April 28, 2005

What can we say about this?

With each new revelation about how US authorities treat prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo, we are stunned by what Dubya's administration tolerates or actively condones.

Today, CBS News released some excerpts from an interview with ex-Army Sgt. Erik Saar, who was an interrogator at Guantanamo for six months.

Saar spent six months at Guantanamo and believes "only a few dozen" of the 600 detainees at the base were real terrorists, and that little information was obtained from them. Visiting authorities were led to believe otherwise, says Saar.

"Interrogations were set up so the VIPs could come and witness an interrogation...a mock interrogation, basically," he tells Pelley. "They would find a detainee that they knew to have been cooperative. They would ask the interrogator to go back over the same information...and they would sit across a table and talk...[it was] a fictitious world they would create for these VIPs."

The reality, says Saar, was sometimes in complete contrast. Detainees didn't always cooperate, he says, and many were treated harshly. He recalls translating for one female interrogator who used sex against a devout Muslim who had taken flight lessons in the United States, and was probably a dangerous terrorist with potentially crucial information.

When touching her breasts through her T-shirt to make him "feel unclean in an Islamic way" failed to make him talk, the female officer went further, says Saar.

"She...put her hands in her pants...she pulled out her hand which was red and said, 'I'm actually menstruating right now and I'm touching you. Does that please your God?'" recalls Saar.

It was really red ink, says Saar, but "[the detainee] got pent up and shied away from her and she then took the ink and wiped it on his face."

The interrogator ended the session telling the detainee that the water would be turned off in his cell, "so that he then could not go back and become ritually clean...[and] therefore could not pray," says Saar.

The full interview is schedule to run on 60 Minutes this coming Sunday.

Via CBS News.

Posted by Magpie at April 28, 2005 01:53 PM | Human Rights | Technorati links |