FBI Releases Documents Showing Detainee Abuse
The FBI has released new documents pursuant to the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act request showing Guantanamo detainee abuse. They detail abuses witnessed (but not performed by) FBI personnel. (You can view the released documents here.)
FBI agents documented more than two dozen incidents of possible mistreatment at the Guantanamo Bay military base, including one detainee whose head was wrapped in duct tape for chanting the Quran and another who pulled out his hair after hours in a sweltering room.
The reports describe a female guard who detainees said handled their genitals and wiped menstrual blood on their face. Another interrogator reportedly bragged to an FBI agent about dressing as a Catholic priest and "baptizing" a prisoner.
Some military officials and contractors told FBI agents that the interrogation techniques had been approved by the Defense Department, including directly by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
The records were the result of an internal survey conducted by the FBI.
The agency asked 493 employees whether they witnessed aggressive treatment that was not consistent with the FBI's policies. The bureau received 26 positive responses, including some from agents who were troubled by what they saw.
"I did observe treatment that was not only aggressive but personally very upsetting," one agent wrote, describing seeing a man left in a 100-degree room with no ventilation overnight. "The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently literally been pulling his own hair out throughout the night."
Then there's this one:
In one report, an agent said he saw a detainee draped in an Israeli flag in a room with loud music and strobe lights. A note on the report said the Israeli flag "may be over the top but not abusive." The words "may be" were then crossed out and replaced with "is."
And here's the kicker:
The FBI reports do not say whether any laws were broken. They said nothing employees observed rose to the level of abuse seen at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
You can search through the specific documents obtained to date from the ACLU on detainee abuse here.
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