Tag: detainee abuse

New Abuse Allegations at Bagram in Afghanistan

The Open Society Foundation has released a new report on detainee abuse by the U.S. military at a detention facility in Afghanistan:

The accounts by Afghans—who refer to the site as “Tor Jail” or “Black Jail”—are not in accordance with U.S. detention rules. The report, Confinement Conditions at a U.S. Screening Facility on Bagram Air Base, provides the first detailed account of detainee treatment at this classified site, which is different than the well-know Bagram detention facility.

Detainees state that they were held in excessively cold isolation cells; supplied inappropriate or inadequate food, bedding, and blanketing; denied exposure to natural light; unable to carry out their religious duties; restricted from exercise; and kept from meeting with the International Committee of the Red Cross.


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Military Interrogator: "I Tortured People"

Tony Lagouranis interrogated prisoners in Iraq. He says "I tortured people."

At Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, the site of the 2003-04 abuse scandal, Lagouranis used to relax in the old execution chamber. He and a friend would sit near the trapdoor and read the Arabic scratched into the wall. They found a dirty brown rope. It was the hangman's noose. "If there is an evil spot in the world, that was one of them," Lagouranis said.

At Abu Ghraib and sometimes at the facilities in Mosul, north Babil province and other places where Lagouranis worked, the Americans were shot at and attacked with mortar fire. "Then I get a prisoner who may have done it," he said. "What are you going to do? You just want to get back at somebody, so you bring this dog in. 'Finally, I got you.' "

Now, he's tortured. This is a long article, but it doesn't make me any more sympathetic towards Lagouranis than I was towards Charles Graner.

Why are we hearing about this now? Because his book is about to be published.


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U.S. Commander of Iraqi Prison Charged With Aiding the Enemy

Lt. Col. William Steele, Commander of the 451st Police Detachment Unit at Camp Cropper, located at the Baghdad airport, which houses some of Saddam Hussein's top deputies, has been charged with aiding the enemy, having improper sexual relations with a translator and a detainee's daughter and possessing pornographic videos.

The aiding the enemy charge stems partially from allegations he provided unmonitored cell phones to detainees. In all there are nine charges:

The other charges included unauthorized possession of classified information, fraternizing with the daughter of a detainee, maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter, storing classified information in his quarters and possessing pornographic videos, the military said. Steele also was charged with improperly marking classified information, failing to obey an order and failing to fulfill his obligations in the expenditure of funds, the military said.

Steele is being held in Kuwait pending an Article 32 hearing. The 451st Police Detachment Unit is based in Inkster, MI (pdf).

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Military Says No Gitmo Prisoner Abuse Found

The Pentagon announced today that an investigation of prisoner abuse claims at Guantanamo were unfounded. Of course, they didn't bother to interview any of the detainees.

The investigation was initiated after Marine Sgt. Heather Cerveny advised the military that she heard a conversation among guards at a bar in which "they described beating detainees as common practice."

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No Indictments for Civilian Contractors Who Abused Iraq Detainees

The New York Times published an article Monday on the broken military policing system in Iraq. Despite more than 20 reported cases of abuse, not one contractor has been indicted.

Today the Times has a damning editorial on the the broken system, Only the Jailers Are Safe.

Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago, was a whistle-blower who prompted the raid by tipping off the F.B.I. to suspicious activity at the company where he worked, including possible weapons trafficking. He was arrested and held for 97 days — shackled and blindfolded, prevented from sleeping by blaring music and round-the-clock lights. In other words, he was subjected to the same mistreatment that thousands of non-Americans have been subjected to since the 2003 invasion.

Even after the military learned who Mr. Vance was, they continued to hold him in these abusive conditions for weeks more. He was not allowed to defend himself at the Potemkin hearing held to justify his detention. And that was special treatment. As an American citizen, he was at least allowed to attend his hearing. An Iraqi, or an Afghani, or any other foreigner, would have been barred from the room.

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