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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

More War Crimes in Iraq

Press Release:

Today, the ACLU made public an analysis of new and previously released autopsy and death reports of detainees held in U.S. facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom died while being interrogated. The documents show that detainees were hooded, gagged, strangled, beaten with blunt objects, subjected to sleep deprivation and to hot and cold environmental conditions.

“There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable. America must stop putting its head in the sand and deal with the torture scandal that has rocked our military.”

The documents released today include 44 autopsies and death reports as well as a summary of autopsy reports of individuals apprehended in Iraq and Afghanistan. The documents show that detainees died during or after interrogations by Navy Seals, Military Intelligence and “OGA” (Other Governmental Agency) -- a term, according to the ACLU, that is commonly used to refer to the CIA.

According to the documents, 21 of the 44 deaths were homicides. Eight of the homicides appear to have resulted from abusive techniques used on detainees, in some instances, by the CIA, Navy Seals and Military Intelligence personnel. The autopsy reports list deaths by “strangulation,” “asphyxiation” and “blunt force injuries.” An overwhelming majority of the so-called “natural deaths” were attributed to “Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease.”

While newspapers have recently reported deaths of detainees in CIA custody, today’s documents show that the problem is pervasive, involving Navy Seals and Military Intelligence too.

The records reveal the following facts:

* A 27-year-old Iraqi male died while being interrogated by Navy Seals on April 5, 2004, in Mosul, Iraq. During his confinement he was hooded, flex-cuffed, sleep deprived and subjected to hot and cold environmental conditions, including the use of cold water on his body and hood. The exact cause of death was “undetermined” although the autopsy stated that hypothermia may have contributed to his death. Notes say he “struggled/ interrogated/ died sleeping.” Some facts relating to this case have been previously reported. (In April 2003, Secretary Rumsfeld authorized the use of “environmental manipulation” as an interrogation technique in Guantánamo Bay. In September 2003, Lt. Gen. Sanchez also authorized this technique for use in Iraq. Although Lt. Gen. Sanchez later rescinded the September 2003 techniques, he authorized “changes in environmental quality” in October 2003.)

* An Iraqi detainee (also described as a white male) died on January 9, 2004, in Al Asad, Iraq, while being interrogated by “OGA.” He was standing, shackled to the top of a door frame with a gag in his mouth at the time he died. The cause of death was asphyxia and blunt force injuries. Notes summarizing the autopsies record the circumstances of death as “Q by OGA, gagged in standing restraint.” (Facts in the autopsy report appear to match the previously reported case of Abdul Jaleel.)

* A detainee was smothered to death during an interrogation by Military Intelligence on November 26, 2003, in Al Qaim, Iraq. A previously released autopsy report, that appears to be of General Mowhoush, lists “asphyxia due to smothering and chest compression” as the cause of death and cites bruises from the impact with a blunt object. New documents specifically record the circumstances of death as “Q by MI, died during interrogation.”

* A detainee at Abu Ghraib Prison, captured by Navy Seal Team number seven, died on November 4, 2003, during an interrogation by Navy Seals and “OGA.” A previously released autopsy report, that appears to be of Manadel Al Jamadi, shows that the cause of his death was “blunt force injury complicated by compromised respiration.” New documents specifically record the circumstances of death as “Q by OGA and NSWT died during interrogation.”

* An Afghan civilian died from “multiple blunt force injuries to head, torso and extremities” on November 6, 2003, at a Forward Operating Base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Facts in the autopsy report appear to match the previously reported case of Abdul Wahid.)

* A 52-year-old male Iraqi was strangled to death at the Whitehorse detainment facility on June 6, 2003, in Nasiriyah, Iraq. His autopsy also revealed bone and rib fractures, and multiple bruises on his body. (Facts in the autopsy report appear to match the previously reported case of Nagm Sadoon Hatab.)

The ACLU has previously released autopsy reports for two detainees who were tortured by U.S. forces in Bagram, Afghanistan, believed to be Mullah Habibullah and an Afghan man known as Dilawar.

“These documents present irrefutable evidence that U.S. operatives tortured detainees to death during interrogations,” said Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU. “The public has a right to know who authorized the use of torture techniques and why these deaths have been covered up.”

The documents were released by the Department of Defense in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans for Peace. The New York Civil Liberties Union is co-counsel in the case.

As part of the FOIA lawsuit brought by the ACLU, a federal judge recently ordered the Defense Department to turn over photographs and videotapes depicting the abuse of prisoners held by the United States at Abu Ghraib. That decision has been stayed until October 26. The government has not yet indicated whether it is going to appeal the court's decision.

The FOIA lawsuit is being handled by Lawrence Lustberg and Megan Lewis of the New Jersey-based law firm Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione, P.C. Other attorneys in the case are Singh, Jameel Jaffer, and Judy Rabinovitz of the ACLU; Arthur Eisenberg and Beth Haroules of the NYCLU; and Barbara Olshansky of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

To date, more than 77,000 pages of government documents have been released in response to the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The ACLU has been posting these documents online at www.aclu.org/torturefoia.

