From the WaPo:
Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush was being stubborn with his American captors, and a series of intense beatings and creative interrogation tactics were not enough to break his will. On the morning of Nov. 26, 2003, a U.S. Army interrogator and a military guard grabbed a green sleeping bag, stuffed Mowhoush inside, wrapped him in an electrical cord, laid him on the floor and began to go to work. Again.
It was inside the sleeping bag that the 56-year-old detainee took his last breath through broken ribs, lying on the floor beneath a U.S. soldier in Interrogation Room 6 in the western Iraqi desert. Two days before, a secret CIA-sponsored group of Iraqi paramilitaries, working with Army interrogators, had beaten Mowhoush nearly senseless, using fists, a club and a rubber hose, according to classified documents.
The sleeping bag was the idea of a soldier who remembered how his older brother used to force him into one, and how scared and vulnerable it made him feel. Senior officers in charge of the facility near the Syrian border believed that such “claustrophobic techniques” were approved ways to gain information from detainees, part of what military regulations refer to as a “fear up” tactic, according to military court documents.
Read the whole gruesome tale.
I can’t imagine how anybody thought this was a good idea. Regardless, of the “guilt” of anybody, I can’t imagine doing something like that. We’ve GOT to clean this up, damn the partisan politics.
Is this true? The Post is printing another CIA leak, and I hope they didn’t out any ongoing opeerations. LOL. Looks like this is something else the Army is investigating fully, while the media spins it as an evil tactic put in place by The Evil Bush. This is from November 2003, too bad they couldn’t get it out before the election. Will this be on the front page for 30+ days like Abu Gairib?
Seems like the perpetrators are going on trial for this, so what is the problem? The CIA you lefties all love now are being mean to terrorists? Major shocker. I’m not really caring about the faux outrage from the Post, when the soldiers responsible are on trial. I can understand if noone was being punished, but looks like the system is working.
Look, fighting the terrorists is hard work. We had 8 years of going easy on them under Clinton and look what happened. Maybe if we’d had tougher interrogation techniques back then, we could have prevented 9/11.
In the end, one’s man torture is another man’s protection of national security.
“The Post is printing another CIA leak, and I hope they didn’t out any ongoing opeerations.”
Good point! I wonder if Fitzgerald will convene a grand jury for them. Why is that when a Republican leaks CIA info, it’s “treason”, and when the Washington Post does it, it’s “solid reporting”?
After it gets to the media, it gets to trial. The prez says bad apples.
2003? It took two years to ‘investigate’ a guy being beaten to death in a sleeping bag? Two guys that ‘participated’ face non judicial punishment. Participated in murder and they are going to lose a rank?
You are right, nothing to see here. Please move on.
I know I know, I love terrorists.
“Participated in murder and they are going to lose a rank?”
It was an accident. You can’t call it murder. Maybe involuntary manslaughter at worst.
Look, what do you want us do with these terrorists? Have them speak to Joe Wilson over tea and tell him lies, the way the Nigerians did? Would that make you happy? These are bad guys and we need information from them. No one is happy when one of them dies, but war and interrogation are tough business. Would you rather we were nice to them and had another 9/11?
Newspapers can’t ‘leak’ CIA info, they have to be on the receiving end. It isn’t reporters jobs, not even Novak’s, to prevent leaks, it is the CIA’s and everyone with security clearance.
Beating to death: not OK.
This is not U.S. policy, it’s simple sadism, and it needs to be punished.
On the plus side:
Two other soldiers alleged to have participated face potential nonjudicial punishment.
Putting someone in a sleeping bag and beating them to death is nothing more than a Frat Boy prank. Get over it! You bleeding heart Liberals crack me up.
And Two Army soldiers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fort Carson, Colo., are charged with killing Mowhoush with the sleeping-bag technique
In the end, one’s man torture is another man’s protection of national security.”
Doug, I hardly think I could be accused of “coddling terrorists” but I don’t agree that this kind of stuff is kosher. Turn your statement around:
“In the end, one man’s terrorist is another man’s patriot”
Do you agree with that? I don’t, yet that’s the mantra that SOME on the Left, those that equate terrorism with patriotism spout. Those of us on the Right (or Middle) cannot allow ourselves to do the same by saying” Well if American lives are saved, then torture in any form is just fine”. I don’t buy that.
“I’m not really caring about the faux outrage from the Post, when the soldiers responsible are on trial”
The soldiers perhaps, but not Gen Gonzales (who got promoted) and certainly not Rummy. As for Bush, is he not responsible for who he puts in place?
