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Legal Team Interviews More Than 100 Alleging Torture by U.S.

Shereef Akeel is an attorney based in Michigan who just got back from Jordan interviewing released Iraqi prisoners as part of a legal team formed for that purpose. He says more than 100 of the former prisoners allege being subjected to torture and he expects the number to grow to 300, "after sorting out survivors' statements and coordinating them with witnesses' accounts."

The team had already recorded testimony from over 50 former detainees, detailing severe abuse, rape, torture, humiliation, and religious degradation allegedly committed throughout the network of US-run detention centers and prisons in Iraq. In August, Akeel and his investigative partner, Mohammed Alomari, also revealed what appears to be the systematic targeting of religious inmates, as well as the rape of a 15-year-old boy by his captors as late as July 2004.

After two more rounds of interviews with former detainees, one in October and another earlier this month, the team has at least doubled the number of abuse cases their office is officially handling. The growing chaos in Iraq kept Akeel’s team out of the country, so Iraqis were bussed into Jordan and put up in a hotel, giving them a brief respite from the war even as they were asked to show their prison-issued documentation, including release papers, and to tell their horrific stories.

The interviewees are released prisoners who were never charged with a crime.

"We’re only speaking with people who have been released. They were released without charges. They were held without charges," stressed Akeel. "One day you get a form -- your time is up and you’re served with a blanket release."

[hat tip to reader Jerry D.]

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    Rummy take heed...for the day will come when you are no longer untouchable.

    Is there any word on what Akeel intends to do with all of this testimony? I can't imagine that bringing any sort of criminal charges in the U.S. is an option. Could civil charges really be an appropriate way to deal with what appears to be prevalent use of torture as an interrogation method?

    et al - "alleging..."

    Re: Legal Team Interviews More Than 100 Alleging T (none / 0) (#4)
    by Al on Sat Jan 01, 2005 at 11:20:50 PM EST
    Yes, PPJ, there is a presumption of innocence, which is a lot more than the Guantanamo prisoners are getting. We shall see eventually if there are any convictions. But it's good to see the wheels are in motion.

    God how many?

    The world could see many pics of American troops torturing Iraqis. There is then a presumption of guilt regarding the US army today, wherever it is.

    Those pictures are probably taken out of context. Any soldier tried should subpoena the likes of Rush and PPJ to explain the true nature of their frat-like activities.

    Ernesto, I think if you want to look at the potential long-term consequences for Rummy, you need to look at how war crimes have caught up with Pinochet and Kissinger. There's an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. The worst that seems to happen to these folks is that they become social pariahs, their legacy is not what they sought, they have to write their memoirs to give context.

    et al - Since these are Iraqis, why are the interviews in Jordan? Seems curious, I mean they were innocent, and have been released and all.

    Re: Legal Team Interviews More Than 100 Alleging T (none / 0) (#10)
    by soccerdad on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 09:20:40 AM EST
    PPJ If you weren't so lazy you have found after clicking "more"
    The growing chaos in Iraq kept Akeelís team out of the country, so Iraqis were bussed into Jordan and put up in a hotel, giving them a brief respite from the war even as they were asked to show their prison-issued documentation, including release papers, and to tell their horrific stories


    Re: Legal Team Interviews More Than 100 Alleging T (none / 0) (#11)
    by theologicus on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 09:41:30 AM EST
    Denial will only work for so long. Either nothing will ever reach those who protest so much against the revelations of officially sanctioned torutre, or they will have to undergo a paradigm shift. Thought-experiment: Can you say "tiger cage"?

    Re: Legal Team Interviews More Than 100 Alleging T (none / 0) (#12)
    by john horse on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 09:54:16 AM EST
    Jim, The only question to cross your eggshell mind is why the interviews were in Jordan? You don't wonder why our government is committing rape, torture, humiliation, and religious degradation of prisoners? Or are you ok with this, so long as they don't cross the line and get kinky like in Abu Ghraib?

    John H - Nope, I just get curious when I see articles about Iraqis being written from Jordan, dosesn't make a lot sense. SD - Actually I stopped at the bottom of the article where it says log in or sign up. I chose not to do either. After receiving your most kind and sweet comments, I re-visited the link and clicked on the bottom and received a request for donation. When I refused, I was returned to the first page. Where I did the same thing all over again, just to be sure I missed nothing. So the author wouldn't go into Iraq, but instead the Iraqis were brought to him. Who brought them? Who paid for Akeel's trip? Did anyone vet the documents? Did anyone challenge the statements? If you are going to have an "investigation," you need to investigate.

    Re: Legal Team Interviews More Than 100 Alleging T (none / 0) (#14)
    by soccerdad on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 12:54:48 PM EST
    PPJ nice try, it was on the second page of the post above, click more do not need to go to site of the actual article. Anybody who values his own life will not go to Iraq. Its not even safe in the green zone. Why does anyone heve to vet them at this point in the process? No charges have been filed against anyone. Nothing he claims is really contradictory to any of the official reports. There is no doubt from the offical reports that torture took place. Don't worry your boys won't end up in jail.

    SD writes - "No charges have been filed against anyone. Nothing he claims is really contradictory to any of the official reports. There is no doubt from the offical reports that torture took place." Huh? Are you saying these reports match offical freports? I am LOL.

    Re: Legal Team Interviews More Than 100 Alleging T (none / 0) (#16)
    by soccerdad on Mon Jan 03, 2005 at 05:22:52 AM EST
    PPJ Let me help you with the English language. I never said they "matched" i.e. a 1 to 1 correspondence. i said there wa nothing in these reports that were contradicted by offical reports. For some one like you who likes to parse words, although incorrectly most of the time,..... never mind PPJ a walking advertisement for the limits of public education

    My take on Jim is that he is always looking to slightly change the words or context so that he can change the argument. It's intellectually dishonest and not constructive, but it creates some debating points for him. It's been the right wing approach for a few years now. By the time anyone can get the facts straight and correct the record, the wingnuts have moved on and are creating a new smokescreen. I fear it's going to backfire on the American people in a major way. Our trading partners can cut us off at the knees if they choose to. We rule the world from our humvees powered by imported fuel. You connect the dots, kimo sabe. Don't

    SD writes - "i said there wa nothing in these reports that were contradicted by offical reports." So, they don't match, but they don't contradict. OK, Mr. Parser Himself, I'll accept that. You are saying we have 100 offical reports, and none of these 100 interviews contradicts them. They match in all details. I'm still LOL. CA - As Tonto said when he and the Lone Ranger were surounded by peace loving native americans - AKA Indians - "What you mean we, white man?" The ability to define the meaning of words is the ability to re-write history. You accusing me of that is funny. I am a liberal. You are not. Unfornatuely, between the press and the Left, you managed to change the meaning of "liberal." Of course the Repubs didn't care, that just made it easy for them to take pot shots at an easily identified group. And the ability to keep definitions "loose" is the ability to let you change the meanings at anytime. If you would agree that words should have precise meanings, especially in law, I would believe that you are in law.

    Re: Legal Team Interviews More Than 100 Alleging T (none / 0) (#19)
    by soccerdad on Mon Jan 03, 2005 at 07:55:41 AM EST
    PPJ you are no liberal, just a piece of lying pond scum. Sory to all pond scum everywhere. Your absolute dishonesty has been well displayed over the last couple of days. Your lack of relevance and lack of credibility have been proven beyond a doubt.

    Here we go again...PPJ places bait...SD takes bait. Repeat ad nauseam.