In Iraq torture case, the treatment worked, but the patient died
No wonder the Bush regime fights religiously to keep its activities secret. This morning’s Washington Post story by Josh White peers into court proceedings against soldiers in the case of captured Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, who was stuffed inside a sleeping bag during a November 2003 “interrogation” and beaten to death.
Hell of a read, and quite a statement about good ‘ol American ingenuity. As White writes:
The circumstances that led up to Mowhoush’s death paint a vivid example of how the pressure to produce intelligence for anti-terrorism efforts and the war in Iraq led U.S. military interrogators to improvise and develop abusive measures, not just at Abu Ghraib but in detention centers elsewhere in Iraq, in Afghanistan and at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Mowhoush’s ordeal in Qaim, over 16 days in November 2003, also reflects U.S. government secrecy surrounding some abuse cases and gives a glimpse into a covert CIA unit that was set up to foment rebellion before the war and took part in some interrogations during the insurgency.
As you might guess, the senior officers in this case are doing the testifying, and the grunts are the ones on trial for murder.
In fact, as the Post points out, the senior officers have said the “claustrophobic technique” was OK to use and quite effective, although in this case, Colonel David A. Teeples testified:
Not only are the grunts the fall guys, but the CIA’s considerable role in this deadly caper has been covered up, even to the extent of falsifying an autopsy report.
In the case of this Iraqi general, one of the accused grunts’ lawyers, William Cassara, has told reporters:
The Bush regime has already said, and continues to say, that the abuses at places like Abu Ghraib and Gitmo were the work of “rogue soldiers,” instead of a systemic problem—an argument I put the lie to more than a year ago.
Others have done much better jobs on that score. And today, the Post‘s White nicely ties the general’s death shortly after dawn on November 26, 2003, with former chicken-choker Lynndie England‘s playground in Baghdad:
Other tactics, such as some of those seen at Abu Ghraib, had been approved for one detainee at Guantánamo Bay and found their way to Iraq. Still others have been linked to official Pentagon guidance on specific techniques, such as the use of dogs.