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July 12, 2011 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Getting Away with Torture. "Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior officials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Obama administration has failed to meet US obligations under the Convention against Torture to investigate acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees." posted by ZenMasterThis (67 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Roth of Human Rights Watch was on Democracy Now! today.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:15 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Politicians generally don't want to throw a previous administration under the bus as when their terms expire (either elections or term limits) one wouldn't want the same thing to occur towards them.

Granted that shit was fucked up, and investigations as well as prosecutions should have already been under way along time ago.
posted by handbanana at 12:15 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's no way in hell that's going to happen. If they seriously think that any President is going to establish that sort of precedent, agreeing to initiate a post-investigation into their predecessor's Oval Office machinations, knowing that the tactic might be turned on them after they have left office, they're out of their minds.
posted by zarq at 12:16 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Surely This..."

will never happen. Iraqi occupation is too big to fail.
posted by anti social order at 12:19 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Obama Administration turns blind eye" - is this still news?
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:21 PM on July 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


No shit. Americans couldn't care less about their obligations under international instruments, which is the explanation for America's nonsensical reservation to the Convention Against Torture. In essence, the USA said, "We're signing this, but we think it doesn't oblige us to do anything at all that we're not already obliged to do by the Constitution."
posted by 1adam12 at 12:21 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is ridiculous. Of course it happened and it was fucked up. And of course no charges were brought. And of course nobody anywhere near the administration gives a rat's ass what these folks say.

My general distaste with the US political machine as it sits today mounts daily.
posted by kaseijin at 12:21 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Current SecDef Leon Panetta already said that torture was used and may be a viable means of extracting information from enemy combatants. The Obama administration just has not received the same amount of flack as Rummy and Cheney and Bush.

Like it or not, torture has been approved by Pres. Obama.
posted by Silo004 at 12:26 PM on July 12, 2011 [16 favorites]


I think there are people in politics who do care, perhaps even the president. But as already mentioned although it might be the correct thing to do, there is an awful lot of pressure politically, and other wise, not to do it. It would only be something done by someone not intending to run for political office, or hoping to hold any level of political influence ever again in their life.

And truth be told we all make similar decisions on smaller levels, we don't intervene in the domestic dispute, our activism is limited to law abiding marching and chanting, most of us sacrifice nobility for ease and "the long view"...
posted by edgeways at 12:31 PM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just to point this out, previously on this topic.

Granted that shit was fucked up, and investigations as well as prosecutions should have already been under way along time ago.

See the previously link. Investigations into some aspects of the Bush/CIA torture program are and have been underway for some time. They just aren't as sweeping in scope as Human Rights Watch and other human rights activists would like.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:35 PM on July 12, 2011


It would only be something done by someone not intending to run for political office, or hoping to hold any level of political influence ever again in their life.

Given Obama's popularity numbers these days ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:39 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I for one HOPE that if I ever do anything wrong, the person who could investigate me will CHANGE the subject whenever it's brought up.
posted by Legomancer at 12:45 PM on July 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


Torture crimes officially, permanently shielded
posted by homunculus at 12:48 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I know that Obama coming into office was supposed to be a Brand New Day kind of moment of forgiveness and forgetting, but considering the treatment he's had at the hands of the Right, doing so got him absolutely nothing, whereas going after the perpetrators of the torture, and the people that instructed them to do so, could have been a cleansing moment for the nation.

I think it was a mistake to not pursue it then, and I still think it's a mistake that we aren't doing anything about it now.

Sending people in power to prison (or worse) for war crimes gives the public a chance to believe that one corrupt administration can be replaced within the electoral framework we have in place. Not doing so, and even worse, continuing the very same practices of that corrupt administration has simply forced the people at large to come to grips with the fact that both parties seem to be essentially the same and voting didn't do a lot to make the world as much better as we would have hoped.
posted by quin at 12:49 PM on July 12, 2011 [19 favorites]


I see what you did there.
posted by symbioid at 12:55 PM on July 12, 2011


The BBC News sidebar listed this story as 'Bush should face torture probe'. I admit I misinterpreted it and got a little too excited.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 12:58 PM on July 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


There's no way in hell that's going to happen. If they seriously think that any President is going to establish that sort of precedent, agreeing to initiate a post-investigation into their predecessor's Oval Office machinations, knowing that the tactic might be turned on them after they have left office, they're out of their minds.

If you're not committing High Crimes and Misdemeanors, you've got nothing to be afraid of....
posted by mikelieman at 12:59 PM on July 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Politicians generally don't want to throw a previous administration under the bus as when their terms expire (either elections or term limits) one wouldn't want the same thing to occur towards them.

