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Friday, February 13, 2009 

Details Emerging On Deaths Of Detainees By American Military Torture Techniques

"In December 2002 – as the Bush administration was ratcheting up its harsh questioning of detainees – several captives died from “abusive” treatment at the hands of U.S. military interrogators in Afghanistan, according to newly declassified Defense Department documents.

The deaths appear to fit within the administration’s broader pattern of detainee mistreatment, but the two newly released pages from the Church Report – named after the chief investigator Vice Admiral Albert T. Church – claimed that the interrogators in these cases went beyond the tactics then approved for use in Afghanistan.

The pages focused on the deaths of two prisoners at the U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan. One prisoner died on Dec. 4, 2002, and another six days later.

"In both cases, [the prisoners] were handcuffed to fixed objects above their heads in order to keep them awake," the documents said. "Additionally, interrogations in both incidents involved the use of physical violence, including kicking, beating, and the use of ‘compliance blows’ which involved striking the [prisoners’] legs with the [interrogators’] knees.

“In both cases, blunt force trauma to the legs was implicated in the deaths. In one case, a pulmonary embolism developed as a consequence of the blunt force trauma, and in the other case pre-existing coronary artery disease was complicated by the blunt force trauma."

The Church report said the interrogators allegedly went beyond authorized techniques by employing “sleep deprivation, the use of scenarios designed to convince the detainee that death or severely painful consequences are imminent for him and/or his family, and beating.” The report added that a private contractor, David Passaro, conducted an interrogation that allegedly led to another detainee death.

However, when juxtaposed with a report issued last December by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the evidence suggests a different story – one in which the Bush administration was sending mixed signals to interrogators about how they should calibrate the pain inflicted on detainees."

Consortium News

Twitter me ....

Maybe some Spanish judge will issue an international arrest warrant when the Shrub comes a callin' to Calgary.

The official language used when discussing torture, such as "calibration of interrogation techniques", has the effect of making it all seem so clinical.

Here is a Wiki entry that describes a bit more vividly what 28 year old Abdul Wali endured:

Passaro beat Abdul Wali for two consecutive nights, leading him to plead with prison guards to shoot him to end his suffering. Among other injuries, Wali suffered a suspected fractured pelvis that would have made it impossible for him to urinate. Passaro was also said to have kicked Abdul Wali in the groin in a football style kick that sent Wali in the air. Passaro worked at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan that was frequently subject to rocket attacks. Wali, a suspect in the attacks, turned himself in voluntarily at the gates of the base and was then interrogated.


There is a name for this. It's called murder.

Note that Obama seems disinclined to punish anyone who engaged involved in the Bush authorised torture. Even though Obama has explicitly outlawed some of those techniques he at the same time authorised the continuation of the practice of rendition! So torture is being outsourced. Seems against the Buy American principle!

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