From Autopsy reports reveal homicides of detainees in U.S. custody to Vice President For Torture
October 26, 2005 1:51 PM   Subscribe

The American Civil Liberties Union today made public an analysis of new and previously released autopsy and death reports of detainees held in U.S. facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom died while being interrogated. The documents show that detainees were hooded, gagged, strangled, beaten with blunt objects, subjected to sleep deprivation and to hot and cold environmental conditions. The documents released today are available online...
U.S. Operatives Killed Detainees During Interrogations in Afghanistan and Iraq
The Bush administration has proposed exempting employees of the Central Intelligence Agency from a legislative measure endorsed earlier this month by 90 members of the Senate that would bar cruel and degrading treatment of any prisoners in U.S. custody... "This is the first time they've said explicitly that the intelligence community should be allowed to treat prisoners inhumanely," said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "In the past, they've only said that the law does not forbid inhumane treatment." Now, he said, the administration is saying more concretely that it cannot be forbidden.
Cheney Plan Exempts CIA From Bill Barring Abuse of Detainees
posted by y2karl (69 comments total)
 
& an editorial: Vice President for Torture
posted by y2karl at 1:52 PM on October 26, 2005


Yo! The guy goes to church right?! What kind of church?! Methodist, right?!

Man. You know they can bring heat but they give him Celestial Holy Bubble +23 instead.

What gives.
posted by nervousfritz at 2:01 PM on October 26, 2005


Exactly how much damage has the CIA done to the welfare of the United States and its citizens? What a fucking travesty of an organization. It's an insult that citizens of a free liberal democracy are saddled with the medieval incompetence of those jokers. Secrecy and opacity are anathema to freedom and democracy.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:03 PM on October 26, 2005


Well, there appears to be a democratically elected president who thinks they should be able to do whatever they want. And I'm willing to bet that in a poll taken right now, a lot of Americans would agree with him.

It's a fucking travesty, period.
posted by dreamsign at 2:06 PM on October 26, 2005


Republicans: Still glad you voted for these savages?
posted by wakko at 2:08 PM on October 26, 2005


I have no words for how furious and disgusted this makes me.
posted by fenriq at 2:08 PM on October 26, 2005


Never mind the fact that they can do this to anyone, not just soldiers, but civilians as well.
posted by furtive at 2:12 PM on October 26, 2005


Well, in fairness, the CIA had lost a lot of cool perks recently -- parking spaces and the like -- so we had to give them something to make them feel special.
posted by hackly_fracture at 2:13 PM on October 26, 2005


You know, maybe it wasn't such a bad thing to leak a covert CIA operative's name. Maybe they should all be outed. Maybe we could make it so they are powerless to cause any harm.

When Bush Sr. was president, it scared the bejesus out of me because he was once the head of the CIA. Maybe we should get rid of the whole agency.

Of course, I don't trust the current administration to do it. They could come out tomorrow, and say that the CIA has been disbanded, with some operatives moving over to the Department of Homeland Security, and I would still bitch about it and say that they are just creating an invisible agency with no accountability.
posted by Balisong at 2:18 PM on October 26, 2005


You guys have it all wrong. Don't think of suffocation and beatings as torture, think of them as a giant necessary step forward on the long road to peace.
posted by Mr_Zero at 2:21 PM on October 26, 2005


What will it take to make those who voted for Bush see just what a disaster his administration has been?
posted by orange swan at 2:27 PM on October 26, 2005


What will it take to make those who voted for Bush see just what a disaster his administration has been?

$14 per gallon gas prices.
posted by NationalKato at 2:29 PM on October 26, 2005


FRONTLINE: The Torture Question
posted by disgruntled at 2:29 PM on October 26, 2005


Man. You know they can bring heat but they give him Celestial Holy Bubble +23 instead.

