Sunday, September 17, 2006

US Experience With Efficacy Of Torture To Date

Abu Ghraib
Corpse of Victim of CIA Torture at Abu Ghraib. No one has been prosecuted for the death.
Detainees bound for Gitmo

From the Memory Hole Website:
Abu Ghraib Interrogations "A Total Waste of Time"
"The Wall Street Journal has a long article titled 'At Abu Ghraib, Soldiers Faced Pressure to Produce Intelligence.' Based on 'interviews with more than 20 interrogators and analysts at the prison,' the crux of the matter is this:

..."But despite the arrival of two teams of interrogation experts, special training by interrogators from the U.S. facility for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and a crack-the-whip command, the Abu Ghraib intelligence operation appears to have produced little useful information.

"'At first I thought it was going to be really interesting,' says Spc. Gabriel Teaca, who served out the fall and winter on an interrogation team at Abu Ghraib. 'It was just a total waste of time.'

Among some of the interesting nuggets:

"Prisoners poured into Abu Ghraib at a rate of more than 60 per day, said Chief Warrant Officer Jeffrey Hanson, who screened prisoners at the facility until February. The vast majority had virtually no intelligence value, said Chief Hanson, a reservist who in civilian life is director of the Utah State Veterans Home. 'It seemed like when something bad happened the infantry would just roll up' a dozen Iraqis in the area, most of whom were not involved. ...

"Interrogators complained that the need for more and better intelligence drove them to disseminate intelligence reports to field units that were half-baked and of dubious worth. 'We'd get information that wasn't corroborated or that we thought probably wasn't true. But [Col. Pappas] was so desperate for numbers that we sent out the report anyway'" says Spc. Monath, an intelligence analyst who was responsible for drafting the final reports.

"The bad intelligence gave way to raids on innocent people, he said. In one case, he said, an entire Iraqi family was arrested while eating dinner because an interrogator's raw notes containing bad coordinates were sent to a field unit."
In today's news, an extensive report from the Associated Press on what, exactly we know so far about the numbers of detainees we probably have penned up & the odds they're really dangerous terrorists (not good), but still we don't release them, & don't charge them. Instead, we keep them imprisoned in legal limbo. (Title bar.)

"In the few short years since the first shackled Afghan shuffled off to Guantanamo, the U.S. military has created a global network of overseas prisons, its islands of high security keeping 14,000 detainees beyond the reach of established law.

"Disclosures of torture and long-term arbitrary detentions have won rebuke from leading voices including the U.N. secretary-general and the U.S. Supreme Court. But the bitterest words come from inside the system, the size of several major U.S. penitentiaries.

'It was hard to believe I'd get out,' Baghdad shopkeeper Amjad Qassim al-Aliyawi told The Associated Press after his release — without charge — last month. 'I lived with the Americans for one year and eight months as if I was living in hell.'"

"Captured on battlefields, pulled from beds at midnight, grabbed off streets as suspected insurgents, tens of thousands now have passed through U.S. detention, the vast majority in Iraq.

"Many say they were caught up in U.S. military sweeps, often interrogated around the clock, then released months or years later without apology, compensation or any word on why they were taken. Seventy to 90 percent of the Iraq detentions in 2003 were 'mistakes,' U.S. officers once told the international Red Cross.

"Defenders of the system, which has only grown since soldiers' photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib shocked the world, say it's an unfortunate necessity in the battles to pacify Iraq and Afghanistan, and to keep suspected terrorists out of action.

"'Every U.S. detainee in Iraq is detained because he poses a security threat to the government of Iraq, the people of Iraq or coalition forces,' said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Keir-Kevin Curry, a spokesman for U.S.-led military detainee operations in Iraq.

"But dozens of ex-detainees, government ministers, lawmakers, human rights activists, lawyers and scholars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the United States said the detention system often is unjust and hurts the war on terror by inflaming anti-Americanism in Iraq and elsewhere.
"Whatever the progress, small or significant, grim realities persist.

"Human rights groups count dozens of detainee deaths for which no one has been punished or that were never explained. The secret prisons — unknown in number and location — remain available for future detainees. The new manual banning torture doesn't cover CIA interrogators.

"And thousands of people still languish in a limbo, deprived of one of common law's oldest rights, habeas corpus, the right to know why you are imprisoned.

"'If you, God forbid, are an innocent Afghan who gets sold down the river by some warlord rival, you can end up at Bagram and you have absolutely no way of clearing your name,' said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch in New York. 'You can't have a lawyer present evidence, or do anything organized to get yourself out of there.'

"The U.S. government has contended it can hold detainees until the 'war on terror' ends — as it determines.

"'I don't think we've gotten to the question of how long,' said retired admiral John D. Hutson, former top lawyer for the U.S. Navy. 'When we get up to 'forever,' I think it will be tested' in court, he said.

"The Navy is planning long-term at Guantanamo. This fall it expects to open a new, $30-million maximum-security wing at its prison complex there, a concrete-and-steel structure replacing more temporary camps..."

And we dare call ourselves a civilized nation?


Anonymous Jersey McJones said...

If they’re bad actors, try them! Give them lawyers and try them! Afterall, there’s no such a legal term as “enemy combatant.” They are either criminals or prisoners of war. There is no other status.


3:33 PM  

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