But then the man who admits to no mistakes doesn’t need to accept blame for them.
If they were all ‘terrorists’ I could possibly get over it and keep my mouth shut. Problem is that they aren’t. some are just civilians caught in the wrong spot. Some are insurgents fighting against the US military. Some are terrorists. We have to treat them all the same, because we don’t really KNOW who is who.
This isn’t about who they are anyway. It is about who we are. We aren’t the nation that tortures and turns prisoners over to ‘native iraqi militias nicknamed Scorpions.’ I find it morally unacceptable.
Fine, murder is too strong a word. Standing by while someone is beaten to death while wrapped in a sleeping bag deserves something more than a reduced rank. I realize that the military has a chain of command, and that stepping up in that situation would be next to impossible. Tough situation to be in. It is also a tough situation as the interrogator when you have been told to ‘take the gloves off’ and get information. When orders like that are given, people get sleeping bagged.
Congress can’t even pass a bill saying that we will treat prisoners in a humane way, and that we will follow official Army guidelines. The president promises to veto the defense spending bill if that ammendment is attached. How can that be spun any other way than the president refuses to allow Congress to outlaw torture?
If I thought torturing every brown detainee that we pick up around the world would actually prevent terrorist attacks, it may change my mind. But honestly, I don’t think torture is the silver bullet we are looking for.
Did you see this story about the kind of stuff we outsource to places like Morocco?
Just remember this story when you hear the phrase “extraordinary rendition.”
“Putting someone in a sleeping bag and beating them to death is nothing more than a Frat Boy prank. Get over it! You bleeding heart Liberals crack me up.”
I did not post this. I don’t care what the IP is. I would never post something like this.
Yes, we know, a president (well, a Republican president, at least) is always responsible and culpable for all the evil acts of men thousands of miles away. But as I recall, we had an election last year, and it seems most Americans don’t share your views.
sometimes 49% of america ends up being right.
Geek, I’m not sure what to think about those articles you posted links to. If everything in there is true, then it is clearly wrong. I do support the policy of extreme rendition, but maybe we need to keep a closer watch on the jailers in these countries to make sure they don’t go too far.
The Guardian got busted for employing a reporter belonging to a terrorist group. Like I will trust anecdotal evidence from the terrorist supporting Guardian.
You’re right Stormy. I didn’t notice it was the Guardian. I sort of flipped when I read some of the articles, but you’re right that is likely Guardian “pro-terrorist” propaganda. I hope that’s what it is, anyway.
“LALALALALALALA, I can’t hear you.”
The new defence from the right.
sometimes 49% of america ends up being right.”
True, as in 1996 or even the 57.9% that were right in 1992.
We send people to those places BECAUSE they don’t have laws against torture. You don’t send someone to Morocco or Egypt because you think other Arabs will establish a better rapport with the prisoners.
This isn’t an anonymous quote–it’s a real human being who gave his story to the Guardian. Those are his words.
Now, I know that terrorists are coached to say awful things. But, to that I would respond thusly:
1. If this guy’s such a hardcore terrorist, why was he set free?
2. Does anyone really have trouble believing that this sort of thing happens in Morocco?
Either there are two people posting as DougJ, or else there is one, and he’s screwing with us.
IP addresses can be spoofed, according to hackers that I talk to. So I wouldn’t put much stock in the report that all of his posts show the same IP address.
Meanwhile, the torture thing. It’s an abomination, and whatever of these stories is true, needs to be pursued and the perpetrators, if there be perpetrators, “brought to justice”, to coin a Bushism. In addition, the policies in place need to be adjusted to ensure to the greatest possible extent that these things do not happen.
Can’t all the Doug J Trolls get along? :-)
Their name is Legion, and they are many.
Ppgaz, all the posts here are really me. I’m not as simple as you might think: I really am disturbed by those Guardian stories though I don’t trust thet Guardian.
What I want to know is what was this former General being stubborn about. Was he beaten to death because he wouldn’t tell us where the Nuclear, Chemical, & Biological weapons are? He doesn’t apear to be connected to the insurgent groups and back then we were still looking for the weapons.
Ppgaz, I mean all the posts except the one about the “frat prank” — that one is a clear spoof. The sentiments there are offensive to me.
My own take here, noting my earlier post on this story a week ago.
I’ll just note that a General cannot possibly be deemed to be exempt from the Geneva convention, and yet here we are.
