A forthcoming report of a Pentagon investigation of the treatment of detainees in GITMO cofirms allegations that defense department interrogators used sexual humiliation tactics during interrogations. When detainees previously complained of routine torture at GITMO Don Rumsfeld insisted that they were treated “humanely,” and Pentagon officials said terrorists were trained to fabricate torture allegations. We can now assume that such assertions are no longer opperative.
A wide-ranging Pentagon investigation, which has not yet been released, generally confirms the detainees’ allegations, according to a senior Defense Department official familiar with the report. While isolated accounts of such tactics have emerged in recent weeks, the new allegations and the findings of the Pentagon investigation indicate that sexually oriented tactics may have been part of the fabric of Guantanamo interrogations, especially in 2003.
The inquiry uncovered numerous instances in which female interrogators, using dye, pretended to spread menstrual blood on Muslim men, the official said. Separately, in court papers and public statements, three detainees say that women smeared them with blood.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the report has not yet been made public, said the fake blood was used on Muslim men before they intended to pray, because some Muslims believe that “if a woman touches him prior to prayer, then he’s dirty and can’t pray.” Muslim men also believe that contact with women other than their wives diminishes religious purity.
Some of the newly declassified accounts of detainees evoke scenes from a rock music video. German detainee Murat Kurnaz told his lawyer that three women in lacy bras and panties strutted into the interrogation room where he was sitting in chains. They cooed about how attractive he was and suggested “they could have some fun,” he said.
When Kurnaz averted his eyes, he said, one woman sat on his lap, another rubbed her breasts against his back and massaged his chest and a third squatted near his crotch. He head-butted the woman behind him, he said, knocking her off him. All three ran out and a team of soldiers stormed in and beat him, he said.
Detainee lawyers likened the tactics to Nazis shaving the beards of orthodox Jews or artists dunking a crucifix in urine to shock Christians. “They’re exploiting religious beliefs to break them down, to destroy them,” said Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents several dozen detainees. “What they’re doing, it reminds me of a pornographic Web site — it’s like the fantasy of all these S&M clubs.”
Of course the Pentagon is trying to justify this outrageous behavior.
Church’s report found that interrogators used sexually oriented tactics and harassment to shock or offend Muslim prisoners, the senior Pentagon official said. The official said that the military would not condone “sexual activity” during interrogation, but that good interrogators “take initiative and are a little creative.”
“They are trying to find the key that will get someone to talk to them. Using things that are culturally repulsive is okay as long as it doesn’t extend to something prohibited by the Geneva Conventions.”
I’ve got some news for that “senior Pentagon official”. The Geneva Conventions specifically prohibit “Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment.”
War Crimes, Bitch!