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Thursday, December 26, 2002

Media: stress and duress, renditions, abuse

The Washington Post reports on the interrogation techniques used at Bagram air base, Afghanistan:
  • Stress and duress techniques used include prolonged painful positions, sleep deprivation, bombardment with lights, sensory deprivation.
  • The use of mind altering substances such as sodium pentathol (c.f. Mamdouh Habib's allegations of being forced to use drugs 13 February 2005).
  • Selective use of painkillers.
  • Detainees that do not cooperate are rendered to "foreign intelligence services whose practise of torture has been documented by the U.S. government and human rights organizations."
The report includes quotations from unnamed officials. On human rights, one official is quoted as saying:
If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job. I don't think we want to be promoting a view of zero tolerance on this. That was the whole problem for a long time with the CIA.
On the use and purpose of rendition of prisoners to foreign nations with reputations for human rights abuse, one official is quoted as saying:
We don't kick the [expletive] out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the [expletive] out of them.
On accountability for alleged torture of detainees rendered to other nations, one official is quoted as saying:
If we're not there in the room, who is to say?

The report also mentions a US military criminal investigation into two prisoners who died at the facility. In three month's time, the New York Times will report on those two deaths (10 March 2003). Therein, officials will describe the deaths as due to "natural causes".

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4/2/09 3:59 pm  

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