Blame It On Newsweek

From Holden:

The New York Times publishes a lengthy, gut-wrenching account of how Dear Leader’s torture policy played out at Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan. A sample:

Even as the young Afghan man was dying before them, his American jailers continued to torment him.

The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, was hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at around 2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. When he arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands were numb. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days.

Mr. Dilawar asked for a drink of water, and one of the two interrogators, Specialist Joshua R. Claus, 21, picked up a large plastic bottle. But first he punched a hole in the bottom, the interpreter said, so as the prisoner fumbled weakly with the cap, the water poured out over his orange prison scrubs. The soldier then grabbed the bottle back and began squirting the water forcefully into Mr. Dilawar’s face.

“Come on, drink!” the interpreter said Specialist Claus had shouted, as the prisoner gagged on the spray. “Drink!”

At the interrogators’ behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling.

“Leave him up,” one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying.

Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.

The ACLU’s latest FOI-extracted document cache demonstrates that abuse of detainees by frontline troops was (and is) common

More than 2,500 pages of documents just released by the Army reveal instances of detainee abuse, including mock executions, by U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

… and often included actions similar to those described by Newsweek.

[I]n February 2004, a soldier taunted a detainee in Iraq with a Jewish star of David and used gestures that were “disrespectful to Arabs,” according to the documents, which gave little other detail.

WaPo picks up the Red Cross’s corroboration of the Newsweek story that sent Scottie’s panities to Crackistan while another Post story documents how Iraqi authorities have learned from their American mentors.