I find little sympathy with this position since it assumes that either the law is useless, or that the actions are business as usual, or both.
posted by odinsdream at 1:08 PM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


""Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation"

Yeah, right. Adherence to U.N. conventions is strictly voluntary for nuclear powers.
posted by MikeMc at 1:09 PM on July 12, 2011


Torture crimes officially, permanently shielded

Perhaps not surprising, but disgusting and completely unacceptable. What action can be taken by citizens about something like this? How do we make it clear that we [b]will[/b] visit punishment on those who performed such atrocities in our names without resorting to armed revolt or something?
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:15 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bah, curse my BBCode habits.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:16 PM on July 12, 2011


Frost: Would you say that there are certain situations - and the Huston Plan was one of them - where the president can decide that it's in the best interests of the nation, and do something illegal?

Nixon: Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.

Frost: By definition.

Nixon: Exactly, exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president's decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they're in an impossible position.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:19 PM on July 12, 2011


As a great man once said, the great achievement and biggest weakness of international law is that “almost all nations observe almost all principles of international law and almost all of their obligations almost all the time.”
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 1:20 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


It appears that Obama is content with his historic role as the first African-American president. As far as doing anything of particular note with the presidency, however -- forget it. If he gets through his term(s) without being assassinated he will have provided more hope and change than could have been expected from any other center-right politician.

It's pointless to focus on the hypocrisy represented by a former law professor ignoring, as president, the international laws to which the country is committed. The nation has never lived up to the ideals of its people.
posted by fredludd at 1:21 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


It appears that Obama is content with his historic role as the first African-American president. As far as doing anything of particular note with the presidency, however -- forget it. If he gets through his term(s) without being assassinated he will have provided more hope and change than could have been expected from any other center-right politician.

OH! So this is that "Well it sounds racist, but it isn't because I'm implying I'm a democrat" kinda thing.

I guess it exists online too.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:36 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


At least a few people are now aware that U.S. hypocrisy is systemic. I admit to being fooled into thinking that Obama would somehow be different than his predecessor. Meanwhile the DCCC keeps asking me for money!
posted by mrhappy at 1:37 PM on July 12, 2011


The nation has never lived up to the ideals of its people.

Huh? Remember, Bush got re-elected. A good portion, perhaps a plurality of Americans are okay with (and some are enthusiastic about) torturing brown people
posted by goethean at 1:43 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The nation has never lived up to the ideals of its people.

No nation ever has, nor, I expect any ever will. Because nations are a collection of people each fighting for their own interest, and their interpretation of what the national ideals are in the first place. Unless of course you just go the full bore totalitarian dictator route. People may disagree but even with his flaws I think Obama is better then Bush was, and, frankly, Clinton. And he certainly would be better then Bachmann, and perhaps Mittens.

But, any president is going to have a lot of vested interest in maintaining the current power structures. Yes, there are fundamental differences between a Obama and a Bush, but the structural similarity for anyone that makes it to that position is going to be striking. Indeed I'd argue that even if someone like Nader, or Paul got to the Whitehouse they either would fail horribly, or change to be part of the system.
posted by edgeways at 1:49 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I admit to being fooled into thinking that Obama would somehow be different than his predecessor.

He gave some damn good speeches, didn't he?

I hate it when I'm right.
posted by 3FLryan at 1:51 PM on July 12, 2011


(please feel free to infer cynical diatribe between the above two lines)
posted by 3FLryan at 1:53 PM on July 12, 2011


No shit. Americans couldn't care less about their obligations under international instruments, which is the explanation for America's nonsensical reservation to the Convention Against Torture.

Indeed. This is the country that figures the kids at Kent State had it coming.

Hell, it took decades just to get congress to talk about righting the wrongs of the internment camps. And there are still large swaths of the voting population who feel this is a bad idea.

That being said - Yeah, I wish Obama would expend some political capital on making the people answer for their crimes. It's just not realistic to expect that he will at this time.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:56 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


>OH! So this is that "Well it sounds racist, but it isn't because I'm implying I'm a democrat" kinda thing.

Democrat? I'm not even an American. But that only means my interest in your current administration is chiefly concerned with its foreign policy and degree of adherence to international agreements. Whatever Obama may have done domestically -- and I understand there was some sort of (weak) health care thingy -- he certainly hasn't done much to enhance your nation's prestige as a champion of freedom and democracy.

