Iraqis Tortured and Abused by US Personnel

Part 4

BCST 8/27/06
9/11 ACCOUNTABILTY Vs. "The Case For Impeachment"


Part 1 
Part 2 
Part 3 
Part 4 
Part 6 
Part 7 
Part 8
Part 9 

Legal Docs. http://www.apfn/apfn/POW_legal_doc

53 Page Prison Abuse Report
24 Page Red Cross Report

Iraqis Abused by U.S. Personnel - Military Documents

Intelligence Interrogation
Legal Documents and punishments

Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski Met Israeli Interrogator in Iraq
Now, the ones that were around the interrogation? I don't know. I was visiting an interrogation facility one time not under my control, but I was escorting a four-star. And he wanted to go back and observe an interrogation that was taking place. They asked me if I wanted to go and I said no. So I was standing there and, you know, the usual conversation, just kind of chit-chat, there (were) three individuals there and two of them had DCU pants on, one had a pair of blue jeans on, but they all had T-shirts on. They did not appear to be military people. And I said to one of the one of them asked me, "So what's new?" Or, "What's challenging about being a female general officer over here?" And I said, "Oh! Too long a story, but it's all fun." And I said to this guy who was sitting up on the counter, I said to him, "Are you local?" Because he looked like he was Kuwaiti. I said, "Are you an interpreter?" He said, "No, I'm an interrogator." And I said, "Oh, are you from here?" And he said, "No, actually, I'm from Israel." And I was kind of shocked. And I think I laughed. And I said, "No, really?" And he said, "No, really, I am." And but it was I didn't pursue it, I just said, "Oh, I visited your country a couple of years ago and I was amazed that there's so little difference between the appearance of Israelis and Americans," and I really was just kind of making chit-chat at that point.
Full Report :

Iraqis in exile and fear

By Ahmed Janabi

Iraqi women cry for their loved ones outside Abu Ghraib prison


In many Arab cities it is easy to meet Iraqis released from the US Camp Cropper detention centre at Baghdad airport, but few of them are willing to speak about their experiences.

In Dubai and Damascus met Iraqis released from US custody and asked them why they are so unwilling to talk about what has happened to them.

They say they are fearful that the US and/or its Iraqi allies will harm their families in Iraq. And the former detainees' release was conditional on them keeping quiet and not being involved in any activity deemed to be anti-US.

Criticising US occupation forces or members of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) is an anti-US act in post-war Iraq. 

Ex-prisoners met agreed that the time they spent in Iraq after their release was as difficult as the detention period itself.

Iraqi prisoners are brought on a
US army truck into Abu Ghraib


They accuse militias from some political parties of carrying out a campaign of terror on released prisoners.

Claims of constant surveillance, being subjected to hours of detention, as well as constant reminders that they remain suspects despite their release from US custody are common.

Ex-officer speaks out

An ex-Iraqi officer spoke to in Damascus, Syria, on condition of anonymity, promising to speak on the record once he gets his wife and two daughters out of Iraq. 

The officer was a member of the squad assigned to guard a senior member of the Iraqi leadership and he survived an air raid near Basra. But he did not survive the tip-off by one of his wife's relatives. 

"I was seriously injured and reached Baghdad half dead. Shortly afterwards I was arrested by the US forces, and thrown into Camp Cropper detention centre," he said.

"The torture inside this camp leads you sometimes to wish you were dead."

He said the US authorities deliberately create a frenzied, chaotic atmosphere intended to drive people mad. While his military experience helped him cope, many prisoners could not help themselves and collapsed.

"They cram hundreds of people from different backgrounds in one big hall. In my cell there were high-ranking officials and looters, the two groups could not avoid daily confrontations," he said.

"Burglars used to insult the officials and blame their criminal life on them, while the officials accused the looters of stealing from their own country at a time when it was being occupied by the United States."

The ex-officer says the most difficult time was prior to interrogation.

"They took me to a dark and empty room, with blood stains on the wall. It was perfectly constructed to look like an execution room. They wanted me to think I was going to be executed  and so beg their kindness. I have a lot of bad memories.

"I used to be told to stand on one leg, with my hands up, and in each one of them a bottle of water. I was allowed to rest for 30 minutes, after two hours of punishment.   

"Following that physical torture, Egyptian or Lebanese American soldiers appeared to tell me that they were holding my wife in the next room, and I should talk, otherwise she would be raped in front of my eyes."