Bush doesn't get a free pass from the United Methodist church; the policy of the church is that "the mistreatment or torture of persons by governments for any purpose violates Christian teaching and must be condemned and/or opposed by Christians and churches wherever and whenever it occurs". (source)
posted by eddydamascene at 2:35 PM on October 26, 2005


Same goes for Cheney, who also identifies as United Methodist.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:37 PM on October 26, 2005


Mr-Zero, you forgot the sarcasm tag, I hope.

That these bastards talk about doing God's work and spreading democracy and then they advocate torture and murder.

Sometimes I really hope there is a heaven and that I get there ten minutes before the Bush/Cheney tour bus that went over the cliff arrives just so I can listen to St. Peter nearly die laughing as they file up the gates to get into Heaven.

But since I don't believe in Heaven, I'll just keep hoping karma makes 'em accidentally fall into a huge chipper/shredder.
posted by fenriq at 2:56 PM on October 26, 2005


Summon Dios!
posted by flabdablet at 3:09 PM on October 26, 2005


Where are the Abu Ghraib videos? How long can they hold up their release?

And what the fuck is going to happen when they are released?

posted by Aknaton at 3:10 PM on October 26, 2005


And what the fuck is going to happen when they are released

Absolutely nothing. Americans will carry on with their daily lives, sticking their heads in the sand. Then, if more terrorist attacks are perpetrated on US soil, Americans will wring their hands and cry "why, oh why do they hate us?"...
posted by tomcosgrave at 3:17 PM on October 26, 2005


A picture is worth ten thousand reports. Perhaps more, since these keep getting ignored. But put one fuzzy, pixelated photograph up for all to see, and suddenly you get rioting in the streets. Speaks well to the power of the image.

How long can they hold up their release?

Those videos have probably been filed alongside JFK's brain and Jimmy Hoffa's body. That is to say, you will never see them.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:23 PM on October 26, 2005


fenriq

/sarcasm
posted by Mr_Zero at 3:23 PM on October 26, 2005


And what the fuck is going to happen when they are released

They will probably get traded for porn.
posted by Mr_Zero at 3:23 PM on October 26, 2005


Like this exact kind of stuff hasn't been going on in the CIA since it was created in the '40s/'50s. Like this isn't the whole human history of "interrogation" and world governments and etc etc etc. These are the awful, ugly behaviors on which societies are built and on which societies fall. If you think otherwise you are just being naive.
posted by xmutex at 3:24 PM on October 26, 2005


I remember when the United States of America was opposed to torturing human beings to death.
posted by jellicle at 3:34 PM on October 26, 2005


$14 per gallon gas prices.

That's probably true, NationalKato.
posted by orange swan at 3:37 PM on October 26, 2005


xmutex, there's a heck of a difference between unofficial ( and denied ) goverment malfeasance and openly declaring a policy of torture.

For one thing, isn't the US is a signatory to the UN Charter and the Geneva Convention ?

I thought so, and I was under the impression that Article 6, Section 2 of the Consitution, the directive that ratified treaties are to be "The Supreme Law of The Land", implies that such a statement of a US policy of torture would be illegal and Unconstitutional given that the US is a signatory to The Geneva Accords and to the UN Charter.

Now, if the US Congress wants to pull the US out of being a signatory to the UN Charter and the Geneva Accords, well then fine - torture away,

But until Congress did that ( which would make the US, also, something like a "rogue nation" and possibly even a terrorist state. ) the US Government is legally bound to uphold these legal agreements.


But what do I know - I'm not an international law scholar.
posted by troutfishing at 3:40 PM on October 26, 2005


I think the CIA should consider questioning Cheney about who leaked Plame's name.

Something tells me that "Big" Dick might come around on the issue if he were presented with a pressing reason to do so...
posted by clevershark at 3:43 PM on October 26, 2005


The question I have after reading through the ACLU link is why the death of an Iraqi fighter who was shot while in battle, captured, treated, and later died from gun shot wounds received during said battle would be listed as a "homocide".