The Nobel Peace Prize that Obama accepted was probably deserved, if understood as awarded to the USA. We out here all considered it a mark of maturity that [and here comes another remark that you may want to cast as racist] the American people were able to overcome the long internal struggle and finally elect a non-Caucasian to highest office. But seeing the Peace Prize as appropriate to Obama himself would be absurd, making it a Kissinger-quality event.
posted by fredludd at 2:06 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obama just dealt with the bin Laden "situation," in one fashion or another. How much more political capital does he need to act?
posted by adipocere at 2:07 PM on July 12, 2011


Huh? Remember, Bush got re-elected. A good portion, perhaps a plurality of Americans are okay with (and some are enthusiastic about) torturing brown people.

I think you'll find that a purality of Americans are ok with torturing anyone at all, as long as it's not them.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:25 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you're not committing High Crimes and Misdemeanors, you've got nothing to be afraid of....

If you give me six lines writtenfour years served by the most honest man, I will find something in them to hang him.
posted by fings at 2:43 PM on July 12, 2011


If he held an investigation of Bush/Cheney, the political fallout from that investigation would guarantee the election of Republican president who would pardon them. What would have been achieved?
posted by stavrogin at 2:44 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


A purility of Americans, perhaps?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:45 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


goethean: " Huh? Remember, Bush got re-elected. A good portion, perhaps a plurality of Americans are okay with (and some are enthusiastic about) torturing brown people"

The 2004 election was won on fear, not torture. People were scared of another 9/11 happening to them, and they believed Daddy Republican would keep them safe. The Republican convention was a nonstop flood of fearmongering, and could have been summarized as "Do What We Tell You Or The Terrorists Win."

All other considerations, from economic issues to how our military comported itself overseas, was secondary and let's face it, barely a concern.
posted by zarq at 2:48 PM on July 12, 2011


a good portion, perhaps a plurality of Americans are okay with (and some are enthusiastic about) torturing brown people

Quite true.

But even the minority of people who say this issue is important to them are letting it slide for the sake of political expediency.

They're doing as much as those awful others to enable this. And they don't even have the excuse of thinking the practice just.
posted by Trurl at 2:50 PM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


stavrogin: If he held an investigation of Bush/Cheney, the political fallout from that investigation would guarantee the election of Republican president who would pardon them. What would have been achieved?
Oh, you're such a world-weary veteran of the "Great Game", eh old chap?

What would be achieved? Justice, and following the rule of law. Some of us think it's actually it's own reward to be a one-termer doing that. It's been said many times before, but it was the unwillingness to try and convict these jackals during the Nixon and Reagan administrations that really hurt us; if they'd been tarnished and imprisoned, they wouldn't have shown up again during Bush II's presidency to do much ballsier than the last time.

If all the Democrats do is campaign on not being Republicans, and then get into office and outdo the Republicans for fear of "losing their seats", then they have literally no value as a party. Obama is a disgrace of a president, and no better than Bush where it matters.
posted by hincandenza at 2:53 PM on July 12, 2011 [18 favorites]


Cripes, what a teachable moment for our kids.

Oh, I get it teacher, so the presidential administration that was responsible for those obvious breaches of US and international law, and basic human rights was prosecuted quickly because our system of checks and balances allows our Judiciary to check the actions of our Executive branch! I get it!

Right Teacher?

Right?


This seems like a clear indication that someone needs to take a crowbar and pry a little separation between our Judicial and Executive branches.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 3:09 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Watergate to Guantanamo the roiling anger of the American people is ... reserved for screaming about sex with interns.
posted by Surfurrus at 3:43 PM on July 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


something...something...constitution not a suicide pact...something...now get in your cell before I waterboard you again.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:45 PM on July 12, 2011


one wouldn't want the same thing to occur towards them.

This apparently didn't stop the Republicans from going after Clinton. Why are just Democrats afraid of reprisals?
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:48 PM on July 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


What would be achieved? Justice, and following the rule of law. Some of us think it's actually it's own reward to be a one-termer doing that. It's been said many times before, but it was the unwillingness to try and convict these jackals during the Nixon and Reagan administrations that really hurt us; if they'd been tarnished and imprisoned, they wouldn't have shown up again during Bush II's presidency to do much ballsier than the last time.

They'd be pardoned. What justice would have been achieved? Bush's presidency will be tarnished? Little late for that, isn't it? Unless Obama signs legislation into law removing the power of the president to pardon felons, then any investigation into Bush/Cheney will result in absolutely nothing. Presidents will still torture and get away with it. The status quo will not change.

Speaking of Nixon, G. Gordon Liddy said he planned the assassination of a journalist under Nixon's direct orders, served time in prison, was presumably tarnished at some point and came out with a best selling book and a popular radio show. What's tarnished to you isn't neceessarily tarnished to wide swathes of the teapublic.

