2nd of many chapters: US torture and killing ARE common
This is what America IS. It may have been Thomas Jefferson or Abe Lincoln or any illusory past you want but Abu Graib i now what best describes Americans. So let's get to know ourselves better! Here are some articles for you all - send them to the assholes that want this war, to the racists, to the redneck hillbillies in congress and in the White House. Spread around the info on the new Americans and what we have become - the putrid puke of the planet.
More Photos Surface
By Brian Ross
Wednesday 19 May 2004
Soldiers Give Thumbs-Up By Body of Dead Iraqi Prisoner.
ABCNEWS has obtained two new photos taken at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq showing Spc. Charles Graner and Spc. Sabrina Harman posing over the body of a detainee who was allegedly beaten to death by CIA or civilian interrogators in the prison's showers. The detainee's name was Manadel al-Jamadi.
According to testimony from Spc. Jason Kenner, obtained by ABCNEWS, the man was brought to the prison by U.S. Navy SEALs in good health. Kenner said he saw extensive bruising on the detainee's body when he was brought out of the showers, dead.
Kenner says the body was packed in ice during a "battle" between CIA and military interrogators over who should dispose of the body.
The Justice Department opened an investigation into this death and four others today following a referral from the CIA.
The photos were taken by Staff Sgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick , who in e-mails to his family has asked why the people responsible for the prisoner's death were not being prosecuted in the same manner that he is.
Frederick, Graner, and Harman are among six reservists from the 372nd Military Police Company who are facing charges in the abuse scandal.
A lawyer for Graner, Guy Womack, told ABCNEWS the photo of his client represents inappropriate "gallows humor." Womack questioned why U.S. officials had not opened a criminal investigation into alleged murders at Abu Ghraib, compared to the rapid pace of the investigation of his client.
A seventh member of the unit, Spc. Jeremy Sivits, pleaded guilty today to four counts for taking pictures of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated.
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GI: Boy Mistreated to Get Dad to Talk
By Mike Dorning
The Chicago Tribune
Thursday 20 May 2004
A military intelligence analyst who recently completed duty at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq said Wednesday that the 16-year-old son of a detainee there was abused by U.S. soldiers to break his father's resistance to interrogators.
The analyst said the teenager was stripped naked, thrown in the back of an open truck, driven around in the cold night air, splattered with mud and then presented to his father at Abu Ghraib, the prison at the center of the scandal over abuse of Iraqi detainees.
Upon seeing his frail and frightened son, the prisoner broke down and cried and told interrogators he would tell them whatever they wanted, the analyst said.
The new account of mistreatment came as Army Spec. Jeremy Sivits was sentenced in Iraq to a year in prison Wednesday and a bad-conduct discharge after pleading guilty in the first court-martial stemming from the abuses at Abu Ghraib.
In Washington, top commanders for U.S. forces in Iraq told senators they never approved abusive techniques for interrogating prisoners. But they also promised that investigators would scrutinize everyone in the chain of command, including the generals themselves.
Sgt. Samuel Provance, who maintained the 302nd Military Intelligence Battalion's top-secret computer system at Abu Ghraib prison, gave the account of abuse of the teenager in a telephone interview from Germany, where he is now stationed. He said he also has described the incident to Army investigators.
Provance's account of mistreatment of a prisoner's son is consistent with concerns raised by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which had received reports that interrogators were threatening reprisals against detainees' family members.
Provance already has been deemed a credible witness by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who included the Army sergeant in a list of witnesses whose statements he relied on to make his findings of prisoner mistreatment at Abu Ghraib.
Although Pentagon officials have portrayed the abuses at the prison as the isolated conduct of a few out-of-control guards, Provance's account offers fresh evidence of broader participation. He said members of Abu Ghraib's military intelligence unit were well aware that prisoners were subjected to sexual humiliation and other abuse.
One female interrogator told him of forcing detainees to wear nothing but women's underwear and questioning a male prisoner who was kept naked during interrogation, Provance said. He said he overheard colleagues in the military intelligence battalion laughing as a soldier in the unit described watching MPs use two detainees as "practice dummies," first knocking one prisoner unconscious with a blow and then doing the same to the other.
