Military Denial Of Torture At Gitmo Is The Sickest Joke
Army clears itself of any wrong doing despite hundreds of reports of systematic torture and soldiers bragging about torturing detainees

Steve Watson
Thursday, February 8, 2007

In direct and flagrant ignorance of mountains of evidence, the U.S. military has this week cleared itself of any wrong doing in allegations of abuse and torture at detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

AP yesterday reported:

An Army officer who investigated possible abuse at Guantanamo Bay after some guards purportedly bragged about beating detainees found no evidence they mistreated the prisoners — although he did not interview any of the alleged victims, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

"The evidence did not support any of the allegations of mistreatment or harassment," the Miami-based Southern Command, which oversees Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in southeastern Cuba, said in a statement.

The investigation centers around Marine Lt Col Colby Vokey, who represents a detainee at the US naval base in eastern Cuba. Vokey filed a "hotline" complaint last October, attaching a sworn statement from his paralegal, Sgt Heather Cerveny, 23, in which she said several guards in a bar at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and described it as common practice. "Others were talking about how when they get annoyed with the detainees, about how they hit them, or they punched them in the face," Sgt Cerveny said during a telephone interview.

In her complaint, she wrote: "From the whole conversation, I understood that striking detainees was a common practice... Everyone in the group laughed at the others' stories of beating detainees."

What kind of torture investigation does not include testimony of the alleged victims? A total whitewash.

Literally hundreds of reports and testimonies make it as clear as day that there is a systematic and routine program of torture at Guantanamo Bay, a creation of the CIA which has long been in existence and has been exported all over the world by the U.S. military.

Former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, who ran the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq until early 2004, has corroborated this and has identified the masterminds of the spread of the torture policy as occupying the highest rungs of the Bush administration:

"The orders came right from the top, filtered down from the secretary of defense, with the endorsement of the President, the Vice President, whatever advisors are surrounding them, filtered down through the Commanders in the field, these practices were not only endorsed, but were in use at Guantanamo bay and in locations in Afghanistan. And when General Miller visited Iraq he brought those techniques with him. And then he sent contract interrogators who had 'performed well' at Guantanamo Bay to Iraq as well." Karpinski told the Alex Jones show in late 2005.

In December 2002, before the invasion of Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld personally approved a variety of torture techniques for detainees at Guantanamo. A PBS documentary highlighted a memo in which he had written: “I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing [by prisoners] limited to four hours?”

These and other torture methods were made standard practice and transferred to the prisons in Iraq. The official US Army report listed all the abuses committed at the Abu Ghraib prison. These methods are standard use in the 'Copper Green' worldwide torture program.

The media dog and pony show at Guantanamo Bay is only the tip of the iceberg. The CIA has hundreds of secret prisons throughout the world, referred to as "black sites" in classified White House, CIA, Justice Department and congressional documents, that operate outside of international law. Enemy combatants are routinely flown to secret locations in Europe and elsewhere and subjected to harsh interrogation methods, some of which have been made public in what has been dubbed the 'CIA torture guide'.

A European Parliament committee has recently approved a report which says EU states know of secret CIA flights over Europe. The report said that the governments also knew of the abduction of terror suspects by US agents and the US's use of clandestine detention centres.

Last November the Bush administration told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them to talk.

We have tirelessly exposed how no Al Qaeda "leaders" have been captured or discovered at Guantanamo Bay either first hand or via information garnered through torture. This has been common knowledge for years.

A US army official visiting Camp Delta was quoted in 2002 as saying there are "...no big fish there. Some of these guys literally don't know the world is round."

A statistical report, released last year, based entirely on data supplied by the Defense Department, and intended to provide "a more detailed picture of who the Guantanamo detainees are, how they ended up there, and the purported bases for their enemy combatant designation has found that fewer than half of the 517 detainees whose histories were reviewed have been accused of any hostile acts.

Under an enormous amount of pressure the Pentagon was then finally "forced" into releasing further information about the inmates being held in the Gulag in Cuba, which revealed that the world's most dangerous terrorists consisted of delivery drivers, chicken farmers, sack makers, taxi drivers and students. Their weapons of mass destruction include battery chargers, Casio watches, and Peanut oil

The truth is there are no Taliban or Al Qaeda top brass at Guantanamo because they were all flown out on US planes in a deal done with Pakistan in late 2001 as the invasion began.

