This Space for Rent

A fish rots from the head

it was clear to me that there was a visible audit trail from the vice president's office through the secretary of Defense down to the commanders in the field that in carefully couched terms -- I'll give you that -- that to a soldier in the field meant two things: We're not getting enough good intelligence and you need to get that evidence, and, oh, by the way, here's some ways you probably can get it. And even some of the ways that they detailed were not in accordance with the spirit of the Geneva Conventions and the law of war.
  1. Beyond the most abusive actions at Abu Ghraib, there is plentiful evidence that senior officers were aware of practices like forced nudity and the use of unmuzzled dogs to intimidate prisoners. Col. Thomas Pappas, the military intelligence officer in charge of interrogations at Abu Ghraib, is reported as having openly acknowledged the use of forced nudity as part of the intelligence process.

  2. The former U.S. army chief in Iraq authorized tough techniques to intimidate detainees during interrogations, including using guard dogs and placing prisoners in painful stress positions, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

  3. Two Afghan prisoners who died in American custody in Afghanistan in December 2002 were chained to the ceiling, kicked and beaten by American soldiers in sustained assaults that caused their deaths, according to Army criminal investigative reports

  4. On each stage of his journey, as he descended further and further into the gulags and torture chambers of the war on terror, Benyam Mohammed al-Habashi was shadowed by British intelligence. The British were there in Karachi when Americans interrogated him and Pakistanis tortured him; they were feeding questions to the Moroccan torturers who took a scalpel to his penis; they stood back and watched as he was dragged to an American torture chamber in Afghanistan and then to the gulag of Guantanamo, where he languishes to this day.

  5. In Uzbekistan, it works like this, he says. Person X is tortured and signs a statement saying hes going to crash planes into buildings, or that hes linked to Osama bin Laden. Hes also asked if he knows persons X, Y and Z in the UK who are involved in terrorism. Hell be tortured until he agrees, though hes never met them.

    The confession is sent to the CIA where, according to Murray, it is sanitised. Before sanitisation the report will have the guys name on it, the date of the interrogation, where it took place and might still be bloodstained."

  6. "He told me he was almost 12," she said. "He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying."

(Wilkerson interview via Pen and Sword,
most of the other quotes from this post of mine,
except for two from Ken MacLeod