This is a war, and isn't the nature of war basically government sanctioned homocide. Maybe this debate would be better for another thread, but is the ACLU suggesting that all sodiers who kill an enemy in battle are guilty of homocide? Or is "homocide" in this sense a "term of art" and not meant to have the murderous conotation I seem to have interpreted?

That being said, these are shameful accounts of torture and abuse. Once in custody these individuals deserved more dignity and respect than they were given.

Maybe someone can help clear the fog for me.
posted by tzelig at 3:49 PM on October 26, 2005


I'm not an international law scholar.

Didn't you hear? Nerocons don't believe there is such a thing as "international law".

It is, in their mind, an oxymoron.
posted by wah at 3:58 PM on October 26, 2005


I remember when the United States of America was opposed to torturing human beings to death.

How are you, gramps?
posted by spazzm at 4:08 PM on October 26, 2005


No kidding. Methinks that should be written...

I long for the day when the United States of America is opposed to torturing human beings to death.
posted by wah at 4:17 PM on October 26, 2005


really, are we surprised... anyone ?
posted by Substrata at 4:17 PM on October 26, 2005


Once in custody these individuals deserved more dignity and respect than they were given.

Not to mention they deserved to not being tortured to death, of course.

This isn't about "dignity" or "respect" or any other flimsy and ill-defined philosophical concept. This is about NOT hitting a bound, defenceless person until he/she dies from internal injuries or drown in his/her own vomit.
posted by spazzm at 4:17 PM on October 26, 2005


Actually tzelig, I believe that their use of the term is technically correct. When one person is killed intentionally by another, I have always heard the official death reported as "death by homicide," regardless of the moral implications. Even if it's a cop killing an axe-murderer in self-defense. Still listed as "homicide."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:18 PM on October 26, 2005


jellicle, so do I, it was waaaay back when that blowjob guy was in the office. I miss that guy, he was nice, funny, decent and didn't think God spoke to him directly.

tzelig, nope, the fog is supposed to be there. It helps contain the outrage.
posted by fenriq at 4:18 PM on October 26, 2005


Wow, all this while robbing us blind too.
posted by Max Power at 4:25 PM on October 26, 2005


Explicitly linked to Cheney, exempting the CIA ... is this some unoffical compensation for Plame?

Another thought: it would be pretty funny if it wasn't so grim that the same people who insist on an "original", literal interpretation of the Bible and the Constitution can find an exemption for foreigners on foreign soil in a treaty banning torture.
posted by ontic at 5:03 PM on October 26, 2005


If only people would stop gasping at one another in outrage and actually do something about all this...
posted by nightchrome at 5:16 PM on October 26, 2005


What do we do? Demand documents? We get stonewalled.
Demand that this doesn't happen ever again? We'll get told that there is an internal investigation, and we should go suck wind while waiting to see if anything comes out of it.

Just what CAN we do? Take up arms? We'll end up in the cell block, of pine box next to all the other insurgents, and demonized by everyone in the process.
posted by Balisong at 5:24 PM on October 26, 2005


OR pine box...
posted by Balisong at 5:25 PM on October 26, 2005


For this thread it might be worth mentioning that there are accusations that abuse, killing of prisoners is also going on at Abu Garcia the US's unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean that has no one but vetted personnel on it.

Why, Mr Bush and Mr Cheney, do you hate Democracy?
posted by sien at 5:31 PM on October 26, 2005


I understand that sometimes secret things need to be done by secret people for national security, but they should at least have the decency to hide their actions and pretend that the prisoner fell down some stairs while drowning in his own vomit and hanging himself!! The CIA has been kidnapping people and sending them to other allied countries to be tortured since WWII, and those are outsource jobs I don't mind going to foreigners. Having to hide their actions guarantees that they can't get above a certain scale or they are to big to keep a secret
posted by Megafly at 5:47 PM on October 26, 2005


tzelig writes "The question I have after reading through the ACLU link is why the death of an Iraqi fighter who was shot while in battle, captured, treated, and later died from gun shot wounds received during said battle would be listed as a 'homocide'."

