Butchers

I can't say that Britain has a pristine record its empire having been based on the slave trade and more recently the invention of concentration camps.

Here is the whole unedited story of one journalists account of US events in Iraq and Afghanistan. …

Originally posted by Raw Story:

US interrogators may have killed dozens, human rights researcher and rights group say.
By John Byrne. Published: May 6, 2009

United States interrogators killed nearly four dozen detainees during or after their interrogations, according a report published by a human rights researcher based on a Human Rights First report and followup investigations.

In all, 98 detainees have died while in US hands. Thirty-four homicides have been identified, with at least eight detainees — and as many as 12 — having been tortured to death, according to a 2006 Human Rights First report that underwrites the researcher’s posting. The causes of 48 more deaths remain uncertain.

The researcher, John Sifton, worked for five years for Human Rights Watch. In a posting Tuesday, he documents myriad cases of detainees who died at the hands of their US interrogators. Some of the instances he cites are graphic.

Most of those taken captive were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. They include at least one Afghani soldier, Jamal Naseer, who was mistakenly arrested in 2004. “Those arrested with Naseer later said that during interrogations U.S. personnel punched and kicked them, hung them upside down, and hit them with sticks or cables,” Sifton writes. “Some said they were doused with cold water and forced to lie in the snow. Nasser collapsed about two weeks after the arrest, complaining of stomach pain, probably an internal hemorrhage.”

Another Afghan killing occurred in 2002. Mohammad Sayari was killed by four U.S. service members after being detained for allegedly “following their movements.” A Pentagon document obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2005 said that the Defense Department found a captain and three sergeants had “murdered” Sayari, but the section dealing with the department’s probe was redacted.

Perhaps the most macabre case occurred in Iraq, which was documented in a Human Rights First report in 2006.

“Nagem Sadoon Hatab… a 52-year-old Iraqi, was killed while in U.S. custody at a holding camp close to Nasiriyah,” the group wrote. “Although a U.S. Army medical examiner found that Hatab had died of strangulation, the evidence that would have been required to secure accountability for his death – Hatab’s body – was rendered unusable in court. Hatab’s internal organs were left exposed on an airport tarmac for hours; in the blistering Baghdad heat, the organs were destroyed; the throat bone that would have supported the Army medical examiner’s findings of strangulation was never found.”

In another graphic instance, a former Iraqi general was beaten by US forces and suffocated to death. The military officer charged in the death was given just 60 days house arrest.

“Abed Hamed Mowhoush [was] a former Iraqi general beaten over days by U.S. Army, CIA and other non-military forces, stuffed into a sleeping bag, wrapped with electrical cord, and suffocated to death,” Human Rights First writes. “In the recently concluded trial of a low-level military officer charged in Mowhoush’s death, the officer received a written reprimand, a fine, and 60 days with his movements limited to his work, home, and church.”

Another Iraqi man was killed in a US detention facility on Mosul in 2003.

“U.S. military personnel who examined Kenami when he first arrived at the facility determined that he had no preexisting medical conditions,” the rights group writes. “Once in custody, as a disciplinary measure for talking, Kenami was forced to perform extreme amounts of exercise—a technique used across Afghanistan and Iraq. Then his hands were bound behind his back with plastic handcuffs, he was hooded, and forced to lie in an overcrowded cell. Kenami was found dead the morning after his arrest, still bound and hooded. No autopsy was conducted; no official cause of death was determined. After the Abu Ghraib scandal, a review of Kenami’s death was launched, and Army reviewers criticized the initial criminal investigation for failing to conduct an autopsy; interview interrogators, medics, or detainees present at the scene of the death; and collect physical evidence. To date, however, the Army has taken no known action in the case.”

Death from interrogation is hard to separate from simple detainee death while in US custody. But one particular case stands out that seems to have fallen by the wayside — the murder of CIA “ghost” detainee named Manadel al-Jamadi, who was tortured to death by a CIA team at Abu Ghraib in 2003.

