05-10-2005, 01:02 PM #1
Soldier lifts lid on Guantanamo 'abuse'
Soldier lifts lid on Guantanamo 'abuse'
By Matthew Davis
BBC News, Washington
A former US soldier who worked on interrogations at Guantanamo Bay has written a damning expose of the brutal, degrading treatment he says was meted out to prisoners there.
Sgt Erik Saar's book, Inside the Wire, comes with the US military's treatment of prisoners in the spotlight due to court hearings over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
In an interview with the BBC, Sgt Saar says that bizarre, sexual abuses at the prison camp set dangerous precedents that paved the way for mistreatment of US detainees in Iraq.
And the former translator argues that despite attempts to right wrongs at Guantanamo, the camp still defiles the values the US is fighting for in the war on terror.
'Does that please Allah?'
One of the most disturbing interrogations Sgt Saar says he saw in his six months at the prison concerned a female interrogator trying to break a Saudi detainee, captured after enrolling in a US flight school.
'Brooke' came back round his other side, and he could see that she was beginning to withdraw her hand from her pants. As it became visible, the Saudi saw what looked like red blood on her hand
'Inside the Wire'
He tells how she began peeling off her clothes, taunting the man sexually in an attempt to shame him and stop him relying on his faith for support.
She left the interrogation room, Sgt Saar says, and found a red marker pen.
"'Brooke' came back round his [the prisoner's] other side, and he could see that she was beginning to withdraw her hand from her pants," said Sgt Saar.
"As it became visible, the Saudi saw what looked like red blood on her hand."
When the interrogator wiped what he thought was menstrual blood on his face, the prisoner raged, almost breaking free from his handcuffs.
But "Brooke" taunted him further, said Erik Saar, asking whether Allah would be pleased with him and telling him to have fun trying to pray.
Finally the detainee was returned to his cell without water, leaving him unable to cleanse himself.
'Start of a mistake'
Sgt Saar volunteered for Guantanamo in 2002. He was a US Army linguist, an expert in Arabic and had high security clearance.
The Pentagon says its policies on prisoner treatment have not led to abuse
But he says what he saw completely changed his attitude towards the camp, and his country.
There were many more suicide attempts in the camp than the US government has ever admitted, Sgt Saar says.
He claims storm trooper-like IRF (initial reaction force) teams were involved in numerous beatings of captives.
And of the 600 or so prisoners there, no more than a few dozen were "hardcore terrorists", says Erik Saar.
"The US Government portrays Guantanamo as a place where we are sending the worst of the worst, but this is not true.
"Guantanamo was the beginning of a mistake. It set a precedent in labelling people as enemy combatants, blurring the line between right and wrong.
"You can see it as the seed that may well have led to the naked human pyramids in Abu Ghraib."
In December 2004, the American Civil Liberties Union released a slew of material relating to prisoner abuse, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.
FBI 'torture' email in full
Source: American Civil Liberties Union
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This included an FBI email - from December 2003, six months after Sgt Saar left - that said Defense Department interrogators at Guantanamo had impersonated FBI agents while using "torture techniques" on a detainee.
US Southern Command told the BBC it was investigating alleged detainee abuse following the publication of the FBI memos.
But USSC says it will not comment on any abuse allegations until the inquiry report is published.
Officials also deny allegations in Erik Saar's book that interrogations at Guantanamo were "staged" for visiting inspectors.
A spokesman told the BBC that Mr Saar was merely a junior linguist, "not in a position to understand the decisions behind interrogation planning".
The US Army is addressing the issue of how to treat a prisoner humanely, while still applying the pressure needed to get them to reveal critical information.
It is poised to issue a new field interrogation manual, which will expressly forbid certain harsh techniques and include detailed examples with references to the Geneva Conventions.
Throwing a chair against a wall in a fit of mock anger may be permissible, for instance, but using the chair to hit the detainee would not.
In March, a Pentagon investigation into the interrogation of prisoners detained in the war on terror found its policy did not lead to abuse.
The review - launched last year - examined 187 Pentagon investigations of alleged abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.
Human rights groups criticised the review as a whitewash.
Sgt Saar believes improvements have been made at the camp, but says more radical change is needed, to bring prisoners within the US judicial system.