I can't find that account on the first page. I did find this:
Document Number:
DOD13289 - DOD13296
Title of Record:
Final Autopsy Report
Description of Record:
Male Iraqi National captured after he fired on coalition forces. Detainee died from multiple gunshots wounds to the hip, arm, and foot during the fight.
Date of Death:
04/28/04
Autopsy Number:
ME 04-357, 2929205
Place of Death:
Abu Ghraib
Cause of Death:
Gunshot wounds
Manner of Death:
Wounded in action, died later from wounds.
Please direct me to such a case where the 'Manner of Death' is listed as Homicide.
posted by taosbat at 5:59 PM on October 26, 2005


Abu Garcia? That does look painful!
posted by AllesKlar at 6:08 PM on October 26, 2005


AllesKlar: Wooops. Too right. My bad. Diego Garcia. That could be a reel problem.
posted by sien at 6:13 PM on October 26, 2005


Balisong, so you've just given up then?
posted by nightchrome at 6:15 PM on October 26, 2005


Torture is un-American. It goes against all of the values that this country supposedly holds dear. We talk about human rights abuses by our enemies and foreign powers whom we hold in contempt, but then we condone such abuses by or on behalf of ourselves using the excuse that we are protecting "freedom." Is this not the antithesis of freedom? From the utterly immoral bunch of criminals who currently run the executive branch this is shocking, even by their standards. However, what is worse is how so many citizens feel this is justified. A little fear and they are willing to give up the freedoms this country is supposedly so proud of. That is the travesty.
posted by caddis at 6:19 PM on October 26, 2005


Explicitly linked to Cheney, exempting the CIA ... is this some unoffical compensation for Plame?
posted by ontic at 10:03 AM JST on October 27


Torture; the gift you give to say, "I'm sorry".
posted by Jenga at 6:30 PM on October 26, 2005


Nightchrome:

No!! I'm polishing my guns.. I'm just waiting for SOMEONE to bring ANY other plan of action that might bring some sort of justice out of all this.

I'm perfectly willing to die for the cause. I don't want to be the first in line, or fire the first shot that may or may not be heard 'round the world toward bringing this country (which I know has the capacity to be "Great") back to it's founding father's ideals, but if that's what it takes for others to follow, it just might be worth it.

I don't want to throw my life away. I have my own prosperous buisiness, a wife, and my first child on the way. I don't want my life squandered, and I don't want to live my life under the boot of a dictatorship. I will suspend my buisiness venture to fight for what is right, but I need the force of multitudes. If others are too busy with their X-Box, too busy watching the latest season of '24' or 'The Sopranos' to get off their ass to help me, than you might just read some sad headline with my name on it, and a picture with my arsenal laid out as a justification to remove me from society.

You might be enjoying an ice cream sandwich as you read it.

What are your convictions? Are you willing to fight for what is rihgt?
posted by Balisong at 6:34 PM on October 26, 2005


Er.. Right..
posted by Balisong at 6:35 PM on October 26, 2005


Balison, well that's just the problem though, isn't it? Nobody wants to be first. Nobody wants to get out there and do something about it until somebody ELSE does.

Myself, I am not American, so it is of less importance in this case what I am willing to do. However, I'd like to think I'd do everything within my power to remain free.
posted by nightchrome at 6:38 PM on October 26, 2005


Anyone see last night's Commander in Chief? Part of it revolved around the torture question.

MacKenzie tells one of her aides something like: if you're going to have someone connected with the U.S. government torturing suspects, you might as well strap them onto the desk in the Oval Office and do it right there -- it's the same thing.

I thought that was pretty good.
posted by swift at 6:44 PM on October 26, 2005


caddis, on the whole, it's a good thing. Al Qaeda wins. They get to further evidence with which to demonize the hypocritical and bloodthirsty West. The administration wins. They get to make more progress in tearing down all those ideals and principles that we used to take for granted. The French win. Once and for all, they get conclusive evidence that Americans are ultra-nationalistic hypocrites--just like everybody else. The only people who lose in this are American citizens of course. It's only a matter of time until such "inhumane treatment", once accepted as "necessary" in some cases, will get applied to them.

