It's the usual story: a detainee is released from Guantanamo and alleges torture, while the government strenuously denies it. In this case, the detainee is Australian Mamdouh Habib, who claims that he was beaten, electrocuted, drugged, sexually assaulted, and on one occasion, "smeared with the menstrual blood of a prostitute". And the government is Habib's own, who rather than being concerned about the treatment one of their citizens were subjected to, are denying that any torture took place, or that if it did, then it was conducted by heathen Egyptians (which was precisely why Habib was turned over to them). But what's interesting about all of this is that there is solid documentary evidence for at least one of Habib's claims: the draft of an upcoming book by a translator who worked at the camp recounts how US interrogators used sexual tactics to "break" prisoners, including this rather interesting bit:
According to Sergeant Saar, a Muslim linguist then told the woman interrogator that she could break the prisoner’s faith by making him believe that she had smeared menstrual blood on him and cutting the water off to his cell so that he could not wash. The translator’s manuscript gives explicit details of the way in which the suspect was interrogated.
Some devout Muslim men will not touch women other than their wives, particularly if they are menstruating. The theme has come up repeatedly in the US media since September 11. It was widely reported that Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker, left written instructions no woman should attend his funeral or visit his grave.
According to the draft, the idea was to make the detainee feel unclean and "unable to go before his God in prayer and gain strength".
You really have to wonder how stupid the Australian government thinks people are, denying something when the very people that did it are admitting it in a book...