Iraqis inquire about the
whereabouts of their  relatives

He believes that the whole process was intended as a way of recruiting Iraqi informers. 

"They already knew everything. They knew very well that I did not know the whereabouts of my former boss. Their final aim is to bring you to a point where you cannot refuse to cooperate with them."

Detained officials

Liwa Khalid al-Duri, the son of a detained Iraqi state minister and nephew of Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, the US's most wanted Iraqi official, spoke to about his experience with the Americans.

"They arrested my father last September. The family has been living in terror ever since. They raided our house several times, and arrested my brother," al-Duri said. "Our house had been shown on Aljazeera some time ago after US soldiers had searched it and left it in a mess.

"They accused us of knowing Izzat Ibrahim's whereabouts. But we simply did not.

"Our life turned into a hell and we lost every source of income. Even tenants of the building that my mother inherited from her father stopped paying us rent. They knew that we have become helpless people."

Trucks unload prisoners on their
release from a US-run prison

The family realised that no one would listen to their complaints amid such an atmosphere of lawlessness and discrimination and their only option was to leave the country.

As a relative of a detained minister, al-Duri could see difficult times ahead after he refused a US offer to cooperate with them as an informer.

"After several raids on our house, they asked me if I wanted to cooperate with them. I refused, of course, and left the country because I felt they would never leave me alone after that."

Amnesty International

The rights group Amnesty International issued a report on Thursday reviewing the state of human rights a year after the occupation of Iraq.

The report said US-led forces in Iraq are using the climate of violence a year after the war began to justify violating human rights they should uphold.

More than 10,000 Iraqi civilians were thought to have been killed in the war and ensuing insecurity, the rights group said, although no precise figures were available.

Thousands of Iraqis are held by US forces without charges as "suspected terrorists" or "security" detainees, the report added.
Families of those killed have nothing but their personal grief and to find a way to accept their destiny. While families of those in custody are helplessly standing in front of Abu Ghraib prison awaiting any news from inside the notorious facility.

Iraqi courts are forbidden to hear cases against foreign troops or officials in Iraq, by order of the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority, Amnesty said.

A dead prisoner's body wrapped
in cellophane and packed in ice 


100 IRAQI PRISONERS FREED AFTER A FINAL BIZARRE ORDEAL: They're left in middle of nowhere

May 5, 2004


TIKRIT, Iraq -- Scores of prisoners released from the controversial Abu Ghraib prison Tuesday were forced to take a nearly five-hour, winding journey through central Iraq on three hot, rickety buses escorted by U.S. military Humvees before being deposited without explanation in the middle of a gravel quarry near former President Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.

It was unclear why the detainees, at least 100 of them, were dropped off at the remote location 120 miles north of Baghdad. Some got rides home from relatives who had frantically followed the buses in their vehicles. Others climbed into the back of a dump truck or returned to their buses and got a ride back to Baghdad. A few were still milling about on the dirt road where they were released.

One released detainee, who declined to give his name, asked, "Is this democracy?"

The bizarre ordeal for the detainees came as the U.S. military continues to reel from the prisoner-abuse scandal that erupted last week. Photographs showed Iraqis at Abu Ghraib being subjected to various humiliations, including being stripped naked and forced to simulate sex acts.

U.S. military officials didn't respond to several requests for comment about the way detainees were released Tuesday. Soldiers who escorted the convoy said there was some kind of mix-up, then they quickly drove away.

One of the Iraqi bus drivers said angrily as he was driving away: "They are playing with their nerves. They are trying to destroy them. This is not the first time."

Some detainees, however, said they hadn't been mistreated while in Abu Ghraib, which was notorious for torture under the Hussein regime.

"I've been treated well," said Jassim Hamoudy, 41, who lives 80 miles south of Tikrit and spent four months at the prison.

When asked whether he saw other prisoners being abused, Hamoudy replied, "I did not see anything."

Ayad Ibrahim, 30, of Fallujah was hoping to find his brother, Mohammed, 20, on one of the buses. Ibrahim said he and his brother were detained about a month ago.

Rather than complain about Abu Ghraib, he said they were mistreated when they were held initially at a military base.

"The first two days, we weren't allowed to sleep or eat or go to the bathroom," Ibrahim said. "On the third day, we were transferred to Abu Ghraib prison, where we were treated much better."

