Sunday, May 09, 2004

Everything They've Told You Is A Lie

From Time magazine, May 17 issue.

The Administration knew nothing abut it:

For months Bremer's authority had been hearing complaints from released prisoners and families of those still in detention. The State Department knew enough to realize, says a senior official, "this was going to be a problem." Aides to Bremer and Secretary of State Colin Powell say that as early as last fall, both men raised the issue in meetings with the rest of the Administration's national-security team.

It only occurred from October to December 2003:

Amnesty International raised questions back in July, but coalition forces blamed any trouble on the general disorganization of the occupation's early months. Officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) brought serious allegations of abuse -- hich they are bound to keep confidential -- to U.S. attention beginning in October. Pierre Gassman, head of the ICRC delegation in charge of Iraq, told Time that his team found credible, disturbing evidence of mistreatment after interviewing virtually all the prisoners during that visit.

Nabil Shakar Abdul Razaq al-Taiee, 54, a retired electrical worker who was arrested last December, told Time that as recently as March, he witnessed soldiers beating prisoners, including a mentally unstable man who was thrown in a shipping container and pummeled and taunted for days.

It was an isolated incident, committed by 6-7 people on the night shift:

Taguba's report supports the contention of MPs like Frederick that the soldiers were told that inflicting such indignities would "set the conditions" for favorable interrogation by military-intelligence officers, cia officers and private contractors. Taguba concluded that a quartet of military-intelligence officers and civilian contractors "were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuse at Abu Ghraib." According to testimony from another accused abuser, Sergeant Javal Davis, military-intelligence officers essentially egged the guards on: "Loosen this guy up for us. Make sure he gets the treatment."....

This is not how our military acts:

One U.S. official says that some fbi agents were well aware that the military was using "very aggressive" interrogation methods that would not be condoned in the U.S. An Army officer seems to confirm that.

"Nobody got hurt. No one was physically injured":

Another former prisoner, Mohammed Unis Hassan, was arrested by U.S. forces for looting a bank last July. .... At the Baghdad airport holding pen, he laughed at interrogators who asked if he knew which terrorists were exploding bombs. When he failed to provide information, they beat him with a cable or a riot stick on the back of the legs.

The problem is women and homosexuals in the military:

Testifying before the Senate last Friday, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said the Pentagon has obtained more photos and video footage that show U.S. troops engaged in even worse behavior. "We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience," Senator Lindsey Graham said. "We're talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges."

[Mohammed Unis Hassan] says he saw an American guard having regular sex with an Iraqi woman prisoner on the floor above and across the hall from his cell.

American soldiers in Iraq have been endangered by the disclosure of the information to the American public, not by the acts themselves.

Reports of scandalous U.S. behavior inside Abu Ghraib have circulated in Iraq since the day it reopened.

Don't worry, we swear it's not happening elsewhere. Honest to God:

In September 2003, Major General Geoffrey Miller, commander of the secret U.S. detention center for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, visited Iraq to straighten out the prison. He recommended that the MPs should act not just as guards but as "enablers for interrogation."