Thursday, May 08, 2008

Torture Widespread Abuse of Detainees in Iraq

The Abu Ghraib scandal was seen as an isolated incident. It was characterized as the actions of " a few bad apples ". But this was a mistaken view which was encouraged by the Bush Regime, the Pentagon, the DOD , CIA etc. as a part of a cover-up of wide spread abuses of detainees. In my last post I argued that according to a number of people in the know that large numbers of detainees have been abused by the US forces in Iraq.

Anyway the issue of abuses and torture should not be allowed to die or buried or tossed down the Memory Hole with all the other crimes committed by the Bush/Cheney Regime. If the issue is not taken care of and those in positions of power are not brought to account for their misdeeds then what is to prevent such abuses from occurring in the future. That is as long as no one takes any pictures or films to post on YouTube.

Errol Morris has released a film about Abu Ghraib called " Standing Operating Procedure " .

The Smoking Gun by Errol Morris, May 6, 2008 at the Huffington Post

The photographs have hopelessly confused the issue. They focus blame on the wrong people. Abu Ghraib was not just one cell corridor and a few MPs with cameras. By the end of 2003, it was a de facto concentration camp in the middle of the Sunni triangle with close to 10,000 prisoners. There was systematic and horrendous abuse. Constant mortar attacks putting both guards and prisoners at risk. Thousands of prisoners rounded up in sweeps and kept indefinitely in outdoor "tent cities;" repeated rioting because of food shortages and squalid conditions; illegal renditions to Jordan; kidnapping, hostage-taking; children behind bars; torture, water-boarding - even murder. We put the bad apples in prison, isn't it now time to deal with the real criminals?

Meanwhile, the military has been engaged in a giant cover up that has continued until the present day. Even the cover up has been covered up. The New York Times could faithfully report on the destruction of the Zubaydah interrogation tapes, two of them, but hundreds, if not thousands of interrogation tapes were destroyed at Abu Ghraib in January 2004. Colonel Thomas Pappas, the head of the prison, in a signed written statement declared an "amnesty period" in January 2004. Soldiers were asked to destroy whatever photographs or files they had. Hard drives were erased and e-mails purged. No one seems to know about it or care. Certainly, few officials in the military or the government cared about what really happened; they cared about damage control.

It is one thing to go to war; it is another thing to promote a foreign and domestic policy without even paying lip service to ethics, morality or the law. Make no mistake, the bad apples are not completely innocent of wrongdoing, but they are not the ones truly responsible. We have punished many of them for taking pictures of abuse and have never punished the people who ordered and were responsible for the abuse.

CNN Wolf Blitzer/April 15, 2008

Note: in this clip the reporter refers to the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib as " the Incident " as if it were isolated . She then says she talk to officials in Department of Defence who reassured her that there were only a few such incidents in Iraq. The official further claimed that there 12 which were investigated officially. But these invetigations themselves are suspect as they were done by officials who did not want to find evidence pointing to the involvement of those highter up in the chain of command.As we know the Bush /Cheney / Rumsfeld regime has been notorious in the number of scandals and its attempts to cover them up.

To discover the truth would require having an independent body investigate that would have no ties to the Bush Regime or the government departments involved. It would have been best to have some well respected persons outside the U.S. take part in such investigations. But Bush and others have claimed and still claim international laws and American laws do not apply to these detainees. It also appears that CNN and the rest of the American Media and the public in general are not that concerned about detainee abuses . But many of those involved believed that interrogators and guards were encouraged to use these abusive , illegal and immoral techniques.

Abu Ghraib Interrogator Speaks

Tony Lagouranis an American interrogator wrote about his time as an interrogator in Iraq in his book FEAR UP HARSH.

Tony Lagouranis argues that torture was widespread across Iraq and was approved by those higher up in the chain of command.

Note: The Sky News reporter tries to suggest that the things done were not as bas as whart Saddam had done to his own people. Is this how we are supposed to conduct ourselves as slightly better then Saddam ruthless regime.
The reporter questions how Tony Lagouranis could know that many of those who were detained and who were tortured were in fact innocent.
The reporter then brings up the ticking bomb argument as if it were a valid argument. But most experts tell us that torture does not get one usable or actionable intel.
The reporter even suggest that Mr. Lagouranis may be making this all up.

Tony Lagouranis Interview About Abu Ghraib

Most Prisoners at Abu Ghraib should not have been there
Anyone who was arrested and became a detainee was assumed to be guilty of being an insurgent or helping or hiding insurgents or weapons or had important actionable intel. These assumptions led to widespread abuses of innocent people.

Janis Karpinski- Former US Brigadier General, Commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade in Iraq, the unit responsible for Abu Ghraib: Justifying Torture, and Distorting the Truth

Abu Ghraib Whistleblower Speaks out on Torture on Democracy Now 2/5
Interviewed by Amy Goodman
See the complete interview at YouTube

Added: January 26, 2008
Broadcast Exclusive: Abu Ghraib Whistleblower Samuel Provance Speaks Out on Torture and Cover-Up at U.S. Military Jail

In a national TV broadcast exclusive, we spend the hour with Abu Ghraib whistleblower and former Army sergeant, Samuel Provance. From September 2003 to the spring of 2004, Provance ran the top-secret computer network used by Military Intelligence at Abu Ghraib. He was the first intelligence specialist to speak openly about abuse at the prison and is the only Military Intelligence soldier listed as a witness in the Taguba report. Among the abuses he lists is the torture of a sixteen-year-old Iraqi boy in order to make his father talk. After Provance spoke out, the Army stripped him of his security clearance, demoted him and threatened him with ten years in jail.

and so it goes,

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