Friday, September 23, 2005

As expected - routine torture of Iraqi prisoners for fun and amusement

This is in keeping with the historic record of what humans do with those in their power -- in the absence of rigorous oversight and the presences of extreme stress:3 in 82nd Airborne Say Abuse in Iraqi Prisons Was Routine - New York Times
... We would give them blows to the head, chest, legs and stomach, and pull them down, kick dirt on them," one sergeant told Human Rights Watch researchers during one of four interviews in July and August. "This happened every day."

The sergeant continued: "Some days we would just get bored, so we would have everyone sit in a corner and then make them get in a pyramid. This was before Abu Ghraib but just like it. We did it for amusement."

At least one soldier said he had been acting under orders from military intelligence personnel to soften up detainees, whom the unit called persons under control, or P.U.C.'s, to make them more cooperative during formal interviews.

"They wanted intel," said one sergeant, an infantry fire-team leader who served as a guard when no military police soldiers were available. "As long as no P.U.C.'s came up dead, it happened." He added, "We kept it to broken arms and legs."

The soldiers told Human Rights Watch that while they were serving in Afghanistan, they learned the stress techniques from watching Central Intelligence Agency operatives interrogating prisoners.

The Army captain who made the allegations gave Human Rights Watch and Senate aides his long account only after his efforts to report the abuses to his superiors were rebuffed or ignored over 17 months, according to Senate aides and John Sifton, one of the Human Rights Watch researchers who conducted the interviews.
American 'exceptionalism' is rank nonsense. We are no more or less virtuous than other humans -- and that's not a high standard. In the absence of rigorous oversight and discipline bored men torture for fun.

This is a part of the consequences of Rumsfeld's decisions to under-resource the occupation, and it is consistent with the culture he promulgated. Rumsfeld should have been fired long ago. Bush should be impeached for not firing Rumsfeld.

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