Monday, March 06, 2006

Update to last post.

"This is what we were trained to do, and this is what we did. I was not the only one; there were many others hitting them."

A day after my post on the kind of people that are being held in detention in the "War on terror", CBS ran a story that tries to make sense of detainee deaths while in custody.

Another point I've brought up repeatedly when arguing these sorts of points with war supporters is that when you tell your soldiers that the Geneva conventions do not apply, and when you fail to set specific rules about what is tolerable and not tolerable, you get this:
Their shackled hands, according to Brand, were at about eye level. The point of chaining them to the ceiling, Brand says, was to keep the detainees awake by not letting them lie down and sleep.

Interrogators wanted the prisoners softened up.

Asked what the longest period of time Brand saw a detainee chained like that, Brand says, "Probably about two days."

"Two days? Without a break?" Pelley asked.

"Without a break," Brand replied.


Brand says something else was thought to be acceptable in the prison: a brutal way of controlling prisoners – a knee to the common peroneal nerve in the leg, a strike with so much force behind it that the prisoner would lose muscle control and collapse in pain.

Brand says he vaguely remembers giving knee strikes to Habibullah.

How did the detainee react to that?

"The same way everybody else did. I mean he would scream out 'Allah, Allah, Allah'; sometimes his legs would buckle and sometimes it wouldn’t," Brand explained.

It wasn't only Willie Brand. A confidential report by the Army’s criminal investigation division accuses dozens of soldiers of abuse, including "slamming [a prisoner] into walls [and a] table," "forcing water into his mouth until he could not breathe," giving "kicks to the groin" and once, according to the report, a soldier "threatened to rape a male detainee." Soldiers even earned nicknames including "King of Torture" and "Knee of Death."


The military medical examiner says Dilawar’s legs were pulpified. Both autopsy reports were marked "homicide." But the Army spokesman in Afghanistan told the media that both men had died of natural causes.


There was a lot the Red Cross didn’t know. Medical experts say that Dilawar’s injuries were so severe that, if he had lived, both his legs would have required amputation. Even worse, one soldier testified that most of the interrogators thought Dilawar had been arrested only because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. They had come to believe he was just a cab driver.

Sound like anyone we know? Maybe an apple seller or a farmer perhaps?

Well, this is a grand tragedy, but certainly this isn't the fault of the generals and leaders... I mean, it's not like they knew what the hell was going on right?
"Several of my leaders knew because we had them like that, you know, there was probably one or two like that any given day. And we didn’t change the procedure if someone came through whether they were a colonel or a general, we left them the same. They seen (sic) what was going on there," Beiring answered.

Pelley asked Brand if other leaders knew what was going on.

Gen. Daniel McNeill, the top officer in Afghanistan, said “we are not chaining people to the ceilings.”

Brand disagreed. "Well, he’s lying obviously. I mean because we were doing it on a daily basis," he says.

I really hate to just copy and paste without comment, but this is one of those stories that pretty much stands for itself. Create the mess and then let the trigger men catch the heat. Sacrifice the grunts to save the brass.

But they get lemon chicken and fruit loops right?


Blogger teh l4m3 said...


I guess I should have linked to you on this, after today's post...

12:35 PM, March 06, 2006  

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