Account is 2nd-hand
Provance, 30, said he was not present for the mistreatment of the detainee's son, which he said occurred in December or possibly January. But he said an interrogator described the incident to him shortly afterward. When contacted by the Tribune on Wednesday, that soldier declined to comment.
Provance said he escorted the boy from the interrogation cellblock to the prison's general population immediately after the encounter between the teenager and his father.
"This kid was so frail. He was shaking like a leaf," he said.
Provance said he urged the interrogators not to put the teenager in the prison's unruly, poorly supervised general population, but was rebuffed.
"I even went inside and said, `This kid is scared for his life. He's probably going to be raped. He can't be put in general population,'" Provance said.
He said he did not know the identity of either the father or son but said the father was described to him as a "high-level individual" who had not provided useful intelligence in previous questioning.
Army spokesman Col. Joseph Curtin said he could not comment on the incidents described by Provance because they are part of an investigation. But Curtin said, "We are working very hard to get to the truth."
Maj. Paul Karnaze, a spokesman for the Army Intelligence School at Ft. Huachuca, Ariz., said Army policy forbids any abuse or threats of abuse against family members during interrogations. "That's just so far from the Army values we train," Karnaze said.
Provance said he described the incidents to investigators, most recently in an interview this month with Maj. Gen. George Fay, who is overseeing the Army's investigation of military intelligence officials' involvement in prisoner abuse.
Concerns Over a Cover-up
Provance said he became concerned about a possible cover-up of the role of military intelligence officials after receiving written instructions shortly after the interview telling him not to discuss Abu Ghraib.
In addition, Provance said, Fay warned that he likely would recommend administrative action against Provance for not reporting abuses before his first sworn statement, made in January. The administrative action would effectively bar promotions for Provance.
"I felt like I was being punished for being honest," Provance said.
An Army official said it was routine procedure for military investigators to instruct witnesses not to discuss events that are under examination.
Provance said he questioned treatment of prisoners several times last fall without effect.
"I would voice my opinion . . . and they would say, `What do you know? You're a system administrator,'" he said. Among the interrogators "there's a certain cockiness," he added.
Provance said his duties recently were switched from a computer systems administrator to a military intelligence analyst but he remains on duty with his unit, which returned from Iraq in February. He is now stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, he said.
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Brutal Interrogation in Iraq: Five Detainees' Deaths Probed
By Miles Moffeit
The Denver Post
Wednesday 19 May 2004
Pentagon records provide the clearest view yet of the U.S. tactics used at Anu Ghraib and elsewhere to coax secrets from Iraqis.
Brutal interrogation techniques by U.S. military personnel are being investigated in connection with the deaths of at least five Iraqi prisoners in war-zone detention camps, Pentagon documents obtained by The Denver Post show.
The deaths include the killing in November of a high-level Iraqi general who was shoved into a sleeping bag and suffocated, according to the Pentagon report. The documents contradict an earlier Defense Department statement that said the general died "of natural causes" during an interrogation. Pentagon officials declined to comment on the new disclosure.
Another Iraqi military officer, records show, was asphyxiated after being gagged, his hands tied to the top of his cell door. Another detainee died "while undergoing stress technique interrogation," involving smothering and "chest compressions," according to the documents.
Details of the death investigations, involving at least four different detention facilities including the Abu Ghraib prison, provide the clearest view yet into war-zone interrogation rooms, where intelligence soldiers and other personnel have sometimes used lethal tactics to try to coax secrets from prisoners, including choking off detainees' airways. Other abusive strategies involve sitting on prisoners or bending them into uncomfortable positions, records show.
"Torture is the only thing you can call this," said a Pentagon source with knowledge of internal investigations into prisoner abuses. "There is a lot about our country's interrogation techniques that is very troubling. These are violations of military law."