What nearly everyone (especially DougJ) seems to have missed here is that THIS GUY WASN’T A TERRORIST! He was a General in the Iraqi army. The war (against Saddam) was over. This man was not a threat to anyone. But hey, another brownskin dead, that’s a point for our side, right?
Yes. Physical torture is just not that effective as an interrogation technique.
When something like this happens, shouldn’t those who did it be prosecuted? Isn’t that exactly what is happening here? Don’t the alleged perpetrators have a right to due process? Are they getting more or less than they are entitled under the UCMJ? Under the Geneva Conventions?
Are the alleged perpetrators getting more or less due process than individuals charged with similar crimes in the United States?
Most of the statements made above ignore these questions. I saw nothing in this story indicating that the alleged perps in this case are being treated more leniently than the charges against them indicate. If any of you see any facts suggesting otherwise, please point them out to us.
I never served but I know Honor is really big amongst the folks in service. Where’s the honor in stuffing a man in a sleeping bag and beating him?
Not only that, but he walked into American HQ..not even captured!
Look, we tortured Nazis, the greatest threat the free world has ever known, and you see how great that all turned out. What do you mean we didn’t torture the Nazis???
Seriously, this may be the funniest line of the day:
“I do support the policy of extreme rendition, but maybe we need to keep a closer watch on the jailers in these countries to make sure they don’t go too far.”
In light of the fact that we render prisoners so our “allies” can do things to them that we can’t, and in light of what we now know that we apparently CAN do, aren’t the purposes for which prisoners are rendered, by definition, “too far”? If we can beat a guy to death in a sleeping bag (okay, I guess the actual dying was verboten but everything right up to the dying was OK), what the hell do we send them to Eqypt for, do you think? Jazzercise?
“In light of the fact that we render prisoners so our “allies” can do things to them that we can’t, and in light of what we now know that we apparently CAN do, aren’t the purposes for which prisoners are rendered, by definition, “too far”?”
Sorry, but what went on in Morocco and Egypt there is just plain wrong if it really happened. I guess I favor “torture lite”, but there are certain lines that should not be crossed.
And just imagine the fun our soldiers will have during the next war, where their opponents will know that surrendering is worse than fighting to the death, that the American’s promises are worthless, and no matter how crappy their own government is, we can treat them worse.
With the PR we’ve generated for ourselves, we won’t be able to liberate Hell itself.
If any of these stories are true, then the torturers and/or killers should be punished to full extent possible. However, I don’t trust the Post and the Guardian is as much a propaganda organ as Pravda ever was. Until the CIA publically fires whoever hired Valerie Plame, it will rank with the Guardian.
This is about the 20th case of rendition I know of now. Every single one, without exception, has either made allegations of torture, or has not been heard from again. In some cases they are hard to independently verify–though this guys scars would seem to provide some corroboration. In other cases, there is a lot of corroborating evidence suggesting that these people are telling the truth.
Some of them are almost unquestionably innocent, by the way. Look up Maher Arar and Khalid el-Masri.
You don’t have to trust the Post. Their account is from government documents. It’s long past time conservatives took their heads out of the sand on this. And it’s long past time for Congress to act.
“Until the CIA publically fires whoever hired Valerie Plame, it will rank with the Guardian.”
I think that the Valerie Plame probe is a tempest in a teapot, but this seems kind of ridiculous to me. Come on, you’re saying don’t trust anything the CIA tells us? Truthfully, you sound like a liberal when you say that.
Rendition is tricky. On the one hand, what Iraqis do to other Iraqis needs to be dealt with by the elected Iraqi gov’t. On the other hand, Iraqi civilians are being deliberately murdered by insurgents, hundreds of them on some days, and Iraqi officials aren’t likely to have a lot of sympathy for a high-ranking insurgent with the blood of dozens or hundreds on his hands. Is handing someone like that over tantamount to torturing them ourselves? Is it even our place to say what they do with them?
I think, as guests of the elected Iraqi gov’t, we have to respect their wishes to some extent. But we definitely shouldn’t hand people over just to have them tortured. There has to be a legitimate reason for rendition.
no matter how crappy their own government is, we can treat them worse.
Hardly, insurgents are begging to be taken into custody by our guys rather than the Iraqis.
Stormy, you’re laughing about Americans torturing people???
You really don’t have a soul, do you. Now I understand why you can defend everything this administration does.
Please don’t leave Texas.