"People say if what I have written is the worst that went on, it is not too bad," he says.
"But Guantanamo has become a symbol of everything wrong with America's image. If we are trying to build a bridge to the Muslim world, what sort of face are we portraying?"
Inside the Wire by Erik Saar and Viveca Novak is published in the United States by The Penguin Press.
05-10-2005, 01:57 PM #2Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
05-12-2005, 10:18 AM #3
Just goes to show American's are just as sick as the enemy........placed in the same circumstance we would resort to the same techniques of terrorism the adversary is using.......plus what kind of little pervert girl would do that kind of crap......no wonder everybody thinks Americans are sickos......look at the guy slaughtering his daughter......look at the TV every night......the American violence fest......perverted queers prancing around on the tube.......WHY???.......because that is what our sick public CRAVES.......we are a vile society on a slippery slide to the pit
05-12-2005, 12:04 PM #4Originally Posted by Badgerman
How do you really feel about it Badger?
I agree that there are bad parts of every society, even ours.
I believe that our only saving grace is our attempt at self policing.
05-12-2005, 03:18 PM #5
What we did to those detainees is similar to masturbating with a cross in front of a nun or pastor........depraved behavior........if that is what our military has come to we are in deep dodo
05-12-2005, 04:58 PM #6
I have no sympathy for those at Guantanamo bay! They are there for a reason and if our guys cutting off one of the detainee's arms saves us one american life, then it is all worth it and then some. Keep in mind "those people" would behead your small children and not blink.
05-12-2005, 05:14 PM #7
America operates by rule of law......they need trials......there is no reason to have a detainee camp like that.....
If we can not operate by rule of law then we have no right to demand rule of law for our POWs
05-12-2005, 05:20 PM #8Originally Posted by Ridla
That was my reaction.
Originally Posted by Badgerman
And how many people have been slowly beheaded by the US? Interesting how people think some of the 'abuse' puts the US on par with the terrorists. I'm not trying to justify any of this, but lets face it, some humiliation is not anywhere near on the same level as what has gone on in the middle east. Not even close. I bet money these guys would have had it even worse in a regular prison being raped by other inmates, getting sent to Guantanamo bay did these guys a favor. It just goes to show how hating on the US is politically correct right now. Innocent people get beheaded and its the US's fault. An uncooperative terrorist gets "humiliated" and the US is now a terrorst country ran by Satan.
This reminds of me of what CAUSASIAN or whoever it was posted that link about someone trying to get into Israel carrying a violin case, and was "humiliated" by being forced to play it. He ranted like the guy was forced to eat shit out of a bowl while being whipped by a bull whip. Get real. If this stuff is the worst that went on, then yeah, its not that bad!
I too have no sympathy for the guys that get sent to Guantanamo bay. And its not like this stuff happens to every inmate anyway.
05-12-2005, 05:20 PM #9
And I have no sympathy for our "soldiers" acting like depraved idiots......is that what all this money is buying???.......Abu Gharib and stuff like this???......sorry.....but I wouldn't cut somebody's arm off to save assholes like Rodney King........and America is FULL of assholes like him......why do you think the Army can't reach their recruiting goals???.......BECAUSE most guys look at America and see the crap watching reality TV and decide this depraved bunch of spoiled idiots are not worth dying for......
05-13-2005, 04:14 AM #10Originally Posted by Badgerman
I can't believe it......
A Badger post that I agree with......
05-13-2005, 07:43 AM #11Writer
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
I'd rather be caught by the USA and dicked with, and maybe get a broken nose, than get captured by the other side and get beheaded. JMO.
Also...at least the US is doing this to "soldiers"...people captured in war, who were fighting. The other side has done this to relief workers, AirConditioning repair men, Truck drivers, etc...
Sorry, but the US is acting like Saints compared to what the other side is doing.
05-13-2005, 08:32 AM #12Originally Posted by hooker
Amen Brother Hooker!
05-13-2005, 12:23 PM #13
This is not a matter of comparison......"well we're only torturing a little bit"......kinda like cheating on your wife with one girl instead of 30......
05-13-2005, 01:40 PM #14Writer
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
Yeah...we deprived one dude of water one night, and made him think Allah wouldn't like him anymore...
They beheaded an international peace worker.
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