If all the Democrats do is campaign on not being Republicans, and then get into office and outdo the Republicans for fear of "losing their seats", then they have literally no value as a party. Obama is a disgrace of a president, and no better than Bush where it matters.

The Democrats are worthless and Obama is Bush-lite. But, the other side wants to force rape victims to have their rapists babies, make gays illegal, thinks the Lion King is gay propaganda and is currently beating Romney in Iowa.

I mean, sure, I would respect Obama more for doing something based on principle, knowing that he'd be a one term president because of it, but do you think that'd stop the next Republican president from torturing anyone? Hell, would it stop the next Democratic president?
posted by stavrogin at 3:51 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Silo004: "Current SecDef Leon Panetta already said that torture was used and may be a viable means of extracting information from enemy combatants. The Obama administration just has not received the same amount of flack as Rummy and Cheney and Bush.

Like it or not, torture has been approved by Pres. Obama.
"

Transcript from that interview:
COURIC: One of President Obama's first acts was to outlaw enhanced interrogation techniques. Now, some of these were used on detainees who provided information that led to bin Laden's whereabouts. Given that, do you think the use of these techniques should, in fact, be re-evaluated?

PANETTA: No, I really don't. You know, I think what we had here were a lot of streams of intelligence that came together. And I think it's probably going too far to say it all ties to just, you know, one source of information that we received. We were looking at a lot of lines of information, going back a long way.
Torture is still forbidden, Panetta says that ban should not be re-evaluated. How do you get "torture has been approved by Pres. Obama" from that?
posted by Rhaomi at 4:11 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


torture has been approved by Pres. Obama
Bradley Manning, e.g.
posted by fredludd at 4:16 PM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've seen the Amnesty report on Manning's condition -- while he's in spartan accommodations with restrictions on his activities, he's not being tortured. Calling his admittedly unfriendly treatment "torture" detracts from the evil of actual torture.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:24 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Quibbling about the minutiae of whether torturous acts are torture — acts by people in power, which are intended to humiliate, denigrate and coerce those not in power — devalues us, as much as the freedoms we take for granted.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:30 PM on July 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think there are people in politics who do care, perhaps even the president. But as already mentioned although it might be the correct thing to do, there is an awful lot of pressure politically, and other wise, not to do it. It would only be something done by someone not intending to run for political office, or hoping to hold any level of political influence ever again in their life.

The idea that no politician has ever taken a moral stand on an issue, and can never do so, is completely farcical. There are literally millions of examples from throughout history. Without stands like the ones made by Lyndon Johnson and others we would still have Jim Crow. Johnson was a flawed president in many ways, but he didn't sit back and say, "well segregation is here forever, oh well."

And this torture prosecution issue- if you took a poll I guarantee at least 40% of Americans would be in favor. It's divisive, but it's not outlandish by any means. And the reason many people are against it is simply because Obama told them they should be and they listened to him.

I hope to live to see both him and Bush prosecuted at The Hague.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:45 PM on July 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: "Quibbling about the minutiae of whether torturous acts are torture — acts by people in power, which are intended to humiliate, denigrate and coerce those not in power — devalues us, as much as the freedoms we take for granted."

I'm not conservative when it comes to what torture is. Like I said last time, subtler techniques like extended sleep deprivation, Nutraloaf-only meals, and absolute solitary confinement? They may not cause physical harm, but they are torturous, and can leave irreparable psychological damage. But being denied a chair in your cell isn't torture. Having to dress down to your boxers for contraband inspection isn't torture. Getting time outside your cell to exercise and watch TV and see your family isn't torture (unless Two and a Half Men is on, or you've got some really unpleasant relatives).

Defining torture so broadly -- "acts by people in power, which are intended to humiliate, denigrate and coerce those not in power" -- diminishes the horror of real torture. If a guard spits in my face or calls me a mean name (worse stuff, I'd say, than what's been done to Manning), have I been humiliated or denigrated? Yeah. Have I been tortured? Fuck no. For the record, torture is defined by the United Nations as inflicting "severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental." Disrespectful and overly restrictive treatment is a problem, but it's not a Geneva Convention-violating atrocity.

If the complaints raised in the Amnesty letter are the worst "abuses" they can identify, then I'd say Manning's doing about as well as anybody in military prison. Certainly better than a lot of people in civilian prison. There's surely lots of room for improvement in the system, and in Manning's case specifically they're probably being harsher than necessary out of spite. But call it what it is -- petty passive-aggressive treatment by the military of somebody who undermined the military -- and stop equating it with truly horrible stuff like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, where people were beaten, waterboarded, locked in boxes with insects, smeared in excrement, posed with, sexually violated, and killed.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:17 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did someone say fascism? No? Ok, nevermind. America the farcical; that's what they should change the song lyrics to.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:20 PM on July 12, 2011


drjimmy11: "And this torture prosecution issue- if you took a poll I guarantee at least 40% of Americans would be in favor. It's divisive, but it's not outlandish by any means."

