May 21, 2005

"Everybody heard him cry out and thought it was funny."

We know that a number of the detainees at Guantanamo were eventually released without charge because they were innocent. And we know that 80% of the detainees in Abu Ghraib were innocent Iraqis captured in the massive sweeps that were being carried out in Baghdad late 2003 to early 2004. Everywhere the war on terror has been taken, the innocent are swept along with the current into the dungeons created by the Bush regime. Bagram, Afghanistan is destined to be another notorious name in the lexicon of places of horror. It was the hellhole, Bagram, into which a 22 year old Afghani taxi driver disappeared, having been found guilty of "non-compliance" and only to emerge dead from sadistic beatings a week or so later.

Just as in the Lord of the Flies, particular prisoners are chosen for special and sadistic treatment. In Bagram, young Dilawar was immediately identified as someone who would provide entertainment for the interrogators.

Mr. Dilawar was a frail man, standing only 5 feet 9 inches and weighing 122 pounds. But at Bagram, he was quickly labeled one of the "noncompliant" ones.

When one of the First Platoon M.P.'s, Specialist Corey E. Jones, was sent to Mr. Dilawar's cell to give him some water, he said the prisoner spit in his face and started kicking him. Specialist Jones responded, he said, with a couple of knee strikes to the leg of the shackled man.

"He screamed out, 'Allah! Allah! Allah!' and my first reaction was that he was crying out to his god," Specialist Jones said to investigators. "Everybody heard him cry out and thought it was funny."

Other Third Platoon M.P.'s later came by the detention center and stopped at the isolation cells to see for themselves, Specialist Jones said.

It became a kind of running joke, and people kept showing up to give this detainee a common peroneal strike just to hear him scream out 'Allah,' " he said. "It went on over a 24-hour period, and I would think that it was over 100 strikes."

[...]As Mr. Dilawar grew desperate, he began crying out more loudly to be released. But even the interpreters had trouble understanding his Pashto dialect; the annoyed guards heard only noise.

"He had constantly been screaming, 'Release me; I don't want to be here,' and things like that," said the one linguist who could decipher his distress, Abdul Ahad Wardak.

[...]On Dec. 8, Mr. Dilawar was taken for his fourth interrogation. It quickly turned hostile.

The 21-year-old lead interrogator, Specialist Glendale C. Walls II, later contended that Mr. Dilawar was evasive. "Some holes came up, and we wanted him to answer us truthfully," he said. The other interrogator, Sergeant Salcedo, complained that the prisoner was smiling, not answering questions, and refusing to stay kneeling on the ground or sitting against the wall.

The interpreter who was present, Ahmad Ahmadzai, recalled the encounter differently to investigators.

The interrogators, Mr. Ahmadzai said, accused Mr. Dilawar of launching the rockets that had hit the American base. He denied that. While kneeling on the ground, he was unable to hold his cuffed hands above his head as instructed, prompting Sergeant Salcedo to slap them back up whenever they began to drop.

"Selena berated him for being weak and questioned him about being a man, which was very insulting because of his heritage," Mr. Ahmadzai said.

When Mr. Dilawar was unable to sit in the chair position against the wall because of his battered legs, the two interrogators grabbed him by the shirt and repeatedly shoved him back against the wall.

What is it about humans that allow them to carry out such vicious and nasty acts? It is clear that this war on terror is unleashing some of the ugliest and shameful aspects of human nature. And it is this administration with its rhetoric of "good against evil" and belief that "torture is necessary" which has tapped into the reptilian monster lurking inside man and provided it extensive playgrounds to toy with its prey.

Posted by Mary at May 21, 2005 05:51 PM | War on Terrorism | Technorati links |

Dave Ross at 710kiro is on it with his commentary on Friday. Was the Saddam choné photos just a smoke-screen for this other story...?!

Posted by: Darryl Pearce at May 22, 2005 12:48 PM

Instapundit wants us all to note that this happened in 2002, and the story comes out now only because the Army released an investigative report on the subject. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Move along.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go throw up. (Preferably in Glenn's lap.)

Posted by: saurabh at May 23, 2005 02:02 PM