Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Torturer's Wish List, Fall 2003

"Army intelligence officials in Iraq developed and circulated "wish lists" of harsh interrogation techniques they hoped to use on detainees in August 2003", Tribune reports.

On the wish list...

1. low-voltage electrocution
2. blows with phone books
3. use of dogs and snakes
4.open hand strikes
5. closed fisted strikes
6.using claustrophobic techniques
7. inducing muscle fatigue

"The discussions, which took place in e-mail messages between interrogators and Army officials in Baghdad, were used in part to develop the interrogation rules of engagement approved by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, then commander of U.S. troops in Iraq.

"Army investigative documents released Monday, as well as court records and files, suggest that the tactics were used on two detainees: One died during an interrogation in November 2003 while stuffed into a sleeping bag, and another was badly beaten by inexperienced interrogators using a police baton in September 2003."

Apparently, there was confusion over what torture tactics could be used in Iraq.

There was "...a belief that most detainees were not covered by Geneva Conventions protections and alleged abuse by interrogators who had tacit approval to 'turn it up a notch.'"

I'm not sure I understand the confusion here I did a Google search for Geneva Conventions and came up with over 1 million hits.

According to the third Geneva Convention, article three:

"To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples." (Emphasis mine).

Yeah why not use torture?

I'm really not sure there is any confusion here. I was able to find the exact text for the Geneva Conventions in less than a minute, which is certainly less time than it takes to write an email wish list.

No comments: