Good Apples In A Bad Barrel

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Guantánamo guards suffer psychological trauma

The taunts of prisoners and the things his superiors required him to do to them had a severe psychological impact on Mr H. “He was called upon to bring detainees, enemy combatants, to certain places and to see that they were handcuffed in particularly painful and difficult positions, usually naked, in anticipation of their interrogation,” said Smith.

On occasion he was told to make prisoners kneel, naked and handcuffed, on sharp stones. To avoid interrogation the prisoners would often rub their wounds afterwards to make them worse so that they would be taken to hospital.

Some of the techniques used by interrogators resulted in detainees defecating, urinating, vomiting and screaming.

Mr H told Smith he felt profoundly guilty about his participation. “It was wrong what we did,” he said.

The prisoners also threatened Mr H. “They would tell him they had networks of people throughout the world,” said Smith. “If he did not take letters out and mail them then they would see to it that his family suffered the consequences.”

Another guard whom Smith treated described an incident in which a prisoner had hanged himself in his cell after partially knawing his own arm off. The prisoner lost a substantial amount of blood but was cut down by guards and survived.

Spare a thought for the real victims of America’s reign of terror.

J.K.


Eggs Benedict

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David Miliband’s statement
Miliband’s apology over ‘rendition’
Miliband admits US rendition flights stopped on UK soil

UK apology over rendition flights
Government admission on rendition a ‘huge embarrassment’, say critics

In full: CIA statement on renditions
Political fall-out from rendition

Extraordinary admissions
Embarrassed Miliband admits two US rendition flights refuelled on British soil
Official apology after CIA ‘torture’ jets used UK base

The British Government announced today that the United States recently provided information on rendition flights through Diego Garcia-a UK territory in the Indian Ocean-that contradicted earlier data from us.

Our government had told the British that there had been no rendition flights involving their soil or airspace since 9/11. That information, supplied in good faith, turned out to be wrong.

In fact, on two different occasions in 2002, an American plane with a detainee aboard stopped briefly in Diego Garcia for refuelling.

Neither of those individuals was ever part of CIA’s high-value terrorist interrogation program. One was ultimately transferred to Guantanamo, and the other was returned to his home country.

These were rendition operations, nothing more. There has been speculation in the press over the years that CIA had a holding facility on Diego Garcia. That is false. There have also been allegations that we transport detainees for the purpose of torture. That, too, is false.

Torture is against our laws and our values. And, given our mission, CIA could have no interest in a process destined to produce bad intelligence.

In late 2007, CIA itself took a fresh look at records on rendition flights. This time, the examination revealed the two stops in Diego Garcia.

The refuelling, conducted more than five years ago, lasted just a short time. But it happened. That we found this mistake ourselves, and that we brought it to the attention of the British Government, in no way changes or excuses the reality that we were in the wrong.

An important part of intelligence work, inherently urgent, complex, and uncertain, is to take responsibility for errors and to learn from them. In this case, the result of a flawed records search, we have done so.

The CIA employs Woody Allen to write statement on rendition. Turns out he’s got heartburn.

J.K.