Yet Another Report On Detainee Abuse Ends With a Whitewash

From Holden:

A summary of a classified report on detainee abuse by naval inspector general Vice Adm. Albert T. Church reveals the military’s use of Nazi-like forms of collective punishment.

After clashing with Afghan rebels at the village of Miam Do one year ago, American soldiers detained the village’s entire population for four days, and an officer beat and choked several residents while screening them and trying to identify local militants, according to a new Pentagon report that was given to Congress late Monday night.

Although the officer, an Army lieutenant colonel attached to the Defense Intelligence Agency, was disciplined and suspended from further involvement with detainees, he faced no further action beyond a reprimand.

In another parallel to the Third Reich, medical personnel are found to be complicit.

The report also delved into the role that medical personnel might have played in failing to report abuses they witnessed or treated. Investigators reviewed the cases of 68 detainees who died while in American custody, including 63 in Iraq and five in Afghanistan, the summary said. Six of those deaths were related to detainee abuse, investigators determined.

In three cases, two in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, the report concluded that “it appeared that medical personnel may have attempted to misrepresent the circumstances of the death, possibly to disguise detainee abuse.” These cases were forwarded to the Army surgeon general for review, the report summary said.

The responsibilty for these war crimes is traced to the highest levels…

The inquiry found, for instance, that by January 2003, military interrogators in Afghanistan were using techniques similar to those that Mr. Rumsfeld had approved for use only at Guantnamo Bay. Those techniques included stress positions and sleep and light deprivation.

…then excused.

Admiral Church’s report faults senior American officials for failing to establish clear interrogation policies for Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving commanders there to develop some practices that were unauthorized, according to the report summary. But the inquiry found that Pentagon officials and senior commanders were not directly responsible for the detainee abuses, and that there was no policy that approved mistreatment of detainees at prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantnamo Bay, Cuba.