I wish that were true, but:

Most Americans oppose interrogation probe - poll
A CBS News/New York Times poll found that 62 percent of Americans do not think Congress should hold hearings to investigate the treatment of detainees, about the same proportion as in a similar poll in February.

[...]

The poll found that 89 percent of Republicans opposed Congress holding hearings on interrogation policies, and 60 percent of independents also opposed such hearings. Democrats were more divided, with 46 percent saying Congress should hold hearings, and 51 percent saying they were not necessary.
Only 34% of those polled support an investigation. Also relevant:
But the poll found mixed views on Obama's decision to close the Guantanamo Bay U.S. prison for terrorism suspects by next January. The poll found that 47 percent think the prison should remain open, while 44 percent want it to be shut.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:28 PM on July 12, 2011


One cannot pick the exact date of the decline of the American Empire, much like one cannot pick the exact date of the decline of the Roman Empire.

But I could suggest the date to be exactly half-way between GWB's re-election, and the State stating that it did not need to comply with the Geneva Conventions.

Ah, the Geneva Conventions. Almost good enough for mid-20th century Germany...
posted by ovvl at 6:49 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


> They'd be pardoned. What justice would have been achieved?

That's just an appalling attitude. They're going to get away with it, so we should let them get away with it?

Why, exactly, would Bush or Cheney be pardoned if they were convicted, anyway? Even if they served a year or two before the next Administration, it would be a serious lesson to everyone....
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:57 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


One cannot pick the exact date of the decline of the American Empire

December 12, 2000
posted by Trurl at 7:23 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought it was right after the 1984 Summer Olympics in LA?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:35 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


a good portion, perhaps a plurality of Americans are okay with (and some are enthusiastic about) torturing brown people

I doubt we limit it to just brown people.
posted by Ardiril at 8:03 PM on July 12, 2011


Reagan, the puppet president. You can't make a mistake of that magnitude and not fail as a country.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 4:37 AM on July 13, 2011


They'd be pardoned. What justice would have been achieved?

We would show that we give a shit. That is sufficient for me.
posted by Legomancer at 6:50 AM on July 13, 2011


Pardoned? Maybe so. But I would like some truth to go along with our "reconciliation"
posted by Mngo at 7:53 AM on July 13, 2011


One more thing about Manning -- the restricted conditions he was being kept in are a moot point now, as he was transferred to Leavenworth this April where "[t]he prevention-of-injury order was lifted, his clothes were not removed at night, and he was placed in a cell with a large window with natural light and a normal mattress. He was able to mix with other pre-trial detainees, write whenever he wanted, and keep personal objects, such as books and letters, in his cell."
posted by Rhaomi at 3:42 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Campaigners seek arrest of former CIA legal chief over Pakistan drone attacks
posted by homunculus at 3:39 PM on July 15, 2011


Holy hell, Manning's being handled with kid gloves now? Why didn't that make the news?
posted by saulgoodman at 8:07 AM on July 19, 2011


Honoring those who stood against torture: Even if President Obama doesn't do so formally, we can recognize those who bucked authority to expose and oppose U.S. abuses.
posted by homunculus at 2:14 PM on July 28, 2011


US contractor can sue Donald Rumsfeld for alleged Iraq torture, judge rules
posted by homunculus at 9:47 AM on August 4, 2011


U.S. Navy Vet Sues Donald Rumsfeld for Torture in Iraq, Court Allows Case to Move Forward

"On Monday, a federal appeals court refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two U.S. citizens against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and unnamed others for developing, authorizing and using harsh interrogation techniques against detainees in Iraq. Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel were working for a private U.S. government contractor, Shield Group Security, in 2006 when they witnessed the sale of U.S. government weapons to Iraqi rebel groups for money and alcohol. After they became FBI informants and collaborated with an investigation into their employer, the company revoked their credentials for entering Iraq’s so-called Green Zone, effectively barring them from the safest part of the country. Shortly afterward, they were arrested and detained by U.S. troops, moved to the U.S.-run prison at Camp Cropper, and subjected to extreme sleep deprivation, interrogated for hours at a time, kept in a very cold cell, and denied food and water for long periods. They were eventually released and never charged with a crime. For more on his story, we speak with Donald Vance, a U.S. Navy veteran, and with Andrea Prasow, the senior counsel in the Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program at Human Rights Watch."
posted by homunculus at 11:11 AM on August 11, 2011


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