Internal records obtained by The Post point to wider problems beyond the Abu Ghraib prison and demonstrate that some coercive tactics used at Abu Ghraib have shown up in interrogations elsewhere in the war effort. The documents also show more than twice as many allegations of detainee abuse - 75 - are being investigated by the military than previously known. Twenty-seven of the abuse cases involve deaths; at least eight are believed to be homicides.
No criminal punishments have been announced in the interrogation deaths, even though three deaths occurred last year.
Beyond the interrogation deaths, the military documents show that investigators are examining other abuse cases involving soldiers using choking techniques during interrogations, including the handling of prisoners at a detention facility in Samarra, Iraq, where soldiers allegedly "forced into asphyxiation numerous detainees."
Also under investigation are reports that soldiers in Iraq abused women and children. One April 2003 case, which is awaiting trial, involves a reservist who pointed a loaded pistol at an Iraqi child in front of witnesses, saying he should kill the youngster to "send a message" to other Iraqis.
Pentagon officials, asked to comment on synopses of the cases provided by The Post, released a statement saying they do not discuss ongoing investigations. "Make no mistake; we will take whatever corrective actions are determined to be appropriate," the statement said. "The offenders will be dealt with, and action will be taken to prevent such situations from happening again."
Military officials and the Bush administration face international scrutiny over the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, which entailed a range of physical assault, mental abuse and sexual humiliation by military police officers. The role of military intelligence personnel in abuse cases has been murky. On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that an American officer who led interrogations at the prison acknowledged that intelligence personnel sometimes instructed military police to mete out abuse.
In the case of Iraqi Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush, who headed Saddam Hussein's air force, intelligence officers' role was documented in abuse that soon turned fatal, documents show,
Mowhoush, considered a "high-priority target," turned himself in for questioning in November, according to documents. After two weeks in custody at an Al Qaim detention facility, northwest of Baghdad, two soldiers with the 66th Military Intelligence Company, slid a sleeping bag over his body, except for his feet, and began questioning him as they rolled him repeatedly from his back to his stomach, the documents show.
Then, one of the soldiers, an interrogator, sat on Mowhoush's chest and placed his hands over the prisoner's mouth, according to the report: "During this interrogation, the (general) became non-responsive, medics were called and he was later pronounced dead." According to the documents, "The preliminary report lists the cause of death as asphyxia due to smothering and chest compressions."
Immediately after Mowhoush's death was reported, U.S. military officials released a statement acknowledging he died during an interview.
"Mowhoush said he didn't feel well and subsequently lost consciousness," read the press statement, which is still posted on a Pentagon website. "The soldier questioning him found no pulse, then conducted CPR and called for medical authorities. According to the on-site surgeon, it appeared Mowhouse died of natural causes."
An investigative report was finalized in late January, and the interrogating soldiers received reprimands, in addition to being barred from further interviews, documents show. According to the report obtained by The Post, commanders have not taken criminal action against the soldiers, citing an ongoing investigation.
Criminal punishments apparently have not been pursued in the other interrogation-death cases, which also are ongoing.
Another Iraqi prisoner was assaulted by interrogators on two occasions in early January of this year at the FOB Rifles Base in Asad, Iraq, documents state. U.S. forces arrested him for allegedly possessing explosive devices, and he was later placed in an isolation cell for questioning by special-forces soldiers with the Operational Detachment Alpha, where he was shackled to a pipe that ran along the ceiling. After he was allowed to sit, he lunged at one of the soldiers, grabbing his shirt. "The three ODA members punched and kicked (the prisoner) in the stomach and ribs for approximately one to two minutes," documents show.
Three days later, the prisoner escaped from his cell and was recaptured.
During questioning, the detainee refused to follow instructions. When he refused orders to remain quiet in his cell, his hands were tied to the top of his cell door, the report shows. When he still refused, he was gagged, the report notes, and five minutes later, a soldier "noticed that he was slumped down and hanging from his shackles" dead.
According to the investigative report, special forces commanders are reviewing "consideration of misconduct" in the case.
