More Torture Documents Released

The AP has received a second batch of documents from its FOIA request regarding the detainees at Guantanamo, consisting of 1,000 additonal pages of transcripts of the detainee's tribunal (status review) hearings. Several detainees told the hearing officers of torture and abuse. The officers did not believe it was their job to investigate the claims. In several instances, they just changed the subject. Here's an example:

Another man alleged that U.S. troops stripped the prisoners of their clothes in Afghanistan and bullied them into saying things the Americans wanted to hear. "Americans were beating us really hard, and they had dogs behind us and they said if we didn't say this, they would release the dogs," he said.

The tribunal president made no comment and moved on to the next question: Where were you born?

Another example:

"Americans hit me and beat me up so badly I believe I'm sexually dysfunctional. I don't know if I'll be able to sleep with my wife or not," he said. "I can't control my urination, and sometimes I put toilet paper down there so I won't wet my pants." "I point to where the pain is. ... I think they take it as a joke and they laugh."

The tribunal president promised to take up the man's medical complaint, but in five pages of questioning, never brought up the alleged abuse.

The Navy's official response? Freddie Prinze, redux: "It's not my job."

The panel members were charged with determining whether the men were enemy combatants — not with investigating abuse allegations, said a military spokeswoman, Navy Capt. Beci Brenton. She said tribunal members are supposed to forward abuse allegations to the Joint Task Force running the detention mission, which then forwards them to U.S. Southern Command in Miami.

More allegations by the detainees:

"When I was in the Kandahar prison, the interrogator hit my arm and told me I received training in mortars," a man said, referring to the U.S. detention camp in western Afghanistan where the Taliban rose to power.

"As he was hitting me, I kept telling him, no I didn't receive training. I was crying and finally I told him I did receive the training. My hands were tied behind my back and my knees were on the ground and my head was bleeding. I was in a lot of pain. ... At that point, with all my suffering, if he had asked me if I was Osama bin Laden, I would have said yes.

"What is my crime? Because of the United States, my hand is handicapped. I can't work."

The detainees were not allowed to have civilian lawyers at the hearing - only military lawyers. Their requests for witnesses to appear on their behalf went unheeded.

In more than 3,500 pages of testimonies, the only witnesses are other detainees.

As one detainee puts it:

He compared his detention at Guantanamo to the 1998 Hollywood movie "The Siege," in which Arabs are indiscriminately hunted down and detained in New York City after a terrorist attack.

"I was shocked, thinking am I in that movie or on a stage in Hollywood? Is this really happening? Sometimes I laugh at myself and say when does that movie end?" he says.

Another puts it this way:

"All the rules in the United States and in the world, the person is innocent until you prove he is guilty, not innocent. But here, with Americans, the detainees are guilty until proven innocent."

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    Re: More Torture Documents Released (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:28 PM EST
    Hey raghead...either accept this good dose of Freedom and Democracy...or we release the hounds.

    Re: More Torture Documents Released (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:29 PM EST
    And right now the headline on CNN reads "Allegation of rights abuses offends Cheney." It is time to blame Newsweek or runaway brides or those in the left media for beating those poor terrorists. It is sad to say it, but I'm running out of outrage.

    Re: More Torture Documents Released (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:29 PM EST
    I'm starting to understand the URGE to torture. Don't know if I could actually attach the electrodes to Cheney's arguably conductive ba**s. But I sure as hell would love to see his "offended" expression.