A few bad apples (at the top of the heap)

This entry was posted on
Monday, April 4th, 2005
9:16 am and is filed
under It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!.

Independent – Green light for Iraqi prison abuse came right from the top: America’s leading civil liberties group has demanded an investigation into the former US military commander Iraq after a formerly classified memo revealed that he personally sanctioned a series of coercive interrogation techniques outlawed by the Geneva Conventions. The group claims that his directives were directly linked to the sort of abuses that took place at Abu Ghraib. Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reveal that Lt General Ricardo Sanchez authorised techniques such as the use of dogs to intimidate prisoners, stress positions and disorientation. In the documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Gen Sanchez admits that some of the techniques would not be tolerated by other countries. When he appeared last year before a Congressional committee, Gen Sanchez denied authorising such techniques. He has now been accused of perjury.

ACLU – Army Memo Released By ACLU Suggests Perjury In Lt. Gen. Sanchez Sworn Testimony on Torture: “Lt. Gen. Sanchez’s testimony, given under oath before the Senate Armed Services committee, is utterly inconsistent with the written record, and deserves serious investigation,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director. “This clear breach of the public’s trust is also further proof that the American people deserve the appointment of an independent special counsel by the attorney general.” Although the Washington Post first disclosed its existence, the memorandum at issue was initially withheld from public release by the Defense Department under national security grounds. The ACLU obtained a physical copy of the memorandum, however, under an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, and released a hard copy on Tuesday. The memorandum, dated September 14, 2003, was signed by Lt. Gen. Sanchez and laid out specific interrogation techniques, modeled on those used against detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for use by coalition forces in Iraq. These include sleep “management,” the inducement of fear at two levels of severity, loud music and sensory agitation, and the use of canine units to “exploit [the] Arab fear of dogs.” During sworn testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Lt. Gen. Sanchez flatly denied approving any such techniques in Iraq, and said that a news article reporting otherwise was false.

Keep telling yourself that a few misguided grunts were to blame…

Related link: Something Funny Happened On The Way To Abu Ghraib

About Tim Ireland

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