Saturday, May 22, 2004


More photos from Abu Ghraib, as well as statements from detainees. Meanwhile, details are emerging of outright torture - including drugging, beating and suffocation - being performed at a US special forces "battlefield interrogation facility" near Baghdad airport:

According to two top U.S. government sources, it is the scene of the most egregious violations of the Geneva Conventions in all of Iraq’s prisons. A place where the normal rules of interrogation don’t apply, Delta Force’s BIF only holds Iraqi insurgents and suspected terrorists - but not the most wanted among Saddam’s lieutenants pictured on the deck of cards.

These sources say the prisoners there are hooded from the moment they are captured. They are kept in tiny dark cells. And in the BIF’s six interrogation rooms, Delta Force soldiers routinely drug prisoners, hold a prisoner under water until he thinks he’s drowning, or smother them almost to suffocation.

If any of this sounds familiar, it's because it is exactly what Seymour Hersh talked about in the New Yorker last weekend: the same techniques originally approved for use on top-level Al-Qaeda operatives (and used on them by the CIA), applied to ordinary Iraqi insurgents by US special forces (who are the sorts of people you bring in to run the business end of that sort of project). Despite the Pentagon's denials and attempts to smear Hersh as a raving conspiracy theorist, we now have the proof. "Copper Green" (or whatever it's called) exists. The US government ordered people to be tortured, in violation of US and international law. Do you understand now why we need the Hague?