We’re all familiar with Dear Leader’s bogus claims, and those of his cronies, that torture of
prisoners (or if you prefer the euphemism, abuse) was limited to a few “bad apples” and that
systemic torture was never, never the case.
Now comes major evidence in a new report in this morning’s London Guardian that “US
forces in Afghanistan engaged in widespread Abu Ghraib-style abuse, taking ‘trophy photographs’
of detainees and carrying out rape and sexual humiliation” — and then destroying the photos to
cover it up after the scandal in Iraq.
According to the Guardian, documents it obtained “contain evidence that such abuses took
place in the main detention centre at Bagram, near the capital Kabul, as well as at a smaller US
installation near the southern city of Kandahar.” Further:
[P]hotographs taken in southern Afghanistan showing US soldiers from the
22nd Infantry Battalion posing in mock executions of blindfolded and bound detainees, were
purposely destroyed after the Abu Ghraib scandal to avoid “another public outrage”, the
documents show. …
In a separate case, which the Guardian reveals today, two former prisoners of the US in
Afghanistan have come forward with claims against their American captors.
In sworn affidavits to a British-American human rights lawyer, a Palestinian says he was
sodomised by American soldiers in Afghanistan. Another former prisoner of US forces, a
Jordanian, describes a form of torture which involved being hung in a cage from a rope for
Go read the complete story.
To my knowledge the evidence of systematic torture at Bagram, and the attempt to cover it
up, have yet to appear in the American press. Fancy that! I’m checking further. When I have more
definitive knowledge, I’ll post it.
Whoops, I take that back. It’s been reported all over. The Associated Press has it.
Reuters has it. The Boston Globe has it.
The New York Times has it. The Washington Post has it. And here’s one in The Times of London.
The Guardian story and the rest are based on information
released by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has
posted the incriminating documents here.
The 1,000 pages of “evidence from U.S. army investigations released to the American Civil
Liberties Union” about torture of prisoners in Iraq — to which the Guardian refers — have also
been reported on in the American press. The ACLU has dripped the documents out to generate a
huge number of stories.
Meanwhile, have a look at “‘Nobody is talking,'” another
Guardian story this morning, which details how “9/11 created the will for new, harsher
interrogation techniques of foreign suspects by the US and led to the abuses in Guantánamo, Iraq,
Afghanistan and beyond.” Not incidentally, “it is the British who refined these methods and who
have provided the precedent for legalised torture.”
The story is occasioned by British publication of American journalist Mark Danner’s book,
Truth,” and another book, “The Torture Papers,” edited by
two American lawyers, Karen Greenberg and Joshua Dratel. Both books have been reported on in
the American press. But the Guardian lays out the themes and details better than I’ve seen