Other prisoner deaths under homicide investigation, records show:
The beating in early April of a detainee at the LSA Diamondback facility in Mosul, Iraq, who was found dead in his sleep. A death report showed "blunt- force trauma to the torso and positional asphyxia." He had gone to sleep immediately after questioning by members of the Naval Special Warfare Team. No disciplinary action was noted in the report, but the investigation continues, the report states.
In June, at a "classified interrogation facility" in Baghdad, an Iraqi detainee was found dead after being restrained in a chair for questioning. "While in custody the detainee was subjected to both physical and psychological stress," the report shows. An autopsy determined that he died of a "hard, fast blow" to the head. The investigation continues. No disciplinary action was noted.
On Nov. 4, an Iraqi died at Abu Ghraib during an interview by special forces and Navy SEAL soldiers. "An autopsy revealed the cause of death was blunt force trauma as complicated by compromised respiration." The report notes that Navy investigators concluded Navy personnel did not commit a crime leading to the detainee's death. But the investigation, including by CIA officials, is still ongoing. No disciplinary action was noted.
Amid a storm of controversy over prisoner handling in recent weeks, U.S. military officials have launched eight separate internal investigations into abuse cases, administrative procedures and interrogation techniques.
They also have acknowledged that reports of abuse at Abu Ghraib violate the Geneva Conventions and other treaties.
According to Human Rights Watch, which monitors prisoner maltreatment around the world, the patterns of interrogation tactics known as "stress techniques" in the death cases is tantamount to torture and should be investigated by an "independent" body or government.
"It sounds as though the Iraqi general and others were being subjected to extreme techniques we are only just now learning about, and it's clearly cruel and degrading treatment," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "This highlights the need for independent scrutiny at a minimum by Congress or possibly an independent commission of inquiry."
Of the detainee cases that were not homicides, commanders typically handed down lenient job-related punishments to the accused, instead of seeking criminal convictions. Of 47 punishments given to those accused of prisoner abuse, according to the report, only 15 involved court-martial. Criminal penalties ranged from reprimands to 60 days' confinement.
Unlike civilian practices, in the military, commanders decide whether to send accused soldiers to trial.
Military investigations regarding allegations of Iraqi detainee abuse:
April 12, 2004: Member of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force abused a detainee involved in shooting death of a Marine lieutenant and sergeant. During interrogation, detainee was kicked in the rib cage, punched in kidney area and slapped in the head. Incident being investigated.
Jan. 9, 2004: FOB Rifles Base detainee died while in custody. The detainee, an escapee who had been recaptured, was shackled to the door of his cell with his hands over his head and gagged. Five minutes later, he was found dead. The death is under investigation.
Dec. 31, 2003: Military police officer used butt of M-4 rifle to strike a detainee in the face and on the back of the neck. Then the officer placed the muzzle of his M-4 rifle in the detainee's mouth and pulled trigger on the empty weapon. Officer then chambered a round and pointed the rifle at detainee, firing a round 5 or 6 feet from detainee. The incident is under investigation.
Nov. 26, 2003: At the 3rd ACR detention facility, Iraqi Gen. Abed Hamad Mowhoush, a "high-priority target," was placed inside a sleeping bag with only his feet exposed. He was rolled back and forth while being questioned. One of the interrogators sat on his chest and placed hands over his mouth. He died during the interrogation, and an autopsy confirmed evidence of blunt force trauma to the chest and legs. The interrogating officers were given general officer reprimands, prohibited from conducting further interrogations and referred for consideration of misconduct charges.
Sept. 11, 2003: A guard at the FOB Packhorse detention facility fatally shot a detainee who was throwing rocks. The soldier, who did not follow regulations, was reduced in rank and discharged from the military in lieu of trial by court-martial.
June 13, 2003: A sergeant beat a detainee while his squad leader was present. Sergeant received rank reduction and 60 days' confinement. His commanding officer - who also beat detainees - was charged with dereliction of duty, given a reprimand and fined $2,000.
Staff researcher Monnie Nilsson contributed to this report.
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