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Friday, April 01, 2005

 

Government Torture Documents

Commander's report of inquiry (15-6 Investigation, December 2003, Mosul, B Co. 311th BI Bn) into broken jaw of a high school boy (such that the boy required his mouth to be wired shut and could only eat through a straw). The boy was hooded and placed in a room with "very loud music", and "was exercised without stopping for approximately 3 hours" while flexi-cuffed, and was "subject to being hit by water bottles. He had cold water poured on him and was yelled at repeatedly by roving guards." The report notes that at some point the victim "began crying and bleeding from his face, under the bag." [1206]. The victim claimed that a soldier threw him towards a wall and kicked him in the face and broke his jaw and his teeth. He was then told "to say that I've fallen down and no one beated me."[1185]. The report concluded that the broken jaw was caused either as a result of a blow by a US soldier or a collapse due to "complete muscle failure" from being excessively excercised. [1205] It found that ""Abuse of detainees in some form or other was an acceptable practice and was demonstrated to the inexperienced infantry guards almost as guidance" by 311th Battalion Military Intelligence personnel [1206]. Detainees were exercised "to the point of complete muscle failure or collapse." [1206] The guards... were either told to keep the prisoners awake, silent, and moving, or were not given any guidance at all." [1198-1199] Personnel "were striking the detainees", and evidence suggested that the 311th Military Intelligence personnel and/or translators "engaged in physical torture of the detainees." The report noted that detainees had sandbags over their heads, and "[t]he atmosphere in the detainee holding room was tense, emotional, and encouraged the guards to engage in abusive, out of control behavior." The victim was not interrogated when he was brought in, because of inadequate personnel - "if he had been interrogated it would have been determined that he was not the target and should have been released...". [1198-1199]. It was recommended that no punitive action be taken against the Commander of B Company, 311th MI Batallion [1173] despite the note in the report that "The 3rd and 4th Geneva Conventions were violated in regard to the treatment afforded to these detainees [1168].

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