The documents released today are available online at http://action.aclu.org/torturefoia/released/102405/

Yeah, I know. Who gives a shit about a bunch of Iraqis, right? After all, they were probably terrorists, eh? Aren't all Iraqi males terrorists? And heck, the United States is always on the side of truth and justice, right? No American soldier would ever commit a war crime. Nooooooo, we're too fucking superior to be commiting crimes! Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out, right? Turn Iraq into a parking lot! Fuck 'em all, eh?

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You forgot to add that torturing these people to death makes us safer. And please tell me why again, cause i keep forgetting.

If you're in the US I sincerely hope you are thoroughly ashamed of what your country has become. It is no longer a place where freedom calls a home. It's not a place where justice prevails. It is not a place that believes in equality, liberty or freedom for all, regardless of race, gender or creed.

Your flag is buring right in front of your eyes and you cannot even see it.

Be ashamed, then for the sake of everyone, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

And all that those prisoners were trying to do before they were captured was to kill our troops by using shamefully cowardly methods. Shame. How could we do such a thing to them?

They deserve EVERYTHING they get. EVERYTHING.

You, sir, are as brainwashed as those prisoners were...

Flo,

You need help. Either that, or you need to read something other than the Drudge Report.

I suggest you take a look at the statistics on prisoners held and released from our concentration camps. At Gitmo, about 1/3 of the prisoners were eventually released because they had no ties to al-Qaeda or terrorism. While they were captive, however, they endured torture.

In Iraq, many Iraqis are using the American military to settle personal vendettas. "Amar is with al-Qaeda. He lives in that house!" There is no due process in Iraq, so how do YOU KNOW that those people are always guilty. YOu don't.

God forbid you are ever in a situation where your country is occupied by a foreign army. God forbid you ever empathize with the innocent people who are caught in the crossfire of the war. Believe it or not Flo, but not all brown people want to kill Americans.

Oh my - I thought by the name of the title you were going to report on the crimes and murders and torture done by terrorists.

Ah, wrong! Just another anti-American post. Go kiss some hairy Muslim ass!

Justadog,

I did report on the crimes and murders done by the terrorists. Unfortunately, you are too brainwashed and racist to understand.

Now go back and kiss your own ass!

Yeah, I read that crap.. I also see that one guy died of gunshot wounds after he fired RPGs at our soldiers. Poor guy.

Anyways, I wish they would send the entire ACLU over there so they would leave us alone here for a while.

You might be interested in an entry posted on the Ruminations on America Project (www.ruminationsonamerica.blogspot.com) about a book called Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless Otherwise Instructed by Mike Sharpe.

http://ruminationsonamerica.blogspot.com/2005/10/thou-shalt-not-kill.html This is the permanent link in case you'd like to forward it to other interested parties.

I would also like to invite you to participate in the Ruminations on America Project if you are so inclined. It is a call for essays from coast to coast on the current state of the union, up to 1000 words. Any and all subjects, respectfully crafted, are fair game.

All the best to you,

Rita J. King

You forgot to add that torturing these people to death makes us safer. And please tell me why again, cause i keep forgetting.

If you're in the US I sincerely hope you are thoroughly ashamed of what your country has become. It is no longer a place where freedom calls a home. It's not a place where justice prevails. It is not a place that believes in equality, liberty or freedom for all, regardless of race, gender or creed.

Your flag is buring right in front of your eyes and you cannot even see it.

Be ashamed, then for the sake of everyone, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

And all that those prisoners were trying to do before they were captured was to kill our troops by using shamefully cowardly methods. Shame. How could we do such a thing to them?

They deserve EVERYTHING they get. EVERYTHING.

You, sir, are as brainwashed as those prisoners were...

Flo,

You need help. Either that, or you need to read something other than the Drudge Report.

I suggest you take a look at the statistics on prisoners held and released from our concentration camps. At Gitmo, about 1/3 of the prisoners were eventually released because they had no ties to al-Qaeda or terrorism. While they were captive, however, they endured torture.

In Iraq, many Iraqis are using the American military to settle personal vendettas. "Amar is with al-Qaeda. He lives in that house!" There is no due process in Iraq, so how do YOU KNOW that those people are always guilty. YOu don't.

God forbid you are ever in a situation where your country is occupied by a foreign army. God forbid you ever empathize with the innocent people who are caught in the crossfire of the war. Believe it or not Flo, but not all brown people want to kill Americans.

Oh my - I thought by the name of the title you were going to report on the crimes and murders and torture done by terrorists.

Ah, wrong! Just another anti-American post. Go kiss some hairy Muslim ass!

Justadog,

I did report on the crimes and murders done by the terrorists. Unfortunately, you are too brainwashed and racist to understand.

Now go back and kiss your own ass!

Yeah, I read that crap.. I also see that one guy died of gunshot wounds after he fired RPGs at our soldiers. Poor guy.

Anyways, I wish they would send the entire ACLU over there so they would leave us alone here for a while.

You might be interested in an entry posted on the Ruminations on America Project (www.ruminationsonamerica.blogspot.com) about a book called Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless Otherwise Instructed by Mike Sharpe.

http://ruminationsonamerica.blogspot.com/2005/10/thou-shalt-not-kill.html This is the permanent link in case you'd like to forward it to other interested parties.

I would also like to invite you to participate in the Ruminations on America Project if you are so inclined. It is a call for essays from coast to coast on the current state of the union, up to 1000 words. Any and all subjects, respectfully crafted, are fair game.

All the best to you,

Rita J. King

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