“Pictures of Abu Ghraib guards Charles Graner and Sabrina Harman posing with al-Jamadi’s dead body, the so-called Ice Man, were among the most notorious of the Abu Ghraib photographs published in April 2004,” Sifton notes. “A CIA officer named Mark Swanner and an interpreter led the team that interrogated al-Jamadi. Nine Navy personnel were also implicated. An autopsy conducted by the U.S. military five days after al-Jamadi’s death found that the cause: “blunt force injuries complicated by compromised respiration.”

“Reporting by The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer and NPR’s John McChesney revealed that al-Jamadi was strung up from handcuffs behind his back, a torture tactic sometimes called a ‘Palestinian hanging,’” he adds. “After an investigation, the CIA referred the case to the Department of Justice for possible criminal prosecution of the CIA personnel involved, but no charges were ever brought. Prosecutors accused 10 Navy personnel of the crime; nine were given nonjudicial punishments, such as rank reductions and letters of reprimand, and a 10th was acquitted.”

Additionally, Sifton notes the CIA may have had some close calls with detainees nearly dying during interrogations: the May 10, 2005, Bush Administration torture memo by Stephen Bradbury notes that doctors were nearby to perform a tracheotomy if during waterboarding the suspect is approaching death.

“Most seriously, for reasons of physical fatigue of psychological resignation, the subject may simply give up, allowing excessive filling of the airways and loss of consciousness,” Bradbury wrote. “An unresponsive subject should be righted immediately, and the integrator should deliver a sub-xyphoid thrust to expel the water. If this fails to restore normal breathing, aggressive medical intervention is required….’”

The memo says CIA doctors were on hand with necessary equipment to perform a tracheotomy if necessary during waterboarding sessions: “[W]e are informed that the necessary emergency medical equipment is always present—although not visible to the detainee—during any application of the waterboard.”

http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/05/06/us-interrogators-killed-dozens-human-rights-researcher-and-rights-group-say/

