woensdag, mei 19, 2004

The Next Sound You Hear Will Be The Shit Hitting The Fan
"Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do"

Slowly but surely a different sort of truth is emerging about the Roots of Torture as uncovered by a Newsweek investigation:

"But a NEWSWEEK investigation shows that, as a means of pre-empting a repeat of 9/11, Bush, along with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft, signed off on a secret system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to such methods. It was an approach that they adopted to sidestep the historical safeguards of the Geneva Conventions, which protect the rights of detainees and prisoners of war. In doing so, they overrode the objections of Secretary of State Colin Powell and America's top military lawyers—and they left underlings to sweat the details of what actually happened to prisoners in these lawless places. While no one deliberately authorized outright torture, these techniques entailed a systematic softening up of prisoners through isolation, privations, insults, threats and humiliation—methods that the Red Cross concluded were "tantamount to torture."

"The Bush administration created a bold legal framework to justify this system of interrogation, according to internal government memos obtained by NEWSWEEK. What started as a carefully thought-out, if aggressive, policy of interrogation in a covert war—designed mainly for use by a handful of CIA professionals—evolved into ever-more ungoverned tactics that ended up in the hands of untrained MPs in a big, hot war. Originally, Geneva Conventions protections were stripped only from Qaeda and Taliban prisoners. But later Rumsfeld himself, impressed by the success of techniques used against Qaeda suspects at Guantanamo Bay, seemingly set in motion a process that led to their use in Iraq, even though that war was supposed to have been governed by the Geneva Conventions. Ultimately, reservist MPs, like those at Abu Ghraib, were drawn into a system in which fear and humiliation were used to break prisoners' resistance to interrogation."

Jumping on the same band wagon, or a band wagon with very similar wheels, and coming on the heels of this revelation is more details about the sort of business the War on Terror was busy negotiating:

The Denver Post has broken a story from documents obtained from the Pentagon regarding the 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

"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."

Geneva Convention, anyone?

Thanks to Empire Notes for the lead to the Denver Post article.

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