Shatha al Qureishi, 36, a Baghdad lawyer, is representing dozens of detainees who are seeking reparations for mistreatment that allegedly occurred under the watch of coalition guards in Abu Ghraib. "The photos shown on TV confirmed what we had suspected," the attorney said.

Al Qureishi, who has handled prisoner cases since June, said she had heard rumors of sexual assaults in the prison, but brushed off the allegations as exaggerated claims. Now, she said, she's not so sure.

"I heard about rape cases," she said, "but I told people . . . 'Why would the Americans do something like that to the prisoners?' But after I saw these photos, I realized maybe people had the right to be angry with the Americans."


Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Iraqi recalls beatings, piles of naked, hooded prisoners


BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The shame is so deep that Hayder Sabbar Abd feels he cannot move back to his old neighborhood. He would prefer not even to stay in Iraq. But now the entire world has seen the pictures, which Abd looked at yet again yesterday, pointing out the key figures, starting with three American soldiers wearing big smiles for the camera.

"That is Joiner," he said, pointing at one male soldier in glasses, a black hat and bright blue rubber gloves. His arms were crossed over a stack of naked and hooded Iraqi prisoners.

"That is Miss Maya," he said, pointing to a young woman's fresh face poking up over the same pile.

He gazed down at another picture. In it, a second female soldier flashed a toothy "thumbs up" and pointed with her other hand at the genitals of a man wearing nothing but a black hood, his fingers laced on top of his head. He did not know her name. But the small scars on the torso left little doubt about the identity of the naked prisoner.

"That is me," he said, and he tapped his own hooded, slightly hunched image.

Abd, 34, is at the center of an explosive scandal over American mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners, but he remained calm in a detailed, two-hour account of his time at the fearsome Abu Ghraib prison. He claimed that he was never interrogated and never charged with a crime.

"The truth is we were not terrorists," he said. "We were not insurgents. We were just ordinary people. And American intelligence knew this."

Abd spoke with no particular anger at the U.S. occupation, though he has seen it closer than most Iraqis. In six months in prisons run by U.S. soldiers, in fact, he said, most of them treated him well and with respect.

That changed in November -- he does not know the exact date -- when punishment for a prisoner fight at Abu Ghraib degenerated into torture. That night, he said, he and six other inmates were beaten, stripped naked (a particularly deep humiliation in the Arab world), forced to pile onto each other, to straddle each others' backs, to simulate oral sex. American guards wrote words like "rapist" on their skin in Magic Marker.

The camera records it all

The camera was a detail he mentioned repeatedly as he recalled being forced against a wall and ordered by the Arabic translator to masturbate as he looked at one of the female guards.

"She was laughing, and she put her hands on her breasts," Abd said. "Of course, I couldn't do it. I told them that I couldn't, so they beat me in the stomach and I fell to the ground. The translator said, 'Do it! Do it! It's better than being beaten.' I said, 'How can I do it?' So I put my hand on my penis, just pretending."

All the while, he said, the camera's flash kept illuminating the dim room that once held prisoners of Saddam.

"It was humiliating," Abd said in Arabic through an interpreter. "We did not think that we would survive. All of us believed we would be killed and not get out alive."

The details of Abd's account could not be verified. But a military official here said the prisoner number that Abd gave, 13077, matches that of a former prisoner who submitted a sworn statement alleging abuse by U.S. soldiers. He also said that the man's account was consistent with those verified by a military investigator. Several episodes that Abd recounted also matched, in some detail, testimony given by other U.S. soldiers horrified by what they saw.

But Abd's account differed in one crucial way from the substance of a report, written by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba and first reported last week by The New Yorker magazine and "60 Minutes II." While the report says that military police inside the prison often mistreated prisoners in order to help military intelligence officers gain information during interrogations, Abd said that his case appeared to be punishment for bad behavior, in this case a jail-yard fight.

Abd is a slight, bearded man, the father of five children, a Shiite Muslim from the southern city of Nasiriyah. He said he served 18 years in the Iraqi military, for a time in the Republican Guard, Saddam's elite troops. But he said he deserted several times and was demoted to the regular army, where he was serving when U.S. troops invaded Iraq in March 2003.

He was arrested last June at a military checkpoint, when he tried to leave the taxi he was riding in.

He was taken to a detention center at the Baghdad airport, he said, and then transferred to a big military prison in Um Qasr, near the Kuwaiti border. The treatment in Um Qasr, he said, "was very good. There was no problem. The American guards were nice and good people."