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One thought on “Butchers

  1. It ain't over till its over.No account democracies never change their spots:Originally posted by Michigan Messenger:

    Detroit journalist’s conviction viewed as political retaliation for reportingWayne County prosecutor's office accused of misconduct. 'How can you have a trooper admit to erasing evidence? To me the trial should have stopped then.' By Eartha Jane Melzer 5/7/09 1:18 AMThe conviction of a Detroit reporter on felony police obstruction charges last week has prompted warnings about a chilling of press freedom as well as calls for a federal investigation of the Wayne County prosecutor’s office.Diane Bukowski, 60, a reporter for the African American-owned weekly Michigan Citizen, was arrested Nov. 4 as she documented the scene of a police chase and crash that killed two people on Detroit’s northeast side. She now faces a possible sentence of up to four years in prison.During the week-long jury trial before Judge Michael Hathaway in Wayne County Circuit Court last week, assistant prosecutor Thomas Trzcinski and troopers involved at the scene of the crash testified that Bukowski crossed a yellow plastic police tape and stood in a pool of blood as she lifted a tarp to photograph a dismembered corpse.A state trooper, Eric Byerly, testified that he seized Bukowski’s camera and erased photos. Fifteen state troopers testified for the prosecution. Only three witnesses testified for the defense after Judge Hathaway partially allowed a motion by the prosecution to limit discussion about the fact that Bukowski was working as a reporter at the time of her arrest.Bukowski denies that she ever crossed a police line and said she will appeal her conviction and will file a complaint against the police for destroying evidence.She said that the case against her is a political attack in response to her reporting. Bukowsi said that police who testified against her committed perjury during the trial and that the prosecutor’s office suborned that perjury. She pointed out that a member of the Wayne County prosecutor’s office has been charged with perjury for lying under oath during another recent trial. In a statement (video here) delivered shortly after her conviction she called for an investigation of the Wayne County prosecutor’s handling of her case.“I could not believe that they convicted her,” said Michigan Citizen Editor Teresa Kelley, who observed the trial. “One trooper said there was a nine foot gap in the tape — the Channel 2 film showed she was on the grass.”In her work on the police beat for the Michigan Citizen, Bukowski has broken some significant stories, including the story of Eugene Brown, a Detroit police officer who killed and wounded several people in the 1990s. Bukowski used the Freedom of Information Act to force the release of the Shoulders Report, an internal Detroit Police Department investigation of Brown. The report, made public last year after a six year-long legal fight, included new information about crimes by Brown.Bukowski pressed for a response by the Wayne County prosecutor’s office and during Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s re-election campaign last year, Bukowski reported on her refusal to bring criminal charges against Brown.“It is a sad day for journalism in Michigan when somebody covering an improperly conducted police chase can be charged with felonies,” Kelley said.“How can you have a trooper admit to erasing evidence? To me the trial should have stopped then,” she said.Though the Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief in the case warning that it the case against Bukowski could appear as retaliation and could chill freedom of the press, the case has received minimal coverage in the regional press.Charles Simmons, a professor of journalism and media law at Eastern Michigan University, said that the prosecution of Bukowski and the non-response by other media is ominous.“This specific case is not just an attack on Diane Bukowski, it is a collective attack, particularly on Detroiters who already face a multitude of crises that are challenging them on every front.“At a time when we really need information, the place where community folks can turn for information is the alternative media.“We are dealing with the fundamental role of government and government misconduct particularly as it impacts on poor and working people.“I am still shocked that reporters are not flocking to this crisis, it effects all journalists,” he said, “If they will do that to Diane Bukowski, they will do that to anybody.”“Just because they are working for other outlets doesn’t mean they are safe.“Local politicians would tend to protect each other so we have to go outside this region and that is why it necessary to have a federal investigation.Simmons, a former legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. John Conyers said he expects that the Detroit Democrat who chairs the powerful House Judiciary Committee will take some leadership in addressing this issue.“To what extent should the government interfere with the activities of a reporter who was causing no harm to government process and was actually covering something important to citizens.”State Rep. LaMar Lemmons (D-Detroit) said that Bukowski “has been on the forefront of exposing police brutality and misconduct” and called her conviction “a travesty of justice.”The lawmaker said he believes that the case is a political attack leveled at Bukowski because of her reporting on police abuse issues in Detroit.“I don’t see how any sensible jury could look at the evidence and come to that conclusion unless they were guided by the judge and crucial evidence was not allowed to be introduced.“I believe they were trying to protect themselves against a lawsuit,” he said about the police.[Continuing her coverage of the Nov. 4 deaths in "Two lives lost after troopers ignore chase rules" which was pubished during her trail Bukowski reported that state police involved in the chase failed to follow department requirements that their sirens and lights be activated during pursuits.]Lemmons said that Bukowski’s claim that the prosecutor’s office promoted perjury during the trial deserves investigation.“Anytime perjury has been committed it ought to be investigated,” he added that it is especially important to pursue such claims when they involve the prosecutor’s office, and especially in light of Worthy’s prosecution of then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for perjury.Bukowski said that her conviction will not stop her reporting.“I don’t see it affecting my work,“ she said, “unless I’m locked up in which case I will be reporting on what goes on inside.”Prosecutor Thomas Trzcinski said he did not know whether there was any legal precedent for charging a reporter with felonies for crossing a police line.“I’m too busy to keep up with that sort of thing” he said.“I think there are certainly a lot times when a reporter is given a ticket for crossing a police line but it rarely escalates to the point of a full-blown trial,” said Gregg Leslie, legal defense director for the Virginia-based Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.“Most incidents are caused by over eager police who feel a strong need to control the scene and that leads them to control the journalist who is just trying to do her job.”“I think a felony conviction is rare,“ he said, “I guess I can’t figure out how crossing the police line would lead to a week long trial.”The Metro Times observed Bukowski’s trial and issued this report.

    http://michiganmessenger.com/18588/detroit-journalists-conviction-viewed-as-political-retaliation-for-reportingThis from a commentator whose country bottled up a crowd in a central London location and kept them there without access to water or toilets for most of the day.All we needed to make it 1960's USA was the Prime Minister breaking into news announcements with political diatribes to refocus public opinion.I wonder what a freedom of information act would uncover if we had real reporting here in Britiraqen.

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