Monday, April 4, 2005

Abuse Of Prisoners Is Policy, Not Aberration

Well isn't this a big fat surprise?

Green light for Iraqi prison abuse came right from the top
Classified documents show the former US military chief in Iraq personally sanctioned measures banned by the Geneva Conventions. Andrew Buncombe reports from Washington

03 April 2005

America's leading civil liberties group has demanded an investigation into the former US military commander Iraq after a formerly classified memo revealed that he personally sanctioned a series of coercive interrogation techniques outlawed by the Geneva Conventions. The group claims that his directives were directly linked to the sort of abuses that took place at Abu Ghraib.

Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reveal that Lt General Ricardo Sanchez authorised techniques such as the use of dogs to intimidate prisoners, stress positions and disorientation. In the documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Gen Sanchez admits that some of the techniques would not be tolerated by other countries.

When he appeared last year before a Congressional committee, Gen Sanchez denied authorising such techniques. He has now been accused of perjury.


The ACLU says the documents reveal that the abuse of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere was the result of an organised and co-ordinated plan for dealing with prisoners captured during the so-called war on terror that originates at the highest levels of the chain of command. It says that far from being isolated incident, the shocking abuse at Abu Ghraib that was revealed last year was part of a pattern.
And so on. As expected.

Thanks to Andrew Buncombe and The Independent, for this excellent report.

You can read the entire piece here.