After the three months, he said, he was transferred to Abu Ghraib, a sprawling prison complex some 20 miles west of Baghdad, where Saddam incarcerated and executed thousands of enemies of his regime.

Prison ordeal begins

After the prison fight, Abd and six others were pointed out by the victim to U.S. guards, and at that moment his time in prison turned for the worse.

Abd said he and the other men were handcuffed and taken inside the prison to a cellblock called "the hard site," which was reserved for the most dangerous prisoners. There he saw, for the first time, an American soldier called "Joiner or something." (Abd does not speak English. The man he pointed out in the picture as Joiner has been identified in other reports as Spc. Charles Granier, of the 372nd Military Police Company.).

"In my pocket, I had three cigarettes," Abd said. "Joiner said to me, 'Put them in your mouth and smoke all of them. If one falls out of your mouth, I will crush you with my boot.' "

The command came through the translator, an Egyptian known by the prisoners as Abu Hamid. In an area in front of the cells, he said, were "Joiner," the translator and two other male soldiers, one bald and one with reddish hair and complexion. He said there were two women: The one whose name he did not know, and the one with the camera, whom he knew as Miss Maya.

"I had no choice," Abd said. "I smoked all of them."

The seven men were placed in hoods, he said, and the beating began. He said his jaw was broken, badly enough that he still has trouble eating. In all, he said, he believed he received about 50 blows over the course of about two hours.

"Then the interpreter told us to strip," he said. "We told him, 'You are Egyptian and you are a Muslim. You know that as Muslims we can't do that.'

"When we refused to take off our clothes, they beat us and tore our clothes off with a blade."

It was at this moment in the interview yesterday that several pages of the photographs made public last week were produced -- photographs that Abd first saw when a military investigator came to visit him in January and that are now broadcast every few minutes on Arab news channels as proof of American brutality in Iraq. He had been through this before, and he quickly and unemotionally pointed out all his friends -- Hussein, Ahmed, Hashim -- naked, hooded, twisted around each other.

He also saw himself, as degraded as possible: naked, his hand on his genitals, a female soldier, identified in another report as Pvt. Lynndie England, pointing and smiling with a cigarette in her mouth.

Then, he said, his friend Hussein was pushed up toward Abd's genitals.

One of the photographs shows what appears to be this exact scene. In testimony in April, Spc. Matthew Carl Wisdom, a military police officer who witnessed part of the incident, remembered that the naked prisoner on the floor did not have his hood on. Wisdom's testimony, like Abd's account, cited seven detainees in the room. He was clearly shocked at what he saw.

"I thought I should just get out of there," Wisdom said, according to documents from an April 2 military court hearing. "I didn't think it was right."

Abd said it was then that the soldiers began piling the men on top of each other, and taking lots of pictures. Three or four times, he said, the soldiers made them pile up in pyramids. Twice, he said, the soldiers made some prisoners kneel on the ground as others straddled their backs.

'Bark like a dog'

At one point near the end, Abd said, "Joiner" grabbed the prisoners' hoods as if they were leashes.

"He said, 'When I whistle, you bark like dog,' " Abd said.

Finally, after an ordeal of what Abd believed to be about four hours, it was over.

The soldiers removed the beds from their cells, he said, and threw cold water on the floor. The prisoners were forced to sleep on the ground with their hoods still on, Abd said.

But the next morning, he said, doctors and dentists arrived on the ward to care for their injuries. Beds and pillows were brought back in. They were fed. Everyone was nice, Abd said. Then at night, the same crew with "Joiner" would return and strip them and handcuff them to the walls.

About 10 days after it started the nightly abuse ended, for no explained reason.

About a month later, Abd and two others among the seven were transferred to a civilian Iraqi prison in Baghdad. Two weeks or so later, a U.S. military investigator visited, showed Abd the pictures and asked for a statement against the military police who had mistreated him. Abd trusted him. "He said, 'Don't be afraid. Tell us what happened. We are on your side,' " Abd remembered.

Abd was released in mid-April.

"I can't tell you my feelings," he said. "The Americans got rid of Saddam Hussein. They told us about democracy and freedom. We are happy about that."

But he tapped the photos again.

"Then this man did this to the seven of us," he said. "I am asking: Is that democracy? Is that freedom?"


Experts agree: Geneva rules broken


Excerpt) -

The Geneva Convention:

Article 17

No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.

Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War

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