And this concept of "fighting" is all wrong. The US is a democracy. The government it gets is the government it deserves. It's not clear at all that a clear-cut minority (even if it's 49%) has the legitmate right to overthrow anything. If this stuff really concerns you, just pack up and go...but, uh, don't go to Iraq or Iran.
posted by nixerman at 6:44 PM on October 26, 2005


I used to have a serious crush on Geena Davis.
Yeah, I dunno what I was thinking either.
posted by nightchrome at 6:45 PM on October 26, 2005


Balisong - I admire your stance, it is a persistent notion. If I possessed any thing to polish, I'd be honored to join your side.

Seriously.
posted by AllesKlar at 6:45 PM on October 26, 2005


I have 'loaner' weapons.
posted by Balisong at 6:48 PM on October 26, 2005


Isn't there an overriding Cheney Plan that exempts Cheney from everything anybody can think of?
posted by ronin21 at 6:59 PM on October 26, 2005


ronin21- It's called a presidential pardon.
posted by Balisong at 6:59 PM on October 26, 2005


Balisong -

All I've got is a Sig .45 (which is real purty when polished) but you could count me in once the barricades go up.
posted by pandaharma at 9:07 PM on October 26, 2005


I can't speak for the rest of the world but I'm starting to get a bit of a hate on for the USA.

You guys talk a good game - but this has been going on long enough that you can't claim you didn't know. God forgive you - no-one else will.
posted by fingerbang at 10:57 PM on October 26, 2005


Oh - a bit of background here: I lost freinds to NorAid bullets in Northern Ireland, and family to US backed soldiers in the middle east. So you could say I've been fucked at both ends.
posted by fingerbang at 11:03 PM on October 26, 2005


I've been fucked at both ends

ha! that's funny, fingerbang, see, 'cuz getting fucked at both ends is called fingercuffing!
posted by Hat Maui at 12:09 AM on October 27, 2005


but you could count me in once the barricades go up

.308 for me. Gotta be careful with the bears around here.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:40 AM on October 27, 2005


You guys talk a good game - but this has been going on long enough that you can't claim you didn't know. God forgive you - no-one else will.

Please.

There are 300 million of "us guys." I can assure you that we do not make a concerted effort to "talk a good game" and the majority of us are not any more privy to state secrets than the rest of the world.
posted by swift at 6:16 AM on October 27, 2005


Surprising, haven't seen any of the usual right-wing comments from the usual suspects yet. Here, I'll save them the bother of posting:

-yeah, but other countries did much worse

-the Democrats did the same, only worse

-this has been going on for years, only worse

-war is hell, didn't you know that? did you expect this to be a clean, easy cakewalk? cause it's not, it's worse

-they did worse to us

-where were your protests when they attacked us/burned our troops/beheaded that guy? that was much worse

-good things are happening there too, why don't you mention those? all you talk about is bad news, and how it keeps getting worse

-situation B is much worse than situation A, therefore situation A is all ice-cream and blowjobs, and we should just ignore it

-if you don't agree with any of this, then you're naive/stupid/a Michael Moore mouthpiece - or worse


Think that just about covers it.
posted by ralphyk at 6:54 AM on October 27, 2005


If we allow the torture of anyone by our government, we allow the torture of our own citizens by other governments. Its not about their rights (although it should be) but about our own.
posted by Dantien at 7:44 AM on October 27, 2005


Well, depends on what you mean by "allow".

I recall shortly after the whole "illegal combatant" terminology came into vogue in the U.S., the state dept issued an announcement that all U.S. military, covert or not, is to be considered POW if captured, with attendant rights. This having the force of exactly nothing, of course, but it exposes an obvious and persistent double standard.
posted by dreamsign at 3:57 PM on October 27, 2005




Motherfuckers.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:00 PM on October 27, 2005


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