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The detention facilities in Cuba remain open and fully operational despite repeated calls to shut it down coming from human rights organisations, international governments and politicians, including British MPs, and even the UN. The notion that the military can deny torture is not a common practice at Guantanamo and continue to operate with impunity is almost as sick as the abuse itself.

Below is an extensive list of links to reports on documents and inmate testimony that show beyond any doubt that there is a coordinated torture program at Guantanamo:

  • FBI details possible detainee abuse: FBI agents documented more than two dozen incidents of possible mistreatment at the Guantanamo Bay military base, including one detainee whose head was wrapped in duct tape for chanting the Quran and another who pulled out his hair after hours in a sweltering room.
  • PBS: Guantanamo Gen. balked at torture: Brig. Gen. Rick Baccus was removed as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, commander in 2002 for refusing to use tougher interrogation tactics, a PBS documentary suggests.
  • Prison guards 'enjoy torture': An Egyptian man released earlier this month from the United States detention in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, says the "torture" he suffered in the military camp left him crippled in a wheelchair.
  • Military doctors allegedly collaborated in prison torture: University of Minnesota professor Steven Miles gathered evidence from U.S. congressional hearings, sworn statements of detainees and soldiers, medical journal accounts and press reports to build a picture of physician complicity, and in isolated cases active participation by medical personnel in abuse at the Baghdad prison, as well as in Afghanistan and at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba.
  • Torture widespread under U.S. custody: Amnesty: Torture and inhumane treatment are "widespread" in U.S.-run detention centers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba and elsewhere despite Washington's denials, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.
  • Gitmo Prisoners Told Panel About Abuse: One Guantanamo prisoner told a military panel that American troops beat him so badly he wets his pants now. Another detainee claimed U.S. troops stripped prisoners in Afghanistan and intimidated them with dogs so they would admit to militant activity.
  • Freed Swede tells of Guantanamo torture: Mehdi Ghezali said he had been tortured by exposure to freezing cold, noise and bright lights and chained during his 30-month imprisonment.
  • I confessed to escape Guantanamo torture: There, he claims, he was subjected to systematic torture. He told his lawyer that he would be "hung on the door for two hours and then allowed to sit for half an hour but never allowed to sleep. This would go on for 48 hours in a row".
  • UK suspects in new claims of torture at Guantanamo: "The MPs [military police] inflicted so much pain, Mr Aamer said he thought he was going to die. The MPs pressed on pressure points all over his body: his temples, just under his jawline, in the hollow beneath his ears. They choked him. They bent his nose so hard he thought it would break.
  • U.S. forces abuse and torture Kuwaiti prisoners: Tom Wilner, a human rights lawyer, representing 11 Kuwaiti detainees held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, accused the U.S. forces on Monday of abusing and torturing several Kuwaiti prisoners by beating them with chains, sodomizing them and giving them electrical shocks.
  • Guantanamo hunger strikers say feeding tubes employed as torture: Prisoners on hunger strike at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, reported troops force-fed them with dirty feeding tubes that have been violently inserted and withdrawn as punishment, said declassified notes released Wednesday by defence lawyers.
  • Australian Ex-Guantanamo Inmate Mentally Scarred -Lawyer: Australian former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib was suffering psychological and emotional problems due to his nearly three-year incarceration at the U.S. military base, his lawyer said on Sunday.
  • Turk Was Abused at Guantanamo, Lawyers Say: Lawyers for Murat Kurnaz, a German native released Thursday after spending more than four years locked up at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said he was mistreated to the end by U.S. military personnel, who kept him shackled and blindfolded until his flight home landed.
  • Guantanamo abuse taped, as 'explosive' as Abu Ghraib: VIDEO footage of US military treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay will reveal many cases of substantial abuse as "explosive as anything from Abu Ghraib", a lawyer said today.
  • Guantanamo conditions 'like a Nazi camp': Accused terrorist David Hicks' US lawyer has described conditions at Guantanamo Bay, where he has been held for five years, as "like a Nazi concentration camp".




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