New Abuse Allegations at Bagram in Afghanistan

The Open Society Foundation has released a new report on detainee abuse by the U.S. military at a detention facility in Afghanistan:

The accounts by Afghans—who refer to the site as “Tor Jail” or “Black Jail”—are not in accordance with U.S. detention rules. The report, Confinement Conditions at a U.S. Screening Facility on Bagram Air Base, provides the first detailed account of detainee treatment at this classified site, which is different than the well-know Bagram detention facility.

Detainees state that they were held in excessively cold isolation cells; supplied inappropriate or inadequate food, bedding, and blanketing; denied exposure to natural light; unable to carry out their religious duties; restricted from exercise; and kept from meeting with the International Committee of the Red Cross.


If the allegations are true, they violate U.S. policy and more, such as:

[rules]in the Army’s Human Intelligence Collector Operations Field Manual, and Common Article 3 of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which prohibits “cruel treatment and torture,” and “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”


The report calls on the government to conduct an investigation to ensure that personnel at the facility uphold Department of Defense detainee treatment rules and standards. A thorough review of U.S. interrogation and detainee treatment rules is also needed to ensure compliance with international detainee treatment standards. The report recommends immediate actions to reduce the likelihood of mistreatment, such as providing additional food and blankets to detainees.

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    Must be an incremental thing (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 06:33:22 PM EST
    It takes time to "move forward" I suppose. Maybe by the 20th year of the Afghan occupation the Obama administrations successors will have their detainees cell temperatures up a degree or two? And don't forget, republicans could be worse... but it's not like Obama has to worry about prosecution for war crimes. </snark>

    I'm sure that any mistreatment (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 06:53:06 PM EST
    happened at least 2 or 3 days ago. "...we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards..."  You must not have gotten the memo in 1/2009. </snark>

    "Forward is the great password", yes (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 07:06:07 PM EST
    "And history tells how well we succeeded, Your Honor."

    I still say he'll never be prosecuted. Boehner's table will probably have impeachment back on it.


    not to be nit picky or anything, (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 10:11:06 PM EST
    but the geneva conventions, as i understand them, pretty much only cover two specific groups:

    1. POW's: uniformed personell, captured during declared armed conflicts.

    2. enemy combatants: non-uniformed personell, captured during declared armed conflicts. per the conventions, a formal hearing is required, to determine the specific status of those not obviously part of the first group. again, as i understand it, none of the detainee's at baghram (or anywhere else, for that matter), has yet been the subject of of one of these defined formal hearings.

    in essence, the detainee's have no formal status. thus, they (per our government's "logic") have no rights at all. they are, for all intents and purposes, non-persons. they don't even exist.

    if this sounds familiar, it should. you've read about it during the nazi regime, the communist era in russia, several right-wing military regimes in central/south america. these were the "disappeareds".

    you should be afraid. nothing to stop it from happening here too.