Thursday, January 13, 2005

So, is this torture?

Or simply murder?

a prisoner under interrogation by the CIA was abused in October 2003 by two or three SEALs. On another occasion a month later, the witness said he watched as SEALs punched, choked and poked their fingers in the eye of Iraqi Manadel al-Jamadi, who also was punched by a CIA official when he did not answer questions.

Mr. al-Jamadi, a suspect in the bombing of a Red Cross facility in Iraq, died a few hours after he was captured during a joint CIA-special operations mission in November 2003. He died while being interrogated by CIA personnel in the shower room of the Abu Ghraib prison.

One of the men involved - a US Navy SEAL Lieutenant - may be facing assault charges, but no-one has been charged with murder, or even negligent homicide. I think that shows more than anything how "seriously" the US takes its human rights obligations. A group of men beat a prisoner to death - and yet no-one will be held properly responsible for it.