may help keep detainee abuse pics forever sealed: here.