Sunday 15th of September 2019

we don't do torture .....


‘While the publication of the
first Abu Ghraib photos in April 2004 opened the floodgates for former Iraqi
detainees to speak out about their treatment at the hands of occupation forces,
this wasn't the first I'd heard of torture in Iraq. A case I'd documented even
before then was that of 57 year-old Sadiq Zoman

He was held for one month by U.S.
forces before being dropped off in a coma at the general hospital in Tikrit.
The medical report that came with his comatose body, written by U.S. Army medic
Lt. Col. Michael Hodges, listed the reasons for Zoman's state as heat stroke
and heart attack. 

That medical report, however,
failed to mention anything about the physical trauma evident on Zomans' body -
the electrical point burns on the soles of his feet and on his genitals, the
fact that the back of his head had been bashed in with a blunt instrument, or
the lash marks up and down his body.’ 

Dahr Jamail Follows
the Trail of Torture

Meanwhile, from The Guardian …..

‘In a new report
published yesterday, the human rights group criticised the US-led multinational
force for interning some 14,000 people.  

Around 3,800 people have been
held for over a year, while another 200 have been detained for more than two
years, the report - Beyond Abu Ghraib: detention and torture in Iraq - said.  

"It is a dangerous precedent
for the world that the US and UK think it completely defensible to hold
thousands of people without charge or trial," Amnesty spokesman Neil
Durkin said.  

The detainee situation in Iraq
was comparable to Guantánamo Bay, he added, but on a much larger scale, and the
detentions appeared to be "arbitrary and indefinite.”’ 

detained without trial in Iraq

Moving the thumbscrews

From the ABC

Abu Ghraib detainees to be moved
Iraqi detainees in US custody will be moved from Abu Ghraib prison to new facilities under construction.
General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says it will be up to the Iraqi Government to decide whether to close the notorious prison.
"We do have plans and are in the process of building other facilities to move detainees who are under US control out of Abu Ghraib," General Pace told reporters.
"That facility will then be owned and operated by the Iraqi Government and that Government will decide when that facility closes, if it does."

No more excuses

from The Moscow Times
Global Eye
Sick Days
By Chris Floyd
Published: March 10, 2006
It was, by all reports, the most heinous terrorist act in history. A ruthless gang of religious extremists, driven by an insatiable hatred for Western civilization, killed multitudes of innocent people in a merciless surprise attack. The perpetrators -- who posed as ordinary citizens, members of a law abiding ethnic minority going about their daily business -- took advantage of the burgeoning global economy to move easily across borders as they brought their vast conspiracy to its poisonous fruition.
But Western leaders, though they did sleep, finally roused themselves to action. One by one, terrorist operatives fell into their hands. In the face of such an unprecedented threat, the "gloves came off."
Captives were subjected to strenuous interrogation as officials worked feverishly to forestall any further attacks. Soon the hard evidence of guilt emerged: the words of the conspirators themselves, set down in black and white, confessing all.

That's how 14th-century Europe "learned" that the Black Death, the rat-borne plague that killed 25 million people across the continent in just four years, had been "caused" by the Jews. Vague rumor and ancient prejudice were "confirmed" by evidence extracted from captured Jews who had been "put to the question" -- the medieval spin-word for "torture."

Thus, when Rumsfeld issued an official memo in 2003 authorizing Abu Ghraib's inquisitors to use "stress positions," humiliation, hunger, sleep deprivation and sensory assaults to break the minds of prisoners, decorating the page with his hand-written exhortations ("Make sure this happens!"), as prison commandant Brigadier General Janis Karpinski has testified, he wasn't actually committing a war crime by ordering torture. There is no such thing as torture, you see -- if a Bush official orders it. No torture, no crime; just the broken minds, broken bodies and, in dozens of cases documented by Amnesty and others, the battered corpses of Bush's gulag guests.
Torture is the new plague, the real poison, spreading the toxins of untruth and brutality throughout\ the society that embraces it. The well-documented reality of Bush's ghastly system is now obvious for all to see. There can be no more excuses. Anyone who ignores this spreading evil is willfully blind; anyone who defends it is morally corrupt.

Read the whole thing at the Moscow Times...

them, not us .....

‘The story of Maajid Nawaz, Ian Nisbet and Reza Pankhurst,
the three British Muslims who travelled to Egypt with their families, their
detention there, their trial and their release now, almost four years later,
encapsulates several elements in the "east-west" or "war on
terror" story. 

Media coverage in the UK has focused on the men's
Britishness and whether the British government did enough to help them. As
usual, events outside the western hemisphere are presented as though in a void.
So here's a pencilling in of the local background.’ 

Egypt Tortures
For The US, So Why Not On Its Own Account?

blair says close guantanamo .....

Tony Blair joined the growing calls for the US detention
camp at Guantanamo Bay to be closed, after he was questioned about claims of
torture by two British residents being held there.  

Mr Blair was challenged at his
regular monthly press conference at 10 Downing Street yesterday over the
graphic and shocking claims by two men who lived in Britain that they were
handed over to the CIA by the security service MI5 for torture in the notorious
"dark prison" in Kabul, Afghanistan, before being taken to

Nine Britons were released, but
Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna are still in the detention camp in Cuba after
more than three years. They are demanding their freedom with another man, Omar
Deghayes. They won permission to seek a High Court order requiring the UK to
petition for their release. 

Blair said: "I can't comment on individual cases. I
think they are the subject of a court action. I have said that I think it would
be better if it [Guantánamo] was closed for all the reasons that we have given
over a long period of time." 

The judge who gave Mr al-Rawi, Mr
el-Banna and Mr Deghayes leave to apply for a High Court order to demand their
release, Mr Justice Collins, said during their hearing that America's idea of
torture "doesn't appear to coincide with that of most civilised

In an earlier report, the Foreign
Affairs Committee said: "We find that the Government's position on the
detentions at Guantanamo Bay does not sit easily with its pledge to 'respect,
and urge others to respect, those human rights laid down in the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that can never be compromised, even in
states of emergency'."  

PM Finally Calls
For Guantanamo To Close

As long as they do not bleed...

From the New York Times

Before and After Abu Ghraib, a U.S. Unit Abused Detainees

Published: March 19, 2006
As the Iraqi insurgency intensified in early 2004, an elite Special Operations forces unit converted one of Saddam Hussein's former military bases near Baghdad into a top-secret detention center. There, American soldiers made one of the former Iraqi government's torture chambers into their own interrogation cell. They named it the Black Room.

In June 2004, Stephen A. Cambone, a top Pentagon official, ordered his deputy, Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, to look into allegations of detainee abuse at Camp Nama.
In the windowless, jet-black garage-size room, some soldiers beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces and, in a nearby area, used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball. Their intention was to extract information to help hunt down Iraq's most-wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, according to Defense Department personnel who served with the unit or were briefed on its operations.

The Black Room was part of a temporary detention site at Camp Nama, the secret headquarters of a shadowy military unit known as Task Force 6-26. Located at Baghdad International Airport, the camp was the first stop for many insurgents on their way to the Abu Ghraib prison a few miles away.

Placards posted by soldiers at the detention area advised, "NO BLOOD, NO FOUL." The slogan, as one Defense Department official explained, reflected an adage adopted by Task Force 6-26: "If you don't make them bleed, they can't prosecute for it."

read more at the NY Times...